When creating their email outreach campaigns, life science organizations need to pay close attention to audience personas. The way particular groups of people interact with marketing materials provides valuable information these groups should utilize during development and implementation of their strategies. Understanding the differences between doctors and nurse practitioners is a good place to start, as the parties’ responsibilities and work schedules offer strong data as to how to influence them. Let’s take a closer look:

Time spent with patients is important
It’s not uncommon for life science organizations to target their outbound marketing to those healthcare providers that spend the most time with patients. Often, this means doctors and physicians see the most mail. Yet, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants spend just as much – if not more – time with patients, according to a study by Duke University Medical Center.

In addition, these medical professionals hold a fair amount of prescribing power. As a result, nurse practitioners should be given just as much attention from life science organizations as doctors themselves. Each group makes healthcare more effective, so marketers should be mindful of their clout.

“Nurse practitioners are gaining more autonomy.”

Both groups are fairly independent
While doctors are often thought to run the show, nurse practitioners’ responsibilities continue to grow. Although these obligations will never completely match those of physicians, they are becoming increasingly similar. Over the recent years, these healthcare providers have gained more and more autonomy within the medical field. States including Maine, Washington, Minnesota and Arizona allow nurse practitioners to operate without physician oversight, and others – like Illinois, New York and Louisiana – enable these healthcare professionals to practice with reduced supervision, according to Simmons School of Nursing and Health Services. Segmenting by location and level of independence is a strong way for life science organizations to market efficiently to both doctors and nurse practitioners.

Take work schedules into account
Although doctors and nurse practitioners are finding common ground on regular responsibilities, there is still quite a difference when it comes to lifestyle and working hours.  A study published in the journal Academic Medicine, found that 66 percent of doctors thought qualified students should pursue a career as nurse practitioners as opposed to becoming physicians. The group cited more manageable schedules and the ability to spend more time with both their families and their patients as the reason for their recommendation. Marketers must pay attention to not only the responsibilities of these groups, but the amount of free time they possess. Life science organizations should consider email marketing campaigns to nurse practitioners may be more effective at different times of the day compared to physicians due to differing work schedules.

Life science organizations have to take a lot of factors into consideration when developing their email marketing campaigns. Knowing their audience is one of the most important elements of the process. Although many marketers focus on doctors, the spotlight should be split between physicians and nurse practitioners. As the latter group continues to gain independence, it will be crucial for life science organizations to target both the similarities and the differences between the two in their outreach. Understanding elements including work schedules, time spent with patients and level of autonomy will be crucial to effective marketing outreach.