B2B Healthcare Marketing: 7 Trends You Need to Know

B2B marketing trends healthcare enterprises need to know to resonate with healthcare professionals, policymakers, purchasers, and more.

Ideas Collide
By Ideas Collide
Photo: Design by Kendra Dingley, Syed Deenah

The B2B healthcare industry is rapidly evolving and requires both agility and innovation. With more than 12,000 health tech startups catering to the global healthcare market, as reported by CB Insights, and a robust $300 billion valuation estimated by Deloitte, the stakes have never been higher.

To truly flourish, B2B healthcare enterprises must deploy sophisticated marketing strategies that resonate with and sway healthcare professionals, policymakers, and purchasers.

In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, time-honored sales approaches such as in-person interactions, exhibitions, and symposiums have receded, giving way to more strategic, digital maneuvers.

As the landscape shifts, we turn our attention to these seven critical market trends in healthcare that you can definitely use to up your marketing game this year!

Quick Guide


1. The Rise of Account-Based Marketing

Let’s kick things off with Account-Based Marketing, or ABM. In the healthcare industry, ABM is no longer a buzzword — it’s a must-have.

What’s ABM, you ask?

Well, imagine focusing your marketing efforts like a laser on high-value accounts with tailor-made campaigns. That’s ABM for you.

Now, what does this mean for B2B healthcare marketing?

With ABM, you’re not just shooting in the dark; you’re making every shot count. It’s all about precision and personalization.

For example, suppose you’re working for a tech company that has developed an innovative medical billing system. In this case, ABM can play a crucial role in tailoring specific campaigns to different stakeholders within hospitals.

When targeting CFOs, your campaign emphasizes the cost-saving benefits of the software. Highlight how implementing your system can lead to more efficient financial management, reduced administrative costs, and improved revenue cycles.

On the other hand, when targeting the billing department, your campaign might focus on the user-friendly and intuitive interface of the software, along with its powerful features. Highlight how it simplifies the billing process, reduces errors, and increases accuracy.

By tailoring your campaigns to address the specific pain points and priorities of each stakeholder group, you can effectively engage and resonate with them on a more personal level. To summarize, ABM is effective for B2B healthcare marketing because it helps enable the following:

  • Customization: Speaking directly to the specific needs and interests of your target accounts.
  • Efficiency: Cutting through the noise and getting straight to the decision-makers.
  • Measurement: It’s easier to measure success when you know exactly who you’re engaging with.
  • Relationship Building: ABM helps in building long-term, valuable relationships with customers.

2. The Power of Social Media in Healthcare

In 2023, social media is not just for selfies and viral videos; it’s a serious tool for B2B healthcare marketing.

With nearly 4 billion people on social media, this is where your customers are, and this is where you need to be.

So how can healthcare companies wield the power of social media? Let’s break it down:

1. Demand Generation: The sheer number of people using social media platforms presents a tremendous opportunity for healthcare companies. By leveraging these platforms, businesses can effectively reach and influence patients, encouraging them to seek specific products or services from hospitals and doctors.

This approach works particularly well for medicines, subscription-based services, and other healthcare products.

2. Sales Outreach and Efficiency: LinkedIn, in particular, has emerged as a powerful tool for B2B healthcare marketing. Its professional network allows companies to research and learn about their potential customers before initiating direct connections.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator further enhances this capability, providing valuable insights and data to streamline outreach efforts. With access to background information, professional history, and shared connections, healthcare companies can personalize their sales outreach, improving the chances of meaningful engagements and conversions.

In addition to demand generation and sales outreach, social media offers several other advantages for B2B healthcare marketing:

  • Visibility and Brand Awareness:
    Being active on social media platforms puts your healthcare brand in front of a vast audience, enhancing visibility.
  • Engagement and Feedback: Social media facilitates direct interaction and engagement with end-users, providing an opportunity to address their queries, offer support, and gain valuable feedback. This engagement not only strengthens the customer-company relationship but also helps companies understand customer needs and preferences more effectively.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Social media offers a more cost-effective alternative to traditional marketing channels (like TV and radio), allowing for a larger audience reach at a fraction of the cost.
  • Inbound Marketing through Content Sharing: Share content like podcasts, blogs, and videos to attract and educate your audience, paving the way for a streamlined sales process.
  • Thought Leadership: Establish your brand as an authority in the healthcare space by sharing informative content and participating in discussions.

3. Harnessing Content Marketing and SEO to Elevate Healthcare

Alright, let’s talk about Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — two powerhouses in the healthcare marketing arsenal.

We live in an information age, and people are constantly looking for valuable content that speaks to them. But creating great content is just half the battle; the other half is making sure your audience can find it, and that’s where SEO comes into play.

With an increasing number of people turning to Google for information, including medical queries, it presents a valuable opportunity for healthcare companies, especially medicine brands, to build their brand presence and generate demand.

However, it is important to recognize that the healthcare search market is saturated with generic and untrustworthy medical information.

To stand out and win the SEO battle, companies must focus on creating authentic and differentiated content. If you cannot build topic authority, you won’t be able to benefit from SEO in this industry.

Two strategies we find great success for our healthcare clients are:

Niche Content and Targeted SEO Strategies:

For B2B healthcare companies, content should be tailored to specific niches and target audiences.

Instead of targeting generic end-user keywords, the focus should be on niche and low-volume topics that resonate with your buyers: doctors, staff in a hospital, etc..

Synergy Between SEO, Sales Efforts, and Social Media Campaigns:

An effective content and SEO strategy can also act as a supportive channel for sales efforts and social media campaigns. By aligning content with the sales funnel and incorporating relevant keywords, companies can attract potential B2B customers at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Additionally, optimized content can be leveraged across social media platforms to enhance engagement, drive traffic, and complement overall marketing efforts.

4. Tailoring Experiences with Data Driven Personalization

In healthcare, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it. Personalization is the name of the game.

Today’s discerning healthcare professionals and institutions demand bespoke experiences that speak directly to their needs and pain points.

Imagine you are a pharmaceutical company that has developed a new drug. Instead of sending the same information to all healthcare providers, you use data to understand what each provider is most interested in, and tailor your communication accordingly.

Here’s what you can achieve by implementing personalization in a marketing campaign:

  • Deep Understanding of Customers: Leveraging data analytics offers unprecedented insights into the preferences and requirements of potential customers, empowering healthcare brands to craft personalized campaigns.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Data-driven personalization ensures that the messaging is highly relevant, which bolsters engagement and cultivates loyalty among healthcare providers.
  • Smarter Decision Making: The insights garnered through data enable informed decision-making, optimizing the allocation of resources and bolstering the bottom line.
  • Optimized Buyer’s Journey: Data-driven insights facilitate the creation of personalized touchpoints across the sales process, ensuring a seamless and engaging buyer’s journey.
  • And this isn’t just speculation; the numbers speak for themselves. Gartner reports that 79% of executives say using data-driven insights enhances customer experience. And according to Salesforce, a whopping 88% of B2B marketers are using analytics to optimize customer experience.In other words, it’s the ultimate customization tool in your healthcare marketing toolkit.

5. Building Bridges: Strengthening B2B Connections with Healthcare Providers

When it comes to B2B healthcare marketing, the heart of success lies in the relationships you build with healthcare providers. A strong bond with healthcare providers means more trust, and trust is the currency in healthcare.

Let’s dive into how we can make these connections even stronger in 2023.

Understanding the Lay of the Land — The Sales Cycle

Before we start shooting in the dark, let’s understand what we’re dealing with. The sales cycle in healthcare is kind of like a marathon: It’s long.

Knowing what each phase entails and aligning marketing strategies to match can put you in the lead.

The Power of Word of Mouth — Leverage Referrals and Collaborations

You know what’s more powerful than telling someone how great you are? Having someone else say it!

Encouraging those who’ve benefited from your products or services to spread the word can be gold. Also, don’t be an island — collaborate with others in the industry. This can help boost your credibility.

For instance, let’s say a hospital implemented your telemedicine service and it significantly improved their patient outcomes. Having this hospital recommend your service to another healthcare provider can be more effective than your email campaigns.

6. The Power of Influencer Marketing in B2B Healthcare Marketing Strategies

Influencer marketing, once primarily a B2C strategy, is now making significant inroads in B2B healthcare marketing. By collaborating with healthcare professionals who have a strong online presence and influence, companies can humanize their brand and connect authentically with their target audience.

By using voices that the audience trusts, companies are able to create meaningful content that addresses specific needs and challenges in the healthcare industry.

This is also useful for breaking down complex healthcare solutions into relatable content, facilitated by influencers who already have the ear of your audience.

Influencer marketing offers numerous benefits as a marketing tool for B2B healthcare marketing:

  • Enhanced Credibility: Associating with respected healthcare professionals boosts brand credibility.
  • Precise Targeting: Influencers enable highly targeted communication to niche healthcare audiences.
  • Richer Content: Collaboration often leads to high-quality, audience-specific content.
  • Better Engagement: Influencers usually have highly engaged audiences, which can lead to more meaningful interactions.
  • Optimized Sales Cycles: Influencer endorsements can shorten the decision-making process for potential customers.

By harnessing the power of influencer marketing, B2B healthcare companies can not only enhance brand visibility but also establish a trusted voice in a competitive market.

7. Navigating the Shifts: B2B Marketing in the Post-Pandemic Healthcare Landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark on the healthcare industry, driving rapid changes and innovations. The post-pandemic landscape has ushered in a more hybrid approach to marketing. B2B healthcare companies are finding the need to be more agile, combining digital and in-person strategies.

Moreover, there is a renewed emphasis on building relationships and trust, as healthcare providers are more discerning in their partnerships following the pandemic.

Additionally, with the acceleration of telehealth and other digital health innovations, B2B companies must ensure that their solutions are aligned with the technology needs of healthcare providers.

An example of a B2B healthcare company that has successfully adapted to the post-pandemic landscape is Medtronic.

Medtronic recognized the increased adoption of telehealth and remote patient monitoring and responded by bolstering their remote monitoring solutions.

Additionally, the company made use of virtual trade shows and webinars to maintain engagement with healthcare providers when in-person events were not feasible, and then seamlessly transitioned into a hybrid approach as conditions allowed.

Benefits and Advantages

Adapting marketing strategies for the post-pandemic landscape offers several benefits for B2B healthcare companies:

  • Increased Agility: By reevaluating and adapting marketing plans, companies can respond more effectively to changing market conditions.
  • Expanded Reach: A hybrid approach to marketing allows for a wider reach, combining the broad scale of digital marketing with the depth of in-person engagement.
  • Strengthened Relationships: By focusing on building trust and fostering referral networks, companies can build stronger, more sustainable relationships with healthcare providers
  • Alignment with Technological Innovations: Keeping abreast of, and aligning with, technological trends ensures that B2B healthcare companies remain relevant and competitive.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve in the aftermath of the pandemic, B2B healthcare companies must be nimble and responsive. By blending digital and in-person marketing strategies, and aligning with the technological innovations and changing needs of healthcare providers, B2B healthcare companies can position themselves for success in the new normal.

The B2B healthcare industry is witnessing exciting new trends that are reshaping the marketing landscape. From leveraging social media and targeted content to harnessing the power of SEO, companies are finding innovative ways to connect with their audience, build brand recognition, and generate demand.

While we have explored some of these new trends in this blog post, it’s important to note that the possibilities are not limited to these strategies alone. Digital advertising, for instance, continues to be a powerful tool that has delivered great success for many healthcare companies.

If you have any questions or would like further guidance on implementing these trends or exploring other marketing avenues, please contact us. We’re here to help.