How a small agency can
help support big pharma

Pharmaceutical companies have significant marketing needs, not to mention complex approval processes. Large pharma companies often partner with large advertising agencies to market products in the face of a highly restrictive regulatory environment.

In this context, does it ever make sense for a pharmaceutical company to work with a smaller agency? The answer is “yes,” if all the right ingredients are in place. So, how can a small agency effectively support a large healthcare company?

1. By knowing the regulatory environment inside and out.

The most creative promotional ideas are of no value if they violate the FDA’s restrictions on how healthcare products may be promoted. Large or small, agencies must know what it takes to get creative through the medical-legal-regulatory approval process.

2. By listening well.

Miscommunications and misunderstandings can cost precious time. Agencies need to hear and be responsive to what the client wants to achieve. When there are fewer layers of communication, there may be a lower risk that things will get lost in translation.

3. By being nimble.

Pharmaceutical brands must be able to adapt rapidly to changing customer needs or marketplace dynamics. A small, experienced, tightly-knit team, working together in one location, can often turn big projects around more quickly than a large, geographically diffuse one.

4. By keeping down costs.

Launching and supporting a pharmaceutical brand is expensive. With mounting pressure to control healthcare costs and to do more with less, it’s critical to manage one’s budget wisely. If fewer people and billable hours are being allocated to a given project, it can be completed more economically, and that benefits everyone.

5. By playing well with others.

Promoting a brand is a collective effort that often requires collaboration between the brand team, multiple agencies, and other client partners. Promotional tactics must be coordinated, assets must be shared, and information must flow appropriately in all directions and with the right context. For all that to work, all parties must maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation.

When all these ingredients are in place, a small agency might just be the smart place to take your next big marketing challenge.

Stay tuned to Backe social, where we’ll continue to share our marketing insights and digital experiences working in pharma and healthcare, in our ongoing Pharma series.

Comment on this article using #TalkBacke
Find us @BackeMarketing

Backe is a digital marketing and brand communications agency, focused on creating smart, beautiful and strategically-driven work. We build communities, relationships, and meaningful connections.