Health Care Marketing
Marketing Approach for Health Care Marketer
A health care marketer definitely has his or her work cut out for him. This individual needs to be able to market goods not just to consumer marketers, but eventually to consumer goods. Convincing consumers from a need-based and psychological standpoint that a given product or service is crucial to their health takes a planned and cohesive strategy. Consider the following: "Fewer than 10% of all new products are truly innovative and new; for example, a new chemical entity in the pharmaceutical sector or an innovative device to treat a previously incurable condition" (Kotler, et al., 2011). In the example given, those products are actually examples of things that can bolster and benefit the health care industry at large as they both have innovation and novelty. However, for products that don't possess those qualities, which are most of the health care products and services on the market, health care marketers would be wise to engage in the following strategies. For instance, one marketing strategy would be to expand the use for the given product (Kotler et al., 2011). "The clinical guidelines for treating conditions evolve as new research findings become available. For example, new standards that promote increasingly lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure create opportunities for pharmaceutical companies to reach new customers and augments sales to existing ones" (Kotler et al., 2011).
By dubbing a product or service as something that can treat additional conditions in an effective manner as well, gives the product an enhanced sense of credibility or trustworthiness. A given product or service that has several conditions it can improve can make it seem almost like a super-product and boost sales even more as well as widen the consumer base of people who are eligible for using it.
Another means of marketing a product is to connect it to another already established product that has consumer trust and consistent sales. This strategy works both ways: old and forgotten products can be paired up with new and innovative products to help reintroduce the older products back to the market as well. This form of pairing truly demonstrates that there's strength in numbers: the two products can help to promote each other in their pairing. The pair demonstrates that older product has the reliability of time and trust on its side; the newer, more innovative product has its uniqueness and novel approach on its side. By pairing up with their different strengths, marketers can target effectively different sectors of the market.
In our organization our pricing objectives have to take several elements into consideration in order to be successful. The first thing to take into consideration is price. "Price is a vital component of a marketing mix, also known as the "four Ps" of marketing. The other components are product, place and promotion, all of which constitute costs. Price, on the other hand, generates a return as it supports the other marketing-mix elements" (Uhlig). Supply and demand are not the only components which drive pricing decisions and too many health care marketing entities in my state too easily forget that. "In classic marketing strategy, pricing is important enough to be one of the four P's of the marketing mix…pricing is a pivotal tool in determining volumes, profitability, and brand positioning. While pricing strategy is equally important in healthcare, it is subject to a more complex set of counterbalancing forces (Krentz & Clay, 2008). Essentially, as Krentz and Clay assert, proper pricing in the health care arena can feel like the average marketer is walking a tightrope.
A problem that our organization has had, that proved ultimately beneficial for the state was to raise prices in order to maximize profits: this type of skimming strategy only works well in the short-term. A problem with this strategy is as follows: "…while short-term profits can be maximized, the high price may encourage competitors to offer a similar service at a lower price and thereby capture market share. The original company that tried to maximize profits might end up with an eroded market position" (Berkowitz, 2012). This is exactly what happened to our company in marketing a range of products and services. We realized that by making products slightly unaffordable we were targeting just the upper-class consumers of the market; however, they tended to buy our product in droves. What ended up hurting us was eventually other companies started offering our product in a similar manner but for a drastically lower price. Then our profits went down remarkably.
Another pricing objective or issue that impacts the health care system in my state is the action of setting price levels. Price levels determine the demand of consumers for a given company's product. "A key aspect of this phase of pricing is to prepare a demand schedule or summary of the amounts of a product that are desired at each price level. Understanding consumers' price sensitivity at various levels is where marketing research plays a critical role" (Berkowitz, 2012). Again, this is where the organization I've been associated with has failed on several occasions, as they often forget to account for the elasticity of pricing and the elasticity of the market and consumer base. However, what the organization is smart at and able to engage with on a consistent basis is cost plus pricing. Cost plus pricing is the basic process of determining a product or service's price based on how much it costs to create or provide as well as adding an additional component for price.
The organization's pricing objectives also impacts the state of California in a negative manner in that many of their decisions seem to represent a lack of sensitivity to payer type and competitor type. The organization would be in better shape to devoting more effort to collecting market pricing information from non-standard competitors and colleagues to verify that pricing is accurate and sensitive.
Communication Strategy to Reach Main Stakeholders
As already established, the healthcare community is indeed a place where the landscape is exceedingly complex. When it comes to the stakeholders in healthcare, they generally are all the major players or participants involves, such as the patients, the payers, providers and employers. Proper communication is so important because it involves the nurturing of this relationship, along with trust, transparency and full disclosure. The communication strategy to speak with main stakeholders will orbit around a free flow of information and a kindling of a good relationship with mutual appreciation and a goal of influencing the wider, surrounding environment by informing and altering attitudes among target groups (Hma.eu). There should also be a goal of engaging one another in a pact of social responsibility and mutual transparency; in this manner the stakeholders and marketers will feel more like team members rather than people that they each have to "deal with" or confront.
The communication strategy as a whole will thus consist of: "rapid communication of appropriate, quality information to a clearly identified audience" (hma.eu). The communication strategy will set a precedent of sharing information as information is power and engaging stakeholder when appropriate about informed decision-making and in general striving for a more improved relationship.
Assess the advantages of each advertising classification
"Globally, advertising has become an essential part of the corporate world. Therefore, companies allot a huge part of their revenues to the advertising budget" (MSG, 2012). As we've seen, advertising and marketing is not just a staple of the corporate world, but a huge factor in healthcare among facilitators and participants. The classifications of advertising are as follows: print, broadcast, outdoor, covert, and public service; they all have distinct advantages.
Print can engage the viewer with an eye-catching and unforgettable image; they can often be more factual and provide consumers with vital information and details (in fine print) that they need to know (Tyagi & Kumar, 2004). Broadcast advertising can reach a wider audience on a larger and more immediate scale, alerting them to the existence of a new product or service or the improvement of an old one (Yeshin, 2006). Outdoor advertising can provide and immediacy and closeness with potential customers, creating a situation where customers feel like they can ask questions and engage in word of mouth communication later on. Covert advertising can be quite powerful as it approaches the consumer while they're unaware and can communicate powerfully with their subconscious. This type of advertising can prepare the minds of consumers to perceive a product or service in a way that bolsters positive opinions (Brown, 1992). Public service announcements have the seriousness and legitimacy as being enforced and verified by the government; this gives them an almost automatic acceptance among members of the public.
Recommended Policy for Health Care Marketing
The key policy to any health care marketing strategy these days would be effective social media marketing in conjunction with social networking. "New research out of the University of Utah (the U) David Eccles School of Business shows social marketing tools are crucial to…