Reaching Out to Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioner

As the Affordable Care Act begins to roll out, it is time to recognize the importance of Nurse Practitioners to their field, and be aware of the key role they play in the lives of patients. In at least 18 states, Nurse Practitioners can practice independently, without the supervision of a physician to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medications to patients. Also, Nurse Practitioners have varying degrees of prescribing privileges in all 50 states.

As health insurance coverage becomes available to millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act, an inevitable doctor shortage gap will emerge. Nurse Practitioners will be the solution to that shortage, through independent practices as well as employment to a physician practice. As an influential healthcare profession, it is also the perfect opportunity to find ways to build Nurse Practitioners into your current marketing plan.

There are currently more than 180,000 Nurse Practitioners in the United States alone that work with their patients daily to make educated decisions about their healthcare and lifestyle. And with more than 600 million visits made each year to Nurse Practitioners, it is vital that they stay involved with the ever-changing healthcare world. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates the U.S. is currently short more than 9,000 primary care physicians, a number expected to grow to 65,800 by 2025. This shortage makes Nurse Practitioners a welcomed resource to many groups, especially because the patient care handled by Nurse Practitioners is wide and diverse.

Nurse Practitioners play an active role in providing primary, acute and specialty healthcare to a valuable patient population, including our nation’s service members, veterans and family members. Licensed, expert clinicians with advanced education, most Nurse Practitioners hold a Master’s or Doctorate degree and have completed extensive training for their position. It is also required that Nurse Practitioners enroll in continuing education classes to maintain their position. By staying informed with the unique concerns of their patients and being able to tap into their individual needs, Nurse Practitioners have been able to provide high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered care to patients across the country.

Medical Marketing Service, Inc. (MMS) offers a solution that allows you to target specific physicians, nurse practitioners, and medical personnel through email. As the leading email marketing service to healthcare professionals, MMS email marketing campaigns are an accurate, up-to-date and highly effective marketing tool.

Through the use of the NP-E-Mail (SM) Nurse Practitioners Email Broadcast Advanced Practice Nurses List, which includes Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Clinical Nurse Specialists, MMS can get you in contact with decision making healthcare professionals. The best addresses deployed through the best email service provider in the healthcare gives you an unbeatable way to market to Nurse Practitioners while continuing to be cost-effective and provide return on investment.

For more information about NP-E-Email or other email and direct marketing mail services, contact MMS at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit our website at http://www.mmslists.com/

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The Benefits of a Hometown Physician

According to a Family Medicine study, recent medical school graduates are almost five times more likely to practice in their hometowns or adjacent areas. It is important to recognize why this is an impactful decision, and has the ability to make drastic improvements in the level of patient care.

Oftentimes, a baby boomer returns home to care for elderly parents. However, younger graduates are moving back to their hometown as well for a multitude of different reasons. Deep roots in the community and the ability to provide medical services to a community you are connected with are two of the strongest reasons graduates are returning home. Also, as job searches begin to take considerably longer, it is comforting to be looking for a career in a community you are familiar with and care for on a personal level.

Regardless of the reasons why medical school graduates are returning home to practice, the benefit it offers to the patients deserves recognition. When there is an emotional connection to the area, and in turn the people that reside in that area, it is clear that the patients are cared for to the highest ability. This logic applies regardless of age, gender or specialty of care.

Forming a connection and building trust between physician and patient is vital in providing high quality care, and it is much easier to build trust when a commonality is shared between the members. When that element is strong, such as a pride and love for one’s hometown, it makes all the difference. The knowledge of the area, the history behind the town, and the hardships and successes the community has faced, all combine to form a stronger connection to the patients and deeper relationship between the patient and doctor. As the community grows, this relationship can be transferred among generations of family members, further strengthening the bond.

This thinking also holds true no matter the size of the hometown. Even large hometowns, or the metropolitan areas that surround them, carry a certain amount of pride in people. Consider how people can form a connection with a stranger about growing up in the same neighborhood in Chicago and find ways to relate to one another.

From a physician’s standpoint, returning to their hometown to practice can benefit them in other ways as well. Having knowledge of the area helps care for their patients by knowing the specific problems that affect the community, as well as knowing what resources are locally available for assistance and how to get in contact with them directly.

MMS offers marketing solutions that will connect you to the physicians and healthcare professionals you want to reach, through accurate and highly effective targeting options. Searchable by where a physician was born, licensed or trained increases your ability to make that connection and ensure the success of your marketing program.  For more information about how MMS can help your business with email and direct mail marketing services, contact us at 1-800-MED-LIST.

Moving Forward with Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education

With the increased pressure for performance improvement, more physicians are using a continuing medical education (CME) model to assess the care they provide their patients and make measurable improvements.

Since its introduction in the early 2000s, the concept of Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI CME) has rapidly grown. According to the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education, 44,275 physicians and 7,492 additional health professionals participated in 502 PI CME activities in the United States in 2011. This is a substantial increase over the 744 physicians and 175 healthcare professionals that participated in just 22 PI CME activities offered in 2005.

With the current focus on healthcare reform, and as our system of care moves to quality over volume, the number of participants is expected to grow even more. Physicians will be looking at their current practice and striving to find ways to improve it.

Improving the Continuing Medical Education Model

Built from the original CME model, a key enhancement to PI CME is that is strives to show measureable results and puts increased emphasis on patient safety and quality of care. Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education has three main steps according to the American Medical Association:

1. An assessment of the physician’s practice using identified evidence-based performance measures

2. The implementation of an intervention

3. A re-evaluation of those performance measures to gauge improvement

Comparable Patient Outcomes

One of the biggest advantages of this model is that it allows for physicians to compare patient outcomes with national benchmarks. This can be more evident when providing care to patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and obstructive pulmonary disease. By being able to compare the patient results with national data, the patient benefits by receiving more systematic, evidence-based care.

As the leading email marketing service, MMS uses their years of experience finding marketing solutions for physicians and healthcare professionals to deliver you the best lists available. For more information on the accurate and effective lists offered by MMS contact us at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit us online.

“Pharma Marketing Trends” #4 – Digital Print = Yearlong Success

digital marketing

Despite the possible risk, pharmaceutical companies have been shifting their spending to allow for more use of digital marketing, such as websites, e-marketing and social media, in place of more traditional media that has been used in the past. Digital channels can include, owned websites, sponsored websites, ad spots, banner ads, paid searches, mobile and social media, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.

Increasing investment in digital channels is an area still under some exploration. Early studies have shown it’s a clear contender in the marketing world, but with a shorter history than the traditional forms of marketing, such as television, radio and print, the long term results of its success just haven’t happened yet. However, several pharmaceutical companies are making the jump for a variety of reasons.

Five factors that have influenced this growth include:

The Recession: When pharmaceutical companies needed to cut spending, TV and print advertising were under scrutiny. Functional and lower in cost, digital channels became the new way of getting out the message for several companies and in turn, YouTube became the common replacement for television.

Poor ROI for Traditional Media: As the success of television, radio and print advertising dwindled, and the cost remained the same, it was even harder for companies to justify keeping them around. By focusing more on digital channels, companies were able to advertise more frequently, and at a lower overall cost, than they could in the past. Scaling back on the use of traditional media and allocating more of the budget on digital channels brought a higher ROI.

Mobile: Steadily climbing, the use of mobile technology is increasing faster than the use of any other digital channel. Through the use of mobile apps and mobile technology for marketing or medical affairs initiatives, more companies than ever are spending a great deal of their budget on this type of marketing. Of these healthcare mobile apps, majority are directed towards healthcare professionals, including physicians, physician assistants and pharmacists. Pharmaceutical companies are also transiting their internet websites to be available to be viewed on mobile devices, allowing for easier access to commonly prescribed drug brands.

Social Media: With research reports indicating that one third of people discuss medical issues via social media sites, it has become obvious that pharmaceutical companies should have a presence there. Through observation of how consumers talk about brands and speak honestly about their likes and dislikes of particular drugs, companies are able to gain valuable information efficiently. In addition, patient centered sites, such as PatientsLikeMe, tracks information provided by patients and organizes it to include side effects, comments, ratings and recommendations of alternative options, all based on consumer feedback.

Regulatory Concerns: With the increase of digital marketing, the existing regulations won’t match up to today’s concerns. For example, in 2009, a handful of pharmaceutical marketers received a violation over the “one-click rule,” a misunderstanding regarding the placement of risk information one click away from a sponsored online link promoting a drug and its indication. Currently, the lack of influence by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration works in favor of the pharmaceutical companies, but with the increase use of digital channels, that’s bound to change.

As the leading email marketing service, MMS is proud to offer solutions for marketing to physicians and healthcare professionals. Frequently updated, an MMS list matched with one of our email or direct mail options can create a marketing campaign that is accurate, up-to-date and highly effective as a marketing tool.

For more information about email and direct marketing mail services, contact MMS at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit our website at www.mmslists.com.

“Pharma Marketing Trends” #3 – Maintain Ethics in Marketing Campaigns

marketing and strategy

It’s always been important to maintain a separation between persuasion and manipulation in marketing campaigns. As the debate over “white hat” and “black hat” methods of SEO never ceases to reach a final decision, it’s vital to look at the issues that lie behind the ethics in marketing.

These 5 scenarios help demonstrate the differences between persuasion and manipulation in marketing.

Scenario 1: Simple Alignment

The customer wishes to purchase a product, and your client or employer is a seller of that product. You work in the middle to complete the buying and selling process. The alignment could be the act of you bringing the customer and your client or employer together. In this scenario both parties win.

Scenario 2: Simple Choice

In this scenario a customer wishes to purchase a product, but they haven’t made the final decision about which type of product they would like to buy. As the seller, you push the customer to purchase the product that will fit your objective. In the case that you explained the features and benefits of the product you wanted to sell, and it matched the desires of the customer, than both parties in this situation still win. However, if you flat out lie to the customer, therefore convincing them to buy the particular product to fit your objective, it has become unethical and manipulative.

Scenario 3: Competitive Choice

In the first two scenarios, there has only been one clear buyer, and only one available seller. In a more realistic world, there are multiple sellers of products and services. In this scenario, there is still a buyer looking to purchase a product. However, you (the person in the middle) steer the buyer towards one seller over another seller of the same product. While it easy to become unethical in this situation, if you can manage to do so without lying about either seller or their products, this is still an act of persuasion.

Scenario 4: Unknown Desire

In some cases, customers don’t know what they want because they are unaware of all of the options available to them. This is very much a form of modern marketing, creating desires for products we didn’t know previously existed. While many would say this has gotten out of control in recent years, it isn’t necessarily unethical. Making a customer aware of their options for purchasing a product isn’t manipulative, however, using customers envy, fear, doubt and uncertainty, to convince them to make a purchase, is.

Scenario 5: Altered Decision

In this scenario, the customer could be looking to purchase one product and upon talking to the seller decides to purchase something else. In one case, this could be the same as scenario 4, upon being presented with alternate options, the customer changes their mind regarding their purchase. On the other side, the seller could push them to the alternate product for their own objectives, and result in the customer making a purchase they later regret.

The Moral of the Story

In the end there is a lot of gray area regarding persuasion and manipulation in marketing. It’s easy to bounce back and forth over the line when the line has been drawn in chalk. Overall, it all comes down to your intent. When you met with the buyer, did you intend on meeting their true needs with one of your products, or had you already decided upon the product you were going to sell to them?

By far the easiest sale to make is scenario 1. There is a product to sell and a customer is looking to by that product, all you have to do is bring them together. If you find that you are more frequently in one of the other scenarios, you have probably learned that completely changing a customer’s mind can be difficult. It is here that you are most likely shifting to forms of manipulation to make the sale, most likely indicting that you are targeting the wrong market of buyers.

Money is well spent on customers in scenarios 1 and 2, when marketers are doing their best to persuade customers to make a purchase. As the leading email marketing service, MMS is proud to offer solutions for marketing to the right physicians and healthcare professionals. Target the best audience with a frequently updated, accurate and highly effective MMS list. For more information, contact MMS at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit us online at mmslists.com.

“Pharma Marketing Trends for 2013” – #2 Go Mobile or Go Home – Send Smartphone Ready Communication

doctor with smartphone

It’s harder than ever for sales reps to connect with prescribers. As reported by Access Monitor, in a report from the global consulting firm ZS Associates in 2010, the number of doctors who would see most reps dropped 20% and the number who refused to see most reps increased by 50%.

That means 8 million planned sales calls were nearly impossible to complete because physicians had already made the decision not to visit with the rep before the meeting had even been scheduled.

It’s time to change our perspective on how we communicate with physicians and what the best methods to market to them will be. As reported by Manhattan Research in a 2010 survey of 11,000 physicians by Knowledge Networks –

 72% of physicians use Smartphones

95% of doctors with Smartphones download medical apps

The number one search topic is information on drugs

There are currently 13,000 different mobile health apps available for downloading on smartphones. Of that, majority are designed to help people stick with a diet or exercise plan. But apps with rising popularity include those that monitor blood sugar or blood pressure levels.

Among physicians, a popularly used medical app is Epocrates, which boasts, “point-of-care digital solutions that enhance the practice of medicine. More than 1 million active members, including 50% of U.S. physicians, use Epocrates to help improve patient care and practice efficiencies with its drug reference, educational and clinical apps.” Medscape from WebMD is another popular Smartphone medical app that offers “specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web’s most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools.”

E-detailing is one of the areas we can tap into for future marketing with physicians. E-detailing is making drug or product information available to a physician through a presentation that they can access when they wish. Of the 72% of physicians with Smartphones, 17% of primary care physicians and 18% of specialists currently use their Smartphones for e-detailing. Instead of a scheduled visit during office hours, physicians who prefer to receive information at other times can access a presentation from a rep, watch it when they wish, and receive a follow up call another day.

As the leading email marketing service, MMS is proud to offer solutions for marketing to physicians and healthcare professionals. Frequently updated, an MMS list matched with one of our email or direct mail options can create a marketing campaign that is accurate, up-to-date and highly effective as a marketing tool.

For more information about email and direct marketing mail services, contact MMS at 1-800-MED-LIST or visit our website at www.mmslists.com.

Journal Advertising Continues to be Effective and Cost Efficient Way to Advertise

Print Advertising is still an Effective and Cost Efficient part of a Multimedia Marketing Program

As we all know, the constant release of new media, and the way we use media, is unlike any other time in history. New forms of communication and ways of receiving information is changing faster than it ever has. There’s no doubt that any plans for the use of traditional media must be made cautiously. Modest increases in medical and surgical journals demonstrate that this type of print advertising is still an effective and cost efficient part of a multimedia marketing program.

The Top 5 Medical / Surgical Journals ranked by Ad Revenue in 2011

  • Journal of the American Medical Association – Ad pages down 1.1%
  •  New England Journal of Medicine – Ad pages down 17.6% (665 pages)
  • Monthly Prescribing Reference – Ad pages up 28% (354 pages)
  • American Family Physicians – Ad pages down 10% (148 pages)
  • Medical Economics – Ad pages up 30% (269 pages)

Top 25 Advertised Companies of 2011

Of the top 25 Advertised Companies of 2011, only five declined. The remaining 20 all showed page increases. Companies with the most significant changes include Consultant, which is back in the top 25 after it was 63rd in 2010. Neurology Today had 48% page growth, moving up 7 spots to 16th. American Medical News is up 57% in the last two years, lining itself up for a spot in the top 10 this year. Arthritis Care and Research has made significant gains, moving from 67th to 22nd, with 97% page growth in the last two years. MMS Circulation Management is proud to have contributed to the publishing industry’s success in print and digital.

Drastic Increases in Advertising Spending

Forest is clearly the top advertiser having increased spending by 59% ($22 million) to $60 million. Eli Lilly increased spending nearly has much with a 56% increase ($31 million.) Regardless of their individual increases, Forest and Eli Lilly are still separated by almost $30 million in overall spending.

Other drastic increases in advertising spending include Abbott, new to the top 10 list with a 117% increase in spending. Also noteworthy are newcomers to the top 20 list, Purdue with a 160% increase and Bristol-Myers Squibb with an 86% increase.

Newly advertised products only accounted for almost a quarter of the top 100 products, but ongoing advertising support was seen with previously established brands. Eight of 2010’s top 10 products were seen in 2011’s top 25 list. The wide range of products and the media outlets are allowing for a balanced, healthy advertising market.

2012 off to a Slow Start

The last two quarters of 2010 approved eight of the 15 NMEs that were approved that year, leading to a strong start to 2011. Unfortunately, this did not repeat itself going into 2012. Of the 23 NMEs approved in 2011, only two were approved in Quarter 4 of that year, and they were not significant enough to create the movement we had going into 2011. Also, the patents for Pfizer’s Lipitor, Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa and Janssen’s Levaquin have expired, which could account for the slow start to 2012 as well. Hopefully these fluctuations won’t prove to be too damaging and the momentum will pick up for the second quarter.

How Will You Market When Pharmaceutical Samples Go Away?

An article in Medical Marketing and Media Magazine, titled “Samples no Longer Hold Sway in Pharma Marketing Mix: Study,” by Deborah Weinstein, discusses how the use of pharmaceutical samples has changed in the past few years.

Published February 21, 2012, an industry consultant, Richard Vanderveer, notes how the once standard method of sampling and detailing products has shifted to focus on the type of medicine practiced instead. Less face time between doctors and sales representatives, as well as larger organizations having control over the procedures used within the office, has resulted in samples becoming almost unnecessary. Representatives are frequently using only a brochure to promote the product. However, in relation to new prescribers, the use of samples has remained a powerful sales tool.

Medical Marketing Service circumvents the issue with providing medical samples by placing pharmaceuticals with doctors wherever they are – via email. With doctors’ increasing use of smartphones and an increase in email click and response rates, email marketing is increasingly becoming the most appropriate method to attract physicians to request more information about new and emerging medicine.

As healthcare laws change, will you change your marketing strategy to make your sales goals? Contact MMS today at 630.477.1559, sales@mmslists.com, or visit www.mmslists.com. Follow MMS on Twitter @mmsemail.

Video: MMS at ePharma Summit 2012

On Monday, February 6th, Terry Nugent spoke at the 11th Annual ePharma Summit in New York on the topic of “Physican’s ePharma Promotional Preferences”.

After completing a survey of AMA physicians across the nation, Terry’s presentation provided answers to the following marketing questions:

  • Are physicians using social media?
  • What role will mobile apps play in marketing to physicians?
  • How well does email marketing capture the attention of physicians?

For more information, please visit MMS at www.mmslists.com.

Email Marketing Goals for Medical Professionals – Part 4

Part 4 – Staying focused on a single message

Effective email marketing isn’t complicated; in fact the most successful emails focus on only one topic. That way your message is delivered without confusion and has a lasting effect on the recipient.

Healthcare professionals have a lot on their minds; to get your message through it is best to keep it simple and concise. The most effective way to do that is to outline how you can positively impact their hospital or private practice.

As you know, the healthcare field is a results-oriented business. Email marketing can be a successful tool because allows you to speak directly to the prospect about achieving better results. By focusing on a single message in your email, you will effectively outline how you can help. That way you eliminate confusion and keep your prospect informed and intrigued.

How can MMS help?

Medical Marketing Service (MMS) not only provides a target market for your message, but can also provide the creative services to convey that message in the best possible way.

Whatever your marketing needs, MMS email services can help you achieve the perfect strategy – from marketing research that discerns characteristics and trends in your target market to identify the right strategy, to tactical services that help you implement and successfully execute your plan. By using all of the services available, you can develop a focused and successful marketing plan.

For more information about our creative services or our permissioned email lists, visit our website or call 1-800-MED-LIST (633-5478).