Why ABM Matters More Than Ever

In Healthcare, ABM Matters More Than Ever

This post reviews how decisions are made, why buyers don’t engage with you until it’s late in their buying process, why the traditional B2B model doesn’t work well and why ABM can help. And why healthcare technology marketers need to take action.

How Decisions Are Made

So, let’s spend a bit of time thinking about how decisions are made.

Why ABM Matters
Figure 1 – How decisions are made by B2B buyers (Source: Gartner)

This chart is based on research conducted by the Corporate Executive Board, which is part of Gartner. This survey was conducted across 1000s of B2B customers.

They asked the Buyer Collective, the group within any organization that’s involved in purchasing, what are the stages that they go through in making a decision. And how hard was it to decide at each stage?

There are three stages: The problem definition stage; the solution identification stage, and the selection of the supplier.

Defining the problem is a tough thing for the group to do, and there’s a lot of friction at this point.

Where they have the greatest challenge is in actually determining and defining the solution, i.e. the way they’re going to go about solving their particular problem. Actually, picking the vendor is a relatively easy process.

The B2B Marketer’s Obvious Challenge

We can make the greatest impact on the decision earlier in the process. If we can help the customer define the solution, they will help them through the hardest part of the process. Suffice to say, we will also be in a better position to influence the choice of vendor. Duh!

However, we are not brought into it until much later. We are typically not brought in until buyers are 66 to 90% way through their journey. In fact, 57% of buyers have finished with the purchase process before they reach out to a vendor.

They have made a decision about who they’re going to go with before they talk to you.

Our Current Marketing Model Is Flawed

Figure 2 – The Traditional Marketing Model

This depicts our typical marketing model. The top of the funnel is all about getting at-bats and creating awareness. We all use the same techniques to do that. Then we have tactics for driving deals through the funnel.

The issue I have with this traditional B2B model is that is designed around how we sell, not how customers actually buy. That’s a fundamental problem.

And why, frankly, it may feel that your marketing is not working the way it should do.

What The Buyer Journey Looks Like

Figure 3 – The real B2B Buyer’s journey (Source: Demandbase)

The buyer’s journey looks like something like this. It is probably even more meandering.

The buyer may start out by doing some initial research into ways of solving a particular problem. They may tap into their social network and they will talk to people in their network. In parallel, they research the various competitors.

And eventually, they’re going to get to your website, but they won’t engage with you yet.

And then the buying committee reviews all of this research.

And then whoever is leading the process will start taking more active steps to evaluate competitors. At that point, they might register for a webinar or download a white paper.

At this point, they are putting their hand up, and that’s when they register in your pipeline and become active prospects.

This Is Where ABM Matters Most

We want to get hold of prospects much earlier in their process. And this is where ABM matters most.

With an effective ABM strategy, you will focus your resources on best fit accounts not wasting time on tire kickers, and most importantly…

…You will be able to identify prospects when they are researching and target them with messages that will resonate with them when they are defining the solution

In future posts, I will go into detail about how you can develop an effective ABM strategy for attracting healthcare prospects.

To get started, you may want to watch the full webinar on Foundations of ABM for Healthcare Technology Marketers.

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Originally posted on healthlaunchpad.com

Adam Turinas

Adam Turinas is a long-time technology marketing leader and entrepreneur. He is the co-author of the Total Customer Growth book and founder of Total Customer Growth LLC. Adam spent two decades marketing for Dell, IBM, Bank of America, and dozens of other major marketers. In 2012 he founded, grew, and eventually sold a healthcare technology software business and then created healthlaunchpad, a leading healthtech marketing firm that teaches clients how to use ABM.