Checking in With Nurses
Of the three main direct marketing channels, says Kamberis, postal works the best to connect with nurses, followed by e-mail and then telemarketing. Nurses are an older demographic, but they're still fairly e-mail-savvy; the problem, according to Kamberis, is you typically want to target their personal e-mail addresses, which are harder to get. "Sending them something at work is not going to be as effective," he says. "Obviously, they're too busy. If you try marketing to them at work, the responses are typically lower."
In addition, Mason says print advertising trumps online ads. "We have asked readers who go online a lot to what extent do they pay attention to the ads," she says "Everybody agrees that nurses don't pay attention to them. We rarely even look at them. There is this sense that it's intrusive." Print ads in a reputable publication do better to foster trust and loyalty among nurses.
Getting the Message
Marketing should depict nurses as savvy, life-loving, professional women. For example, some of the travel nurse staffing agencies that advertise in the American Journal of Nursing show images of smart-looking women on the beach with their friends. A common mistake is for marketers to show nurses as either frumpy, dowdy matrons—or as sex objects. "It tells me you don't have a clue about this being an educated women's market," says Mason. "Women today do not want to be portrayed as being mindless sex objects. The ads should be tasteful; they should appeal to an educated woman." Another tip is to make sure your message targets a diverse group of nurses, including minorities and men.
Nursing is not about fluffing pillows, taking temperatures and doing what the doctor ordered; nurses are well-educated, well-trained professionals in a complex area of specialty. Keep that in mind as you create your marketing efforts, and your profits should glow with health.