Align Marketing and IT for Successful Health and Life Sciences Marketing

The importance of internal team alignment has grabbed the attention of B2B businesses across industries. The healthcare industry is no exception. As more companies see the benefits of collaboration across marketing, sales, and IT, internal alignment has moved from frontline tactics to C-suite prioritization. 

To better market healthcare companies, marketing and IT teams need to work together. Here’s why that alignment is important and how to make it happen.

 

Why is digital marketing important in healthcare?

 

In 2020, B2B ecommerce grew by nearly 12% across all verticals, with more B2B buyers making purchases from their home laptops and mobile devices. And that trend isn’t slowing down: Global HLS eCommerce is set to reach $435B+ by 2025. 

Over the past two years, businesses had to focus on reacting to fast-changing market conditions. Now, the most successful healthcare and life sciences (HLS) companies have shifted to a proactive plan—and that involves digital transformation.

Today, B2B customers must be at the center for healthcare companies. To make that possible, healthcare companies need to provide an optimized, personalized digital experience that meets buyers’ heightened expectations.

Buyers have always needed accurate information online, but now they’re more likely to want it in real time. To improve the ecommerce experience, 58% of B2B buyers want suppliers to ensure online product information is up-to-date, 44% want more user-friendly ecommerce websites and apps, and 31% want the option for digital invoicing and an easier way to contact a human for technical support. 

Optimizing the buyer experience—and ensuring it meets the unique needs of HLS buyers—is necessary for healthcare businesses to stay relevant in today’s digital world. In fact, 61% of HLS buyers said that their standards for how companies interact with them are higher than ever before. According to our 2021 B2B Buyer Report, 90% of B2B buyers would turn to a competitor if a supplier’s digital channel couldn’t keep up with their needs. The cost of not meeting buyer expectations is significant.

 

Why is technology important for digital marketing?

 

As B2B digital transformation becomes crucial to business success, marketing can only drive growth if it utilizes technology. 

Without the right technology, healthcare companies may end up using an outdated or dysfunctional IT infrastructure that can’t support their marketing needs. Or they’ll have marketing solutions that generate enormous amounts of data with no way to organize, analyze, and apply the data in a meaningful way.

Technology allows healthcare marketers to: 

  • create a digital experience that streamlines and nurtures the buyer’s journey
  • use data-driven insights and a seamless sales funnel to foster deeper customer connection
  • establish and maintain an ongoing buyer relationship

 

How should marketing and IT work together for healthcare brands? 

 

Marketing now requires more sophisticated technology and better data, and IT plays a crucial role in creating and optimizing the customer experience. Healthcare brands can ignite their digital transformation by creating a powerful alignment between marketing and technology. 

This alignment delivers an innovative, individualized customer experience, an elevated level of collaboration that accelerates progress, and an increased focus that fuels business growth.

Alignment is a process that happens with time, dedication, communication, and problem-solving. And the exact model of this partnership will be unique to each organization. It begins with establishing a partnership between the CMO and CIO, and from there, the collaboration between teams can grow, mature, and evolve.

 

What are marketing strategies for healthcare?

 

To get started, identify key areas within your customer experience in which marketing and technology interconnect. Bring together your marketing and IT experts to evaluate where your organization is and where it could go. In other words, take a look at your current challenges and opportunities.

Some of the top marketing strategies for healthcare rely on collaboration between marketing and IT. Here are two marketing strategies that benefit from a strong alignment — and the technology to execute them successfully:

 

Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) in healthcare is important for building and maintaining strong customer relationships. This strategy involves a collaborative approach in which the marketing and sales teams identify potential customers and create personalized experiences to convert them into customers.

Technology makes this all possible. A customer data platform (CDP) gathers all customer data from different sources into a centralized system to create a unified 360-degree view of your customer. Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology system that manages all interactions with customers and potential customers. These platforms provide a full view of your customers and their interactions.

Armed with this information, your marketing and sales team has what they need to build relationships, drive sales, and provide customer service. In this way, account-based marketing not only streamlines your internal processes, but it also helps improve and personalize the overall customer experience and contributes to business growth.

 

Content marketing

Content marketing involves creating and sharing digital content, such as blog posts, white papers, and videos. It is the foundation of digital healthcare marketing because you need content to support other marketing strategies like email, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO). 

Relevant content helps potential customers find your website by increasing organic search traffic. By providing targeted information, content marketing increases buyer engagement and carries leads through the sales funnel from brand awareness to research to purchase decision.

Healthcare content marketing can be difficult to manage, but technology streamlines the process. For example, a content management system (CMS) is a software platform that serves as a centralized place to manage, update, and distribute your website content. And digital asset management (DAM) is a system for organizing and sharing your organization’s digital assets across different channels. Together, this technology improves the efficiency and consistency of your content marketing efforts.

To take your B2B healthcare marketing to the next level, start with strengthening the alignment between your marketing and IT teams. With a deep understanding of the customer, as well as the technology and data to support and optimize the buyer experience, companies can truly transform their digital marketing for healthcare.

 

For more information, download “Solutions For The C-Suite: How CIO And CMO Collaboration Drives Digital Innovation” or our white paper on ecommerce for HLS and medical device manufacturers.

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Chris Hauca

Chris is a Managing Director at Avionos where he leads the solution offerings and practices at the firm. Chris brings over 20 years of experience within the integrated digital business and technology services space, having previously spent fifteen years at Accenture Interactive (formerly Acquity Group) where he built the commerce practice into a globally relevant offering.
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