We have a proposition for innovative healthcare communications procurement teams
With the new fiscal year freshly underway, we’ve been listening to procurement needs among our clients to understand better what they want and need from their healthcare communications consultants and agencies.
Budgets are tight and financial value is a crucial consideration – that’s no surprise. Skilled procurement professionals must balance value for money with high quality delivery from their healthcare communications partners. That means scrutinising what they provide and how well they can perform as well as negotiating costs and contracts.
Retained agencies have been the go-to communications solution for healthcare and pharma for decades. But times have changed. Healthcare businesses demand more agility and flexibility, more rapid response and faster delivery, and they need to access specialist expertise for different projects. It’s often hard to achieve this within a rostered agency team.
An agency alternative for speed, specialist expertise and proven capability
We know that procurement teams are looking for ways to innovate, to give their organisations competitive advantage and to achieve real value. The Difference Collective can help with this, offering an alternative to traditional healthcare communications agencies for certain projects and skills. Through us, you can access big agency thinking and proven talent without the commitment and price of a traditional agency.
But we’re not here to replace your retained agencies. Where you need a large team that includes mid and junior talent and is available continuously for core delivery of a range of everyday activities, they’re best suited to the job. We’re not set up to work in that way. We thrive on creative short- and medium-term projects led by senior consultants. Because we deliver excellent outcomes and great value quickly, these tend to build up – clients come back to us for consecutive and connected projects once they’ve seen the calibre and agility of our work.
A fresh approach to pitching
We’re often asked whether we will pitch. This is an important question. We understand you need tangible evidence of service quality and financial value, as well as a showcase of creativity. But because we operate a streamlined business model, our margins are lower than traditional agencies, so we can’t fund expensive and protracted pitch processes.
But there are alternative solutions. To demonstrate our creativity and quality, we offer live brainstorming or strategic consultancy sessions where you can challenge the people who will be working on your project with the topics and activities you want them to address. We don’t use a professional pitch team – you will meet and engage with your team in action, generating inspiring ideas and workable approaches there and then. We’re big believers in the importance of team chemistry.
We’ve also evolved our approach to incorporate the potential to pitch, but on a case-by-case basis. If the right specialist consultants in our team are available to match the brief and are able to invest their own time, we will engage in a contained, short pitch situation.
Balancing control with agility in procurement
We’re very aware of pharma and healthcare procurement’s need for robust governance. Our model is designed to meet rigorous procurement standards. The approach is proven: we have Master Service Agreements with several top twenty pharma organisations, set up so they can call on us as and when they need us without hassle.
For discrete or linked projects, specialist expertise, particular creative thinking, new projects, additional projects, extra resource to meet a surge in demand or a requirement for faster delivery, we provide a fast response from senior, proven talent and excellent value for money.
Example projects include social media campaigns, health literacy reviews, event management and delivery, employee engagement programmes, omnichannel projects that require particular expertise in different disciplines, media relations campaigns, and content generation. We can work on any project with a clear scope and outcome – we can help you determine these to ensure the work is well-defined.
We want to make your working life easier
The bottom line is this: we want to work with leading healthcare organisations and we have the high calibre people to deliver the quality work you demand, so we’re striving to make it easy for procurement teams to choose us. At times, you need more agility and a faster response than a retained agency can give you, but procurement principles have historically made it hard to access the right talent on a freelance basis. Working with The Difference Collective makes it possible. Why not try us out for a short-term project? There’s no commitment and no risk – you only pay for the resources you need, when you need them.