The purpose of marketing is to attract buyers’ attention and direct their interest to your business offering. To do this, business marketing strategies must be tailored for a specific target market and meet a specific need. This holds true regardless of whether you’re targeting consumers, businesses, or the public sector, like healthcare. However, good marketing strategies that pave the way for fruitful relationships in healthcare are necessarily different. They require finesse.
In this article, we’re going to look at how to develop healthcare marketing plans that can secure procurement deals while navigating strict public sector requirements and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Lay the foundations
Healthcare sector suppliers provide everything from stationery and furniture to IT support and cleaning services. Each requires a different approach to marketing with different marketing strategies to make their brand stand out in a throng of competitors and remain compliant with legal regulations. However, they all have the same starting place and that is a website. Not a slap-dash website; a professional-looking site that incorporates SEO (search engine optimisation) principles in its design.
What does this mean?
SEO is part of search engine marketing (SEM), which is critical to driving users to your website, where you’ll prove that you are the best in your field. Search engine marketing strategies achieve this by providing an engaging and user-friendly experience with quality content (images and text) that naturally leads users to your call-to-action (CTA).
B2C and B2B online marketing strategies target a particular group, for example, teenagers who like Pokemon. Marketing to any public sector enterprise (B2G marketing), including healthcare, is more specific. You want to target the decision-makers, for instance, the head of procurement. Procurement managers are busy people, they don’t have time to waste on “fluffy” content or campaigns. Your marketing team must develop a product marketing strategy that is both engaging and succinct.
Managers have a need. You have a solution with plenty of benefits that your competitors can’t match. Prove it and then add your CTA. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you can summarise your solutions and benefits in a small infographic or by other visual means, do so. You can provide more detailed information on the other pages of the website.
The CTA must be prominent and easy; one click easy.
Content marketing strategies
Content marketing uses a variety of onsite and offsite content to attract buyers to your brand and direct them to your website.
As we alluded to above, images can be eye-catching and retain attention longer than web pages that are text-heavy. However, text is still very important. This is where you can use SEO keywords that make search engines notice you and place you on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher the better but quality content trumps content strangled with keywords.
Always remember your target audience; busy professionals who are generally very knowledgeable about their specific place in the healthcare sector. It isn’t necessary to go into details about the industry. It’s far more important to provide solutions to relevant pain points. You don’t need to explain how your solution works, just how much it will benefit them, make their job easier, and deliver great ROI. Pay careful attention to the tone and language you use. Aim for a balance between clinical and familiar and try to stay away from slang and technical jargon.
This is anything that isn’t on your website. It can be self-generated content, like webinars and articles in reputable online and print healthcare trade magazines. Or it can come from an independent source. Independent sources are great because they can be neutral or at least not overly biased in your favour. They can also confirm your status as an industry leader, for example, interviews on complex or new and innovative topics. Invitations to appear as a guest speaker at trade shows or conferences carry a lot of weight.
Social media marketing strategies
Social media marketing is tricky when you’re trying to woo healthcare clients. LinkedIn is a professional social media platform where industry specialists often publish or share content, especially articles. Facebook and Instagram can be useful if you want to advertise an upcoming event, like a healthcare IT expo, a webinar discussing the future of IT technology in healthcare, or a short online course on using technology to care for the elderly. Facebook ads in particular are extremely personalised and targeted and worth considering.
Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of in-person meetings in marketing
Marketing still needs a human touch, so it pays to arrange one-to-one meetings with procurement managers. A short, informal video call, for example, is a great way to introduce yourself and your healthcare sector-related procurement services. Keep the meeting brief, 15 minutes should do the trick, and don’t lapse into a sales spiel. This is “get-to-know-you” and not “sell-to-you,” at least, not yet. Bear in mind that procurement managers are busy people, so don’t go over your allotted time and if you find them clock-watching, cut the meeting short in a friendly and empathetic way.
For example, “Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to see me. It was great meeting you.”
Research, refine, and deliver
The key to any healthcare marketing strategy is information – relevant information that can be used constructively. This includes information pertinent to your product, for example, is the need for what you offer seasonal, is the need entirely local or can you expand to other markets?
You also need to thoroughly research your target market; this could be incredibly specific, like a single division within a single healthcare provider in your city or more general, like specialised IT technology for all pediatric healthcare providers nationally. Ensure the validity of your data through testing and analysis and refine your product or brand marketing strategy accordingly.
Also, very importantly, healthcare marketing research must include regulations that govern your sector and ensure that your product, business, and marketing strategies comply with requirements. If you need certain credentials or must be registered with professional bodies, ensure that you are up to date so you don’t incur any penalties. All of this data will make it easier to market and sell your product to the healthcare sector that needs it most.
Beat marketing challenges with experts at your side
Marketing is arguably one of the most challenging aspects of procurement, especially when it comes to the healthcare sector, with all its divisions and subdivisions on national, regional, and local levels. It’s vital that you know exactly who your target market is, so you can deliver the right message, in the right format, in an engaging manner that also abides by strict procurement procedures.
It can be daunting, especially to businesses new to the public sector or who are too small to have dedicated marketing and sales departments. That’s where a company like Cadence Marketing comes in. Cadence Marketing is a marketing strategy consultant who works with you to develop effective marketing strategies that will meet your goals regarding business and market growth, brand awareness, and networking.
To find out more about healthcare market research and the different types of marketing strategies, contact Cadence and book a free consultation to get your marketing started on the right foot.