There are so many full-service medical and dental marketing companies on the market that many doctors and dentists think it’s important that all their marketing is done in-house by one company. This arrangement can be referred to as a “Wal-Mart” experience, where you work with a large agency which is basically a “mill” where you are treated as just another customer in the company’s mass-production model.
While there may be some advantages of one-stop marketing companies, there are also significant disadvantages that should not be overlooked.
1. If you work with a couple of consultants for web, marketing, & SEO, you get to choose the best ones. If you get all this from one company, you don’t have much say in the matter. Instead, you must go with whatever employees the company has, so the quality is average.
2. When you work with a couple of consultants and don’t like one, you can replace that one consultant and still keep the other(s) you like. If you get all your services from the same company, you can’t do that. For example, if your SEO is fine, but your website sucks visually and functionally, you can’t choose another web designer to try a different approach. Rather, you will have to replace your entire marketing company.
3. If the company does everything in-house, that means they have more people in the office. This means they have higher overhead expenses. These expenses are passed on to you – the client – in one way or the other.
4. Small firms or consultants may offer more flexibility and accommodation for your needs and provide a much more personalized approach than a larger company.
5. Although there are exceptions, you may receive better quality from small firms or consultants because you will typically work with the business owner who will have a vested interest in their reputation and take ownership of their work. In contrast, employees of larger companies usually don’t care as much about the company’s clients or reputation.
In contrast, we represent the concierge model. The concierge model implies that the consultant works in your best interest and develops custom services that are suited to your particular needs. Such a model provides a more personalized service compared to the standardized, one-size-fits-all model offered by bigger companies with a larger customer volume. It is also more cost-effective because you get better quality for your money, you can better control your costs, and you only pay for the services you need – and only for as long as you need them.
As the end consumer, you shouldn’t worry much about whether your marketing people do things in-house, outsource, or partner with someone to deliver. What you should care about is the quality of the end product you receive. The key is not how they self-organize to deliver but how efficient they are. For example, we do web design and technical SEO in-house, but we partner with another small firm for keyword and citation SEO. To the client, we still appear as one team, and work and communication are done seamlessly and efficiently. At the same time, the client enjoys improved quality, flexibility, better quality control (by having two independent firms keep an eye on things), and overhead cost savings.