To begin with, B2B is a commonly used acronym that stands for "business-to-business." This term refers to transactions between businesses, such as those between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retailer.
Healthcare digital marketing involves using various marketing strategies to attract consumers, guide them through their healthcare journey, and keep them engaged with the health system. It encompasses traditional and digital channels to enhance patient care and generate growth and revenue. Rather than reaching out to consumers directly, B2B healthcare marketing targets hospitals, allied health professionals, and practice managers who can benefit from the products or services being promoted.
B2B marketing can be a challenging journey for marketing professionals, but it's crucial to take proactive steps to secure your market share and attract the right customers. It's best practice to constantly seek new statistics for your healthcare marketing B2B strategy to increase your market share. As the healthcare technology market grows, you need to find ways to stand out and make your voice heard as a business among a growing number of competitors. This can be challenging but not impossible.
There are many different marketing strategies that you can try, and some may work better than others. It's important to experiment and find what works best for your business. This article provides valuable insights into B2B healthcare marketing and marketing strategies that can help you increase your market share.
Challenges of B2B in Healthcare Practices
The sales process for B2B healthcare businesses is typically lengthy and differs greatly from the prompt decision-making of normal consumers. Every purchase, from hospital beds to nurses' uniforms, is carefully researched and evaluated, often taking up to 18 months or more for healthcare enterprise sales. While some lucky businesses may receive a purchase order within 12 months, the majority face a longer sales process.
Moreover, marketing for hospitals and practices was mostly illegal until the 1970s, and it took several years for ethical considerations to be established. In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed with a privacy rule that put in place safeguards for patient information, which applied to all organizations that handle healthcare or medical data.
B2B healthcare software companies are however knowledgeable about HIPAA compliance requirements nowadays, and their staff are trained extensively in every department. While most companies use Google AdWords remarketing tools to advertise to people who visited their website or showed interest in their products, healthcare is different due to HIPAA concerns.
Considering the slow pace of change in the healthcare industry, primarily due to the critical nature of people's health and lives being at stake, the massive regulation, and long sales cycles, marketers must exercise patience throughout every stage of the process. In order to ensure that every new technology is reliable and free of errors, it needs to go through rigorous testing.
According to recent studies, healthcare marketers are more likely to use print newsletters as their preferred mode of communication compared to general marketers. However, general marketers favor blogs and LinkedIn for content distribution, which is higher than that of their healthcare counterparts. While 43% of healthcare professionals use paper newsletters, only 28% of general marketers do.
The pandemic has forced many businesses, too, including those in the healthcare industry, to undergo a mandatory digital transformation, which caught them off guard. As a result, there is now a rush to digitize processes across different departments, leading to a misalignment of digital efforts that are not producing the desired outcomes.
Furthermore, healthcare organizations are required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide data that proves positive outcomes. The Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act (2017) restricts what marketers can say as well, making it a challenging regulatory environment for healthcare marketing.
Tips for B2B in Healthcare Practices
Here are some ways you can improve the B2B process in your healthcare business:
Have a Clear Understanding of the Target Audience
To increase your market share in B2B healthcare, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your target audience and ideal customer. This can be achieved by creating a "buyer persona," a fictional character that represents your ideal B2B customer. When creating your buyer personas, consider factors such as demographics, challenges, goals, responsibilities, motivations, roles, and behavior patterns.
For example, you might create personas for "Private Practice Patricia," "Hospital Administrator Henry," or "Clinician Charles." By understanding their unique challenges and addressing them with the right content marketing strategies, you will be better equipped to engage them and ultimately increase your market share.
Communicate Strengths Effectively
To succeed in healthcare marketing, it's important to communicate your organization's strengths and value proposition effectively. This involves understanding your target audience and tailoring your messaging accordingly, whether it's executives, operational leaders, or medical professionals.
Additionally, thought leadership and influencer marketing should be strategic and on-trend, supported by data, research, and expert opinions. With the right approach, your content can be more targeted and focused, and drive real-world results.
Add Content Creation to Your Marketing Strategy
According to a study by HubSpot, B2B companies that incorporate content creation into their digital marketing for B2B strategy tend to attract more leads than those that do not. To effectively engage your target customers, you must first understand their specific challenges, needs, and questions through the development of clear buyer personas and mapping out their buyer's journey.
By addressing these elements through your content, you can build trust and increase the likelihood of converting visitors into leads and ultimately sales. Consistently publishing fresh content on a regular basis with calls-to-action can generate more sales and increase your market share.
It's crucial to provide relevant and applicable information in your content to strengthen the relationship between you and the reader. When your audience receives valuable information from your content and provides their personal information in return, a stronger relationship and new prospect are formed. By educating your target customers with interesting topics, they will continually return for more, strengthening the relationship even further.
Balance Educational and Promotional Content
Encouraging educational materials can be a powerful tool for B2B companies seeking to produce targeted strategic content and generate leads. This is particularly true since professionals are generally interested in acquiring fresh skills and knowledge.
Therefore, it is essential to maintain a balance between educational and promotional content. The more relevant the material, the more likely it is that health professionals and other industry stakeholders will develop a trusting relationship with your company.
To accomplish this, it is recommended to stay current with the most recent developments in medical management and technology so that your company can be among the first to address a particular issue or delve deeply into a specific topic.
For your digital marketing needs, Legend DigiTech can help. We have been partnering with several healthcare businesses for years. Reach us today!