Does it seem like it’s tougher to get hospital leaders to hear your message?
More competition. Unprecedented change. Complex buying processes. And senior hospital and health system executives who are navigating the clutter of email, endless rounds of meetings, and constant interruptions. You're not wrong if you feel like it's getting tougher to break through the noise.
That's why it's so critical that health care solutions providers understand how to cut through the clutter and engage health care decision makers in a meaningful way to ensure success. In this article, we are going to look at some hacks that will help your organization to stand out from the crowd.
#1 See the Problem Before You Promote Your Solution
Solutions providers shouldn’t focus on why their solution is best in the category. Instead, focus on how it can help the hospital achieve its strategic objectives. Hospital leaders are not in the market for technology or “solutions.” What they want most from prospective vendors is guidance on how their solution can best support organizational goals and the need to transform.
This approach requires knowing what is important to the hospital. Annual reports, press releases and other public information sources provide a good starting point for individual hospitals. At a higher level, the top concerns shared by U.S. hospital and health system executives according to the American Hospital Association, are:
#2 Understand that Health Care is a People Business
Health care is about relationships and people. While ROI is important to hospital C-suite executives, they measure it differently than in other industries and focus on outcomes, patient safety and quality of care. They are looking for business partners that have a culture that supports this and want to work with people who feel the same way.
Solutions providers that are most successful in marketing to hospital and health care systems are the ones that certainly solve problems, but also humanize their brand and foster authentic connection, building trust in two ways:
- Emotional trust: The buyer feels that you have their best interests in mind and are truly trying to provide them with a solution that will help them.
- Cognitive trust: The buyer feels that you are reliable and competent. They are confident you are capable of delivering on the promise you make and that if they invest in your solution, it will deliver the benefits you are claiming.
#3 Right-Size and Segment Your Marketing to Hospitals
With about 6,000 hospitals in the US, mass-market techniques like large ad-buys don’t make much sense. This is a small, well-defined market. No matter who the buyer is (ie: CIOs or VP of Supply Chain, Nurse Executives, etc.), there is an association that you can leverage to reach them.
Likewise, within this small, well-defined market, rural, urban, academic, government-owned, non-profit, and other segments all have unique needs. Before executing a campaign, marketers should respect a busy hospital executive’s time by avoiding a one-size fits all approach. For example, if your solution works best in small, critical access hospitals, contacting the CFO of a large, multi-hospital health system will be of little value.
#4 Use Data to Your Advantage
There is a tremendous amount of data available on the hospitals and health systems that can help solutions providers navigate market uncertainty and changes. Players in the market that are able to harness data to keep up with and understand these changes have a distinct advantage:
- Uncovering new opportunities
- Knowing which solutions a prospect is looking for and which have already been implemented
- Engaging in higher value conversations with C-level executives
#5 Be Where the Buyer is
It’s important to continuously gain visibility and stay top of mind in today’s rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive health care environment. Position your solution and SMEs in co-branded lead generation campaigns, webinars, and podcasts alongside trusted brands that hospital leaders trust and pay attention to. Sponsored content and native advertising also maximize frequency among your target audience.
In addition, sponsor and speak at national health care conferences, like the AHA Leadership Summit, or smaller, more intimate executive events, to further connect with health care decision-makers and show how your solution can address their needs.
Bonus: Engage with the American Hospital Association
The AHA offers a variety of ways for business organizations that share our vision to get involved. Learn how we empower businesses to share their solutions with our members at this pivotal time. We can help you reach hospital executives and across every aspect of hospital operations and areas of focus and responsibility.