Jul 29, 2019 Published in Web Content, Medical Device Marketing, Insider, Marketing Operations

Deconstructing Agency Case Studies: Red Flags for Marketers

You’re a medical device marketer ready to start the agency search process, but you’re not sure where to begin. Luckily, agencies are happy to provide you with pages and pages of case studies to prove their worthiness for your product launch. After a while, they all start to blend together. What red flags should you be looking out for in a case study? Do you know how to read between the lines?
Let’s break it down:
1. Process over product: We can’t blame a team with lackluster creative for trying to come up with a way to promote themselves without calling too much attention to their product. We all know the importance of process in any business—and agencies are no different. It’s important to look for agencies that are willing to give an idea (hint: not a dissertation) of their process and a final product that stands out creatively. It does not matter how many “experts” are on a team if the work looks bland.
2. Bashing: Some case studies are more about blame than they are about the work. Look for an agency that is ready to roll up its sleeves on your challenge—not point the finger.
3. Confusion: The “Challenge” section of a case study should be 2-3 sentences max; this length means that the agency had a clear understanding of the problem to be solved. A longer “Challenge” section only wastes the reader’s time and betrays a lack of understanding.
4. Jumping through hoops: Make no mistake—agencies use case studies as promotional tools. This is standard practice in the industry. Case studies can be found on most agency websites without much digging. But what about an agency that treats their case studies like premium content? It’s up to you how much of your information you want to trade for a case study, but when searching for an agency, you don’t have time to jump through hoops. Look for an agency that puts courtesy over inbound marketing.
5. Picture show: These are the few agencies that put no case studies on their sites at all. What you see when you click on “Work” is a picture show. This minimalist approach is fun to look at, it’s elegant, and it definitely grabs your attention. The thing is, nobody hires an advertising agency to paint a pretty picture. Yes, great creative work is a huge part of what we do, but there is always a purpose behind it: the challenge that was solved with the work. An ad without context is not a case study, no matter how cool it looks.
6. Awards instead of results: Sometimes you read a whole case study, and it ends with how many awards the work won. That’s great—for the agency. What about the client’s problem? Did it get solved? How would you know? Awards don’t tell you if the work achieved the objectives. And if the case study does not include the objectives? Run.
We hope this helps you sort through all of the case studies you’re reading as you search for an agency for your medical device product launch. And if you’re ready to find out more about how we can put our process and creativity to work for your team, reach out using the button below.
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