5 Common Agency Pain-points and How to Alleviate Them

Whether you are a large company with dozens of brands or a smaller company with one or two, your agency partner(s) are the foundation upon which your content review workflow sits. Even the most well-oiled content review process can find itself lacking if you do not have quality content being submitted for review from the outset. See five common challenges that companies encounter when working with agency partner(s), and what you can do to overcome them below:

  1. Inconsistent naming conventions

    Naming conventions are a key element to a well-organized content library. Without a methodical naming system, it can be difficult to locate assets and even be a compliance liability if your field reps are accessing outdated material. Even with an established system, you need your agency partners to adhere to the conventions for it to be effective. Make sure that your agencies have clear direction on your expectations and track how often pieces are rejected due to improper naming conventions- if they know you are tracking this particular KPI they will make it a point of emphasis for their team.

  2. Lack of adherence to SOP timelines

    The life sciences space is dynamic, and opportunities and guidance can always arise at the last minute; but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead. It is standard industry practice to allow for expedited review timelines in certain scenarios, but this should not be the norm. A shortened review time means that your stakeholders may not be able to provide a thorough review, which can lead to compliance issues. Bi-weekly planning meetings with your marketers, their agencies, and your coordinator(s) will help keep everyone on the same page so expedited assets are the exception and not the rule.

  3. Inadequate Claim Linking

    Nothing can sideline a review meeting like an incorrect claim link. Review meetings are the time for business-critical discussions, not going down the rabbit hole of locating the most current reference document. A clean reference library lies at the heart of a successful content review process. Additionally, clear guidance for claim linking standards are fundamental to setting your agency partners up for success.

  4. Ineffective communication

    KPIs are a great way to stay on the same page about what your company values in an agency partner, but it can lead to hesitancy on their end to reach out for guidance. Make sure there is a clear point of contact for an agency team to reach out to when they have a question and encourage them to reach out if they need direction- it costs much less time and money for them to call your coordinator than it does for them to make mistakes that cost time during review meetings, or even worse, additional review cycles.

  5. Incomplete Metadata

    Having incomplete metadata can cause major issues if you get audited by the FDA. While the metadata collected may vary from company to company, it is important that all metadata is filled out completely and accurately. If your content management platform allows for required fields when creating an asset, that is always the best place to start. Additionally, requiring metadata accuracy checks to be part of the Submission Checklist will ensure that your agency partners emphasize complete and accurate metadata upon submission of a piece, and will protect you down the road in the case of an audit by making assets easier to find and report on.


As the content creators, agency partners play a vital role in your company’s commercial success. While they can sometimes be the source of issues, fostering a supportive and collaborative relationship with them will help your content review team be more efficient, more compliant, and less expensive. If you provide them with the tools they need to be successful, you will reap the benefits.


Transformation through Collaboration