By John Lavey | Hammock President/COO

Marketers focused on reaching hospitals have a different lead generation challenge than marketers in other industries. In a consumer environment, or in larger business-to-business markets, you are fishing in an ocean with millions of targets.

In the healthcare provider market, the universe of decision makers is fewer than 20,000 people. Here’s how I get to that number. The United States has 5,534 registered hospitals, 3,231 of which are part of a health system, according to the American Hospital Association. Those systems have varying degrees of centralized purchasing. Even with five or six decision-makers per sale, it’s a small market controlling a huge amount of spend.

That’s why almost every conversation I’ve had in 2018 is based on an account-based marketing approach to sales. Consider: The traditional process of lead generation supported by content platforms and SEO firms isn’t really sufficient for the challenge faced by marketers to hospitals.

Most marketers to hospitals can get close enough to see their contact’s eyeballs. But that does not necessarily make it easier to engage them. I had a meeting with someone this week who noted that she knows the names, titles and faces of almost everyone she is trying to reach but is still so far from engaging them. If you know their names and faces, you should know their pain points and how your solution answers their problem.

Takeaway: Marketing to hospitals isn’t simply about generating a lead. It’s nurturing a sale over a longer period of time with highly relevant, helpful and timely content. Timely means two things. It’s delivering a “flow” of content to showcase your wisdom around timely information. It’s also about having a trove of “know” content—useful resources—that helps the prospects when they’re ready to make a decision.

Image Credit | iStock

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