How the 83bar process complements traditional agency models

August 01, 2018

I recently received a call from a potential healthcare client who asked: “How is 83bar different than other advertising agencies? And is that difference actually relevant to my patient communications program?” Initially, I was stuck on the point about us being an “advertising agency,” because 83bar is not an advertising agency at all. However, our process and strategy do complement the traditional agency approach.

Many “legacy” agencies can lose their relevance over time. These agencies often lose their way because of substituting a client-centered approach with a model that protects their internal business models. See how we’ve grown to complement traditional agencies:

  1. Who we are. Too many ad agencies put their superstar talent at the core of their story. This is obvious in the number of self-gratulatory awards that you see on agency walls. Despite this, everyone in the agency, including the clients, knows that the system is broken, but they haven’t found a way to solve it. In contrast, at 83bar we put the system and our delivery of the process in the center of our business — both for us and our clients. We make the client’s offering the star.
  2. Superstar people don’t scale. Over the past three decades, I’ve had the good fortune to work with some true superstars in healthcare advertising and some marquee names in the agency business who are highly intelligent and creative. Unfortunately, those names don’t seem to establish permanence. The 83bar system is created to not only showcase our best creative people but also to ensure that our creativity is not built on the back of one creative mind. Rather, we’ve built on a trusted and reliable system that is scalable.
  3. We value data. When some agencies quantify their work, they evaluate based on billable hours, commission or blended rates. At 83bar, we’ve built a fixed-cost, project-based accounting system to make room for the numbers that really count –  we value the metrics of the campaign more than the trophy-winning shows.
  4. True creativity can come from anywhere. Naturally, we have roles in places like strategist, writer, designer, analyst; and when we create something, we use the whole team. There are no inflated egos or infighting. We collaborate. We bring the best minds to the table and there’s no holding close to the vest. Ours is an environment where ideas are shared and fleshed out. We aggressively create an ecosystem of talent inside our company, as well as with brand, supplier, and customer partners that is more efficient and primed to generate great ideas.
  5. The future backs strategy. There are countless innovative and digital transformations to read about, and most agencies we meet try to recreate them in order to stay current. But where do we want to be in five years? What do we think we have to do to get there? We’re focused on four deliverables for our clients: (1) locate, (2) educate, (3) navigate, and (4) advocate. The 83bar strategy outperforms the tactical “trend of the day”. We thrive on sticking to our deliverables and the proven four-point process of patient activation.

Because we are not like a traditional ad agency, we complement and serve as an adjunct to many of the great agencies in the business. We openly collaborate and enjoy teaming up to help bring their creative ideas to implementation and to help move patients to better care by activating them in our system.