B2B2C perspective: Keeping the consumer top of mind in marketing
The traditional definition of B2B2C involves marketing through an intermediary—typically another business that acts as a distributor to the ultimate consumer of a product. Throughout the healthcare and health technology sectors, many companies create branded and co-branded materials that are packaged for an end user, which are ultimately distributed through another organization. For example, pharmaceutical companies use B2B2C strategies when they provide educational and consumer marketing materials to providers. Health plans take a similar approach as they create marketing campaigns to be implemented by insurance brokers and agents.
Even if your company isn’t actively engaged in traditional B2B2C marketing, you can still benefit by viewing your communication efforts as an extension of this approach. That’s because the very best results from marketing, advertising and PR strategies are often derived from focusing on the key benefits to the individual. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when utilizing B2B2C marketing:
Remember that your end user has its own needs, preferences and interests. Whether your company offers RCM, healthcare analytics or care management, there is a consumer at the end of the healthcare continuum. When crafting a brand messaging platform for B2B stakeholders, it’s important to include all of the hot buttons and benefits for the end user. Your audience is likely considering these unique advantages as they make their purchasing decisions. In the area of media relations, trade publications will want to understand how your offerings are going to impact the marketplace as a whole, including consumers.
Keep in mind that today’s consumers have access to a wealth of information and are more empowered. In turn, this drives greater influence. For instance, patients are self-diagnosing through mobile applications and online resources, and making medication recommendations to their providers based on pharmaceutical advertising. This influence is even greater as the industry is shifting its focus toward patient-centered care and greater individual accountability for healthcare decisions.
Adapt your marketing communications to industry trends. There is also a move toward self-service health insurance purchasing through online exchanges and away from employer-sponsored coverage thanks to PPACA. This causes consumers to become more actively involved in the purchasing of healthcare products and services than ever before—whether they make these decisions directly or provide input to a third-party.
Microtarget your campaigns. Unique differences must be considered based on individual preferences and thought processes. It’s easy to forget when we put on our “B2B” hats that we are truly marketing to an individual at a business—not just a nameless, faceless entity. Like us, the people who buy products and services are interested in impressing their manager, making their professional life easier or more fulfilling, and acting in the best interests of their employer.
For example, your marketing messages may be different if you are marketing to a CFO versus a CMO. These basic needs and preferences can be tapped into through research that provides an advanced understanding of the stakeholders involved in any purchasing decision. For highly-effective, integrated campaigns, consider using a marketing automation tool that includes increased lead nurturing, micro-level web analytics and personalized content that drives a greater return on investment.
Whether an organization is marketing a technology platform, a medical device or a healthcare service, this approach to keeping the individual top of mind (whether that person is an executive or healthcare consumer) will ultimately drive more impactful and effective marketing efforts.