October 19, 2023 in Articles, healthtech marketing

How B2B Healthcare Marketing is Different From B2C

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As a healthcare or health tech leader, it is essential to understand the key differences between B2B and B2C healthcare marketing that will affect how you plan your digital presence. While both require strategies for customer engagement, successful approaches used in one may be ineffective in the other.

Many leaders in health tech come from a B2C healthcare space and begin their approach to marketing with the same metrics and parameters that were successful in their prior roles. Unfortunately, these are typically large-market outlays that don’t get you in front of the right decision-makers. Let’s walk through the significant differences between B2B and B2C healthcare markets and how you can adjust your strategy to get better results.

Understand the differences between B2B and B2C healthcare marketing

Healthcare marketing is a complex game that requires an in-depth understanding of your target audience. While both B2B and B2C marketing strategies can be used to promote products and services in the industry at large, each approach requires a unique set of skills and knowledge. B2B healthcare marketing involves selling products and services directly to healthcare organizations, such as hospital systems and payers. In contrast, B2C healthcare marketing targets individual consumers, including patients and their families. Understanding the differences between these two types of marketing can help you tailor your messaging to the right audience and improve your chances of success.

Identifying target audiences for B2B healthcare marketing

Effective B2B healthcare marketing requires first identifying the right target audience, then developing a value-based message to engage with them. For example, healthcare professionals may be interested in information that will help them provide better patient care. In contrast, healthcare institutions may look for solutions to improve their operations, efficiency, and patient outcomes. Conversely, payers may be interested in how your solution will drive down costs, increase efficiencies, or help them create new revenue streams. No matter the target audience, it’s essential to be specific about whom to reach within each target market, then tailor your messaging to meet their needs and interests.

Creating an effective strategy to reach those audiences

Leveraging marketing to reach your target audience in a way that supports your sales team is essential to your success. But with so many different platforms and channels available, deciding where to focus your efforts can be overwhelming. Being intentional and strategic with your goals, your resources, and your team’s bandwidth can help you create success.
One approach starts with identifying your ideal customer and understanding their interests, behaviors, and pain points. From there, you can tailor your messaging and content to resonate with them and meet their needs. Understanding where they’re actively engaged allows you to focus your efforts and maximize your budget. For example, a VP of Corporate Strategy at a payer might be more engaged on LinkedIn, whereas an IT leader might be more engaged with a Davinci forum.

Another important aspect is to be consistent in your messaging across all channels, use data to track your results, and adjust your strategy as needed. With a thoughtful and well-executed plan, you can successfully connect with your target audience and achieve your business goals.

Utilize data-driven insights to tailor messaging to the right person at the right time

In today’s fast-paced world, delivering the right message to the right person at the right time is becoming increasingly important. The best way to achieve this goal is by utilizing data-driven insights. By analyzing and interpreting data, businesses can better understand their customers’ behaviors and preferences. This information can then be used to tailor the messaging to the individual, ensuring a more personalized experience and a greater chance of success.

One way to do this well is to adjust job roles or hire a consultant so that someone on your team is responsible for managing data, insights, and outreach. By having a database/data manager, you have someone dedicated to identifying hot prospects, keeping the sales team engaged with marketing, and generally keeping a finger on the pulse of what content best resonates with your target prospects. This is obviously a scaleable role depending on the volume of marketing you’re pushing into the world.

Make sure content is value focused instead of self-promotional

One of the biggest hurdles teams in B2B healthcare face is the conundrum of value vs. self-promotional content. Because most teams – especially within startups – are focused on selling, selling, selling, they fall into the trap of always self-promoting. This is actually the best way to turn your audience OFF.

Instead of constantly promoting yourself or your brand, strive to provide value to your readers or viewers. This can come in many forms, such as informative articles, how-to videos, or entertaining stories. If you need help finding the right mix of content, take a 3-1 approach: for every three posts you share with stats, industry updates, stories, etc., you can share one self-promotional piece of content. This doesn’t mean you’re not sharing relevant information to your business; it’s just a less direct push to buy.

By adding value to your content, you’ll attract more readers or viewers and establish yourself as an authority in your field. So the next time you create content, ask yourself: How can I make this valuable for my audience?

What to do next

Taking the time to dive into the nuances of B2B healthcare marketing is necessary for businesses that want to reach their target audiences and stand out in a crowded market. It is crucial to take stock of one’s industry, products, and services, assess the competitive landscape, and identify the target audience and what makes them unique from B2C consumers. Afterward, strategic plans can be created that incorporate data-driven insights that match messaging to individuals at the right time. Content should be value-focused instead of self-promotional, providing answers to customers’ problems at any stage of their journey with your business or product.

With careful assessment and execution, businesses can differentiate themselves from competitors through well-crafted B2B healthcare marketing strategies that engage with potential customers, build relationships, and generate substantially beneficial ROI from successful campaigns.


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