6 Proven Digital Marketing Strategies for Capital Equipment Suppliers in Healthcare
The whole world is going digital, so how does a healthcare capital equipment provider keep up with the changing times?
At first glance, much of the marketing and sales process management for capital equipment providers does not seem to fit in the digital world; after all, hospital capital committees, facilities managers, and construction companies don’t sit on the typical social media sites researching products or providers for their needs.
When looking to use digital strategies in something as specific as providing capital equipment for healthcare construction, renovation, or updates, it is important to realize that the right digital strategies will work for this industry like any other industry.
Understanding Branding vs. Decision-Based Marketing
Essential to the strategy of any digital marketing campaign, suppliers have two unique ways to use digital marketing. Digital marketing can be designed to build the value of a brand or to influence a customer’s decision. While these two are not necessarily a full dichotomy, understanding the goal of any digital content helps plan the strategy.
Digital branding includes website design and digital product brochures. Decision-based marketing includes inbound and content marketing as well as outbound advertisements. For example, pure branding content would be a logo. Pure decision-based marketing would be running Google ads to people searching for a product your business sells.
When you have an understanding that these two tactics are used in digital marketing strategy, it can help you to plan marketing on multiple platforms and other strategies as well as to track ROI.
Do you set up a social media page? The answer to that question is rooted in a branding question because that is what most networking sites provide for equipment providers.
What is the main goal of your content marketing on your website? Many people attempt to use their website primarily for branding, but this misses on the opportunity to educate the customer to the sell, a decision-based marketing tactic.
Building the Right Social Network
Most social media channels are geared towards consumer marketing. Suppliers targeting larger organizations like hospitals, healthcare management organizations, and large clinics are not going to easily find their target market on social media channels. Decisions may be on the major platforms, but they are there to look at pictures of kids and grandkids, not research their product.
When considering how to build a digital social network, equipment and service providers for healthcare will use other social media platforms, their own email lists and website, and industry listing services to build their own marketing network. What truly matters in digital is not necessarily the platform, but the ability to find and communicate with decision makers in your customers’ organizations.
Reach the Right Target Market
Besides building your own network through managed social media and direct marketing, the best place to find decision makers for your customer remains catalog providers for healthcare organizations.
While this is as true now as it was 30 years ago, who provides equipment catalogs to organizations is changing in the digital age. In the past, catalogs were expensive printings that went out once or twice a year; they were expensive to produce, had limited tracking on returns, and could not truly showcase customization of products.
Now, many software providers for healthcare capital management provide digital catalogs as part of their software suite. This means that organizations can list their equipment in front of the decision makers in digital marketing.
Build Trust Through Digital Marketing
Reaching the right decision maker is the first step to converting them into repeat customers who ensure that their healthcare organization continues to use your business for their medical beds, IV kits, or medical grade Hepa air conditioning units. Digital marketing provides your business the option of delivering the right information to decision makers and other interested parties, even highly customized information like variations in medical beds that allow a product to be used in a long-term care unit or in a surgical ward.
Showcasing the right customizations is one part of building trust. Another trust-building part of digital marketing is the ability to begin the relationship with potential customers at the beginning of the sales process with quote forms and other tools. Once a lead reaches out to your business to find out more information, you can showcase how a long-term supplier relationship would work by showcasing customer-service in your communication and demonstrating how the products will work for their organization.
Follow up digital marketing communication via public information on your website and privileged information via email or other platforms will further produce that trust.
Deliver Customization to Customers
As discussed in catalogs, digital marketing gives capital equipment providers the capability to showcase customization of their products to their customers much earlier in the sales cycle. Rather than waiting for a customer to ask whether your products meet their customization needs, modern digital marketing provides the option to demonstrate all the possible customization of a product. Using this strategy sets apart providers; your customers are able to understand what you provide before ever making a decision.
Tracking and Forecasting
The final strategic advantage that digital marketing provides businesses is the ability to accurately track and forecast sales cycles. Tracking where leads come from, what pieces of content and ad copy get the best results online, and how leads engage with campaigns is standard for most digital marketing systems. The strategic part is using the information your business gleans from the information to craft a plan and use the historic figures to understand and forecast future trends.
While predictions will never be 100 percent accurate, they will give your business the ability to make decisions in real-time based on accurate historical information. With the right analytics, all the other strategies will easily fall in place.
With the right digital marketing systems and strategies in place, even industry-specific businesses like capital equipment providers in healthcare will be able to take advantage of the revolution in marketing brought by digital technology. Suppliers can use normal digital marketing channels to provide some content and brand identity while you focus on building digital marketing campaigns via industry-specific digital marketing organizations and using the right software to track your marketing analytics.