2023 Trends for B2B Healthcare Marketers


By Mina Guirguis, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

A new year brings a new focus on trends.

While B2B marketers can try to follow all the trends, below is a list of three trends we’re seeing in the B2B healthcare marketing space.

These trends may impact you directly and they may not, but knowing they are coming will keep you on top of your game and up-to-date with the industry.

So no more preamble, let’s dive in.

Moving Creative Studios In-House

About five years ago, I worked at a creative agency. So the trend of moving the creative team in-house is difficult to see.

We are seeing a slow but steady shift away from hiring outside help for asset creation.

This is especially true for larger companies with robust marketing teams.

That’s not to say there isn’t a need for outside agencies, but more and more healthcare executives are realizing the benefits of bringing their creative efforts in-house.

So why spend the extra resources on having a creative team in-house?

As Tom Swanson, Engagement Manager here at Heinz Marketing perfectly put it, it’s the difference between owning a home and renting a home– While bringing on a creative team is expensive, over the long run it pays off.

You can customize an in-house creative team to your liking.

It’s a huge benefit to have knowledge and insight into the healthcare industry as well as a familiarity with the rules and regulations of advertising in the healthcare space.  This enables in-house creatives to prioritize and know what to look out for. All this leads to faster turn around and higher quality content.

So yes, upfront costs are a big pill to swallow, but more leaders committed to a long-term content strategy are biting the bullet.

Focusing More on Quality Leads Over Quantity of Leads

Healthcare marketers in the B2B space shouldn’t be too surprised by this trend.

Moving away from MQLs and towards an ABM strategy has been trending for a while.

It’s importance, however, can’t be overstated.

Focusing on just the number of leads has resulted in animosity between sales and marketing teams in so many businesses. Not only that, it has also wasted resources and money across teams. Spending the extra time upfront to properly qualify leads helps negate these issues.

Having a healthy top of funnel only gets you so far if those leads aren’t moving further along. Healthcare business leaders are realizing this. That’s why more and more businesses in healthcare are refocusing their priorities on different metrics.

  • Instead of Total leads they might look at lead to qualified opportunity rates.
  • Instead of total pipeline value they might look at pipeline velocity.

B2B marketing has historically been slow to change.

Focusing on quality over quantity is not new but it is something every healthcare marketer should consider in 2023.

Moving to a Bowtie Funnel

More and more healthcare marketers are realizing something very important:  A buyer’s journey does not end once the deal is closed.

Customer retention and growth is not a new concept, but in 2023 it is becoming a much bigger deal.

The traditional marketing funnel has become outdated and is being replaced with a bowtie funnel.

The bowtie funnel starts the same as a traditional funnel but the buyer’s journey continues after the deal is closed and so must the marketing efforts.

The post-deal-won side focuses on customer retention and customer growth.

So why is this trend important to healthcare marketers in 2023?

The most obvious reason is the economy and the “not recession” recession.

Acquiring new clients is difficult when overall spending is down. So healthcare marketers are looking more at growing and maintaining their current clients to weather the storm.

The less obvious reason is similar to the previous trend:  We have changed how we prioritize success metrics.

In previous years, the most important measurement of success to CFOs and executives was how many net new clients could be added. While that is still important, they are starting to see the importance of other metrics.

  • Customer retention rates
  • Up-sells
  • Cross sell percentages
  • and other post deal closed metrics

It’s great that the B2B healthcare marketing industry is moving in this direction.

Healthcare is about the people, so prioritizing and serving the clients and patients will always pay dividends in the long run regardless of the trends.

Have you started seeing these three trends? What other trends do you predict or see emerging?