B2B Healthcare Brands Need a Heartbeat

B2B Healthcare Brands Need a Heartbeat

Many years ago, when I was on the client side of B2B marketing fence, our messaging beat its chest about how our product was bigger, better, faster, stronger and could make our customers more money. Years later, after time on the agency side of both B2B and B2C marketing, we’re seeing a massive shift in how B2B buyers at various levels need to be engaged. Sure, there’s a procurement officer that’s all about specs and cost, but we’re assuming you’d like to move up the chain a bit. Consider this B2B value pyramid from a Bain & Company study earlier this year. This illustrates from the bottom of the pyramid to the tip top:   The bottom of the pyramid – where many B2B marketers stop. This is where no one wants to be – it’s commodity-land. Living on specs and price will not keep you in business. Neither will simply addressing your buyer’s economic or performance needs with features and functions. As someone recently told us, don’t talk to me about the horsepower and the convertible top – tell me how cool I look driving that car…   The middle of the pyramid – where sustainable and valuable relationships begin. Here, your messaging is centered around benefits that are important to the buyer and enhance their subjective judgments about your product or service. Attributes like decreasing hassles and your expertise help you form this relationship.   The top of the pyramid – deepen your relationship by engaging with a heartbeat message that speaks to personal and career related priorities. Your work here requires empathy and establishes trust –...

Putting Strategy in Your Content

How savvy healthcare marketers are using content to more effectively tell their brand’s stories to engage, attract and retain customers. We all understand that the benefits of content marketing help build awareness, authority and trust for your brand in a way that helps your audiences make decisions and take action. And we get that Google values fresh and original content, leading to better SEO and more visitors to your website. But how do you put an actionable strategy behind all of the content you create? The roadmap of content strategy goes like this:  Plan, Create, Distribute, Measure, Optimize, and Repeat. Plan First, understand the marketing purpose of the content you produce is to support your organizations strategic objectives – make sure your content strategy is on sync with them and generate content that’s aligned. Planning also includes the following: Your target audiences – their needs, wants and desires Your organization’s point-of-view – to uniquely carve out your niche The specific themes, causes or initiatives that support the goals of your organization This is also the time to identify your sources – service line directors, physicians and other influencers in your organization that will help generate content ideas, vet and approve any clinical language. Create Use the insights from your sources to create content that’s original, specific to your organization, unique for Google and aligned with your strategic objectives. This content can take many forms, but as with most of the marketing communications produced now – think mobile first. Other creative considerations should include: Selecting the most appropriate platforms New web content, blogs, online videos, Facebook Live events, social media...
THE YEAR OF THE CUSTOMER

THE YEAR OF THE CUSTOMER

Forbes magazine declared 2016 The Year of the Customer, noting that consumers are smarter than ever, have information at their fingertips, expect to be appreciated and share their experiences (good or bad) with the world. Many sources have additionally proclaimed that customer service will separate the winners from the losers – that experience is overtaking product and price as the key differentiator and motivator for brand loyalty. To healthcare marketers, the customer experience is familiar ground. This is a trend that health systems have been paying attention to for years – and are now being financially motivated and rewarded to ensure satisfaction scores remain high. What can healthcare marketers do to impact customer experience? In conferences and strategic planning sessions, this question routinely rises. The first thing that you can impact is expectations. Customers draw their expectations of a health system based on what we tell them with marketing, advertising and word-of-mouth. We can impact what customers expect from our brand by: Developing a brand position that truly differentiates in your market and accurately reflects the culture of the organization. Formulating a brand promise that is meaningful, resonates and is deliverable. Inspiring our internal audiences (who interact with our customers every day) to deliver on and live this promise. Establishing a social media strategy and filter for “on-brand” shared content. 7 additional ideas that you can implement now to impact the customer experience 1.)  Dig deeper on differentiators and develop those into what Jay Baer (customer service expert and author) calls “Talk Triggers.” These are messages that you use consistently and faithfully to differentiate your organization to elicit and reinforce positive...
5 Ways to Add Value to Your Healthcare Brand

5 Ways to Add Value to Your Healthcare Brand

Value is something we hear about all the time in healthcare – whether it’s shifting from volume to value for health systems or delivering more value to the members of healthcare associations. Your audiences expect value from your brand if they are going to attach themselves to it. When we conduct primary consumer research, we hear this sentiment loud and clear: it’s not just overall brand value it’s “what’s in it for me? If your brand messaging can answer and communicate that to your audience, you are a value-added healthcare brand. So, what are the traits of a value-added brand? Let’s first look at an example from outside of healthcare – let’s take Google. Google delivers products that are intuitive, easy to use, solve a problem (some may not have realized they had), are widely accessible and just work – that’s a value-added brand that people turn to and trust.  The lesson here is that a great brand has to understand its consumers better than they know themselves and deliver value before they even know they need it! So, the goals for establishing a value-added brand are to: Constantly monitor the wants and needs of its audiences along with their passions and desires Resonate with its audiences with a combination of insight, innovation and operational excellence to meet these needs Actively seek new and better ways to serve their audiences and evolves its services You can add value to your brand by understanding the following: Like using a Google map, you need to know where you are and where you’re going – understand current brand perceptions and create action...
Turning Brand “Leakage” into Brand “Keepage”

Turning Brand “Leakage” into Brand “Keepage”

From healthcare marketer to secret shopper, I recently experienced the effects of brand “leakage” with my physician. What I witnessed was how easily my symptoms translated to the pain of lost market share. Brand “leakage” is the loss of revenue, volume and consumer engagement as a result of your patients being referred outside of your system – by your own referral sources. Why is this important? “Leakage” estimates range from 30-40% in many health systems. That means a $500 million system with 30% leakage sees $150 million walk out the door. Got your attention? After discussing a persistent lower back issue with my primary care physician, he suggested I have an MRI. He thoughtfully explained the benefits of staying within the health system – let’s call it System X. I did so and appreciated the benefits of being able to discuss the results immediately with him. That’s as far as we got in terms of system loyalty and when the brand “leakage” began to take place. Along with his evaluation of my MRI came the recommendation that I see a couple specialists. I requested he send me to “the best” – not wanting to settle for “convenience” or “cost”. In my physician’s mind “the best” orthopedic surgeon for me was not in his System X, but at System Y. And “the best” neurosurgeon for me was at System Z. So much for keeping the business in the family! How can hospital marketers help prevent this kind of brand “leakage?” Marketers can help protect against brand “leakage” by building a strong and differentiated brand with both external and internal audiences...
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