Is Your Marketing Paying Off?
Before we get into healthcare buyer personas, let’s say you’re creating a website for your new product or service for physician practices, hospital systems, or payors. You’ve written product copy that hits all the clinical selling points. Or if you’re launching a healthcare IT product, you’ve covered the technical specs. The tone reflects your brand. You’ve produced brochures. A few case studies. An ebook or a white paper. You’ve spent thousands of dollars buying lists and sending out email blasts and letters.
But for all that effort, little happens. People visit a page or two on your site and bounce, never to be seen again. Prospects aren’t converting into customers. Your sales team hears “No decision” or “Call me in 6 months” way too often.
So what’s the problem? Chances are, it isn’t the web design or the campaign or strategy.
The real problem is that all this marketing activity is based on a series of unquestioned assumptions and a bunch of educated guesses about your buyer.
So what’s the solution?
It’s simple. Instead of guessing, base your marketing on what your target buyer really needs and wants by talking to them. Build a real picture of the person who is going to buy your product, based on interviews with real people. Then give your persona a name. Give them a photo. Make them come to life.
Done right, a buyer persona captures actionable information about your buyer. It focuses your marketing on your target.
- Job title
- Career seniority
- Job responsibilities
- How they’re evaluated
- What they expect to achieve with your product or service
- What’s preventing them from choosing your product
By the way, I learned about buyer personas in a training from the woman who practically invented them: Adele Revella.
Since Adele started championing the concept 15 years ago, the use of buyer personas has spread across B2B technology. So much so, you sometimes get marketing agencies and marketers getting into all kinds of anthropological details — like what kind of cereal does my persona eat. My take: you aren’t interested in the cereal they eat for breakfast. You’re interested in their buyer behavior.
Know where they fish
As you build the persona, capture where and how they look for information — in other words, the search terms, websites, peer groups, and media they use to solve problems. Do they go to tradeshows? Do they attend conferences? This is key information for your marketing budget and plan.
Then go beyond problem-solving. Find out how they discover new ideas to help them meet their performance goals. This is even more important for firms that are developing a new product in a technology market.
That’s because your buyers can always go with the status quo. To create effective marketing, your need to dig deeper. You need to understand what it’s going to take for your buyers to go out on a limb and champion your product to the rest of the organization.
Capture business drivers in healthcare buyer personas
For a target deal sizes in the 5 to 7-figure range, you need to understand their motivation – their business drivers — for buying in your product category. Is it time savings? Increased productivity while holding headcount steady? Cutting duplicate data entry? Fewer errors? And dig deeper than the surface. Time savings is rarely a big enough business driver for an organization to adopt 6-figure technology.
Healthcare buyer personas as a segmentation tool
Buyer personas help you segment your market. Let’s say you sell a healthcare IT product for application analysts who work for healthcare vendors as well as hospital systems. In both market segments, job titles might be similar, but responsibilities and how they’re evaluated will be different.
Buyer personas help you build more effective marketing programs because you’re capturing your buyers’ concerns and you’re using their language to market your product. And that’s where your marketing programs should start.
Image credit: https://flic.kr/p/4C85kT