Adapt your approach: why consumer segmentation is crucial for healthcare B2B marketing
Consumer segmentation is an essential tool for healthcare marketers because it enables a personalized and targeted approach for broadly and narrowly targeted businesses. With proper segmentation, marketers can react to industry changes and stay nimble in how they reach each of their target audiences.
Panelists from a recent SmartBrief webinar discussed the benefits of segmentation and noted that start-up businesses need to be aware of certain challenges and how to overcome them.
One of the most important concerns the quality of the data. Advertisers and marketers often use third-party data, which may be based on assumptions or require extensive testing to ensure it reaches the right audience, said Melissa Ruben, global director of advertising operations at SmartBrief, a division of Future PLC. Ruben recommends relying primarily on first-party data and updating it as often as possible. This helps to better understand the composition of the audience and the business priorities of different sectors and audiences.
Regardless of the source, trying to piece together the vast amount of data available and ensuring it’s meaningful to the current campaign can be overwhelming, said Rommel Fernandez, director of analytics at Fingerpaint. Data needs to be integrated around different kinds of granularity, like a universal identifier, and organizations need to implement processes and process governance to maintain data quality and integrity, Fernandez said.
How to segment customers
It’s also easy to overcomplicate segmentation, Fernandez noted. “It’s easy to try to get as much data as possible because sometimes there’s an element of ‘more data is better’. But when you add too many layers, you can lose the ability to effectively communicate information. »
To that end, marketers need to figure out how to create personas and functional groups that apply to as many healthcare systems as possible, said Amy Hamilton, senior director of marketing operations at Stericycle.
“Your segmentation should really talk about as many titles that could belong to these groups as possible, but not sound tone-deaf to certain groups,” Hamilton said. “It’s mind-boggling how to segment — at the system level, at the vendor level, at the management level. Once you’ve got that figured out, you can really start developing your personas.
Stericycle groups over 80 titles into five functional groups relevant to its services. The groups are defined based on the knowledge of the sales and account management teams of what these groups are responsible for in almost all healthcare systems. Stericycle also creates a character for each title group, as well as a larger character for the entire functional group. Top-of-funnel content is directed towards the functional group, while more personalized content is designed for specific titles.
Make the right choices
Panelists shared key tips for segmentation:
- It’s rare to get it right the first time. Expect to make adjustments down the line and put in place proactive signals that let you know if the segmentation is working
- Marketing is never at its best when it works in silos. Marketers need to work alongside the sales team and account managers to know what customers are buying and why
- Keep campaign goals in mind throughout the design and execution process, rather than just focusing on segmentation
- Make sure the segmentation will be easily reportable on the back-end, so you know the right questions will be answered.
Success and simplicity
Panelists also shared success stories of segmentation efforts, including a project where Fingerpaint worked with an organization that had first-class processing and wanted to find early adopters and innovators. The company was able to reach these audiences by identifying the right analog products to use as a reference. These products represented the target behavior, as well as its alignment with the marketing message.
“Knowing ahead of time what the end goal was, following it along the way and accepting that adjustments are going to be made…it’s all been factored in,” Fernandez said. “The valuable lesson is that the segmentation had to be executable by the field teams.”
Ruben noted that SmartBrief found success by having the creative team design materials with a specific goal in mind. “Just creating a general message that you’re trying to reach people in all aspects of healthcare won’t really work because it might not be applicable or might sound tone-deaf to some,” Ruben said. “You have to make sure that you’re really designing the campaign towards that specific target character.”
With proper segmentation, close collaboration with sales, targeted messaging, and an eye on goals throughout the process, marketers will have the best chance of getting their products into the right hands to positively impact consumers. Health care.