Why Account-Based Marketing for Healthcare IT Is A Key Strategy to Unlocking Success
The promise of any modern marketing approach is that if you reach the right people, in the right ways, the right things will (or should) happen to precipitate a sale or achieve a desired marketing outcome.
You hear phrases like “the key to marketing success is…” so frequently, but how often do you think how apt the metaphorical language is? A key works because the right groves and shapes match up with the tumblers in a lock so that when the key turns, the door will open, the car will turn on, or the thing that was previously locked away is now accessible.
If you wanted to visualize a literal key for healthcare marketing, or even more specifically, healthcare IT marketing, you’d have a long, long key with lots of groves, unique shapes and maybe even some structural reinforcement for the kind of torque it takes to make that key turn. In other words, there’s a lot of “right things” in the “right ways” that need to be constructed for effective healthcare IT marketing to turn over.
How Does Account-Based Marketing Fit Into Healthcare IT Marketing?
Think of account-based marketing (ABM) like a key duplicating machine. There’s a lot of gears, moving parts, and some pretty crafty engineering, but for any unique key, it can duplicate the vital, “key” parts that make the key work.
At HIMSS Media, we define ABM as:
A marketing methodology for identifying, understanding, and engaging accounts in order to cultivate awareness or further interest among the key stakeholders of an account’s buyer collective which is conducive to initial, retained, or even expanded business relationships.
In our definitive post, What Account-Based Marketing Is and What It’s Not… And Why the Subtleties Matter, we emphasize that the subtleties of ABM – the account-personalized communications, the uniquely targeted content, the actions based on account-level insights, all the elements of the methodology coming together -- done at scale, yield the biggest results for ABM practitioners.
In healthcare IT marketing, some of the biggest drivers for success can be savvy appeals to the little things that really matter to healthcare IT professionals.
The ABM methodology applied to the healthcare IT environment affords a repetable, organized marketing program that can be as unique as needed from account to account, but relevant and insightful across all communications.
What Account-Based Marketing for Healthcare IT Can Do:
Marketers who fully buy into ABM don’t do so just for higher lead specificity and /or volume. ABM gives its practitioners so much more than just relevant names to throw over the wall to sales. A good ABM program can be structured completely without leads as a desired outcome, and this is especially true for the healthcare IT space.
Healthcare IT Account-Based Marketing Offers Vital Insights
Archimedes is famously quoted as saying “Give me a place to stand, and with a lever, I will move the world.” As marketers, in order to move the worlds we’re marketing to, insights are all we have to stand on. We need solid foundations of what’s happening in order to leverage potential opportunities.
Insights from ABM programs -- the content consumed by multiple members of accounts, the number of contacts engaging per account, the behaviors or interactions that further the purchase process, the unique patterns shared by similar accounts – it all gives marketers better, more solid ground to stand on when planning their activities.
In the healthcare IT space, members of the buyer collective at accounts can span multiple locations, various roles, some may even be outsourced consultants hired to support the process. The more knowledge you can glean scalably about these people, the more effectively you can market to them over time.
ABM for Healthcare IT Enables Action from Awareness:
By targeting relevant accounts, personalizing recommendations to specific profiles, and serving up relevant content, ABM practitioners can pump-prime a multi-branched system for buyer engagement and education. One recommended blog post with linked references to other posts and assets can be a rabbit hole through which buyers enter a deeper world of knowledge or consideration about your brand. Ideally, all these extensions of opportunities to engage are also tracked, so the more actions your targets take, the more insights you gain as a result.
While it’s undeniable that the modern buyer, healthcare IT or otherwise, is more empowered than ever, marketers can still exert healthy levels of influence on their choices. Not all content assets will be consumed by all buyers, not all touchpoints will be touched, but by serving up items your buyers benefit from knowing via ABM programs, you and your buyers both benefit from the actions your buyers take.
Of Course ABM Can Produce Leads Too
While on the marketing side, leads as an outcome of any marketing effort are likely to be the most appealing result, they still shouldn’t be the end-all for measuring ABM success. They are usually the easiest thing from which to derive a measurable report on marketing ROI, after all. But put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. If someone asked you, “do you want to be a lead,” would you raise your hand?
On the other hand, if you had a real, tangible need, and you and your team were exploring that need, and someone asked you, “would you like us to give you some further help / answers around that need,” wouldn’t you raise your hand then? That’s the kind of lead a good ABM program cultivates. The insights gained from early efforts help to better identify or refine the answers or appeals to the buyer’s needs. There’s recognition, understanding, and then outreach for continued support. Your ABM program can drive to direct “do you need help” calls to action, or it can nurture buyers to come to that conclusion on their own, but the seeds are planted either way.
In other words, ABM doesn’t just create leads, it generates leads with purpose.
Overall, the benefits of ABM for healthcare IT go far beyond just what’s covered in this post. Again, the key to effective healthcare IT marketing, if it were a literal key, would be complicated and full of unique components. With ABM, though, you have all the mechanisms you need to pull the insights and actions together that are necessary for unlocking success.
If you’re looking for more answers on how ABM could work for you, you can learn more here.