What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We don't have any hard metrics because brand awareness is so difficult to measure. We used to do brand awareness surveys but we haven't done one for quite a while. Hydrogen Advertising does a very good job of finding unique whitespace for us. Seattle has a really competitive healthcare market. They’re fantastic at identifying a unique space for us to own.
Also, we have a fairly small media budget compared to our competitors. They do a nice job of making the budget work. Anecdotally, I've heard people say they thought the clinic was much bigger than it is based on how visible we are in the community and how visible our ads are. They do a really nice job both on the creative side and on the media side.
How did Hydrogen Advertising perform from a project management standpoint?
Their team does quite well. I regularly work with the VP of accounts, who has really good project plans and clear outlines. I come from an agency background so I understand how they work. Between the two of us, we do a pretty good job of keeping things on track and meeting deadlines.
Our communication depends on where we are in the campaign process. We try to check in monthly. I’ll talk to them several times a week when we're in the middle of developing a new campaign. We may even meet several times a month in person. Then I may not talk to them for several months once the campaign is underway in the market. We generally use email, in-person meetings, or phone calls.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their creative execution is fantastic. Hydrogen Advertising does a great job identifying ways to differentiate us in a sea of sameness. Their media buyer negotiates incredibly well on our behalf to make sure we're getting the best possible deal. She also brings us great opportunities because of her relationship with vendors. They make our limited media dollars work really hard.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Their bill rates are fairly high. They’re efficient but they do employ a lot of senior people. While that makes them good at their job, the bill rate is high even on simple projects because of the lack of junior staff with lower rates.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
As with any agency, treat them like a part of your team and give them information. You get out of Hydrogen Advertising what you put in. They can only do good work for you if you include them in important information and help them understand. Be clear about what you want from them and give them enough time to do their job. You can't expect an agency to work miracles and turn things around in a matter of weeks.