Medical industry marketing goes way beyond terminology and jargon. It requires a strong background working in the healthcare arena. Everyone from Hospital Administrators, to Physicians, to Nurse Managers, to SPD, to Materials Management, are doing their research online.
Choose an Agency Partner that Understands the Market
I realize this is an obvious statement, yet I know numerous medical industry companies, that hired agencies that had zero knowledge or experience inside the healthcare space. Consequently, they didn’t understand the selling cycle, the players in the market, and challenges. In order to create and implement a successful sales and marketing strategy, you need to have that understanding of what the sales reps deal with on a daily basis.
So start here.
Hire an agency that understands the healthcare space. Preferably one that has walked in your shoes, and can speak the language, not only to you, but to your sales and management teams. Can they coach a sales rep with challenges in the field? In this market, they're going to need to think on their feet.
Be Sure They Are an Inbound Marketing Agency
It takes a lot of continuing education and commitment to be a certified inbound marketing agency, and understand and manage all the moving parts necessary to build that foundation for you. Your business needs a solid foundation, Inbound Marketing provides that. You want to deliver valuable content that further helps your prospects from the research phase to the decision phase. Expect to see quantifiable results. Understanding the market, the selling cycle, the REAL selling cycle, where the stumbling blocks are, and how to provide appropriate answers that will resonate with every level of the institution.
Trust your Agency Partner
When you partner with an agency to help you grow your business, they’ll be doing a lot of work in positioning you as the experts. They are an extension of your team, and you’re going to be sharing the intimate good, bad and ugly of your organization. Make sure you like each other.
Understand that your agency partner is going to use tools that they know will provide the most efficient means of delivering results.
Focus on Quality Content
The purpose of a blog is to educate on a lighter level. If you make it too long, too technical, too deep, you’re missing the point. You want your prospects to see you as a trusted resource. Remember, your prospects are gathering information. Keep it simple, light, and informative. You’re trying to drive your prospects to your website, because you’ve provided the first level of information that will nurture them to become a customer. Your agency will know this, so listen to them, otherwise, you’re going to spend way too much time overthinking the process. There’s a method to the madness. When content is developed, buyer personas are being kept in mind, when you change it/ rewrite the content, you may be missing the point of the blog. Again, trust your agency.
In the healthcare space, there is always something timely happening. The outbreak of a HAI for example, could trigger your team to compile a blog around infection prevention that identifies your product as a solution. Research by every level in the health industry is happening on a daily basis. When your content is being developed and you’re given a deadline to approve, there’s a reason for it.
Your sales and marketing teams need to have ongoing communication with administration and to your marketing agency. “Smarketing” is essential in shortening the selling cycle and closing sales. Remember, you’ve got to close the sales.
If there is an upcoming conference, be sure to provide an annual schedule. There’s a whole protocol to follow in engagement before, during and after the conference to attract to the booth, nurture, and close sales.
Utilize Prospect/Lead Reports
Your agency team should know the industry well enough to help your sales team with identifying and following up with prospects. You should expect them to be able to brainstorm on, follow up, and strategize concerning the sales process. There’s a lot of moving parts, and gaining the respect of the sales team, with first hand knowledge of what they're facing, is credibility that will get their attention, and accelerate outcomes.
Now, if you use Hubspot, and we do with all our clients, you’re going to have a Prospect report in your inbox every morning. In that report, you’ll find prospects and leads. It’s like going to an industry trade show each day. You’ll get a snapshot of where they're coming from, and what they’re looking at.
KBK Communications is a woman owned marketing agency focusing on providing inbound marketing services to members of the medical manufacturing and distribution community. Jan Beery is the President of KBK Communications and brings over twenty years of experience in healthcare manufacturing, sales and marketing to benefit our clients and help promote their growth. You can connect with Jan on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, or read more of her posts on KBK Communications’ blog.