As chiropractic professionals, the last thing you’re considering is how to handle your marketing. For this reason, many offices have an in-house staff who are ready to handle marketing requests for social media, website updates and any offline marketing tactics.
When getting started in a new office, one of the first things asked by a chiropractor is, “Should I hire a staff member or a marketing agency?”
Marketing In-House: Pros and Cons
If you have been running a successful practice, you’re probably at the level where you want to hire an in-house marketer to handle things.
An in-house marketer will always be the most familiar with all aspects of your business. Since this individual is in the business on a daily basis, he or she understands the operations and overall message of the business. This will allow for more effective communication to your marketing audience.
Secondly, an in-house marketer has access to all of your chiropractic assets. This could include videos you’ve created, logos for the business, any photography work you may have and any additional content. Direct access to this content will make it easier and faster to publish content to various marketing channels.
Another consideration is that an in-house marketer will grow with your business and has the business’s best interest in mind. He or she will be involved with all business activities, which makes it easier to run a marketing campaign.
A typical in-house marketer’s salary for a chiropractor’s office will be around $50,000. You’ll need to budget for the marketers salary, 401k contributions and insurance benefits.
It takes around 6 months to a year to fully train an individual about a business. You’ll need to prepare to spend one-on-one time with the marketing specialist until they have a few campaigns under their belt.
Lastly, you’ll need to establish an environment where this role is not just a job. Rather, position the role as a career. This will be your best bet to get a new marketer to stay on the team and with the business for the long-term.
Marketing Agencies: Pros and Cons
Contrary to an in-house specialist, an agency will differ in a number of ways.
Most marketing and advertising agencies have a wealth of experience from working with different businesses. While it’s not as easy as a plug-and-play model, an agency will be quick to understand where your marketing gaps exist and then proceed with filling them.
Agencies are dependable and responsible for marketing activities. This allows you, the chiropractor, to do what you do best while the agency handles all of the marketing. Many of the successful chiropractors remain successful because they devote their time to chiropractic care rather than web design or marketing tasks.
Overall, an agency will cost much less than hiring a part-time or full-time employee. Agencies don’t require salaries, insurance benefits or a 401k, so you will instantly save money by going with any agency.
One of the most obvious cons is that the agency is not involved in the day-to-day interactions of the business. This means that you will be responsible for communication of major initiatives with the business. If you fail to communicate things with your agency partner, it’s difficult to hold them responsible.
A typical marketing agency structure will consist of an account executive who you speak with on a frequent basis and people who do the work on the backend. The con to this arrangement is that the account manager is typically not the person responsible for the work going into your campaigns. If you have technical marketing questions, you’ll have to wait for the account manager to get an answer for you.
Similar to being absent in the day-to-day interactions of the care facility, a marketing agency is not involved with the long-term plan. You may have 1-year, 5-year or even 10-year plans in place for your business and understand the goals for the business. Unfortunately, this isn’t something a marketing agency is typically responsible for. A marketing agency will help you reach these goals, but growing the business falls on your shoulders.
The Decision Really Depends On You
The decision to hire an in-house marketer versus an agency is ultimately up to you. You’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of your specific business and decide what costs are involved.
If you have recently hired a new marketing partner (as an employee or an agency), let us know your experience in the comments. We would love our readers to see what you did and how things are working out.