#6: Growth Hacking Your Health Tech Marketing with Chris Slocumb

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With over 20 years of marketing experience, Chris Slocumb knows how to come up with innovative solutions to just about any marketing problem.

Her experience in technology from health tech to bio medical devices has made her invaluable in the industry.

She began her career in engineering with a degree from Villanova University but soon discovered she liked the business side much better. She loved working with people while finding innovative solutions to problems.

But she discovered that it was nearly impossible to find a marketing agency that would get on board quickly and understand the technology. They couldn’t communicate the big picture - the WHY behind the business.

So her innovative side kicked in, and in 2001 she founded Clarity Quest Marketing.

Clarity Quest has always had a foot in health tech marketing. But 6 years ago Chris saw it explode due to the Affordable Care Act and hospital consolidations.

And this is one thing that is so fascinating to her about health tech. The opportunities are always changing. Government policies and innovations are constantly opening up new windows of opportunity for innovative minds.

Chris Slocumb growth hacking

Hindsight is 20/20

Chris’s experience in health tech has shown her the necessity of marketing. She wishes that early on she had known how vital it was to explain this to her clients.

It’s so important to set expectations about priorities and budget. Companies need to be spending 3-10% of revenue on marketing. Any less and they won’t get their ROI.

If you need help setting budget expectations, Chris offers a helpful guide on her website.

Sustainable growth strategies for startups

Startups need to grow, and they need to grow quickly. But how do you do this sustainably? Chris recommends conducting marketing tests and experiments that show what connects with your target audience.

Growth hacking for startups means finding innovative, inexpensive ideas that work. Often this involves a little creativity but is more effective at engaging your audience.

Mindset shift for health tech marketing

Health tech marketing requires a different mindset than most other forms of marketing. The sales cycles are so long.

Unlike other industries with 3 month sales cycles, you don’t get instant gratification from your marketing. So getting feedback about your marketing strategies isn’t simple.

When you’re dealing with 18 month sales cycles, marketing requires a window of patience of at least a year. But you could expect to see a fuller lead funnel at around 9 months.

That being said, if some healthcare segments do see shorter sales cycles. The point is that you need to tailor your marketing expectations based on the industry you’re in.

Getting started

Before you ever start communicating to potential buyers, Chris says you need to know who you are. Take a quarter and determine:

  1. Your brand messaging

  2. Your persona

  3. Your target audience

  4. Your value propositions

Then build a website that knocks their socks off. Don’t skimp on this. Your website is your face to the world.

Once you have a solid foundation, choose one social media outlet and develop intriguing content for your target audience. To capitalize on your investment, reuse content and present it in different ways at different times.

Complex buying process

Health tech buys are made and influenced by multiple people. And not all these people are authorized to make the final decision. So how do you influence such a wide spectrum of people?

Personalization is key. For instance, you need to develop ways to communicate with doctors differently than CFOs. Let’s face it. They have different value systems by nature of their jobs.

You can personalize emails through a platform like MailChimp. Some platforms, like Consensus videos, create personalization through a simple survey.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to personalize your content. With even a small marketing budget, you can have a simple, organized system of personalized emails.

Pitfalls in startup marketing

By far the biggest pitfall is not reaching the decision makers with your content.

In health tech you need to be marketing to a team. If you’re only reaching one contact with your content, that’s not good news. All it takes is one job change and you have no advocate in the company.

And, again, you need to have patience.

That being said, if you’ve created solid content and emails but are only getting 3-4 interactions out of them, then something is wrong. You should be looking at forty quality interactions for every 4,000 connections.

How to reach those who decide

Executives are busy people, but they’re also the ones who cast deciding votes. So how do you make them aware of your potential?

Connect with mid level employees such as a director of a department. He or she may not have the deciding power, but they have a lot of sway over their executives decisions. Gear your marketing to help them be a hero in their presentation of your product.

Make it super easy for the mid-level employee to communicate your mission to the executives.

What you can do right now

The one thing Chris thinks all startups should do is create a killer foundation for marketing. And a lot of this depends on a quality website.

Create a big presence on your website. Big companies will be hesitant to implement your product or service if they think you won’t be around for long.

Make your messaging crystal clear and make it super easy to access. Invest in an explanatory video. What would normally be 100 words on a page now becomes a twenty second video with all the information they need.

Taking these simple steps make a huge difference for startups who need immediate leads.

Must Read Book

Chris recommends Start With Why by Simon Sinek as a great book to create clear messaging.

She’s had great success using the approach in this book with health tech marketing. In the end you’ll learn to communicate why you exist as a company (other than to make money).

Then you’ll be ready to connect with your target audience with more than facts. They need facts, but they also need an emotional appeal as well. For them this is an emotional thing because if you fail them, they could be out of a job.

As a follow up book, Chris recommends Find Your Why, a book that will help you brainstorm about the reason and purpose behind your business.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Want to connect with Chris? Find her here:

LinkedIn - Chris Slocumb

Twitter: @CSlocumb


Chris’s Marketing Budget Guide

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And, as always, if you need help with your marketing…

Let’s talk. You can book your free consulting session with me today.