When marketing is effective, it starts a relationship between an organization and the people who are interested in its products and services. One of the most important challenges along the way is finding the means to engage with target audiences, driving conversions and sales. In any industry, it’s vital to identify likely customers and develop a thoughtful strategy for capturing and holding their attention.
However, these tasks are especially crucial in a highly specialized market like the life sciences. Pharmaceutical companies and medical device firms must take into account a wide range of factors when composing and sending out communications, focusing their messaging on medical professionals and guiding them through the purchase process. By implementing marketing best practices for targeting audiences and using critical business intelligence, organizations can make their email and programmatic advertising campaigns reliably effective.
Defining and segmenting a target market
Catching the interest of individuals who are involved in purchase decisions for particular product or service begins with a clear perspective. Marketers should have a good idea of who these people are and what they need most. With a strategic approach and the right information, it’s possible to define key segments for marketing initiatives. Inc. briefly outlined some of the major steps that go into defining a target audience:
- Perform research to find out who your current customers are and what motivates them to come to your organization.
- Explore what audiences your competition is mainly aiming for, and find out whether there are specific groups they are missing.
- Consider what groups of people would most benefit from the product or service you are promoting and how.
- Take into account the demographics and personas associated with those groups.
- Determine whether the audience you are considering is broad enough and has sufficient buying power for a marketing campaign to be worthwhile.
When it comes to engaging medical professionals, precise segmentation becomes particularly important. Depending on their specialties and institutional affiliations, healthcare providers may have widely different interests in products. For example, an orthopedic doctor who works as part of a suburban physicians’ group doesn’t have the same priorities as a neurosurgeon at a major metropolitan hospital.
When developing a marketing plan, insights into the demographics that physicians serve, the conditions they commonly manage and the treatments they use most often are invaluable. This kind of information can be drawn from insurance claims, giving marketers and salespeople a detailed view into their audiences. With a peek into the top concerns driving a medical professional’s decision-making, an organization is prepared to get in touch.
Creating persuasive messaging
“Every audience has its own desires and pain points.”
Once marketing professionals know their target audience, they have to tailor their communications appropriately. Every segment comes with its own desires and pain points, and marketers must find a convincing way to drive individuals toward a conversion by showing how a product or service can help. For medical products and pharmaceuticals, that often means inviting a physician to seek out more information.
For marketing materials to achieve their goals, they must convey how a product will fulfill the audience’s needs. Healthcare professionals are most interested in products and services that will bring meaningful advantages for keeping their patients healthy. That means messaging should always emphasize clinical data that shows precisely what a drug or device will do for prevention or treatment, presenting this information in an engaging way that’s easy to understand right away.
Optimizing for the right channels
To build productive connections with potential customers, marketing and sales professionals must reach out through the channels they prefer. Among the 734 medical professionals who participated in the Healthlink Dimensions Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report for 2018, 73 percent said email was the best way to receive industry news and product updates or announcements. That makes it essential for marketers and salespeople to have access to a thorough and reliable database of current professional email addresses for healthcare providers.
In a physician email marketing campaign, the recipients are likely to glance at their emails on a mobile device in between seeing patients. That means marketers need to ensure their messages are easy to read on a small screen, with clearly legible text and a restrained use of graphics. Embedding eye-catching calls to action encourages medical professionals to find out more about the pharmaceuticals and medical devices that are relevant to their work.
Organizations can also catch the attention of narrowly defined groups of healthcare professionals through programmatic advertising. An algorithm that draws on user behavior to determine ad buys maximizes the chances of getting a message in front of precisely the right people at the most opportune times. If these communications are directed with quality data and designed to be intriguing to medical professionals, they can prove to be a powerful tool.
Customizing the purchase journey
Marketers and salespeople always have to keep the customer’s path in mind, providing enough guidance and support to keep potential buyers on track. Still, it can take an especially long time to go from first contacting a healthcare provider to making a sale. That’s in part because numerous stakeholders with various areas of expertise and priorities may be involved in making any decision to buy a product for a healthcare facility.
Sales and marketing specialists at life sciences organizations must keep these special requirements in mind and build a purchase journey accordingly. Medical professionals will always want more data and fresh perspectives on the clinical evidence. Offering an extensive selection of informative materials intended for different stakeholders at various stages can make a big difference in nurturing these leads.
Marketing and sales are always about relationships, but that’s especially true for life sciences organizations. Having accurate contact information, treatment data and other crucial details can be extremely useful when coming to understand the target audience for a campaign and striving to deliver compelling messages. With a combination of wide-ranging intelligence and strategic best practices, marketing and sales departments are in the best position to achieve consistent conversions and build up a base of loyal healthcare customers.