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B2B SaaS marketing is challenging for many reasons, but this is especially true in healthcare, where complex buying group dynamics and long sales cycles complicate the sales process. A healthcare marketing strategy for SaaS companies helps ensure you spend your resources on tactics that will move the needle.
Even when you’ve got a solid strategy, it can be easy to make a marketing misstep. But how will you know if your healthcare marketing strategies are misguided? Rebecca Graves, co-founder of The Spot On Agency, shares her experience helping SaaS companies identify and correct common healthcare digital marketing mistakes.
Keep in mind that there's no cookie-cutter approach to creating a healthcare SaaS marketing strategy. Goals drive strategies, and strategies drive tactics. To determine your objectives, you must know where you are. "If you're starting out, you need traffic. If your audiences don't understand their problems, you must educate them. If you've already gained traction, you may focus on conversions or customer retention efforts to nurture accounts for upsell and cross-sell," Graves says.
The bright shiny object syndrome is a telltale sign of putting tactics before strategy. Companies may be tempted to spin out one-off attention-grabbing activities that don't support their business objectives — like spending a fortune on glossy collaterals and expecting them to generate sales automatically without a follow-up plan.
Another telltale sign is spending a lot of money on ads but getting no results because you aren't delivering the right message to the right people or don't have a compelling offer to drive conversions.
To set yourself up for success, craft a healthcare SaaS marketing strategy that avoids these pitfalls.
Many SaaS companies rush into building a website, hoping to generate leads and close sales right away — ignoring foundational elements such as keywords and user experience design that are critical for driving traffic and converting prospects.
Rushing can lead to many problems down the road. For example, the website won't be found in organic searches to help you meet your long-term business objectives and conversion goals.
Even if you have a generous budget to run ads, if you’re not sending the visitors to a site that facilitates the customer journey, you’ll struggle to convert them.
First, map out the entire customer journey for your website and consider these questions: What content will they consume? What actions do you want them to take on your site? How will you nurture the relationship? What happens after the visitor fills out a form?
Your healthcare digital strategy is a long-term plan. Allow time for developing a website strategy and marketing activities that produce results — especially content marketing, which can take months but is very effective for healthcare SaaS companies when done right.
Also, don't be reactive and only fix what isn't working. Tie your tactics to your long-term goals and use data to guide your decisions. Take the time to build a solid foundation and trust that it will pay off in the long run.
Let's say your goal is to make 100 deals this year — Great! But how did you decide on that number? It’s crucial to be sure that the number is realistic and based on how many sales-qualified leads (SQLs) you need to get there. Other questions that are commonly overlooked include: What's your current conversion rate? Are you hitting the average lead-to-customer conversion rate of 3 to 5%?
If you're basing strategy on the wrong goals to begin with, the outcome will likely be disappointing. The clearer you can be about what your current metrics reveal, the more useful your goals will be for crafting a successful strategy.
Benchmark your current metrics and help your marketing team understand your sales process. A marketing strategy won't close deals on its own — its objectives must align with your sales performance to yield results — which leads us to the importance of sales and marketing collaboration.
The healthcare SaaS industry is complicated. Marketers must navigate a long sales cycle, complex buying team dynamics, resistance to change, and changing regulatory requirements. But gaps in sales and marketing handoffs and friction between the two functions often derail teams from achieving common goals.
Sales and marketing must work as an integrated unit and be at the table together to clarify their objectives. Without from-the-trenches insights from sales, marketing may overlook factors that affect the decision-making process in the buyer's journey. Timely feedback from sales can also help marketers adapt to the shifting market landscape. "The marketing team needs feedback on the leads it delivers to sales: Is it reaching the right people? If not, you may need to adjust your strategy to bring in high-quality prospects who are more likely to convert," Graves advises.
If your SaaS healthcare marketing strategy focuses on the wrong KPIs, you may not yield the results you expected. For instance, you may drive a lot of website traffic, but if the visitors don't convert, you won't make any sales. If you're distracted by vanity metrics like high traffic to your site, you may not notice whether or not you are driving the right kind of traffic that can really move the needle on your goals. This could cause you to overlook the most important indicators, which could help you revisit your ad targeting or adjust your messaging to speak to the right audience, for instance.
Be thoughtful about what you measure and track. Determining the right metrics to track often starts with your conversion goals. Then, work backward to see what KPIs you should measure and improve to reach your objectives. "You can measure how many people visit a page vs. how many click on the call to action to see if your content makes visitors want to go further down your funnel. If a blog post is attracting traffic but not converting, you may reposition the content or add a CTA to drive conversions," Graves says.
From resistance to change to a complex regulatory landscape, SaaS buyers in the healthcare industry face a lot of headwinds. You can't expect them to read about a product once and be ready to buy. Such a false assumption often causes companies to ignore their lead nurturing strategy and miss out on opportunities.
You may also hit roadblocks if you have a follow-up plan but fail to address the prospect's pain points and concerns.
“You must have a good understanding of what those pain points are and work hard at educating and giving them a reason to believe,” Graves says. Moreover, stakeholders in different roles face unique challenges, so you must understand each contact's priorities and personalize your communications.
Marketing must speak to various customer-facing roles in the company to understand prospects' emotional drivers and craft messages that resonate with each member of their target audience. Also, find out whether your prospects understand their problems and the solutions available. It will help determine the focus of your healthcare SaaS marketing strategy.
Seeing your own mistakes isn't always easy. That's why savvy healthcare software companies work with experienced marketing agencies to help them avoid common strategy mistakes that could set them back months, if not years.
At Spot On, we help SaaS companies proactively prevent and avoid costly mistakes by designing healthcare marketing strategies to reach their conversion goals. Schedule a time to talk with us to discuss how we can create a marketing strategy that delivers on your business goals and objectives.
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