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Healthcare Manufacturer Marketing Budgets: 6 Common Mistakes

By Rebecca Gecan, - September 25, 2017

6 Common Mistakes Agencies See.jpgThe time of year is near, where we start looking into 2018, considering where we should spend our budget dollars for the best return and to reach company goals. Now, more than ever, healthcare manufacturers have to prove ROI for every dollar they request. So what do you do? Do you take risks? Do something completely different? Do what you have always done and hope for the best? Having had the opportunity to work with several healthcare manufacturers, distributors and service providers, we decided to share some common mistakes that we have seen.

1.) Buying Email Lists - Please don’t do it, EVER AGAIN!

We have all gotten them. Those untargeted emails that dangle a list of 25,000 surgeon contacts in plastic surgery, dermatology or decision-makers. Just imagine, 25,000 leads you didn’t have to do a thing to earn (except maybe cut a large check). That is just it though, you have not EARNED these leads. The “leads” assuming they are legitimate, have not requested to receive information from your brand and therefore you become just another nuisance in their email inbox to delete. #Annoying. Besides being irksome, here are a few more reasons not to do this:

  • Do you really want ‘annoying’ to be your first impression?
  • A list for purchase most likely is not quality contact information
  • Using these lists can have negative effects on your email deliverability
  • Your IP could be blacklisted
  • Most reputable email marketing tools will not allow you to use purchased lists

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2.) Heavy Trade Show Spending With No Strategy

Many marketers commit a large portion of their marketing budget to tradeshows and conferences. Understandable, tradeshows are a great way to gain brand awareness and get your product in the hands of your prospects and customers. They are also great for doing competitive research, getting feedback from customers and learning about market trends. However, when asked how healthcare marketers measure success of their tradeshows the answer we often receive is, they don’t. Be sure to establish a goal for each meeting, have a clearly defined lead management process, use lead management software, like HubSpot,  to further nurture, qualify and track leads.  

3.) Insufficient Website Budgeting, OOPS!

Welcome to the new millennium, where product research is done online. Every healthcare manufacturer should make sure there are appropriate budget dollars allocated to update, optimize and develop fresh, valuable content for your website. Your website should be easy to find. It should come up in organic search results when your prospects are researching a problem for which you offer a solution. Ensuring that your website is positioned well online, up-to-date and positively reflects your brand takes time, work and financial resources. Pay attention to your digital marketing.

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4.) Not Budgeting Enough for Content -  CONTENT IS KING 

Content like blogs, sponsored articles, eBooks, infographics, videos and so forth have a much longer lifespan than traditional print advertising. Creating valuable content not only provides your team with selling tools, but, if optimized correctly, it will build your brand online. This Hubspot marketing report notes that, “On average, B2B marketers allocate 28% of their total marketing budget to content marketing.” In addition, placed strategically on your website, content should be used to capture, nurture and qualify leads down the sales funnel.  After all, your website is your best sales rep.

5.) Perhaps the Biggest Mistake of All - Failing to Measure

With all of the marketing analytic software available today, there is no reason you cannot measure the effectiveness of your marketing programs.  Determine what your key performance indicators (KPIs) will be and the metric you will use to indicate success (or lack thereof). Here is an example for content marketing:

(Source)

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Check in on these KPIs monthly, track them and adjust both tactics and, if needed, budget spending. Being agile in your marketing execution will give you the best return and most success.

6) Trying To Do Everything In House

Let's be honest, with today’s tech savvy buyers, hiring marketing expertise in various areas, especially digital marketing, is a must. By outsourcing, it allows you to focus on your core business needs while a dedicated team of experts ensure marketing results. And again, as I stated above, be sure to work with that team to establish your KPIs and receive monthly updates on their progress.

Healthcare manufacturer marketing is an ever-evolving and challenging task. We hope that sharing common budgeting mistakes we’ve seen is helpful in planning your year ahead. If you are looking for support in digital sales and marketing, give KBK Communications a shout on our website!

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