We typically don’t talk about what it costs to hire a marketing agency for your medical practice. We’re not about that; instead, we’re all about providing you with the tools and knowledge to do it yourself, if that’s what you’re looking to do.
However, once in a while, we get folks who don’t want to do it themselves because they don’t have the time, budget or energy to take on the marketing monster by their lonesome. So, today we’ve put together a breakdown of what you can expect to pay if you decide to hire a marketing agency for your medical practice.
Because I don’t know what everybody out there is paying for their marketing services, I can only share what my agency charges for practices we work with and how those charges compare to some national standards.
And to qualify myself, Insight Marketing Group (my agency), has been in business since 2006. We work exclusively in healthcare providing full-service marketing to independent medical practices. We’re a small team of hyper efficient and passionate professionals and we like to think that we deliver results (this confidence is fueled in part because this is what our clients tell us).
The comparison data I am using comes from this awesome blog post I found which presents data from an extensive survey conducted a few years back. Their data isn’t exclusive to healthcare marketing agencies, so I’ve presented their data below highlighting where my agency fits in the mix. This should give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for certain services. At the very least, this will give you an idea of what you can expect should you decide to go out there and hire a firm to handle the marketing for your medical practices.
This should give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for certain services.
Expect to hire a small agency (less than 10 employees). This means that they will be outsourcing some work when they get busy. Don’t worry about this because it’s pretty typical. All you care about is the quality of their output. In this case, size matters (but not that much).
Because the agency you’re going to work with will most likely be small, it’s important to ask if they can handle the workload. As you can see below, most of the agencies manage less than 25 clients at a time.
When I’m deciding if I can bring on a new client, I look at the hours I’ve got available within my team. For example, each full time employee works 40 hours per week. Roughly 80% of those hours are spent on client work, while the remaining 20% is spent answering random emails, updating our task management system, etc. This means that each employee averages roughly 130 hours per month of output.
When I’m talking to a potential client about how much it’s going to cost for us to handle their marketing, I require a guaranteed number of hours. I do this so that I can manage accounts and make sure I’ve got the manpower necessary.
For example, the majority of my clients are medium-sized practices with 6-12 providers. Typically, it takes 20-25 dedicated hours per month per client for us to manage social media, create custom content, monitor online reputation management (ORM) efforts, build and maintain websites, perform search engine optimization (SEO), etc.
I charge $90 per hour on the first 20 hours as long as it’s guaranteed in the form of a retainer. Most of my clients have a monthly retainer of $1800-$2,500. Some months it might take 15 hours while other months take 25 hours. If we find that a particular client consistently requires more than 20 hours, then we invoice at a reduced rate of $80 per hour. We have a few clients who simply pay a per hour charge with no guaranteed number of hours. For those, the hourly charge is $90.
As I said before, my firm has been around since 2006 and we’ve pretty much been doing healthcare marketing exclusively since then. Just like growing older, the benefit of having been around the block a bit is that we’ve seen just about everything there is out there. We’ve also failed enough times to learn what works and what doesn’t.
I think that most marketing agencies do pretty much the same things these days, so here’s the type of stuff you can expect they will be doing for your practice. For us, these are the elements that make up the typical 20 hours per month for a mid-sized practice.
At some point during the agency/client relationship, the client will wonder what they are getting for their money. This usually happens when the client makes a special request and I tell them that we can absolutely handle it but that it will be outside of their retainer. I recently had a client ask the question so I did a little research to make sure I was correct in that they didn’t have enough hours. Luckily for me we use a time tracking program so that we can see exactly where and how our time gets spent.
So if you’re still considering hiring a marketing agency to manage your marketing efforts, I hope that these numbers will help you make an informed decision. If you have any questions or want some help deciding if you’re getting a good deal, my email is Jennifer@InsightMG.com and I’m here for you.