While the impacts of COVID-19 have obviously left a far greater imprint on the healthcare industry as a whole, the business impacts of the virus on B2B healthcare marketers has been significant in its own right. This is especially true of providers offering services in generally non-medically essential areas like elective surgery, pain management, dental and optometry. As many put their businesses on hold in the spring and have now had to open slowly to put patient and staff safety first, the question of how to wisely invest in marketing activities to reach providers dealing with these significant business impacts has arisen. Below are three ways some of our B2B healthcare clients have responded to this challenge.
Be Creative With Your Message, And Think Long-Term
For some healthcare organizations, the negative impact to revenue from the pandemic has required them to hold back funds previously earmarked for marketing, and that’s completely OK. It’s an unprecedented time, and fiscal demands may leave little to no choice. That said, for some it may also be an opportunity to find funds not used for other planned purposes. One example we’ve seen is in the area of travel and conferences. As many of these events have either been postponed or canceled, dollars previously allocated for travel expenses are not being spent. This can be an opportunity to fund a marketing restart, even if the overall marketing budget has to be reduced. From a messaging standpoint, this can also be an opportunity to let your client base know you’re still available to serve them, how you can still work together, and build trust in a time of great uncertainty for all.
Consider Webinars, Other Virtual Events To Connect
As so many of us are working primarily or exclusively from home, current circumstances have led to the comeback of the webinar. Perhaps viewed by some as an almost “old school” digital tactic, we’ve seen a resurgence in its use as a replacement for in-person networking and professional education. It’s always been a great way for B2B marketers to connect with a professional audience, but perhaps never more so than now. At a time when sales outreach can seem awkward or unwanted, it’s also a great passive mechanism to get your message and value proposition across to prospects. Alternatively, it can also be a great driver for recruitment campaigns to find talent that historically may not be receptive to such a tactic.
Find Marketing Channels That Eliminate Or Reduce Wasted Reach
Even in normal times, marketers should obviously focus resources on only qualified prospects wherever possible. But in these extraordinary times where budget dollars are at even more of a premium, it’s critical to make wise marketing investments. Paid social prospecting is one such channel where this can be done cost-effectively. LinkedIn and Facebook offer the ability to go after specific job titles, interest groups, and in some cases, specific organizations that you may be trying to target. Taking advantage of these tools can not only help drive your lead pipeline, but also build an audience for future thought leadership campaigns and outreach.