The world of healthcare and life sciences is broad and diverse, with various institutions contributing to its ecosystem. Pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, healthcare IT firms, healthcare services organizations…all of these businesses play a critical role with unique missions and markets.
B2B healthcare companies like these have distinct marketing challenges to overcome. Unlike B2C healthcare marketing targeting patients with specific needs, B2B healthcare marketing requires a comprehensive understanding of the buyer’s journey and sales cycle, considering everyone from administrators and procurement professionals to chief executives, board members, and clinicians.
For effective marketing to healthcare professionals, you must gain a holistic view of your target market, buyer personas, buyer’s journey, and how your solution uniquely addresses their needs. Then, you’ll need to effectively communicate your value proposition to each stakeholder on the proper marketing channel, at the right time. It’s not easy! But these tips can help you hit the mark.
6 Effective Tactics for Marketing to Healthcare Professionals and Organizations:
- Prioritize Personalization
- Build Trust Through High-Quality Content
- Enhance Your Digital Experience
- Create Multiple Touchpoints
- Incorporate Social Media Advertising
- Learn From Your Analytics
Who Are the Targets of B2B Healthcare Marketing?
Understanding who you’re targeting with your marketing efforts is the first step to success. In this industry, many organizational leaders and decision-makers, such as executives, doctors, and board members, have different wants, needs, capabilities, budgets, and preferred methods of communication.
On top of that, there are influencers at play. These can include key opinion leaders (KOLs) who have strong, published thoughts on specific solutions; it could be an IT department that needs to weigh in on how your solution could integrate with, or impact, their hospital’s technology infrastructure; or maybe it’s a procurement person that needs to choose vendors only from an approved supplier list.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is beneficial when marketing to healthcare professionals because it allows you to focus on precise targets like these. With ABM, you can deliver personalized, customer-centric messages that address individual needs and help facilitate valuable, long-term customer relationships, increasing ROI and overall success.
Who Are B2B Healthcare Buyer Personas?
In the healthcare industry, several different types of organizations coexist underneath the same umbrella, all with unique specialties, services, patients, and needs. To generate qualified leads, you must ensure your marketing finds the correct audience. The more you know about your audience, the more you can appropriately target individuals and organizations likely to become buyers. These potential buyers represent a combination of hypothetical insinuations and real-world data and are more formally known as your buyer personas.
Typical buyer personas for B2B healthcare marketing include:
1. Decision-Makers at Health Systems & Hospitals
This buyer persona is broad, as health systems constitute doctor’s offices, hospitals, outpatient centers, and insurance companies. Marketing to hospitals and health systems is therefore different than marketing to just physicians, though those individuals are likely still a part of the equation. Whether marketing a product, service, or your organization to a health system or hospital, you must determine their specific need and how you can be the solution in a competitive and dynamic industry.
These larger organizations tend to have departments or decision makers who take those duties away from the often-busier physicians engaged with patients who may not have time to consume content and make purchasing decisions. Having specified individuals filling these roles helps create more touchpoint opportunities and more individual contacts in general. When there are more people to market to, you can leverage more opportunities and tactics for lead generation and nurturing.
2. Executives at CROs & Sponsor Organizations
Clinical research organizations and sponsors that run and fund clinical trials are another common B2B healthcare marketing target. These institutions have needs from patient recruitment, software, and other services that help achieve their goals of conducting quality research and ultimately improving the lives of patients and physicians and the operations of hospitals and health systems.
While physicians and decision-makers like those in health systems are likely still constituting the individuals making up this buyer persona, it’s essential to differentiate a CRO physician’s needs (patient registration; AI-powered database software; eCOA platforms; patient diaries; and so forth) from that of an emergency room doctor or physician who is the proprietor of their practice.B2B marketing for CROs also needs to incorporate sponsors, individuals, and organizations that fund clinical trials. Those who control funding are often the decision makers or are, at minimum, highly influential in how decisions are made regarding CROs. These individuals are often concerned with minimizing costs and increasing enrollment and efficiency, so knowing how to market to these targets effectively will be critical for nurturing them into customers.
3. Chief Physicians and Clinicians
Physicians or doctors can be leaders of healthcare organizations or run their own practice. Being a doctor, especially in the modern world, involves a lot of mobility and leaves little time to sort through mounds of marketing content.
While not always the case, these individuals tend to be the busiest and most challenging to reach of the personas and therefore require the most specified and targeted marketing approaches.
Physicians can work directly with patients or be the leads of hospitals or health systems—the title of doctor or physician doesn’t always indicate their clear role or function. Regardless of each physician’s role, these people are influential in several ways in almost all fields of the medical industry.
In fact, physician referrals are the primary drivers of volume for our other buyer personas1, emphasizing how effective physician marketing can be. Whether they own their practice or are working within an established health system, physicians are often the ones directly involved in patient care and can be highly influential in determining how the decision makers above them (also likely physicians, even if not practicing) use their purchasing power.
Patient referrals, word-of-mouth recommendations between healthcare professionals, and networking are enormously impactful in this community. So offering quality and effective products or services will always go a long way in cultivating B2B healthcare marketing success.
Here are our 6 most effective strategies for marketing to healthcare professionals:
📝 Prioritize Personalization
As we said before, no two entities in the healthcare industry are the same. Knowing what kind of content appeals to each buyer persona and what marketing channels they frequent are crucial for effective B2B healthcare
This is where ABM becomes an effective tool for condensing your marketing targets into a specific list of individuals most aligned with your buyer personas and, therefore, most likely to become leads.
🤝 Build Trust Through High-Quality Content
To nurture your buyer personas properly, you must provide quality content that speaks to their needs. Resources such as demo videos, case studies, blogs, and concrete examples of your proven services speak volumes to potential buyers and help solidify your legitimacy as a leader in your industry.
Word-of-mouth referrals and networking are massively influential in the healthcare industry, and cultivating trust and long-term relationships through quality content is key to increasing and maintaining engagement.
While this may be an opinionated statement, it’s fair to assume that healthcare executives and decision-makers are knowledgeable individuals. Therefore, they’re naturally skeptical and analytical and will only engage with content they find valuable and stimulating.
💻 Enhance Your Digital Expertise
While traditional marketing techniques bring tremendous value to campaigns, digital B2B healthcare marketing is more important than ever when trying to reach professionals in the medical industry. Digital marketing optimized for mobile is the magnum opus of marketing to healthcare professionals. These busy individuals are more likely to consume your content on a mobile device compared to other industries, and 85% of these people are iPhone users.1 Leveraging search engine optimization (SEO) practices to most effectively target your audience through relevant keyword research and competitor insights will help focus your digital marketing efforts more effectively for successful lead generation.
Paid advertising with search engines through pay-per-click ads and paid ads on social media can also boost your marketing efforts and help your content get right in front of its target audience. While not the cheapest option, paid marketing allows the unmatched flexibility to break down targets by demographics and focus your efforts on carefully selected groups.
Incorporating digital marketing through Google, social media, or other channels is key to reaching on-the-go healthcare executives checking their feeds or emails or surfing the internet in fleeting moments when they get the chance. Meeting your marketing targets in those moments and making meaningful impressions are vital when marketing to healthcare professionals.
📩 Create Multiple Touchpoints
Creating as many touchpoints as possible can significantly boost your marketing efforts when your buyer personas are as busy and hard-to-reach as they are in the B2B healthcare While in-person marketing tactics are less likely to work for busy healthcare professionals, creating multiple touchpoints through paid traditional or digital advertising, social media, and emails can increase lead generation as your targets become more familiar and trusting of your company and offerings.
🤳 Incorporate Social Media Advertising
As with most modern marketing methods, social media is vital when marketing to healthcare professionals. A robust online presence and remaining engaged with your followers help solidify authenticity, trust, and thought leadership. B2B healthcare is no exception to this principle.
Since many healthcare decision-makers are busy individuals, only checking their phones and feeds at night or during intermittent breaks, social media posts—whether posted organically or through the platform’s advertising options—may be the only chance you have to reach them. For this audience, LinkedIn and Twitter are your best options.
Social media also allows you to grow your brand and voice in the B2B healthcare industry and is a vital tool for sharing your content to build trust throughout the community. A solid social media presence is key to cultivating concrete relationships with buyer personas through paid or organic content.
📊 Learn From Your Analytics
Always pay close attention to data generated by your marketing efforts, both paid and organic. Most channels maintain dashboards that give insight into your market performance. Use these to your advantage. One of the most effective ways to improve your marketing efforts is learning how to replicate what works and how to remedy what doesn’t.
Feel free to experiment with your ABM process as well. Implement A/B or tests and try different techniques to discover what works best for your audience. All data is valuable, and what you choose to do with it determines how much it can benefit your company.
Our Experts are Here to Help
Whether you’re looking to begin your B2B healthcare marketing efforts from the ground up or improve your current healthcare marketing tactics and grow your audience and business, Sagefrog is here for every step of the journey.
We bring business acumen in healthcare and life sciences to every engagement, having accelerated success for hundreds of companies, including pharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare IT, and healthcare services organizations. Check out our portfolio of successful B2B healthcare marketing campaigns on our website.
If you’re ready to leverage Sagefrog’s expertise for your next B2B healthcare marketing campaign, or if we can answer any of your questions about our services, get in touch with us today.