How Does B2B in Healthcare Work?

Healthcare Business To Business Guide

B2B in healthcare is about building trust, increasing access, opening up opportunities to expand, finding new partners to build relationships, and increasing sales.

Healthcare organizations are always looking for better ways to increase patient engagement, improve retention, generate more revenue, serve their communities, and develop and nurture long-term partnerships. 

These goals are easier said than done but can be achieved by implementing a customer-centric approach that emphasizes delivering outstanding service and experience.

The Rise Of Customer-Centricity on B2B Healthcare

Many industries recognize the importance of developing a customer-centric strategy in the B2B space. Building these strategies can be especially important in the healthcare industry because of the added difficulty of fostering trust and credibility.

B2B healthcare marketing helps companies adopt this approach by making it easier for healthcare companies to understand their customers, segment and target those customers more effectively, and create marketing content that resonates with their communities.

Healthcare as an industry is still a patient-oriented effort, where deep understanding and caring about improving human lives and society is necessary for a good outcome. 

Target audiences are as diverse as health conditions themselves, so it is imperative to find the best way to speak to everyone, with different messages for different interests.

For Example:

Create a personal patient website for cancer 

An interactive video for anemia 

An application for people with diabetes.

Healthcare Marketing Goes To School

Healthcare marketing is learning from others’ experiences like B2B eCommerce and understanding their stakeholders’ pain points to create super-targeted campaigns that feel more authentic and engaging.

Other industries are at a different stage in their digital transformation than healthcare, and we can learn from their experience and apply the best practices that we’ve learned to healthcare marketing.  

The Way To Go

Healthcare marketing is a living organism trying to find its place in 2022. It would be best to work with all stakeholders, including patients, to get it right. Healthcare marketers must remain flexible and patient in a heavily regulated industry as the industry adapts to new technologies and new ways of reaching and engaging with their communities.

Digital healthcare marketing is a rapidly evolving field, and healthcare marketers must be prepared to change. To be successful, they must be able to use data to understand the needs of their target audience and then reach them where they are spending their time online. 

Additionally, healthcare marketers must be prepared to create content that is both informative and engaging, and responsive to the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing.

The Real Audience of B2B Marketing

B2B marketing traditionally means marketing to other businesses, but it is more likely to refer to marketing to healthcare professionals in the healthcare industry. 

Healthcare marketing generally falls into two broad categories: direct-to-consumer (DTC) and business-to-business (B2B). DTC healthcare marketing includes marketing efforts aimed at consumers, such as television commercials, print ads, and online advertising.

B2B healthcare marketing, on the other hand, is geared toward other businesses or organizations that provide healthcare products or services, such as hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies. 

Approaching these companies is a complex process requiring a deep understanding of their needs and specific strategies to address them. 

Closing a sale can take months and even years, and in many cases, you’ll be selling to a group of decision-makers rather than an individual.

There are a few key differences that separate B2B healthcare marketing from other types of marketing, including:

A focus on long-term relationships

A need to target the decision-makers within a business or organization

An emphasis on showcasing your experience and expertise in the healthcare industry

The ability to market to a wide variety of businesses or organizations, including hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies

How To Convince Decision-Makers

To be successful at B2B healthcare marketing, you need to have a clear understanding of the needs of your target audience. This includes understanding their business model, revenue streams, and key decision-makers. 

You also need to place yourself in the shoes of healthcare companies and understand how they operate. You can spend months talking to the wrong person if you don’t know how the healthcare system works. 

Decisions aren’t made in isolation. If you focus exclusively on one type of decision-maker, you risk convincing the wrong people and wasting valuable resources.

The Main Types of B2B Healthcare Decision Makers

There are four main types of B2B healthcare decision-makers: hospital administrators, physicians, insurance company executives, and government officials.

Hospital administrators: They are responsible for the daily operations of a hospital and make decisions about the budget, staff, and facilities.

Physicians: They are the frontline healthcare providers and make decisions about patient care.

Insurance company executives decide which health insurance plans to offer and how to reimburse providers.

Government officials: They make decisions about healthcare policy and regulation.

Depending on what you’re trying to sell, you will need to target one or more of these groups. To make matters more complicated, usually, each group has different priorities and interests.

For example, if you’re selling a new cancer drug, you’ll need to sell it to physicians, then prescribe it to their patients. But you’ll also need to convince hospital administrators to stock the drug in their pharmacies and insurance company executives to cover the cost of the drug in their plans.

The best way to sell to each group will vary depending on the product, but in general, you’ll need to tailor your marketing message to the specific needs of each group.

How To Sell In B2B Healthcare

Hospital administrators

Hospital administrators are the decision-makers for what drugs are used at their facility. They’re also the ones who control the budget, so they’re critical to your success.

To market to hospital administrators, you’ll need to focus on the cost-effectiveness of your drug. They’ll want to know if it’s cheaper than existing treatments, if it will help the hospital reduce costs, and aids in the reduction of readmission rates.

You’ll also need to make sure that your drug is easy to use and available in the form that hospital administrators prefer. For example, if your drug is a pill, but most hospitals prefer to use injectable drugs, you’ll have difficulty getting them to use your drug.

Physicians

Physicians are the gatekeepers to the healthcare system. If they don’t prescribe your drug, it will not get used.

To market to physicians, you’ll need to focus on the clinical benefits of your drug. They’ll want to know if it’s more effective than existing treatments, if it has fewer side effects, and if it’s been proven safe in clinical trials.

Insurance company executives

Insurance company executives are the ones who decide which drugs are covered by insurance plans. They’re also the ones who negotiate prices with drug companies.

To market to insurance company executives, you’ll need to focus on the cost of your drug. They’ll want to know if it’s cheaper than existing treatments if it will save the insurance company money in the long run, and its efficacy vs. other approved drugs.

Government officials

Government officials are the ones who make the laws that determine what drugs are covered by government programs like Medicaid and Medicare. They’re also the ones who negotiate prices with drug companies.

To market to government officials, you’ll need to focus on the cost of your drug. They’ll want to know if it’s cheaper than existing treatments, if it will save the government money in the long run, and if it’s in line with national public health initiatives.

Your Turn

B2B in healthcare requires research, continuous effort, and a solid plan to succeed.

It’s not enough to implement the latest marketing trend or to have a website—you need to have a comprehensive strategy that addresses the unique challenges of B2B healthcare marketing. 

Get in touch to optimize your healthcare organization’s B2B Healthcare Marketing Strategy.

Serg Valencia

Serg Valencia

Serg Valencia is a Healthcare Marketing Consultant who helps organizations find the best marketing channels to connect with their communities.

Our Latest Posts