A Look at the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing at the HITMC Conference

Mark Bernstein
April 24, 2018

A Look at the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing

Recapping the 5th Annual Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference (HITMC) in New Orleans


A Look Back at the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing at the HITMC Conference New Orleans Cafe Dumond Beignets and cafe au lait

New Orleans Cafe Du Monde Beignets and cafe au lait, enjoyed by all at HITMC 2018

The 5th Annual Healthcare IT Marketing & PR Conference (HITMC) took place on April 4th through the 6th in New Orleans and our CMO and VP of Digital Strategy & Solutions, Murray Izenwasser, our Director of Marketing, Mark Bernstein and 220+ others enjoyed 40+ sessions, 60+ speakers and lots of informal networking opportunities.  The three-day event offered an opportunity for participants to learn about the latest in healthcare content marketing, marketing automation, event marketing, healthcare Public Relations, branding, media relations, and other topics related to B2B healthcare marketing and communications. See the end of this post for additional information about the future of B2B healthcare marketing shared during the HITMC event.

The Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing Panel

On Thursday, Murray was joined by three others in a panel discussing the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing.

  1. Burt Rosen of HealthSparq  – @BurtRosen
  2. Michelle McCoy of Audacious Inquiry – @NxtLvlBranding
  3. Nancy Ragont of CDW Healthcare – @NancyRagont


The fast-moving session was moderated by HITMC conference founder and organizer John Lynn – aka @techguy – and was essentially an open discussion between panelists and conference participants. The remainder of this post presents highlights of the discussion, questions from the audience and points out additional information that may be of value to those interested in B2B healthcare marketing topics.

Note: The following quotes and responses were culled from a recording of the video and approximate start times are included. 

Future B2B Healthcare Marketing Trends

“What trends are you watching as you look to the future that you are keeping an eye on and what are you doing in your organization to prepare yourself for it?”

Nancy (7:35): We’re looking at consumerization of healthcare. Moving from B2B to B2C because the patient is now part of our view. As opposed to the CIO and other leaders of an organization that we’ve traditionally sold to. We need to look at the patient and see what their needs are. And how they are reacting to technology.

Changing strategy as to how we advertise, where we advertise, how we go to market, how we do research.

Helping out customers know how to advise patients about technology.

Check out this blog post from another HITMC attendee Monica Stout: “Are We Forgetting Patients in Healthcare IT Marketing, Too?”

Michelle (9:23): People are starting to seek out podcasts and bring those into their marketing strategy. A good way to get started is to get involved with somebody else’s (podcast) and learn what the hardest parts are and follow their lead if it makes sense.

Murray (10:51): Instead of having a big pool of resources, we’ve organized people into ‘studios’ where people of like skills will work together and create a common set of methodologies and procedures and approaches. And the same with the different technology stacks, as will our R & D efforts.

In 2015 CMO’s spent more on technology than CIO’s did in North America. As technology dollars are shifting to the marketing side of the house we need to talk to not just the technologists and CIO’s, but also the marketers and the business and sales and everyone across the business.

Does Embracing the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing Require Breaking from the Past?

“If we want to embrace the future, how do we break from the past – break those old habits so we can address the future?

Burt (14:50): I’ve been in healthcare for less than four years and I came out of brand marketing. What’s amazing to me is the lack of understanding of how what everyone in the room does impacts people in the end. Putting people in the room is still a hard concept to a lot of people in healthcare. Most conferences will talk about consumerism but how many normal human beings will you see in the room? You don’t see non-healthcare people in the room talking about what they need and what they want. The industry looks at consumers as some far away concept.

The trends will be a softening of that (not looking at consumers as some far away concept). Some of the trends will be a softening. I might argue that the future is B2B2C.

Question from the audience: “On the topic of trends, how are you addressing account-based (ABM) B2B healthcare marketing?

Nancy (16:49): We are doing some piloting within our organization – mostly on the corporate side. I believe it’s one of the ways we’ll be able to get deeper into the wallet and into the relationships with the customer. It has to happen for us because as a reseller into the provider market, there is a finite number of providers out there and they are dwindling every day. It’s not so much about lead gen but more about getting a better share of the existing wallet.

Nancy (18:55): We used a small subset of customers within a specific region of the country and built out a specific plan for each of those customers.  The plans would include the activities the targets have done with us – like events they’ve attended. We look at their journey with us and then we map out the journey we want them to take with us.  And they’re involved with the process. So, it (our approach to ABM) may include a variety of activities.

What’s your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)?

Murray (19:58): We talk about ABM a lot. [Laughter] If you’re going to go down the ABM route then you need to be very specific about who your target ICP is – your ideal customer profile.  Otherwise you’re trying to bend to be everything to everyone – which means you’re nothing to no one.

Note: John Lynn noted that a survey completed by HITMC attendees contained a question on use of ABM and received roughly a three-way split with 1/3 of responses indicating they’re doing ABM, 1/3 looking into doing ABM and 1/3 not doing anything with AMB. (See 21:40)

Question from Audience: “How far along are any of you in terms of attribution modeling and getting visibility into the efficacy of each of those efforts?”

Murray (22:48): We’re talking about it [more laughter]

We’re tracking leads all the way through the funnel at a more detailed level than we have in the past. Where did they come from, what are the touch points and, especially when they become clients, going back and finding out where they came from and what was the pathway they came through.

Marketing Algorithm: A x E x C – Activities times Engagement times Conversion (See 24:08 – 24:38)

How does the future of the user interface influence marketing and how important is UI to marketing? 

Michelle (25:20): I think many people undervalue what a brand is and what that could mean for us and how people identify with it (brand). We’ve integrated video into our web site on the pages that people go to the most.

Note: Michelle talks about key aspects of incorporating video into you content. (See 26:21)

Generational Differences Impacting Your B2B Healthcare Marketing Approach

“Have any of you looked at the generational differences impacting your B2B healthcare marketing approach?”

Quite a bit of interesting discussion followed the above question from John.  You can learn more about panelist insights about some of the similarities and differences in marketing to various generations by watching the following portion of the video: 28:00-35:00. One thing is certain, all generations love the beignets readily available at the 2018 HITMC event in New Orleans!

More on the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing

The above is a portion of the information shared during the Future of B2B Healthcare Marketing session. For more information you can:

Check out the conference proceedings here

Check out the #HITMC tweets here

And be sure to follow all the great sources referenced in this post. If you’re interested in learning more about how AAJ Technologies can help your organization embrace the future of healthcare and all it has to offer, reach out to us using the form below

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Mark Bernstein

ABOUT Mark Bernstein

Director of Marketing, Mark is a professional with over 20 years of experience and an outstanding track record of achievement in B2B and B2C marketing. At AAJ, Mark wears many hats and oversees the marketing department with a focus on digital marketing including events, email, websites, social media, and lead generation.

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