The Need for Nurture: B2B Healthcare and the Importance of Customer Nurture Journey Maps

Jan 04, 2018 | 3  min
author Pyxl Development

Today’s digitally-evolving B2B healthcare buyers consume information in a variety of ways, and each modern consumer has a unique decision-making timeline and path. One pharmaceuticals buyer may have received a colleague recommendation, and only needs to do brief research before booking an appointment with sales. Another may need a more drawn out process, researching generic phrases, visiting websites, calling references and eventually buying after being re-targeted several times. In simpler words, the path to purchase may require minimal time and impressions or the learning curve could be greater and could require significant research and time on their end.

Regardless of the varying “journeys” to purchase, it’s vital to the success of your company to track this process to know how to meet each healthcare organization representative where they are in their unique journey; serving up the right content at the right time and helping to influence them along this purchase pathway. Typically, a customer journey map includes the thoughts, feelings and influences of potential buyers before they make a purchase, allowing a marketing team to better understand how to target a potential customer, hopefully resulting in that potential customer becoming a sold one.

But what about the journey of buyers post-purchase?

We argue that for healthcare organizations, mapping the actions, feelings and thoughts of customers post-purchase is just as important (if not more) than guiding them through the buying process. Below we detail why this process is worth the time and effort and we provide a step-by-step guide to creating your own post-purchase map, or as well call it, a Customer Nurture Journey Map.

Why Nurture?

Customer lifetime value

In many industries, but especially healthcare, it’s more effective to keep a current customer than to woo a new one. In fact, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. In addition, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20 percent. Investing in the long-term benefits of a loyal customer is well worth the effort, financially.

Customers are your best advocates

Having truly engaged customers automatically helps bring in new customers. How do you make purchasing decisions? Do you look at company reviews? Were you referred by a colleague? Have you heard through the grapevine that this is “the best product?” Consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based on the experiences of others.

“[B2B] Buyers cited their peers and colleagues as the third most important resource (behind “web search” and “vendor websites”) that helped inform them during the start of the purchase process. Forty-two percent of respondents listed peers and colleagues as their top source of information.” -DemandGen, 2017 B2B Buyer’s Survey Report

Also, 67% of respondents said reviews were a “very important” consideration, a 12% increase from last year.

When a client is sold on a product, they are your best advocates. Don’t minimize the value of this.

Create your own nurture map

Like any successful marketing campaign, creating a informative customer nurture journey map starts with doing research.

Step 1: Do your Research

Collect research about the actions, feelings, thoughts, pain-points and influences of current customers. This can be done in many ways (and we suggest employing several) including:

  • Running surveys that address these points of information
  • Holding interviews
  • Combing through historical documentation
  • Pulling social media reviews
  • Conducting a competitive analysis

In this step, it’s important to consider the reasoning of the customer during the buying process as well as in later stages, including awareness, confidence, loyalty and advocacy.

Ask customers why they continue to be loyal customers. Ask them what marketing tools they currently use to stay up-to-date with company news. Get to know if and why they might recommend your product or service to a colleague. Keep in mind that sometimes, it’s not good news. But this research can help you determine how to fix a problem or confirm that you’re connecting with customers in all the right ways.

Step 2: Evaluate your current marketing

The next step in creating a nurture map is to look at your current marketing efforts and note how tools and messaging either address or do not address the needs of your current clients. An example of how you might format this is shown below:

In the example of the nurture map shown above, you can see an evaluation of the current marketing efforts (or lack thereof) of each stage of the post-buying journey. This is a clear, visual representation of where you are successfully addressing the needs of consumers post nurture, and conversely, where you are lacking.

Step 3: Fill in the gaps

The next step of a consumer nurture map is to implement the findings above. Knowing what your customers need from you and where you need to change your marketing to fill that gap is worthless without applying that knowledge. Think about creating a strategy with campaigns focused on addressing these findings or partner with experts to help you strategize and execute (us)!

Regardless of how you chose to use the information gathered in a customer nurture journey map, being aware of existing customer’s thoughts, concerns and needs is extremely important to retaining them and attracting new customers. Interested but not sure how to start? Reach out to us! We’d love to help.

Updated: Apr 13, 2022

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