Medical Professionals Lists and Databases Many Specialties Including Name, Address, Phone, Email
This is our collection of medical industry marketing lists.
Medical Lists For Marketing To Doctors and Physicians
Here’s some advice for companies trying to get new medical products in front of the eyes of physicians: Aim to educate them rather than try to sell them, and do it via email or direct mail – so the first thing you need is an accurate medical list of doctors and physicians
The face of medical sales is changing as physicians get busier, other clinicians step into some of the their roles, and the Sunshine Act becomes reality. Pharmaceutical and medical device companies, who are dealing with shrinking sales forces of their own, are moving away from traditional direct sales and trying different ways of marketing their products.
The good news is that busy doctors still want new information about drugs and medical devices as long as it’s relevant and useful. They would just rather receive it through email or direct mail, according to a survey conducted by HealthLink Dimensions.
A majority of the 124 physicians and nurse practitioners (in internal medicine, general surgery, cardiology, OBGYN and family practice) who responded to the survey said they most prefer information they can review on their own schedule. They were slightly less fond of in-person visits and generally frowned upon phone calls.
They also said the information they want most is regarding industry-sponsored accredited CMEs, patient education materials or disease state information.
That content must be flexible though, as most said they communicate with patients mostly in traditional ways rather than through email. A white paper put together by PharmaLeaders using the data suggests that the best marketing materials will be sent to a physician in a way that’s easy to translate to the patient in person or over the phone
It’s not surprising that busy physicians like materials they can review on their own schedule, but it is a little surprising that most of the respondents said they read their email primarily on a desktop; only one in four said they use a mobile device. But the white paper is quick to point out that that will likely change, so the flexibility of content is especially important to keep in mind.
Here are some of the findings spelled out in an infographic.
How To Market To Hospitals With Lists
4 “must-knows” before you start a marketing and sales campaign
First you must understand how hospitals purchase products. Hospital CIS and software purchases are like any typical b-to-b “considered” purchase: the buying cycle is long and includes multiple influencers.
What is different, however, is that 85% of hospitals are non-profits. Anything that is going to be purchased first has to get onto the following fiscal year’s budget – which is then approved by a hospital’s board of trustees. The sales cycle (or vetting process), therefore, can be as long as two or three years.
Must-know #1. Marketing and sales have to work together.
Every consultant and expert interviewed for this article agreed on this point: When marketing to hospitals, marketing and sales teams must work together. (Otherwise, “You are hosed,” said one sales guy who wanted to remain nameless.)
“Marketing needs to understand the difficulty sales people have in even getting their foot in the door . . . and that marketing’s #1 priority is to ‘warm up’ the sales call,” says Terri Langhans, former CEO of a national healthcare ad agency and marketing firm and author of the book ‘The 7 Marketing Mistakes Every Business Makes and How to Fix Them’. “Sales has to work with marketing to develop the messages needed for each audience, which includes C-levels; specialized departments, ie: Radiology, Cardiology, and Cancer; physicians and nurses; and administrative support services, such as accounting.”
Sales also needs to give marketing the appropriate insider “lingo.” Says Don Mazzella, Principal of Information Strategies, a pharma and healthcare consulting firm, “Hospitals and their various departments all have their own tribal words. You need to learn the lingo – which can vary by department – otherwise, you won’t be taken seriously.”
And, marketing and sales need to develop a strategic plan that takes into account the sales process, the various constituencies, and the marketing activities needed for each phase in the sales cycle.
Must-know #2: Purchasing decisions are made by committee.
For the inexperienced, a typical hospital sale can go like this: Committee members A, B and C are all in favor of purchasing your product. They have done due diligence and understand what your product can offer the hospital in terms of cost savings, greater efficiencies, etc. They’ve consulted with their respective departments and have achieved buy-in. To you, the sale looks like it’s “in the bag.” The committee goes before the hospital CEO, who nixes the sale.
Your mistake? You forgot to vet the CEO or find the “champion” in the hospital who could do it for you.
Purchasing committees for CIS are generally comprised of the IT Director and/or CIO, the CFO, the CMO (Chief Medical Officer), physicians and nurses, and representatives from the various departments who will be using the software. You have to sell to this entire committee – and make sure everyone is on board.
Says Langhans, “Sales people need to find ‘the champion’ – the person who is going to champion your product or service to the members of the purchasing committee and the hospital administration. However, you need to be careful. You don’t want someone over-enthusiastic because people will think he or she is just a cheerleader. What you need is someone who has real power, who is well respected, politically astute, and who has the ear of key players.”
The other thing to keep in mind, says Koscic, is that you’re not just selling accounting software to the accounting department. Your software will need to integrate with clinical software – and that group will have their politics/issues/challenges, too.
Must-know #3 – Don’t overlook hospital buying groups.
In an effort to save money and garner better discounts, hospitals are now moving to buying groups or Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs). The GPO negotiates contracts on behalf of 20, 50, or 100 hospitals in an effort to obtain lower costs on everything from consumables to medical equipment. Well-known buying groups include Premier Inc., Global Healthcare Exchange, and Novation. Companies such as Siemens, for example, sell to both hospitals and GPOs.
Must-know #4. The bottom line: It’s all about building relationships.
Hospitals are also incredibly political – and they don’t like to let in outsiders. Langhans says a good analogy is comparing a hospital to a castle surrounded by a moat – with the drawbridge in the “up” or closed position. The first step in getting the castle inhabitants to peek over the turret’s edge is with PR and marketing. The second step and most crucial step is building relationships. The more you get to know hospitals, the people inside them, and their cultures, the more effective you’ll be.
Relationship Building Secret Hint:
Hospitals are quite active in their respective communities. According to Beth Gandelman, Director of Marketing, Fertility Centers of New England, hospital CEOs are usually members of civic groups such as Rotary International; physicians and nurses are regularly called on to give educational talks (for example, an orthopedic surgeon will give a talk on back pain), and hospitals routinely sponsor community events, write informative articles for the media, and send out their own newsletters.
It pays for your marketing and sales people to gather this information and then to get out and meet these people on a non-salesy basis. You’re going to be much more effective in lowering that drawbridge if you serve on the same “Safe car seats for toddlers” campaign as the hospital CEO than you would trying to make a cold call.
5 Tips For Marketing to Hospitals
According to our consultants and experts, hospitals are deluged with marketing material every day. Says Koscic, “Think about it – hospitals buy an incredible amount of stuff!” Most of this material is pitched into the trash. The reason, says Barbara Lehman, Chief Marketing Strategist for HMI Marketing and Advertising, is it’s “incredibly dull and doesn’t speak to a hospital’s real needs.”
However, you can get through using the following tips:
Tip #1: “Warm up” the sales call with a combination of advertising, PR, and DM
Before a sales person even steps foot in a hospital, marketing has to ensure the call is a “warm” call versus a cold call. What this means is that marketing has to be proactive in getting ads, articles, and press releases into the major healthcare journals (plus specialized technical journals for IT and other hospital professionals). According to Johnson, hospital CEOs will read articles while IT folk will read technical articles and ads.
Trade shows are also huge: A show like Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) draws 18,000 attendees over four days. Savvy healthcare marketers ensure someone from their company is presenting at one of the over 200 educational sessions in addition to having a booth on the show floor. Says Langhans, “Trade shows are great for tactile, hands-on demonstrations.”
Tip #2: Ensure your direct mail is fresh, creative, and addresses real needs
With over 500 vendors in the Electronic Records Management space alone, marketers have to work hard to stand out.
Langhans once did a mail piece for a client that revolved around the issue of labs being prosecuted in federal court for Medicare fraud because they were performing “unnecessary” lab tests. However, they were just doing the tests the doctors had ordered. The lawsuits put labs in the awkward position of second-guessing and “policing” physicians.
Langhans designed the mailpiece to look like a lawsuit: it was written on “pleading paper,” inserted into a manila folder, and embossed with a legal looking seal. Says Langhans, “It looked like a lawsuit – and in fact, gave me a heart attack when I first saw it. However, we made sure the ad copy hit the point home fast. It read, ‘Now that you know what a lawsuit looks like, we’ll show you how to avoid one.’ We had a 40% increase in sales in 30 days. It was amazing.”
Lehman concurs and adds, “You really have to pay attention to the group to whom you’re marketing. If you’re marketing Electronic Record Management software, you have to keep in mind that you’re marketing to the Director of Medical Records as well as the C-level staff. You’ll want to stress quality control, privacy (huge issue), more efficient and accurate [insurance/Medicare] coding, HIPAA compliance, and decreased collection time. And of course, you’ll want to do this creatively and as succinctly as possible.”
Tip #3: Work with sales to develop stand-out presentations
Don’t forget, hospital purchasing committees are viewing more than one vendor. Instead of leaving sales to develop presentations on their own (which happens more than you think), work with your sales team to develop a professionally designed and written PowerPoint presentation that can easily be customized for each hospital presentation. (Be sure and view it together “live” once it’s complete to ensure it’s legible from across the room and that all the bugs are worked out.)
Also put together a “leave behind” kit with company press releases, brochure, white papers (have a two-page executive summary for the C-levels; longer ones for the technical people), article reprints, and testimonials. If your software lends itself to it, include an interactive CD “software tour” as well.
Tip #4: Create a Web site rich in content.
Like all other shoppers, reports Johnson, healthcare professionals surf the Web at all hours – “and they are trained to read and research. They look for the most detailed presentations they can find. They know puff when they see it, but they can be charmed just like anyone else.”
Make your site easy to navigate and create content designed to educate your audience – not just sell to it. (And don’t forget search engine optimization – you want to get found in online searches.)
Johnson recommends marketers send out quarterly mailings to drive prospects/customers to new information on Web sites, healthcare message boards, Webinar events, and even blogs. (We were pleasantly surprised at the number of healthcare blogs out there.)
Tip #5: Get to know industry consultants.
It is very difficult for hospitals to determine which software or system is right for them; hence, they are turning to consultants to help them make that decision. Get to know the key consultants in your space – they can make those important introductions (remember, it’s all about relationships), keep you updated on industry “gossip” and news, and give you suggestions on how to market your own product better.
Sums up Johnson, “In effect, a hospital is a mini-conglomerate, usually with centralized management combined with elements of bottom up empowerment. A vendor has to understand the culture of hospitals, how to learn the culture of an independent hospital and perhaps its parent company or GPO, and the culture of the professionals that buy its products and services.”