5 ways marketing automation can assist your B2B healthcare company
While physical mail and word of mouth still have their place in the B2B marketing space, it could be argued that marketing is going digital. A lot of healthcare organizations find themselves using email marketing to generate leads and raise brand awareness. If this is the case for you, are you using the marketer of today’s new secret (or not so secret) weapon – marketing automation? There are too many great things about this tool to list in one blog post, but here are a couple of features that may help your company gain more insight into leads, making your marketing efforts more effective and your sales team more efficient.
1) There’s a score (and grade) for that. The best way for marketing and sales to start to bridge the gap that separates them in a majority of organizations is to sit down and develop a scoring and grading chart. Scoring a prospect’s every activity, whether it’s viewing the products page on your website, accessing a whitepaper on ICD – 10 or opening an email on your upcoming webinar (and believe me, you can get much more specific than that) will allow marketing to get better insight into which prospects are potentially the most interested in their products. While scoring models are very helpful, they go best when implemented in addition to grading. Defining what qualities an ideal sales ready lead has allowed marketers to set rules to run automatically in the back ground, raising or lowering prospects’ grades off of profile criteria. Profile criteria could include job title, department, region, specialty, or anything else that would be a determining quality. When building out your criteria, you can develop custom fields that speak specifically to the information you need, as well as the basics. Developing custom fields like ‘number of physicians’, ‘type of practice’, ‘interested in’, will help build out your ideal lead. Your sales team will thank you when marketing qualified leads and sales qualified leads move towards being one and the same.
2) Tailor your content to make your information relevant. Have you ever wondered how an email you received after filling out a form or attending a tradeshow can already have your name, information specific to your query and perhaps suggestions on other things that may appeal to you? Using marketing automation to send your email campaigns, you can tailor the message using variable tags. Variable tags populate information specific for each individual prospect or contact that has been captured via forms (also hosted in your marketing automation platform) or collected externally and imported to the system. For example, if you attended MGMA and want to follow up with prospects within a certain specialty, you could tailor the content to be relevant for each individual. Tailoring an email to be specific to the recipient’s name, company name, and specialty will prove more effective than a generic email with no real value.
3) Segmentation can actually be fun. Sometimes you’re developing a campaign and you think to yourself “wouldn’t it be great if we could target only hospitals with over 300 beds?” or maybe you want a list of all cardiologists who have purchased your solution for their practice. Regardless of the group you’re trying to target, marketing automation makes it very simple. Segmenting your audiences for marketing efforts allows you to send more targeted, relevant information and materials. Marketing automation gives you the option to segment off of one factor, several factors, tags you use throughout your website and overall campaigns, or activity.
4) Nurture your leads, it’s important. Sometimes you communicate to prospects who aren’t quite ready to make a decision. The great news is, you can stay front of mind with these people with marketing automation. The even better news is, you already have segmenting and personalized content in your favor. Marketing automation empowers marketers to set up a series of emails customized to send at a desired frequency, tailored specifically to the sales cycle. In addition to being able to customize the timeline of emails, you can automate the journey for every prospect based on activities they make along the way. Again, your sales team will thank you for staying in front of these leads until they are ready to make a decision. Remember the personalization? If these leads are already assigned a sales rep, customize the message to appear as if it’s coming from them.
5) You mean sales can use it too? Absolutely. Sync your marketing automation platform with your CRM so sales can gain insight from marketing efforts as well. Information like the prospect’s score, grade and activity history can be easily accessed in the CRM. Since you may want to limit who has access to collateral, content and emails in your marketing automation system, many will have sales user profiles to limit access. To keep the look and feel of your emails consistent, you can create email templates in your marketing automation system to be used from your CRM.
If you’re already using marketing automation and only scratching the surface, hopefully you will utilize these tips to help you take your efforts to the next level. If you’re not currently using a marketing automation system to run your marketing campaigns, you can find additional information here.