The healthcare industry is well and truly under the spotlight at the moment. But, like a lot of other industries, it’s having to shake things up. It’s no longer enough for brands in this sector to throw out generic marketing messages for fear of coming across as insensitive or ignoring the big elephant in the room – COVID-19.
Instead, the B2B healthcare sector is having to dig deeper into what buyers want and need right now. The most important thing to note is that these wants and needs have likely changed a lot over the past few months and decision makers are facing a new set of challenges that they need solutions for.
Luckily for B2B healthcare brands, buyers are still buying – maybe even more so than before. But they’re looking for something different when it comes to marketing. Practically every single person has been affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this needs to be reflected in the way B2B brands promote themselves.
Now, it’s vital that marketers are sensitive to the changing priorities of their buyers and create deeper, more human connections with their prospects. Personalization is an excellent way to do this. It targets prospects based on their interests and speaks to them individually, making them feel “seen” and “heard” by brands. Let’s look closely at why personalization is a key marketing tactic for B2B healthcare brands right now.
1. Get Better Results While Being Sensitive
One study found brands that leverage personalization in their email campaigns brought in six times the amount of revenue and transaction rates of non-personalized content. Another found that personalized ads targeted to specific buyers received 10x as many click throughs as non-personalized ads.
Personalization doesn’t just get B2B healthcare brands better results, it also taps into the human connection that consumers everywhere are craving right now.
2. Connect Emotionally With New Prospects
Because the spotlight is on the healthcare industry right now and likely will be for a while to come, it’s important that B2B brands in this sphere stand out.
When COVID-19 first hit, many brands seemed to disappear off the radar because they didn’t know what to say to their customers. Others bulldozed on through with their pre-COVID marketing messages that simply didn’t make sense anymore.
Instead, buyers actively sought out brands that were sensitive to the current climate and acknowledged that times are tough.
Personalization creates a sense of connection between buyers and brands. It makes prospects feel unique and understood, and this has never been more important. On top of this, research has found that emotions dramatically influence buying decisions, while emotionally-connected content is more easily remembered.
3. Tap Into Changing Needs
We mentioned earlier that buyer needs have done a 360 over the past few months. What used to be important no longer is, and personalization helps brands pivot to target emerging wants and needs. Not everyone is in the same position right now, and sending out blanket messages can be considered tone deaf. Instead, personalization allows you to communicate with prospects about their differing needs.
One segment might be really struggling, with staff laid off and budgets slashed beyond recognition, while others might be doing well considering the circumstances. Both of these customers might need your product, but they might need it for different reasons. Touching on their individual circumstances through personalization will spark that initial connection.
4. Identify Core Customers and Prospects
Personalization begins with segmenting your audience based on their interests, their demographics, their needs, or their behaviors. This gives you an insight into your most loyal customers and those who are more likely to buy from you in the future.
Right now, this is crucial information. A lot of companies have put buying on hold until they have a better understanding of what life after COVID-19 looks like, which means that you need to target the people who are most likely to buy from you to provide them with a solution they need right now and to keep your bottom line looking healthy.
HealthcareScore, a medical recruitment company, has switched up their strategy to help those who need it most. They’ve created content geared specifically toward healthcare organizations that urgently need to hire more staff.
How to Start Personalizing Your B2B Healthcare Marketing
Now that you know why personalization is so important at the moment, how do you get started? We’ve put together a quick step-by-step guide to show you where to begin.
- Use a CRM system to segment prospects and leads based on where they are in the buying journey, what they’re interested in, and what their biggest challenges are.
- Create buyer personas and think about the issues your prospects are facing right now (hint: these might not be the same issues as before the pandemic). You might need to edit your previous buyer personas to reflect any changes in wants, needs and priorities.
- Create content targeted to these personas. Think about how these people prefer to consume content and where they usually do that. Put together pieces of content that answer the unique questions your prospects have right now and that tackle objections at different stages of the buying cycle.
- Keep it sensitive and authentic, as buyers are actively looking for brands they can trust and build a deep human connection with.
Have you reconsidered your marketing strategy in light of the pandemic? If not, it might be time to do so. Incorporating personalization into your messages can help buyers feel at ease in a particularly difficult time. Tapping into their changing priorities will help you create deeper relationships with your buyers and ensure you’re helping everyone who needs it in the right way.