The internet is a pharma marketer’s dream come true. Unlimited reach to audiences across the globe. Expansive data points and A/B testing opportunities. But the problem most digital pharma marketing teams face? Finding a digital production partner that can bring their campaign to life AND knows their way around pharma’s complex regulatory frameworks.

A good digital production partner can mean the difference between high-quality, on-time banner ad campaigns and campaigns that are plagued with delays, glitches and budget overages.

Guess which type of digital ad campaign will keep your clients coming back for more (and ideally, sending referrals your way)?

Before we dive into the best screening questions for finding a quality digital production partner, let’s look at the options out there.

Who’s the perfect match for your digital production needs?

Digital ad: Banner ads

Digital ad: Banner ads

If you’re a pharma marketer, you have a few options for building out the digital ads in your pharma campaigns.  

  • In-house: In-house developers are the most expensive option, in more ways than one. Full-time employees are a big investment and they have a finite amount of time. Digital production projects for display ad campaigns are time-intensive, which limits the number of projects an in-house developer can take on. Since HTML5, the foundation of most digital ads, is still a relatively new technology, few developers have all the necessary skillsets, knowledge and hands-on experience to reliably deliver on-spec.
  • Freelancer: Freelancers are a great option for low-volume needs or digital pharma marketing projects that require specific skillsets. However, quality and reliability can vary. We’ve worked with several pharma marketer clients who came to us in a panic because a big contract was on the line and their freelancer disappeared, couldn’t deliver or provided sub-par work.
  • Agency: Digital production agencies that specialize in digital production for pharma are a great option for medium to high volume production needs or quality assurance purposes (i.e. that client you need to keep happy). Agencies have an in-depth working knowledge of HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, animation, best file delivery practices and browser and ad server requirements to meet your client goals.

6 questions to ask before hiring a digital production partner for your pharma banner ads

Interactive production

Interactive production

These are a few of our favorite questions for identifying quality digital production partners. Want to see our full list? Download our free guide on managing your pharma banner ad project. It’s packed full of great tips that will keep your digital production efforts on track.  

  1. Do you have experience with the pharma approval process?
    • Pharma marketers are governed by the intricate regulatory frameworks surrounding Healthcare Banners and pharma advertising. But going digital with your ad campaigns doesn’t need to lead to an additional delay. Keep your campaign on track by partnering with a digital production agency that knows the inner workings of the pharma regulations.
  2. Can you build pharma banner ads from scratch?
    • Digital production teams don’t need to know how to hand code for the initial build of your pharma banner ads. But, hand coding is critical for the inevitable troubleshooting during the quality assurance stage. It enables developers to work outside the confines of frameworks and tools. If your digital ad campaign hits a snag, hand coding can mean the difference between a quick, creative solution and a costly delay.
  3. What’s your process for keeping pharma banner ad file sizes compact?
    • File size is a one of the biggest challenges of working with digital pharma ads. The more tools and tricks your developer knows for trimming file size (without compromising quality), the faster you’ll be able to publish the campaign.
  4. What’s your experience with publisher clicktags?
    • Clicktags are what make it possible for you to send visitors to landing pages and measure the success of your campaign, a critical component of digital pharma marketing campaigns. If a digital production partner doesn’t have experience with clicktags, it’s best to keep looking.
  5. What ad servers have you built pharma banner ads for?
    • Ad servers let you manage your pharma banner ad campaign. Most of your campaigns will be built for and delivered on ad servers, so it’s important that the final banner creative meets ad server specs. If it doesn’t, the banner won’t display or function properly. Make sure your developer has experience with the ad servers you’ll be publishing to.
  6. What’s your quality assurance process?
    • A lot can go wrong with a pharma banner ad campaign, and that’s why a good developer will have a detailed quality assurance process in place. That includes checking content, functionality, spec requirements, file size, load times and correct rendering across every in-scope browser and device.

Remember: when interviewing digital production partners, you’re looking for more than rich media know-how. Providers that show up prepared, ask thoughtful questions and respect your time will be more likely to help you shine in front of clients.

Ready to launch compliant, high-impact pharma digital ad campaigns fast? Drop us a line!