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NPI targeting is a way to efficiently reach HCPs, offer personalized ads, and avoid any potential privacy issues. Here's what you need to know.

As the use of third-party cookies decreases, the need for personalized advertising increases, the data used for healthcare provider (HCP) marketing campaigns becomes increasingly crucial. HCP marketers are turning to 1:1 National Provider Identifier (NPI) targeting as a way to efficiently reach HCPs, offer personalized ads, and avoid any potential privacy issues.

NPI targeting achieves these goals by utilizing first-party data, which ensures compliance with privacy regulations. Additionally, this targeting method allows for the targeting of specific, known audiences, enabling the delivery of tailored digital advertising that addresses the specific needs and interests of HCPs.

NPI: What You Need to Know

The NPI is a unique identification number, assigned by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to HCPs in the United States, as part of the administrative simplification standard under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It is used to identify HCPs in a standard way across different systems and organizations.

As per HIPAA, the use of NPIs is mandatory in financial and administrative transactions carried out by HCPs, health plans, and health care clearinghouses. The NPI is a 10-digit numeric identifier and does not contain any additional information such as the medical specialty or the state of residence of the healthcare provider.

What is NPI targeting?

NPI targeting allows advertisers to reach HCPs on a personalized level by targeting specific American Medical Association (AMA) recognized medical specialties, as well as other characteristics such as license type, hospital affiliation, address, practice name and insurance carrier. This level of precision enables advertisers to effectively engage their target HCPs, potentially leading to better business outcomes.

Additionally, using NPI targeting can result in a higher return on ad spend by focusing impressions on the intended target audience, rather than wasting them on unqualified individuals.

Implementing NPI targeting is an essential aspect of a healthcare brand’s marketing strategy, as it ensures that budget is not wasted on an unknown audience. However, it’s important to keep in mind that relying solely on NPI targeting lists based on self-reported specialties can limit the options available.

Examples of how companies in the healthcare industry use NPI targeting.
Overall, the specific tactics and channels will depend on the HCPs being targeted and the products or services being offered. However, these are just a few examples of how companies in the healthcare industry are using NPI targeting.

A medical device company used NPI targeting to reach orthopedic surgeons to promote their new knee replacement device. The company used a combination of direct mail, email marketing, and PPC advertising to reach its target audience.

A healthcare company IT used NPI targeting to reach primary care physicians and promote its new electronic health record system. The company used a combination of social media advertising, email marketing, and networking events to reach its target audience.

A pharmaceutical company used NPI targeting to reach oncologists and promote its new cancer drug. The company used a combination of print advertising, email marketing, and direct mail to reach its target audience.

A home care provider used NPI targeting to reach geriatricians and promote its services. The company used a combination of email marketing, PPC advertising, and networking events to reach the target audience.

Which data sources power NPI targeting campaigns?

Healthcare marketing requires a unique approach compared to other forms of advertising because of regulatory requirements and the need for brand safety. In order to effectively reach the desired healthcare providers (HCPs) on a one-to-one basis, programmatic advertising platforms can be utilized.

These platforms utilize deterministic data that links each HCP’s offline identity to their online identity, allowing for targeting at the NPI level. By using HCP databases, daily outbound calls, and personalized landing pages, programmatic advertising platforms can identify NPIs and optimize ad performance.

In addition, NPI compliance data contain a wealth of information about the HIPAA status of HCPs, including their specialties, which can provide pharmaceutical marketers and medical solution providers with insight into the interests of physicians in a particular specialty.

A regularly updated health record is an indispensable resource for those who want to deliver engaging and personalized messages to physicians based on their areas of expertise. A variety of data sources are available for NPI targeting campaigns, including first-party, demographic, contextual, location, and behavioral data.

First-party data
First-party data refers to information that is collected directly from the healthcare provider organization or from the company’s own customer relationship management (CRM) system. This type of data is considered to be the most reliable and accurate source of information about HCPs, as it is collected directly from the source.

Examples of first-party data in HCP marketing include:

Contact information, such as name, email address, and phone number
Demographic information, such as age, gender, and specialty
Professional information, such as license type, hospital affiliation, and insurance carrier
Practice information, such as practice name, address, and NPI
Interaction history, such as previous engagements, interactions with marketing campaigns, and event attendance
This information can be used to create targeted marketing campaigns that are tailored to the specific interests and needs of HCPs. First-party data can also be used to track engagement and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Contextual data
Contextual data refers to information based on the content of a web page or the context of a user’s online activities. They are used to determine the relevance and appropriateness of advertising to a particular web page or user. For example, if a user views a web page about a particular medical condition, contextual data may be used to display advertisements for related treatments or medications. If a user searches for information about a particular medical procedure, contextual data may be used to display advertisements for HCPs who specialize in that procedure.

This type of data may be collected from a variety of sources, such as web page content, keywords, meta tags, the user’s browsing history, and even their location. This information is analyzed by algorithms to understand the context of the web page or user activity and serve ads that are relevant to them.

Demographic data
Demographic data refers to information about the characteristics of a particular group of people. These characteristics may include age, gender, race, ethnicity, income, education level, occupation, and geographic location. Demographic data is often collected through surveys, questionnaires, or analysis of publicly available information.

The data can be used to target specific groups of HCPs with tailored advertising campaigns. For example, if a pharmaceutical company wants to promote a new drug to treat diabetes, it can use demographic data to target HCPs who specialize in endocrinology and have a high proportion of diabetes patients in their practice. By targeting in this way, the company can reach the most relevant audience and increase the likelihood that the drug will be prescribed.

Location-based data
Location-based data is information that relates to a specific geographic location or region. This type of data can be used to target and tailor marketing efforts for health care providers (HCPs) in specific geographic areas, such as a city, state, or region.

The data may include information such as geographic region, market area (DMA), or zip code. This information can be used to identify and target HCPs in specific geographic areas, such as near a hospital or clinic. This can be particularly useful for HCPs who want to expand their reach or for pharmaceutical companies who want to target specific geographic regions for their products.

In addition, data can be collected from a variety of sources, including GPS data from mobile devices, IP addresses, and self-reported information from healthcare professionals. This data can be used to create geographic segments and target specific HCPs based on their location.

Behavioral data
Behavioral data refers to information collected about the online activities and engagement of HCPs. These data are used to understand how HCPs interact with online content such as websites, social media, and emails, and may include information such as the pages they visit, the links they click, the content they engage with, and the time they spend on a website.

The data can be used to gain insights into HCPs’ interests, preferences and needs, which can then be incorporated into targeted marketing strategies and campaigns. For example, if an HCP frequently visits a website about a particular condition, the behavioral data can be used to show them ads for related treatments or products. If an HCP frequently interacts with content about a specific medical procedure, behavioral data can be used to serve ads to HCPs who specialize in that procedure.

Behavioral data can be collected through the use of tracking technologies such as cookies, web beacons, and pixels. It is important to comply with relevant privacy laws and regulations when collecting and using behavioral data.

All in all, it is important to note that any type of personal information should be used in accordance with privacy regulations, such as HIPAA, and it is critical to consult with legal counsel to ensure compliance with these laws.

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