Healthcare has come a long way since the introduction of computers within the industry. Today, advances in technology from AI and machine learning to voice and speech recognition has impacted the way healthcare software and medical device companies run their businesses.

And just as the healthcare landscape is experiencing a dramatic shift, so is the HealthIT buyer, which is creating obstacles for today’s B2B healthcare sales and marketing teams.

Expanded Pool of Personas

The healthcare industry was slow to embrace the cloud, but that’s changing. VansonBourne predicts that hybrid cloud adoption among healthcare providers will jump from 19% to 37% over the next two years. As a result, HealthIT companies are now selling their solutions to a larger set of diverse buyers. For example, just five years ago, clients in ARPR’s HealthIT Practice Group primarily marketed to hospital chief technology or innovation officers. Now they sell to a range of personas from NICU nurses to ambulatory care physicians to CFOs at large health systems.

This is a good thing, right? Well, consider that each buyer persona requires customized messaging and a unique marketing strategy. For example, nurses and practice administrators fit the demographic of active Facebook users, while chief medical officers prefer long-form, clinical content. And since nearly half of all B2B buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging a company sales rep, HealthIT marketing teams must produce a greater volume of content for a multitude of channels.

Here are three steps to tackle this persona problem:

1) research each buyer to understand their IT acumen, their sentiments about new technologies, how they consume content, and more.

2) turn this research into a ‘persona book’ that succinctly details each persona. This book will be a helpful guide for both the marketing and sales teams.

3) develop a content calendar that organizes all topics and themes by persona and format. Download this handy content calendar checklist to get started.

But, having a plethora of content to lure an expanding pool of healthcare tech buyers is only the starting point.

The Distracted Buyer

In today’s healthcare landscape, there is a point solution for just about everything. As a result, your buyers are officially overwhelmed with options. This influx of solutions is due to a few factors:

    • Last year was a record year for healthcare investment as venture capital-fueled new medical technologies.
    • Governments and regulatory bodies are demanding more security and safety in healthcare, creating new opportunities for IT solutions.
    • The need for consumerization has finally reached healthcare, driving the need for innovation to improve the patient experience.

The flood of point solutions has brought a wave of corresponding product marketing. Inboxes, tradeshows and the Internet are cluttered with lofty promises, use cases, demos and peer reviews. The result? Your buyers are distracted and increasingly skeptical, making it harder for you to cut through the clutter.

Given this sea of bait, thought leadership content can be a breath of fresh air. It enables your HealthIT brand to lead with authenticity and honesty, ultimately providing a bridge of trust for inundated, skeptical and risk-averse buyers. In fact, Forrester says thought leadership (clinical studies, byline articles, blogs, etc.) has a greater impact of ideas on potential buyers than all other forms of content marketing (case studies, collateral, advertising, etc.).

Ready to jump in and swim in the growing persona pool? Last year ARPR was named Healthcare PR Agency of the Year Silver Award Winner and an Agency that Gets Results. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities.

As ARPR’s health IT account director, Cortney brings her strategic vision, media relations chops and hunger to the forefront to PRopel What's Possible for all of her clients.