December 16, 2019 | Lynn Schear
For any marketer, starting with a strategy is important. In the rapidly expanding healthcare market, a clear strategy is essential. A good marketing strategy starts with your product and business plan and builds on that with customer insight as you develop and grow new relationships. Whether you offer medical equipment, technology solutions, professional development, or general business supplies and beyond, the opportunities abound in the growing healthcare market. From physician practice groups, hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, and imaging centers to independent physician offices and practitioners, the opportunity is there. Finding the best ways to connect, start a dialog, and build relationships is the key to successful sales in this growing market.
According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Healthcare Outlook Report,1 healthcare expenditures are projected to rise at an annual rate of 5.4 percent through 2022. Given this forecast, opportunities for products and services that support the healthcare industry are projected to exceed $10 trillion over the next few years. As a result, lots of people are looking to sell to healthcare decision makers, so how will your product stand out? Following are some ideas for using healthcare data to shape your marketing strategy to physician practice groups, hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, imaging centers and more.
Your product and service may have a very clear user or business function, such as a tech solution for radiology facilities, so that makes your marketing job easier. But if your business sells office supplies or offers an enterprise technology solution, it takes research and testing to identify who may be your target buyer in the medical facilities you want to reach.
Say for example you have a new application that plugs into a commonly used patient record management system. You’ve sold the application to 30-50 physician practice groups and nursing homes – enough that you know the application is being used, you’ve heard positive feedback on it and know how to position its value to more prospects. What else do you know about these users? Profiling current customers can give you insight to find lots more like them and shape your marketing efforts:
Spending time analyzing your existing customers will help you shape your strategy and focus your energy on the lowest hanging fruit. You may find the app you thought would attract a physician actually got the attention of an office manager in a hospital or medical group. Targeting a doctor list or more specifically a list of cardiologists or a pediatricians list from a healthcare database may be a good starting place but learning from your efforts and the customers you convert is critical. Once you have a clearer picture of what is working – you need more buyers that look like them.
As you review your current buyers and those in your pipeline, work to set expectations for how long it takes to convert a sale. How many touches and with what content and channel (email, direct mail, digital ad, etc.) is something to review and assess. Typically for larger enterprise sales, email, digital ads and mail are effective in introducing your brand solution and capturing initial interest through impressions and click data. Gauging real interest comes with responses to demo opportunities, free trials, webinars, and ultimately face-to-face meetings where clients can ask questions about their specific needs and customization opportunities. For smaller ticket items like consumables and easily transacted online sales, physician email lists, hospital lists and health care office manager lists your campaigns can drive to an immediate sale online. With special offers and coupons, you can drive to much faster immediate sales. Your product solution and your best customers will define the sales cycle, but your strategy should have a good handle on how quickly to anticipate revenue flowing from your new products and services.
Too many new businesses think when they buy a medical mailing list or medical list of providers that they can run a campaign or two and the sales will start rolling. Building brand takes time and it is a known adage in marketing that buyers need anywhere between 7-12 impressions to get to a sale. That doesn’t mean 7 to 12 email messages, rather, it means being visible across all media 7-12 times…and in an integrated way. Imagine something like this:
You sell an FDA approved sharps disposal container – and it has some unique safety features. You want to start by marketing to nursing homes, as you have several good customers in your region, and you want to build on that success to find more nursing home clients. Good plan! So, you license some data from a healthcare providers data partner, with a focus on nursing home address lists as well as a nursing home email database for three states around you. Now what? You need to introduce your business to the right contacts in that database, you need to be able to clearly tell your story – why your container is different, how it will make the reader safer or more successful, as well as make an impact on the nursing home overall. Before you start emailing, think about what you need to capture interest: do you have a form for interested people to complete and get more information? Are you driving to a web page with specific information about your product (versus just driving to your home page)? What is the follow up action you want people to take? If they visit your website, do you have a retargeting plan in place to serve digital ads to those who have seen your content? What kind of marketing automation program can you put in place for people who open and click on your email messages?
These are just some of the considerations in your overall strategy to launch a product to physician practice groups, radiology facilities, medical imaging centers, hospitals and nursing homes. Understanding more about who is responding within these groups will help you grow fastest.
As digital rapidly transforms the way we sell and buy all sorts of products and services, marketers can collect significantly more insight about buyer behavior than in the past. Building a prospect and customer healthcare database is easier than ever with CRM and marketing automation technologies that overcome challenges many companies have faced to develop and manage their customer information. Some companies have been collecting customer insight and buying data for years and may be looking for more ways to enhance information, while others are just getting started. As you build your brand and product marketing strategies, data needs to play a central role in those plans.
Whether you need a little data or a lot, have a sophisticated CRM or are just getting started, have an IT resource dedicated to your needs or no help at all, MCH Strategic Data can help you build an effective strategy and the data you need to drive your success in the healthcare market.