With every new healthcare or pharmaceutical marketing project, we always tell ourselves we won’t repeat the same mistakes as last time. However, sometimes it’s very easy to slip back into bad habits, especially when working with an external creative agency. Here are 5 healthcare marketing blunders and how best to avoid them.

1. You are not the patient.

This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised; ask patients! Qualitative audience testing can save huge sums of money and time compared to the serial rejection of ideas based on personal preference. But, remember, what you like is not always what will resonate with your audience.

Sometimes it’s too easy to allow personal preference from either party to get in the way of a project’s outcome. So, think carefully about your audience and focus on who you’re genuinely trying to reach.

Will the changes better the situation of the patient or audience? If not, then maybe it’s not a change for the better.

2. Avoid scope creep.

Getting the narrative strategy sorted is vital before deciding the medium your project should take. In addition, it’s critical to establish clear, deliverable goals that are consistently overseen by a creative director or dedicated account manager.

Whether in-house or from an external partner creative agency, they’ll help align the project objectives with the creative execution, identifying inefficiencies and keeping everyone moving in the right direction.

3. Coordinate your feedback.

When working with creative teams, whether in-house or external, ensure you coordinate each round of amendments or reviews so that everyone who needs to look at materials does so simultaneously.

Having everyone’s eyes on the project at the same time will minimise the number of review rounds and avoid the potential for out-of-scope changes. As well as vast sums in both budget and time, you’ll see the additional benefit of improved communications between account and creative teams.

4. Don’t waste your marketing budget.

As the adage goes, why have a dog and bark yourself? You can save a lot on promotional costs by collaborating with a healthcare partner, such as a patient advocacy group. In addition, teaming up with others who share a common goal allows you to leverage their social media reach or connect with influential contacts across the industry.

5. Do you want it cheap, fast or good?

Remember the golden principle… CHEAP/FAST/GOOD; and that you can only pick two. If you want cheap and good… it cannot be fast, so allow enough time for development. Start early, plan ahead, and work with your creative team in advance to establish good working timelines that will result in quality work and a happier audience or client.


So, how do you ensure that all of these pitfalls are avoided for your next project? The answer is easy; use a creative digital agency with healthcare smarts pre-installed. At The Good Ideas Group, we pride ourselves on years of supporting healthcare and pharmaceutical communicators in telling their stories.

Whether it’s a patient story or your own company’s journey, we know what works and what doesn’t in an incredibly competitive industry. However, don’t take our word for it. Get in touch and see if we can help add a good idea or two to your next project.

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+44 (0) 20 3343 2800

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