By: Alison Fetterman
Welcome to our next installment of the industry series called “A Focus on … What B2B Marketers Need to Know.” In it, we’ll delve into trends within specific industries we serve and our thoughts on how these trends could impact marketing strategies.
In this edition, account supervisor Alison Fetterman shares her perspective on the medical equipment industry. With over 10 years’ experience in related industries, she works to understand her clients’ goals and deliver impactful strategic marketing communications programs.
Q. What’s your overall opinion on the current state of the healthcare industry from a marketing perspective?
A. Over the past 10 years the industry has changed a lot—from increased U.S. government regulations to the evolving demographics of our society. Businesses that sell products into the healthcare environment are having to adapt the way they position themselves and better understand the buying process and their audiences.
Q. What are some of the nuances of the healthcare buying process and reaching the decision makers?
A. It’s an extremely complex buying process which makes getting the right message to the right person at the right time incredibly challenging. In the healthcare industry, you have multiple decision makers and influencers when deciding on what medical equipment to purchase. Let’s take a hospital, for example. You’ll most likely have procurement involved, possibly the biomedical engineering department, physicians and/or nurses and, depending on the expenditure, senior leadership.
You might also be selling to group purchasing organizations (GPOs) as more healthcare facilities look to lower costs by buying more or less “in bulk.” As a potential vendor, the wider your product offering is, the more likely you are to secure contracts.
For those new to selling into this market, it can be very eye opening to realize the complexities of the buying cycle. Here at Godfrey, we’ve helped clients navigate these waters.
Q. With the Affordable Care Act making reimbursement rates uncertain, how can marketers of medical equipment tailor their messaging to engage prospective customers?
A. Going forward, hospitals and other medical facilities will need to demonstrate measurable health outcomes as well as patient satisfaction. Any marketing materials and messaging you can create that focus on evidence-based research or value-based purchasing could make a more compelling case for your products.
Q. What opportunities are there to market medical equipment globally?
A. In nations with growing economies and aging populations such as Asia and Latin America, there is also a growing desire for more sophisticated medical equipment and medical devices. These markets tend to be less saturated with competition. A well-positioned U.S.-based company can leverage its brand position to expand into these untapped territories.