B2B healthcare marketers have long been familiar with the traditional marketing funnel, in which a net is cast as far and wide as possible in the hopes of attracting prospects, the pool of which continually narrows throughout the sales funnel until some prospects ultimately complete a purchase. While marketers have different names for these sales stages, they are often along the lines of Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Purchase. Healthcare Software-as-a-service (SaaS) marketing is a similar process, but there are some key elements that make it unique, providing both challenges and benefits for marketers.
Developing a Solid Healthcare SaaS Product Marketing Strategy
Healthcare SaaS marketing builds on the concept of a traditional funnel, adding such stages as onboarding, retention, and expansion. Ideally, expansion occurs when clients are so pleased with your services that they will provide a qualified referral, leading to a shorter sales cycle for the new prospect.
Still a bit confused about the traditional marketing funnel vs. a healthcare SaaS marketing funnel? Don’t worry—read on! We're here to help you understand their similarities and differences by examining the seven unique stages of healthcare SaaS marketing.
Healthcare SaaS Marketing Challenges
Healthcare SaaS marketing can be challenging, particularly because you are marketing software, without a tangible product to market and sell. Further, the software itself is constantly changing, with product updates and new features being released regularly, so your marketing narrative must be able to adapt to these changes and speak to the multiple decision makers on the buying team. Having a niche audience can also be challenging, as your product software might apply only to a few healthcare organizations.
Another challenge with healthcare SaaS marketing is that the sales cycle can be slow, compared to other types of businesses. HubSpot notes that the typical SaaS sales cycle can last up to three months, but for healthcare SaaS that time can be extended. Plus, the usually high cost of the SaaS subscription model translates into businesses spending ample time ensuring they've found the right option before purchasing.
The Seven Stages of a Healthcare SaaS Marketing Funnel
HubSpot notes that there are 4 unique stages that leads follow before making a purchase and becoming a SaaS customer. These stages can also be applied to healthcare SaaS customers:
- Awareness. In a traditional marketing funnel, awareness of a product or service could be developed through paid advertising or email marketing, for example. With healthcare SaaS marketing, these prospects might find your business through a blog post, a free offer, a social media post, or other content. At this early stage, they may not even be looking for or aware of your particular product, or even realize that they have a problem that your product can solve. Awareness is your “first date,” and if prospects like what they see, they move on to Engagement.
- Engagement. Once aware of your products and services, engaged customers begin getting to know you better. They might subscribe to your blog, download a free white paper, or follow you on social media. If they continue to see content that resonates with them, which makes your content marketing of utmost importance, they enter the Exploratory phase.
- Exploration. Exploration expands on Engagement, whereby prospects realize that your product might help solve a problem and begin researching their options. They might take a look at your pricing page, ask questions via chat, request a quote, or reach out directly to your sales team. They are actively interested in the product you offer and want to ensure their questions and concerns are appropriately addressed. They may even ask to test out your product.
- Conversion. Conversion occurs when this prospect who has been in your sales funnel for a long time finally purchases your software subscription. Cha-Ching! In a traditional marketing funnel, this purchase might be the last stage of engagement, hopefully resulting in a satisfied customer.
These first four stages, however, simply set up the sale, whereas healthcare SaaS marketing strategies demand three additional steps for an effective sales cycle:
- Onboarding. Your healthcare SaaS customers will need substantial time for onboarding to ensure they know how to use the software and how it interfaces with their own operations.
- Retention. Out of all of the steps, Retention may be most crucial. At the end of the day, if your clients are not satisfied, they will not renew their subscription and will likely make their dissatisfaction broadly known. With social media and various review platforms, customers have a variety of means in which to share their experience with your company, and you want to do everything possible to ensure their comments are purely positive—in part because positive experiences feed into the last state of the healthcare SaaS marketing funnel, Expansion.
- Expansion. In the ’70s, a popular shampoo commercial touted that once you tried their product, not only would you love it, but “If you tell two friends, they'll tell two friends, and so on, and so on.” In the age of social media, that adage has never been more true, even in B2B sales, where customers may first find your brand online.
Marketing Strategy: B2B SaaS
If you’re looking to improve your healthcare SaaS marketing, Spot On has outlined these best practices. Our top ten recommendations will vary by customer and will be tailored to the individual strategy. However, in general, they usually include:
- SaaS Content Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Website Design
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Video Marketing for SaaS
- SaaS Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Free Offers
- Customer Reviews
- Collaboration with Other Software Companies
The main goal in all healthcare SaaS marketing is to create content and touchpoints that are highly relevant to your target audience. You want to show them you’re the expert best aligned with their needs, offering solutions, products, and services they can’t get elsewhere. And, once everything is taken into consideration, your marketing strategies need to prove themselves to the CFO and other members of the buying team, showing a solid return on investment.
Get Healthcare SaaS Marketing Expertise
It’s a lot to think about. We know. Spot On has successfully navigated the world of healthcare SaaS with other clients and understands just how overwhelming all of this might be. If you have a small marketing team or don’t have the know-how to implement these strategies in-house, consider partnering with a healthcare SaaS marketing agency.
At Spot On, our first step with any client is developing a strategic marketing campaign that will help achieve your sales goals and objectives. If you’d like to discuss how we can help you develop your healthcare SaaS marketing funnel, schedule a call.