The difference between vendors

I am going to keep this entry short and to the point. I just arrived back from the eHealth conference in Quebec. I spoke to roughly 90 some companies (exhibitors, guests, etc) across acute, primary and other verticals. What struck me on the plane ride back home was that these vendors could be divided into two main groups.

1) Software/Hardware/Services Vendors that sold stuff into healthcare as a vertical, and;

2) Healthcare vendors who only sold stuff into healthcare.

The reason I mention this is that the difference in domain knowledge, correct marketing message, understanding end users, etc was very very different. Healthcare vendors were in the minority, but they had a much better understanding of their marketplace.

I am not suggesting that vendors who treat healthcare as “just another vertical” should change their strategy, I just think they should stop wondering why they don’t hit their sales target numbers.

I am sure there are more perspectives on the vendor market, and I would sure love to hear what others think.


One response to “The difference between vendors

  1. As you know, part of our previous market research involved asking healthcare IT decision makers (typically CIOs) their views regarding the vendors that were selling to them. The biggest complaint that we heard several years running was that many vendors didn’t understand the potential customer’s operating environment (health as distinct from other industries, Canadian vs US health sectors, etc). They expect vendors to come to the table with a basic understanding of the health sector, how they procure products and services, and some idea of each potential customer’s specific pain points. Sadly, based on their feedback, it appears that many vendors pitching to these decision makers came to the table with very little of this knowledge.

    Interestingly, when asked if they were wanted to hear about solutions that offered benefits in other industries they said “yes”. They did say, though, that they expect vendors to show them how the problem they solved in another industry was similar to a problem they face. These decision makers do not expect to have to figure out the similarity themselves.


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