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Insights from Swaay.Health Live 2024 for the B2B Healthcare Tech Community

Susie Kelley
By Susie Kelley on May 23, 2024
Sway Health
Sway Health

Insights from Swaay.Health Live 2024 for the B2B Healthcare Tech Community

Susie Kelley
By Susie Kelley on May 23, 2024
Insights from Swaay.Health Live 2024 for the B2B Healthcare Tech Community

The Swaay.Health Live 2024 conference, formerly known as HITMC, brings together healthcare tech vendors, healthcare organizations, marketing agencies, media, associations, and healthcare industry consultants. From May 6 to 9, we attended the Atlanta conference, where we got an up-close look at what sets this annual event apart from the rest.  

A refreshing departure from the “conference-as-usual,” Swaay.Health Live lived up to its commitment to fostering open dialogue. From lively debates to workshops to “unconference sessions” where participants drove discussion topics with a list of questions gathered the day before, the agenda encouraged collaborative learning and critical thinking — and plenty of networking. 

Kristy Dickinson, founder of healthcare app Chronically Simple, kicked off the conference with a powerful keynote speech reminding us of why we're all here – to better patients' lives. As a rare disease patient and self-described healthcare disruptor, Dickinson highlighted the fragmentation plaguing our current healthcare system and reminded us that we all play a role in helping to pull together as one greater healthcare team.  

We came back with new connections – and more than a few powerful ideas on innovative marketing strategies that resonate with today’s healthcare customers.  

Here’s a sampling of our key takeaways. 

1. Get a Deeper Understanding of Your Healthcare Customers 

One of the biggest themes at Swaay.Health Live was the crucial need for healthcare technology vendors to truly understand the challenges, priorities, and buying processes of their customers. A panel of healthcare decision-makers provided invaluable insights: 

  • Don't just claim to be "best in class" - show how you are the best solution for their specific situation and needs. Demonstrate clear ROI and value. 
  • Healthcare buyers are heavily influenced by what their peers are successfully using, so having solid customer case studies and references is crucial for building credibility. 
  • Provide resources that directly address the key issues and pain points they are facing, offering a clear roadmap to cost reduction and efficiency gains. Agnostic solutions with “healthcare” slapped on them won't cut it. 
  • Build real relationships by engaging at industry events, not just selling. Healthcare is a relationship-driven market. As one panelist put it, be courteously persistent without clogging their inbox – it's wise to ask for a time to meet in person and carefully plan buyer meetings at a conference. 

The takeaway? Generic marketing won't work. You must deeply understand your target customers' worlds and tailor your messaging and engagement to their precise needs. 

2. The AI Imperative  

The potential of AI in augmenting marketing capabilities was a hot topic, with sessions like the debate over "Leveraging AI for Smarter Healthcare Marketing Campaigns" exploring responsible implementation to avoid misuse. Discussions of AI centered on it both as a marketing tool and a technology being adopted in healthcare.  

  • The consensus seems to be that AI-powered content assistance tools can enhance processes and efficiency when used properly with caution. 
  • There are risks around accuracy and bias that must be carefully managed. 
  • Healthcare marketers need to take the lead to become experts on AI use cases, capabilities, and limitations, in order to advise customers. 
  • Paid/premium AI tools are recommended over free versions with outdated training data. 

The bottom line? Ignoring AI is not an option for B2B healthcare marketers. 

3. Thought Leadership is Foundational  

Multiple sessions stressed the paramount importance of thought leadership content as the foundation for successful healthcare marketing: 

  • There is no good lead gen without thought leadership that provides a distinct point of view tailored to your audience. 
  • Thought leadership and top-of-funnel awareness campaigns must be integrated with SEO and other lead-gen tactics. 
  • Access to true subject matter experts who can provide unique insights on industry trends is critical, but you can’t just call anyone in your organization a thought leader – they must pass the litmus test for nuanced insights tailored to a narrow concern. 

Only pushing product won't work. Healthcare buyers want guidance from credible industry voices and experts, with teams looking more and more to credible media for guidance. 

4. SEO Has a Seat at the Table but Prepare for the Future  

In the SEO realm, the consensus was clear: adapt or risk being lost in the "sea of sameness."  The "Winning Healthcare SEO Strategies" session provided a roadmap to get your SEO in shape: 

  • Focus on question-and-answer format content to align with how people search using voice and digital assistants. 
  • Leverage video, infographics, and other visual/interactive content types beyond text for greater rankings in AI-powered search. 
  • Continually optimize for how search is evolving — semantic search, AI models, etc. 
  • For high-value pages, keep adding more depth and content to solidify their rankings. And double-check that you have a CTA on these pages! 

The key is to continually evolve and move beyond just keywords to create content that truly answers your audience's questions and intent. 

5. The Importance of Plain Language in Marketing Materials 

In the "Clear Path to Yes" session, speakers emphasized that clear, concise language is critical for driving action with B2B healthcare marketing: 

  • 89% of buying teams share marketing content more widely, so it must be easily understandable. You can’t assume that educated healthcare audiences respond better to erudite communication – in fact, studies have shown the opposite. 
  • Use simple language, clear formatting with lots of whitespace, and obvious calls-to-action to reduce friction. 
  • Reading drafts out loud is the best way to identify areas that need clarification. 

The gist? Don't let jargon and complicated language be a barrier. As one panelist put it, “Clarity is a competitive advantage.” 

 6. Understand the Healthcare Landscape: Topics, Trends and Tools 

A comprehensive review of healthcare topics covered in the media revealed intriguing trends and shifting priorities within the healthcare industry.  

  • Unsurprisingly, AI claimed the top spot with 8 to 10% of total topic coverage, while the Change Healthcare cyberattack is sparking a surge in privacy and security stories. Interoperability coverage began to decline, while revenue cycle management saw a slight uptick, potentially driven by margin pressures. 
  • Furthermore, insights into social media usage highlighted the prominence of LinkedIn as a preferred platform for healthcare audiences, emphasizing the need for targeted efforts on the platform that tie into larger strategic goals. Of health tech marketers, 100% are actively using LinkedIn, followed by YouTube (90%) and Twitter (90%). However, 70% say they are using Twitter less since it was renamed X. 
  • In the realm of healthcare tech marketing, leveraging leading tools and platforms is essential for success. With most health tech marketers relying on platforms like HubSpot and Salesforce, integrating robust marketing automation and CRM solutions is crucial for streamlining processes and driving efficiency.  

The selection process for marketing software requires careful consideration, with an emphasis on finding partners deeply entrenched in the healthcare industry and capable of delivering tailored solutions to address specific needs. 

Charting the Path Forward 

As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, embracing emerging trends, leveraging advanced technologies, and prioritizing customer-centric marketing strategies will be essential for staying ahead of the curve.  

By harnessing the power of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, B2B healthcare tech marketers can continue to innovate. Swaay.Health Live 2024 provided the perfect platform for incubating this kind of innovation with ample opportunities for exchanging actionable insights that will move us all toward driving meaningful impact in the lives of patients and providers alike.  

Susie Kelley
Published by Susie Kelley

Spot On co-founder and partner Susie Kelley is dedicated to leveraging technology to advance innovative solutions in highly regulated industries. Driven by the opportunity to elevate brands, she co-founded Spot On in 2012 after having spent 15 years honing her marketing skills in an agency. Susie leads business development with a personal touch, focusing on building lasting relationships with clients to meet — and exceed — their goals for business growth.

To learn more about Susie, visit our Company Page.

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