Good news is hard to come by these days. Here's a headline that makes us smile: Adoption Levels of Telemedicine Up Nearly 3.5 Percent from 2015.
As revealed in HIMSS Analytics 2016 Telemedicine Essentials Brief, that increase brings adoption up to 61.3 percent. In addition, according to data from HIMSS Analytics LOGIC™ and a survey of healthcare IT leaders, "there was an increase in the use of concierge service programs from 20 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2016 which includes e-visits and consultations. A new category in the telemedicine models and programs being adopted is consumer grade remote patient monitoring, which collects patient data from off the shelf devices. Respondents indicated adoption levels of nearly 12 percent."
Even if you're not in telemedicine, this data indicates your healthcare technology market is ripe with opportunity. But the information also indicates that there are big players in the market whose message is already resonating with prospects. You need to cut through the noise and hit the right targets.
Determine the Right Audience
Getting your brand noticed is about more than producing high-quality marketing collateral. One of the most important factors is knowing who will benefit from your offering.
Ideally, you'll fuel marketing campaigns with your "precise understanding of what (technology) is where, how people use it and the impact of the tech on their business," says Matt Schuchardt, Director, Business Development and Innovation at HIMSS Analytics. You'll also want to know if that audience is truly ready for change.
It's not enough to just understand the available data about your audience, explains Schuchardt. You need to know the why. To incorporate this idea into your marketing plans, start by gathering information about the context in which your potential buyers operate.
This type of data "presents you with the ability to position your product marketing in a way that's relevant to your audience," says Schuchardt. You can see, for example, which technologies 200 bed hospitals in a given state are beginning to implement. You can find gaps in their capabilities. And it turns out that filling gaps in care is a huge driver of technology purchases.
Your objective should be to "make it real for (the buyer) in terms of how you can actually help," says Schuchardt. "It’s about maximizing attention units you’re getting from someone." To that end, data about likelihood of use or about current use can be invaluable. Think about what you could do with a list of those hospitals who are highly unlikely to use your product (such as exclude them from campaign targeting, helping you maximize spend.) Think about securing the type of information that indicates opportunity, such as a list of hospitals that have a primary technology vendor who is weak in a given area of service.
Choose a Type
Your audience and your messaging truly depend on whether your prospect uses a single-vendor solution or a system that does it all — a best in breed. This information gives you an understanding of buying philosophy, explains Schuchardt.
"Maybe your primary vendor isn't in the single-solution space. So instead of just talking to a hospital that's using a specific vendor's technology, for example, you might talk to hospital that's using that tech and looking to invest in something it leaves out," he says. "The granularity (you can reach) is really deep. It's not just finding out who their big vendor is, but also, what is their oncology system? Radiology? Anesthesiology? It's everything from admissions to x-ray."
Speak to the Individual
Determining your audience isn't just broad strokes. Sometimes you need to dial down and speak to the individual decision maker or influencer within a clinic or hospital. This usually falls to your salespeople, but you can tailor your brand message to reach these roles, as well. HIMSS Analytics tracks 38 different roles, so that even if a title isn't representative of the role the person plays within a business, you can still gain insight into structural operations and use the persona implications to craft your message.
Says Schuchardt, "These things (data and brand) go hand in hand. If your brand is working, it’s about focusing and making decisions based on data and not on gut and using limited time as efficiently as possible." If you’re struggling, data will give you an idea about what is working and what your competitor is doing — and who they're reaching — that you’re not.
Messaging that Gets Your Healthcare Brand Noticed
As you are likely aware, there are a variety of personalities you can appeal to based on your technology. It's important to distinguish between your own brand personality and that of the audience you're speaking to, and to be able to adapt your tone accordingly. The two large Electronic Medical Records (EMR) companies with which most, if not all, hospitals work, have two very different personalities. Therefore, messaging that works for one set of customers will not work for the other. The information you provide can be the same. The tone should be structured around what you already know appeals to the potential buyer, based on their relationship to an EMR company.
So you've nailed down your tone and your message, but getting noticed also means being in the right place at the right time. HIMSS has a variety of publication channels where corporate members have the opportunity to share white papers. Further, you can advertise on HIMSS media properties to reach a given audience. If a large, though engaged, audience isn't your ideal prospect, consider localizing. HIMSS offers local chapters that are operated somewhat independently of the larger brand. They host local events and get togethers where people who are inherently much more receptive to your messaging (than a standard Google Ads audience, for example) will convene.
Use Sales Enablement Content
Our last tip for getting your brand noticed by the right audience actually involves your sales department. One of the best tools for marketing healthcare technology is data, but not if your salespeople can't present that information in a way that's relevant to their prospect. They must be able to distill the information and present the most pertinent points.
"When you can filter by 1000 things, that's great for targeted, precise marketing," says Schuchardt. "But it's a lot of lift for a salesperson who might want to just say 'point me in the right direction.'" Our suggestion? Begin creating the right materials, so you can point them in that direction. Your salespeople need granularity just as much as you do, but offering them a lighter, packaged version of the important details is a great way to get them to start targeting the right people with the right marketing content — just as the rest of your team is doing. That will get your brand noticed at both ends of the buyer's journey, leading to a higher likelihood of closing the deal.