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The 5 business cases to partner with an agency in B2B health tech + life sciences PR + marketing

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In the highly specialized sectors of B2B health tech and life sciences, companies face unique challenges in marketing and public relations. These industries absolutely demand a nuanced understanding of the complex healthcare market, regulatory environment, and technological advancements. In such a context, the debate between hiring full-time employees (FTEs) to stand up a marketing team in-house or partnering with a specialized marketing and PR firm becomes crucial. Let's explore this choice, focusing on the cost and value comparison between hiring a modest two FTEs and engaging an agency.

1. Cost analysis: two FTEs vs. an agency

Two FTE costs:

Salary: Assuming a modest average annual salary of $80,000 per marketing professional, the base cost for two FTEs would be $160,000.

Benefits and taxes: Adding approximately 40% for benefits and taxes, this becomes $224,000 annually.

Other costs: Additional costs such as training, equipment, and office space might add another 10%, bringing the total to around $240,000 per year.

Agency costs:

Monthly retainer: A specialized agency with perhaps a $15,000 monthly retainer costs $180,000 annually.

Team of experts: This fee provides access to a team of approximately five experts in diverse areas like digital marketing, SEO, content strategy, messaging, and public relations, specifically tailored to the B2B health tech and life sciences sectors.

On cost: the agency is more economical.

2. Strategic benefits of agency partnership

Diverse expertise: Unlike one or two in-house generalist marketers, an agency offers a broader range of expertise, crucial for addressing the multifaceted challenges of B2B health tech and life sciences marketing.

Industry-specific insights: Agencies specializing in health tech and life sciences bring invaluable industry insights, which can significantly improve the effectiveness of marketing and PR strategies.

Examples of agency efficiency:

Campaign diversity: An agency can simultaneously run a PR campaign, manage social media, develop content, and optimize SEO. This multifunctional approach is typically beyond the capacity of a couple of FTEs.

Adaptability to market changes: In the dynamic fields of health tech and life sciences, agencies can rapidly adapt strategies in response to new regulations or technological advancements, a flexibility not always feasible with a smaller in-house team.

On strategy: agency wins again.

3. Scalability + flexibility

Agency advantage: The ability to scale efforts up or down depending on the business’s needs, without the long-term commitments associated with hiring additional in-house staff.

On scalability: an agency can flex with you.

4. Advanced tools + industry insights

Agencies invest in cutting-edge tools and analytics, offering clients high-end resources for strategy development and performance measurement, without the overheads of purchasing and maintaining these tools in-house.

Agencies spread the cost of these tools across multiple clients, making it more economical for each client. You have access to gold-standard software that costs tens of thousands, for a mere fraction of the cost that is baked into your retainer. 

On tools + insights: go with the agency.

5. Proven success + comprehensive service

Agencies usually have a portfolio of successful projects, awards, and reviews–offering a proven track record and peace of mind that is hard to ascertain when hiring an individual.

On reliability: the agency takes it.


The comparison between hiring two FTEs and partnering with a specialized marketing agency reveals that while the agency's cost is lower ($180,000 vs. $240,000), the value extends far beyond mere numbers. The depth of expertise, industry-specific knowledge, and the ability to manage diverse campaigns efficiently make an agency a strategic choice for businesses in the B2B health tech and life sciences sectors. In an industry where staying ahead of the curve is paramount, partnering with an agency offers a competitive edge, ensuring that marketing and public relations efforts are not only cost-effective but also impactful and aligned with industry trends.

Beth Cooper

Named one of the Top Women in Health IT to Know (2024) and Women Power Players to Watch (2022) by Becker's Hospital Reivew and Marketing Person of the Year by Health IT Marketing Community (2021), Beth Cooper, JD/MBA is the VP of Marketing and Sales of a multi-award winning top 10 Healthcare Marketing Agency. Over her accomplished career spanning two decades, Cooper has been the driving force behind numerous groundbreaking strategies, transforming businesses into market leaders and propelling their growth trajectories to uncharted heights. She is a strong advocate for the marriage of creative innovation with data-driven insights and leverages cutting-edge tools and methodologies to ensure the successful execution of global, paradigm-shifting omnichannel campaigns.


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