The health IT marketplace is more crowded than ever with a large number of solution providers vying for the attention of the same buyers. With the industry estimated to be worth close to $150 billion by 2025, it’s no wonder that thousands of entrepreneurs and investors have flooded the space.
As health IT companies design their marketing plans, they also need proven tactics that will help them gain attention from buyers who are already inundated with sales pitches. That means the true innovators need to be that much better at marketing so they can cut through the noise with a message that resonates.
If your message is getting lost in a sea of competitors, you probably need to re-examine your marketing plan. Do you have a clear, strong brand story? Do you know your customers inside and out? How are you differentiating yourself from other players in your space? A comprehensive, data-driven marketing strategy can help you answer these questions and address the challenges to standing in the way of your success.
Here are the top four health IT marketing challenges we see again and again – as well as our tactical suggestions for overcoming them.
You have a great product or service, but no one knows about it
Building marketing momentum is often an uphill battle, especially when it seems more prudent to spend your limited capital on perfecting your product. But a fantastic product is meaningless if no one knows about it.
To impress decision-makers and secure high-value customers, you need to invest consistently in building brand awareness, market visibility, proof points, and a solid reputation of thought leadership. It’s a long game that requires persistence to drive new growth.
Here are your best tactics: Start by viewing your messaging through the lens of the customer. Think about what keeps them up at night and how you can solve for their challenges. Are your messages clearly communicating how your solution addresses their needs?
Be sure to audit your current website and marketing assets to identify gaps and new opportunities. Next, create engaging pieces that emphasize your product’s value to your buyers across a variety of platforms, such as:
- Blogs, white papers, and e-books
- Surveys and data reports
- Mentions of your company in media outlets
- Press releases
- Videos that demonstrate your product in action
- Customer case studies or testimonials
- Product comparisons
- Product spec sheets
Don’t just pump out information for the sake of getting something out there. Every piece of content you create needs to support your buyers’ need for information, answer their questions, and move them through the sales cycle.
Case studies, for example, have to demonstrate how your product or service delivers positive results. Focus on results that can be quantified with specific numbers, such as time saved or new revenue captured. Whenever possible, compare the before and after scenarios and include feedback from the customer on their experiences working with your team.
Finally, consider paid advertising and targeted sponsorship opportunities to position yourself as a key player in the industry. Identify high-value trade events and publications that can help new audiences get their eyes on your brand.
Customers can’t see the difference between you and your competitors
Stiff competition is to be expected in the health IT world. That’s why it’s essential to clearly differentiate your products and services from others in your target market so there’s no mistaking the value of your solutions.
Here are your best tactics: First, develop a clear and concise brand story that emphasizes what makes you different. Answer the following questions:
- How do your customers benefit from your product or service?
- Do you compete on cost, quality, safety, efficiency, or some other desirable outcome?
- Do you offer a benefit that other companies don’t offer, and can you quantify it?
- Does your team have an unbeatable reputation in their area of expertise?
- Is your service model designed to go above and beyond for your clients?
Whatever your differentiator, you must know it and own it. You can use this insight to contrast your value proposition against your competitors’. Often, deeper market data is needed to truly uncover where you stand out. Focus groups, surveys, and expert opinions can also clarify your place in the market.
Once you have your story straight, you can develop memorable messaging that connects the dots between your customers’ pain points and your unique health IT solutions. Align your content and sales materials with your target market’s needs while accurately representing your capabilities.
Your sales are slowing down or you’re losing to new players
Sales can fluctuate due to a variety of reasons, not all of which will be within your control. To stop sales from sliding, you need to know which factors you can influence and how.
Here are your best tactics: First, conduct a thorough, honest assessment of your sales activity and funnel. Determine when things started slowing down and then gauge the impact of contributing factors such as:
- New competitors threatening to encroach on your customer base
- Saturation levels of your product offerings in the market
- Outdated marketing materials that aren’t resonating anymore
- Few links for customers to reach you via your website
- Weak tracking and nurturing of prospects
- Messy contact lists that are incomplete or poorly segmented
- Attrition of your sales teams or budget cuts
Detailed market research will also help illuminate your opportunities to combat shifts in the marketplace or get your sales back on track. Deep market research can refresh your perspective on a rapidly changing environment. It can also help define – or redefine – your ideal customers so you can better tailor your sales efforts to their specific needs.
You don’t know how to get started with an effective go-to-market plan
If these suggestions seem a little overwhelming, you’re not alone. Marketing is not a native competency for many companies, and it’s easy to underestimate the complexity of a complete go-to-market plan.
Here are your best tactics: Start with a plan aligned to your growth goals that defines your target markets, ideal client profiles, and buyer personas. Then build elements that support that plan, such as:
- Positioning and messaging
- Content marketing
- Websites and SEO
- Social media
- Public relations
- Advertising and sponsorships
Health IT leaders often fall into the trap of classifying marketing as a simple extension of the sales team’s function. In truth, marketing is an enterprise-wide activity that starts from day one and requires the collaboration of your entire team from product developers to executives.
If you’re not sure where to begin or if you have a unique health IT marketing challenge, Canton & Company can help. Our comprehensive go-to-market services are built for health IT companies that want to drive growth in a highly competitive space.
Don’t let marketing be a footnote in your strategic plan. Contact Canton & Company today!