The global digital health market is predicted to reach more than $223 billion by 2023 — that’s an impressive market growth rate of 21.1% in just a few years. Health tech companies have unprecedented opportunities right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy industry. While these numbers are exciting, they also mean that competition is fierce and it’s more important than ever to develop a marketing strategy that cuts through the noise.
For health tech companies just entering the market, it’s critical to understand the unique challenges of marketing to healthcare organizations. Many fail to realize that a cookie-cutter approach to marketing just won’t work. Even with a solid business plan and marketing strategy, many health tech brands fail to attract web traffic, reach sales goals or connect with prospects.
Here are the top three healthcare technology marketing challenges you might face — and tips for how you can solve them.
Challenge 1: Reaching Key Stakeholders
Many healthcare technology companies dedicate months (or even years) performing market research. Despite this meticulous groundwork, they may still struggle to identify key stakeholders and healthcare decision-makers when it really matters.
With selection committees constantly shifting and expanding, it’s vital to develop detailed buyer personas and tailor your messaging to each. Today, health tech decisions need to be approved not only by the CTO/CIO, but also by leaders such as clinicians, hospital executives, department heads and administrators — all of whom have different priorities and agendas. That’s quite a few buyer personas to account for, but partnering with an experienced healthcare marketing agency can simplify the process.
Considering the complex decision-making process in the healthcare industry, it’s also important to develop and nurture relationships with individual stakeholders. More often than not, sales teams must rely on their networks for an introduction. Whether it’s a warm or cold introduction, creating personalized content for each prospect is vital. Your content should address your prospect’s pain points and should highlight how your technology can provide a solution.
In healthcare marketing, relationship building and referrals are some of the most valuable ways to connect with prospects. Marketing and sales teams should be aligned to deliver high-value content to the right people through the most effective channels. If your marketing and sales teams are operating in silos, it’s unlikely your brand will be successful.
Challenge 2: Sales and Marketing Alignment
Identifying stakeholders and developing buyer personas is half the battle; grabbing and keeping their attention is the rest of it. Because the healthcare industry depends heavily on outreach and networking, it’s imperative that sales and marketing teams work together to connect with stakeholders and ultimately achieve company goals. Sales enablement — the concept of supporting sales teams with the necessary resources and tools to convert leads — is highly effective.
The sales enablement process is owned and nurtured by both the sales and marketing teams. Marketing provides resources such as videos, white papers and product guides to the sales team, while sales provides valuable feedback about additional pain points and missing content to the marketing team. Beyond committing to the process, here are a few tips to help you get started with sales enablement:
Review your current sales process.
Perform an audit on your current sales performance to spot areas that need improvement and areas that are working well. Are there content assets that elicit a high number of email responses? Is the demo process effectively closing customers? Review your current tactics and rely on the data to paint a picture.
Implement lead scoring.
Sales reps are wasting valuable time and resources if they are reaching out to leads that are simply unqualified. Lead scoring is the process of assigning positive and negative values to contacts in order to qualify them as a lead. For example, if your brand wants to target large healthcare organizations, you would assign a positive value to contacts who work at hospitals with a high number of employees and a negative value to contacts who work at small clinics. Marketing and sales teams should work closely together to determine these criteria. Once a contact has qualified as a lead, your CRM will notify a sales rep.
Create and organize content.
Both marketing and sales depend on content to achieve business goals. It’s vital that content assets are easily accessible to both teams — especially to sales reps who might need a customer case study, e-book or pricing sheet on the fly. Organize your content into an easily accessible library within your CRM or in your company’s Google Drive. If your content library isn’t up to date, identify which assets are still needed and what format(s) would work best. Remember that content — which could include video testimonials, original research and case studies — should be relatable and address your prospects’ pain points.
Create email templates and set up automation.
Email is one of the best ways for sales reps to connect with prospects, but reps waste a lot of time agonizing over their email copy. Marketing and sales teams should work together to create standardized templates that will align on the proper messaging and boost productivity. Automation can be extremely helpful. For example, your teams could work together to create automated email sequences or even implement live chat to connect with potential customers in real time.
Challenge 3: Reporting Impact
Perhaps the most significant challenge for many health tech companies is consistently evaluating the effectiveness of marketing efforts. While some key performance indicators may work for your reporting purposes, they typically don’t tell the whole story. Values like web traffic, online leads generated, social media engagement and email opens and clicks may not be helpful in determining the full impact of your teams’ efforts.
This is especially true for marketing strategies that include outreach activities, such as creating and sending personalized content, setting up automation, optimizing sales talking points and winning placement in journalistic publications. You may want to report on other activities as well, such as how online assets affect referrals and word-of-mouth leads. These are common activities in healthcare technology marketing, and they require deeper reporting and attribution.
Have your marketing and sales teams agree on a set of standardized sales reports to track results. Some common reports include deals won and lost, average deal size, customer acquisition cost and touchpoint attribution for marketing and sales impact.
Partnering with an experienced healthcare marketing agency can help you overcome these three common challenges and many others. A good agency knows that identifying stakeholders isn’t always straightforward and can help you create a strategy to reach the right people at the right time. Most importantly, collaborating with an agency that understands sales enablement and advanced analytics can help health tech brands efficiently deliver and report on results.