Claim Your Piece of the Health Pie

Are you looking for your piece of the health pie? With the health industry being labelled ‘the biggest single employer of Australian’s’ it’s a wise move to take your slice. The health industry currently employs 1.4 million Australians and shows no signs of slowing down.

Health is seen as a daunting industry to many suppliers with the big question being – how do I get started with this unique industry? You may be looking to sell technology, equipment, healthcare products, hospital facilities or supplies. Either way, here are three important strategy points to take on board when trying to carve out your slice of the health pie.

Segregate Your Audience  

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows Australia’s health spending has increased from 7.9% to 9.4% over the past decade, with a total $121.4 billion spent on health in 2009/10. These health fund injections can be broken into 43.6% contributed by the federal government, with the remainder made up of health insurance, individuals and a 26.3% injection by state and local government.

In such a complex market is it essential to segregate your audience. A-ZGovBIZ suggests the following categories:

Social Marketing

The health industry is alive and kicking in social media communities. As communication channels change to adapt to new technologies, health suppliers in turn need to use these channels to reach their audience.

As explained by US-based NCBI ‘Social marketers face challenges such as increased numbers and types of health issues competing for the public’s attention; limitations on people’s time; and increased numbers and types of communication channels, including the internet.A multimodal approach is the most effective way to reach audiences.’

When approaching social marketing a community approach works best: try to engage with your audience across Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and any popular online networks.LinkedIn is an excellent way of engaging with direct contacts. That’s where ‘bought-in’ marketing lists can be used to directly engage with key decision makers.

Accurate and categorised contacts in aged care, hospitals and clinics can turn social media woes into marketing campaign wins. What you need is a list of the correct contact names and job titles of key decision makers. LinkedIn, as with all social media, is about connecting with another human, not with organisations. This person to person relationship is of upmost importance and will open doors you hadn’t thought possible.

Compete for Attention

Once you have segmented your audience, and found their communication channels, it is time to compete for attention. These strategies can vary from platform to platform. On Twitter, for example, pay attention to Tweets about upcoming events, articles or changes in the industry that might in affect buying cycles and decisions. LinkedIn is an excellent source of online communities, while it may also pay to subscribe to any leading blogs in the industry you are targeting.

However, it’s a two-way communication platform. Try tweeting about new products, advertising the fact you are looking for new health tenders on LinkedIn or launching a company blog detailing updates on your products.

Michael Bleakley is a journalist, communicator and marketing professional of 25 years. His career began in his early 20’s publishing tech magazines for education. Michael’s career then moved into online and book publishing for a global business publisher, then finally into database publishing and marketing at A-ZGovBIZ.

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