Does Lead Generation Require Viral Attention?

Lead Generation, Lead Generaiton Services, B2B LeadsJust like real viruses, videos that have gone viral are a big marketing hit and their success could tempt you try them for lead generation. On the other hand, just the term ‘viral’ alone should give you pause. As a business that offers support to healthcare practices, you should know how anything that emulates a contagious bug is usually a bad thing.

It still pays to be a little more objective though, so exactly what falls under the definition of viral in terms of lead generation?

Well viral, as demonstrated by many hit videos on YouTube and online personalities, is simply word-of-mouth at its most rampant and widespread. Its generating buzz at an erratic pace and, at least ideally, runs solely on the will of the masses. You could probably consider it as a more organic form of advertising. However, you should know that not all marketing and lead generation services are jumping on the bandwagon.

B2B marketers, in particular, should be forewarned that viral attention doesn’t always translate into best results. Look at how a typical viral piece of marketing actually works:

  • Step 1: Create a gimmicky video that attracts a lot of attention on YouTube (or even perhaps Facebook and Twitter)
  • Step 2: Watch it spread like wildfire across the internet, letting the raw attention do all the marketing for you.
  • Step 3: Wait, what’s step 3?

Simply put, you can’t just make a viral video for marketing and then expect it to end there. And don’t forget, viral attention works best if a lot people spread your influence around. Do you really want to ‘qualify’ that many people for your B2B leads?

Stop and just think for a moment, what is your target market? Your target market consists of medical facilitators, professionals, managers, hospital owners etc. Do you really need a spread-shot technique like viral in order to reach them? You might even be better off with niche social marketing (and even then, that too can still be an incomplete strategy).

As a matter of fact, even viral itself is not as authentic at it seems. Some owners of viral videos actually pay extra to the hosting site for more exposure. There are times too when the video content itself is 100% fabricated. And if you’re still not convinced, here is an article from Worldcrunch that reports about a French PR agency that actually experimented using fake viral influence. Below is a quote from the agency’s director:

Arthur Kannas, the brilliant inventor of Mars Kebab and director of the Heaven agency, says that ‘purely viral’ is a myth. ‘Advertisers naively believe that if they publish amusing or interesting content on an advertising page, visitors will flock to it as if by magic. That isn’t true. To make people come, first you have to prime the pump artificially, one way or another.’”

Aside from Kannas’ suggestion, you can also simply generate health leads just by getting your marketing back under your control. Use tools like targeted email or even telemarketing to reach prospects. And don’t forget, try to complete your social marketing strategy. Who knows, maybe with those tools, you can give viral a try. But like any virus, you should try to keep it contained and controlled.

Sales Leads – Balancing Between Promotion And Engagement

Sales Leads, Medical Sales Leads, Lead GenerationCustomer engagement has been given higher priority recently, even when attracting sales leads from healthcare organizations and medical institutions. And with social media leading the charge, many of the social networking companies are only pushing forward.

So far, LinkedIn has proven to be at the head when it comes to B2B marketing and sales leads. And according to Entrepreneur, recent changes on the website are already reflecting their insistence on engagement even in the B2B sphere:

The new LinkedIn website focuses on engaging LinkedIn members which will keep them on the site longer and entice them to return more frequently.”

Do take note, however, that social media by itself doesn’t automatically make up a complete marketing strategy for generating leads. If you take a look at any form of communication, most of them can be tailored to conduct one form of engagement or another. Furthermore, you shouldn’t forget your main purpose either. You may not want to do it so blatantly, but your objective is still a form of promotion.

The bigger question now is how does one promote one’s business when the idea of engagement seems wholly contrary to the ideal.

Well, the article talks about three things people should know about LinkedIn’s new company pages. But on third, there is where you’ll find your clue:

This change lets you prominently feature products and services above-the-fold on the home page instead of being hidden on an internal page. This change will give your products and services significantly more exposure to your LinkedIn community and encourage more interaction with your brand.”

They keyword is exposure, which, ironically was what many B2B companies had been primarily using social media for. Though don’t forget that, while the promotional aspect should happen through exposure, engagement should serve to supplement it.

For example, if you’re marketing medical devices and have placed suitable images of what you can sell to doctors, some of these doctors might have questions to ask. This is where engagement comes in but furthermore, it can go beyond comments on a company page. In fact, if your clients would really want to go one-on-one with you, a telemarketing call or an email exchange could accomplish that much more than just merely social media.

People have this mistaken notion that any form of product promotion shows that you’re just out to sell. You don’t want to talk or engage about whatever issues your target market has with a product or service. On the contrary though, B2B marketing calls, business email exchanges, and now B2B social media have always focused on transparency between businesses and customers. Besides, how else could you qualify medical sales leads if you don’t find a way to talk one-on-one with every prospect? How do you expect to learn of their specific needs and get an understanding of their situation?

This too is also another way of showing how engagement and promotion go hand-in-hand. Getting a prospect interested is something they’re both meant to do and helping each other is the best way to keep them balanced in the eyes of prospects.

How Different Lead Generation Results From Different Resources

Lead Generation, Health Lead Generation, Sales LeadsB2B marketing and lead generation requires resources that could depend on your industry and niche. Even you’re just marketing support or tools for standard healthcare services, there are still a variety of sub-industries under that umbrella.

Of course, variety is the spice of life and a distinguished identity is one the first requirements for attracting many prospects in lead generation. It just so happens that these differences will result in different marketing resources and how to best use them:

  • Marketing materials – While it can be argued that materials needed for marketing are worth pennies compared to the cost of healthcare services, cost won’t be the cause of scarcity. There are just some things that neither you nor your prospects expect you to have when marketing. For example, you would presume a supplier of medical devices should have pictures of the actual device but don’t expect as much from a compliance consultant. Regardless, businesses in either one should market along those expectations. Whatever is more naturally available to your business should be utilized to the maximum.
  • Where you market – The places where you post your content and materials will also be affected. If you’re into visual, sites like Pinterest will probably be more suitable for attracting health leads. If you like engaging medical professionals directly, social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and more specific sites like Sermo are the way to go. As with marketing materials, play to your strengths. When you lack resources to establish presence in a certain area (be it online or offline), it’s not a good idea to waste time making it a first priority.
  • Your marketing channels – This is heavily related to the places that you market. But more specifically, how do your materials define the medium? It could also require more than one. And even if you have content (e.g. statistics and successful customer experience), how do you go about transmitting the information? How much information should you even share without overburdening your prospect’s mind? Finally, how do you keep this information (and thus, your business’ identity) consistent across these different channels?

Now there’s a good chance that you might as well opt for a multi-channel approach to cover everything. But as stated before, even marketing across multiple channels will not eliminate the need to consider how the resources most naturally available to you will determine your selection. Mismanaging your different channels will only spike up the costs of your health lead generation.

  • Start with what you have most – If you have more visual resources, try to be as creative and diverse when it comes to presentation but limit it to channels and areas where these are more appropriate. For example, if you have a slideshow presentation, don’t just stick to SlideShare. Try turning it into a video or an infographic. If you’re using written content, don’t just be limited to websites and blogging. Consider telemarketing condensed versions or use your content as a guide to ask when surveying prospects.
  • Support with less specialized channels – Some channels are simply unfit to transmit some of the materials and content you have, no matter how you reshape the latter. So instead, try using them as support for the channels that prove the better fit. For example, if you can’t use a video, at least condense a few materials in one and then link to a website where they can be better presented.

Again, having different marketing resources isn’t so bad. What’s bad is mismanaging the way you use them so play to your strengths and let the rest provide support.

When To Use Telemarketing To Share Your Expertise

Telemarketing, Telemarketing Services, Appointment SettingMany products and services that support the healthcare industry do so by offering additional expertise. And contrary to popular belief, telemarketing is a high-end tool for sharing that expertise.

Although, perhaps one reason why telemarketing gets such a bad reputation is because it’s not used properly and not always at the right time. For example, if your expertise focuses on medical facilities management or compliance consulting, not everyone is always eager to hear what you and your people have to say.

This can be due to them either not caring or unable to take the time and learn anything at the moment. In either case, what you have is a problem of information overload. It can also give you a disadvantage. If you give them too much information, you’re in danger of giving away your entire business for free! That sounds like a sweet deal for some but in truth, it’s not exactly fair on your end. Your health leads need to be attracted first with the small facts they can easily digest and use the sales process to further and further increase their own understanding.

Here’s a basic outline of this idea:

  • Simple facts: Simple facts and simple statistics are understood by most people so start with those. Don’t just quote anything though. Cite research about common problems and bad processes that can be easily recognized by your target market. As for the best tools, you can use a website to put these simple facts on display or send out an email blast on a well-targeted list. In fact, a shorter message is often the ideal when marketing with one or the other. Also, make sure to include a call-to-action in the right places indicating that you know more than just these facts and can give further assistance via other channels.
  • Longer discussion: Some prospects may already have knowledge that goes beyond common facts and would like to discuss something more specific to their situation (that’s what the CTA was for after all). These are the types to skip over content and go straight for the action you called them to. So what are these actions? This is where the phone now comes in and the time to get your telemarketing services in gear. Make sure your telemarketers are equipped with knowledge that only adds to the basic facts you put on your publicized marketing materials. You don’t have to pressure your agents to learn everything but the purpose of having more knowledge is so that they can convince prospects to meet with your salespeople.
  • Getting a personalized appointment: Just like email, a phone conversation with a prospect still has its limits. Neither of you can afford talking on the phone for so long. This is the moment for sales to start stepping in and your agents to start appointment setting. In addition to that, your telemarketers should be able to record important facts discussed during the conversation so that sales can take note. Make sure they keep both parties aligned in terms of scheduling.

It’s true that putting information overload and telemarketing (or any form of marketing actually) together only produces bad results and annoyed prospects. On the flip side however, don’t forget that not all prospects are as ignorant of the common problems that your services and products hope to address. You’re going to have to market them all so it’s best to have a sales process that suits varying desires for knowledge and expertise. Keep your image consistent and carefully control just how much you share.

Using Stats For Lead Generation Still Requires Marketing Tools

Lead Generation, Telemarketers, Medical Lead GenerationHealthcare is never without a need for statistics. They’re needed for research. They’re needed for test results and diagnosis. You need them for lead generation.

In lead generation, prospects are easily impressed by credible statistics. Much of today’s larger marketing strategies make at least one to two references to them:

  • Event marketing – Whether you’re just participating with your own trade show booth or organizing the whole thing yourself, you’re likely to use statistic in your presentation. If the attendance has been expanded with the presence of hospital managers and professional doctors, all the more reason.
  • Video marketing – Putting up a video is an increasingly popular way to attract searching prospects. The standards of good video though are a mix of optimization and use of a viewer’s time. The video shouldn’t be too long which is why statistics make for good content. They’re small and easily presented in well-understood visuals. However, that’s pointless without the actual numbers.
  • Infographics – Speaking of visuals, more and more website marketers are employing the use of infographics. But just like videos (perhaps even more than videos), these require a lot of data for graphs, pie-charts, etc.

But be warned, prospects also have a lot of their own personal resources to test their reliability. You have to make sure that the numbers that you present pass their test.

Some might argue that such statistics are difficult to come by and expensive to produce. Fortunately, you can find cost-efficient alternatives using the same marketing tools you usually use for generating medical leads:

  • Social media – People say that the internet has increased the amount of available information and that social networks are the pinnacle when it comes sharing it. Looking at how it works, it does make sense. Publish the results of a single research on a Facebook wall or on Twitter and it spreads to over hundreds and then thousands of users all around the world. Familiarize yourself on social media, engage with people in the same B2B medical business as you are. You’ll definitely find a useful amount of popular statistics to back up your presentations.
  • News and current events – Following behind social media, you can also go straight to the usual sources of news outlets and online articles. Keeping an eye out on televised news and even reading the local newspaper also helps. Statistics are likely to be in even higher demand in the news industry compared to yours. That’s enough to earn them your attention.
  • Personal research – You can also conduct a little bit of research on your own. For example, you can start run a telemarketing survey targeting your own customers. The reason why this can be cost-efficient is that there are a lot of telemarketing companies available for low-cost outsourcing. Hearing your customers’ feedback directly is not only authentic, you can compare your results to that of the rest of your market.

Don’t be intimidated by the amount of resources people use for statistical research (even in the healthcare industry). Chances are, the tools they use to generate their numbers are the same ones you use for medical lead generation. And if you look at the bigger picture, it’s almost like a self-sustaining, self-evolving machine. Your marketing tools and strategies can be used to generate the statistics you need to improve them!

EMR Hacks – Use Telemarketing For A Different Kind Of Emergency

EMR Leads, Sales Leads, B2B Lead GenerationLast week, Businessweek had just reported a recent online attack on an EMR system. There’s no doubt that the event has begun sounding warning bells for both buyers and vendors in the medical software industry. If you’re a vendor, it’s highly recommended that you maintain your relations with your current customers by using telemarketing along with other communication services for improved customer support.

But first, here’s more details of the attack from the article:

As more patient records go digital, a recent hacker attack on a small medical practice shows the big risks involved with electronic files.

The Surgeons of Lake County, a medical facility in the northern Illinois suburb of Libertyville, revealed last month that hackers had burrowed deeply into its computer network, infiltrating a server where e-mails and electronic medical records were stored, Bloomberg.com reported on its Tech Blog. ”

Whether it’s outsourced or constructed from inside, your customer service should employ telemarketing in the same way you would employ any other medium in the face of threats to healthcare. The dangers posed by attacks such as this go beyond the fears of medical identity theft. It could also cripple medical processes that are already suffering from long, extensive documentation periods. It was the original goal of EMR developers to shorten such processes by via computer-assisted streamlining. That advantage will be lost though if hackers prevent that information from being accessed:

‘This story is so ironic — most people worry that their health records will be spread all over their local newspaper,’ said Dorothy Glancy, a professor at Santa Clara University’s law school who specializes in digital privacy. ‘But in this case, the doctors — in fact, nobody — can access these records.’”

If you thought this small practice had it bad, what if this were to happen to much bigger, like a hospital? As a vendor, your company has every obligation to ensure maximum security for patient info. Furthermore, you shouldn’t also be afraid to advise policies and continue support that goes beyond the software. For example, with telemarketing, you can try:

  • Telephone Advisories – This shouldn’t be automated with a static advisory. Both managers and private doctors are likely to hang up from that kind of robocall. Instead, use a real person to ask questions about your customer’s EMR security policy. Quickly identify problems and flaws in their use that they may not be aware of.
  • Company Hotline – Have a call center dedicated and vigilant enough to respond to any emergency calls about EMR hacks. You can either train these agents yourself or choose from a provider with extensive experience in resolving EMR technical difficulties and attacks.
  • Event/Webinar – Host a small event or a webinar that can help increase awareness of these vulnerabilities. Telemarketing can be used to send invites as well give a few additional tidbits on what will be covered. As for the subjects themselves, it can range from standard procedures to take in case of a hack and what prevention measures can be taken. You might even ask them to invite others who are also interested and want to be qualified as new health leads for your business.

Another thing that the report highlights is that it’s only more important to consider the size of your prospect’s practice. It’s still a popular opinion that EMRs and private practices don’t mesh together especially now that the latter are facing economic difficulties as an industry. The last thing they need is a vendor who won’t be there for them in times of EMR emergencies.

How To Use B2B Telemarketing To Help Doctors Serve Patients Better

B2B LeadsIn B2B medical marketing, it’s important to be aware of your market’s common needs so that you won’t just be hawking your products and services without being considerate. Just as doctors are called to listen closely to their patients, so too should you listen closely to your prospects whether you’re using B2B telemarketing or any of the other forms of healthcare lead generation.

Speaking of which though, are you aware of what doctors ideally want from any B2B healthcare service? Doctors are supposed to serve patients. Therefore, if you’re going to offer something that helps with that work, then their concerns should be your concerns. That means you should worry about their patients as much as they do.

So, what are the specifics of actually putting that into action? Well, obviously you need to know how well your products and services are helping them serve! B2B telemarketing just happens to be a very convenient means of acquiring that information. For example, are your diagnostic kits serving their purpose when the doctors are evaluating patients? Have the measuring devices you’ve sold given accurate data? Is your EMR being used meaningfully? Telemarketing can help you ask those questions and get answers.

You see all of this is centered around your relationship between yourself and doctors but at the same time, there’s a direct connection with the latter’s relationship with their patients. If the tools and technology end up doing more harm than good, it’s not just the doctor’s who’s in trouble. You’ll also get caught up in the scandal because you’re the one who sold those things to them! Below are just some of the ways you can help gather information to make sure that your well-informed about how your products and services are faring. The sooner you know about their needs, the sooner you can learn to serve them better by helping them serve better as well.

  • Phone Survey – If you have a current customer database, you can use the contact information found there to conduct surveys. Get the feedback of your doctors and identify common complaints. The feedback you’ll receive will not only inform your R&D department but it can also help you in other areas like customer service or your delivery model. It might even indicate the need for something you had but the need itself just wasn’t there before! (E.g. You just found out that your current customers are recently looking for ways monitor patient’s medications.)
  • Prospect Engagement – If you’re looking for entirely new customers, be warned that a single call may not be enough. You have to pay attention to any specific details that are unique to that single prospect. That’s the tricky thing about B2B. It’s much, much harder to generalize customers. Generalizing is especially dangerous if you have multiple services and your customers are looking only for a few. Save your breath and learn to listen first!
  • Call Center Support – Call centers can offer multiple services just for inbound marketing alone. You can use it to generate permission to call a prospect. You can use it to answer incoming inquiries alongside customer service. And speaking of customer service, a call center can expand the channels with which your prospects and current customers can contact you if they need anything else. It’s another way of learning about how your products and services are doing to support doctors in their work.

Getting feedback from current customers can serve to help you get more medical leads basically because it’ll tell you how to help doctors serve better.

The Prospect Of Negotiating When Pursuing Medical Leads

Healthcare Lead GenerationQuality medical leads must consist of verified information indicating that the targeted institutions or medical professionals are interested in certain B2B medical products or services. However, it’s really important to review why you need that information.

You see, doctors and hospital owners could have all sort of reasons for taking interest in your business. On the other hand, if you don’t know these reasons, then you might be at a disadvantage. That’s why you need to be careful about making false assumptions. You should never assume to know what prospects are thinking when you’re pursuing medical leads. You need to first hear it from the prospects themselves via healthcare lead generation.

For example, what if your company specializes in diagnostic kits but the primary reason why some prospects are interested in you is because you just cost less? You see, in a time when costs of healthcare just only continue to rise, both patients and doctors are looking for ways to make medical bills easier to pay. This can include the cost of medical tools and perhaps your business is being sought out is because you’ve found a way to be more cost-efficient compared to your competitors.

Your low costs in turn could make it easier for the doctors and patients to negotiate price. And according to these statistics from FoxBusiness, it seems healthcare providers are more willing to do that today:

According to a survey of Angie’s List members who asked for discounts from their doctors, 74% said they were successful. ‘We’ve heard some great success stories from members who have successfully negotiated with their health care provider,’ says Angie Hicks, founder of the peer-review website. “It doesn’t hurt to ask. You’ll be amazed at what you can save and still get great care.’”

See that? Now think about it logically, how could that 74% successfully obtain discounts if the doctors didn’t find ways to make their services cost less? How could their services cost less if the tools they used somehow don’t contribute to that reduction?

Obviously, it doesn’t sound like their patients are the only ones who want to negotiate price. This brings you back to the subject of assumptions. What you can ultimately learn from this trend is that you must discover the real reason for why medical prospects are interested in your business. Once you do, the knowledge can help you gain more marketing advantage!

In the case of lower costs, be more open to negotiating and show how you’re aware of the prospect’s needs to lower costs between themselves and their patients. But remember, you can only get that information if you manage to get them to express those needs. Get the information using a mixture of both online and offline methods. Set appointments if they currently have much time but would like to continue discussing costs. All in all, be careful about assuming what prospects want from you and be open to the prospect of negotiating.

medical telemarketing, telemarketing company, telemarketing, medical leads, B2B appointment setting

What can you do with Medical Telemarketing? Possible Answers to that Question

medical telemarketing, telemarketing company, telemarketing, medical leads, B2B appointment settingThe medical industry is a hard place to market in. With its unique environment, the usual marketing approach and tactics may not be as effective as you think. Some people rely on specialists in order to market in this industry, consulting with them to devise the best business practices in successfully tackling this market. Others, well, they outsource with sales and marketing solutions specialists in order to suit their needs. One such type of firm which is a good partner to have in penetrating the medical industry market is a medical telemarketing company.

The question still remains though: What can you do with medical telemarketing? How can it work for your firm? Well, depending on what type of company you are, then that all really falls down to what you need done for you. For example, you could be a medical supply company that is looking to be a service provider to hospitals. If this is the case, then a B2B appointment setting campaign is what you need in order to meet with your prospects and start gaining more medical leads. However, in some countries, telemarketing to hospitals is not allowed. Also, other hospitals may be on the DNC list so it would be best to consult your medical telemarketing service provider on what the best course of action to take is.

That being said, you can still target other medical-related businesses and market to them. Since, as assumed above, you are a medical supply company, you can market your products to medical supply retail businesses. You can do this through appointment setting, or even through e-mail marketing which medical telemarketing companies can handle for you. It is also good to know that even though they are called B2B telemarketing firms, they have changed over the years and have become flexible marketing arms which offer a variety of marketing services. E-mail marketing is such, and can be very good when paired with a telemarketing campaign to generate medical leads.

On that note, such a campaign would flow like this: 1.) send e-mail to prospects. 2.) filter out positive responses from negative ones/not interested ones. 3.) make follow-up calls. 4.) generate medical leads. As you can see, the campaign can start with sending out your e-mails to prospects. After that, you can start seeing who express interest in your products and services, then put them aside as possible medical leads. After that, you can use medical telemarketing to get in direct contact with these prospects in the form of a follow-up call. Next, your telemarketers can start generating leads based on the responses of said prospects, given of course that they meet your set qualifying parameters. After they are qualified, you can even go with B2B appointment setting to schedule face-to-face, or even phone appointments, with these prospects. Once all that is done, all that’s left to do is nurture them until they become sales-ready.

Medical telemarketing can help you with a getting leads, setting appointments, and other marketing solutions as seen above. Just make sure to find a medical telemarketing company that suits your needs and can effectively market your products and services to your prospects.

medical leads, medical lead generation, lead generation, medical telemarketing

Medical Lead Generation – A Combination of Online and Offline Marketing

medical leads, medical lead generation, lead generation, medical telemarketingThe online world has plenty to offer marketers who are willing to learn all its twists and turns. That being said, one way to do this is through social media marketing. But what about your other marketing approaches? Will you be leaving them behind? The answer to those questions is no. You’re not going to leave behind your other medical lead generation methods, rather, you’re going to take on another field where you can generate leads: the online one! So, here are some ways in which you can combine your online and offline marketing strategies to perform lead generation for medical leads.

Go with social media – One of the best internet marketing methods to generate leads from is through social media marketing. Here, you’ll all be about content and connecting with your target prospects. Since you’ll be doing this for medical leads, then it would be obvious that your target market is the medical industry. So, how do you start? First off, you’ll need to start exploring social networks and how you can connect with your prospects via these websites. What you need to do is to generate interest within your product/service and start gaining followers and fans. Once you have an audience that seems interested, you’ll need to start connecting with them so that you can plan your approach. Social media is also a place where you can connect with your audience and get feedback in regards to your brand. And given that chance, you can address their inquiries in real-time, or clear up confusions in a venue that is open to the public which in turn gives you some positive publicity.

Follow-up with email marketing – After you’ve tackled social media and have generated an interest in your brand, then it’s time to get closer to your medical leads. For this, you can make use of email marketing. Introduce yourself and your company on a much more direct and personal basis and start exchanging a string of emails with them. Soon enough, you’ll be addressing their problems and other issues they have with their current providers, or they may seek your professional advice in regards to business matters. This is the part where you’ve already begun to nurture your medical leads, and this is the part that matters most in the process. Nurture your leads properly and they could yield sales in the future.

Email marketing: Done. Medical telemarketing: start – The next step in this process, after you’ve connected with your prospects via social media and email, is to give them a ring. If you’ve nurtured your medical leads well, then this should be part of the deciding factor for them. Grab the opportunity that their interest in your brand provides and get one of your sales representatives to start talking with your prospects. Once contact has been made, it would be time to go with appointment setting. If your prospects are really interested and show signs of buying, then seal the deal by setting up an appointment between your businesses. Soon enough, proposals will be flying back and forth between yours and their company, and in the end, maybe a sale will come out of it.

Social media should now be one of your primary methods of finding new businesses to work with; consider it as something essential to your current lead generation strategies. What do you think about mixing offline and online marketing approaches?