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SaaS marketing for healthcare products is similar to the process of marketing SaaS (software as a service) products - any software product that you use online rather than downloading onto your own machine. The market for healthcare SaaS is booming - sales are expected to reach $51.7 Billion by 2028, reports Grandview Medical Research. As a result, healthcare SaaS marketing has become a school of marketing in its own right.
Healthcare SaaS marketers fulfill the same role as every other SaaS marketer - “getting consumers interested in your company’s product or service,” as Caroline Forsey at HubSpot puts it. That said, healthcare SaaS marketing has a unique set of challenges - and advantages - that make it very different from many other forms of SaaS marketing.
For one thing, healthcare SaaS companies are usually solving a very niche problem for a select number of potential customers. And they must navigate an industry that is heavily regulated and slow to change, while considering multiple stakeholders and a demanding customer base. Beyond these considerations, there are four common challenges that are sometimes overlooked. Let’s explore these issues and how to turn them into opportunities.
It can be tough to sell something that has no physical presence, that can’t be touched or even downloaded onto a computer. As Peter Cohen, CEO of SaaS Marketing Strategy Advisors, comments, “With SaaS you’re not really marketing a product. You’re marketing a promise.” That kind of marketing involves building high levels of trust with your potential customers - trust that you’ll keep your promise, that your software will deliver what you’ve promised throughout the subscription, that you’ll deliver regular updates, that you’ll offer them support when they need it.
Building trust with healthcare SaaS customers can be challenging - but the fact that you have no physical product gives you a significant advantage over product marketers. You can offer the full product for free - as a free trial or a freemium software product. In terms of building trust, this is gold-dust - the customer can take your product, use it in their day-to-day tasks, and hopefully be so dazzled by the experience that they’re clamoring to buy your software.
Unlike other forms of B2B marketing, healthcare SaaS marketers have to deal with a long buying decision process involving multiple decision makers. Leads find you online, maybe read a few articles, go to your website, try a demo, read testimonials, and compare options before deciding whether or not to buy. The whole process can take months for the entire buying team to come to a conclusion, unlike the more common traditional B2B sales cycle.
And Gartner reports that “a new decision-maker enters the fray in the last 5% to 10% of the buying experience.” This person often needs to be engaged, educated and sold from scratch.
From a healthcare SaaS marketing point of view, being able to easily track leads from their first point of engagement to their final purchase gives you a wealth of useful data about these decision makers as well as what’s working and what’s not in your healthcare SaaS product marketing strategy.
And you can help to overcome reluctance by offering relevant content at each stage of their interaction with your website, such as a simple explainer video, glowing testimonials, a free demo, a free trial, a money-back guarantee, relevant certifications or media coverage of your product.
You must ensure that your website is designed to convert visitors into customers at every step of the way.
As Sprout Social puts it, “SaaS companies begin with a product and then build their teams around it.” This can be a challenge for marketers. You must ensure that marketing isn’t simply tacked on at the end of product development. There is a pervasive industry cliché that SaaS products sell themselves. Of course, a great healthcare SaaS product will generate positive word of mouth, and referrals are always a vital part of any marketing strategy.
But marketing remains a key part of a successful healthcare SaaS business, and it must be integrated throughout the product development cycle.
When designing your product, be sure to thoroughly research the specific problems your potential customers are dealing with at their hospital or practice—what will save them time or money. Be careful not to be so immersed in the product’s features that you spend only limited time gaining perspective on prospect needs. Keep in mind the needs of different stakeholders too. For example, the CFO possibly has a different pain point than, for example, the healthcare provider who’s going to be using the software.
SaaS businesses may be product-led, but they must also be customer-led. In order to win - and more importantly, keep - customers, significant marketing attention must be invested in creating an optimal customer experience.
Neil Patel sums it up perfectly:
“The acronym SaaS stands for “Software as a Service.” I propose that we place the emphasis on service. Yes, the software must be important, flawless, powerful, and awesome. But service needs to be upheld as the paragon of virtues.”
That means listening attentively to your customers. And there, SaaS marketers have the upper hand on other marketers. Peter Cohen points out that “Vendors selling software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions have the particular advantage of gathering input from customers directly within the product.”
You can gather extensive user data to find out which features are getting the most use and ensure you promote them heavily in your healthcare SaaS marketing. You can recommend the removal of features that aren’t being used to give a simplified customer experience. You can identify any friction points in your healthcare software and ensure that they are addressed promptly.
Other ways of listening to your customers might include closely aligning customer support with development, or even rotating support amongst the development team so that the people who receive the complaints are actually in a position to fix the bugs. In addition, you might want to consider social listening - integrating feedback from social media channels into your development process. You can even automate social listening with tools to help you gain a more holistic picture of what people are doing with the app.
Healthcare SaaS marketing can certainly be challenging - but by creating a company initiative to listen attentively and offer exceptional customer service, you should be able to create long-term, valuable relationships with existing customers, attract new leads – and keep them.
At Spot On, we specialize in helping healthcare SaaS businesses build highly effective marketing strategies that deliver serious results. If you’d like to discuss how we could help your company craft a strategy that attracts your ideal customer and nurtures them throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey, let’s talk.
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