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Physician Marketing Strategies

Physician Marketing Strategies

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Published by anujpant281
What can physician liaison officers do to promote their business in hard times as the recession?
What can physician liaison officers do to promote their business in hard times as the recession?

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Published by: anujpant281 on Dec 21, 2010
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Physician Marketing Strategies [new title]
Kelloggs or Post!  What can you learn from Circuit City!  Apple anyone?
Anuj PantNovember 2010
With increased competition from competitor facilities, physician relations and marketing mustcontinue to move forward; finding ways to improve upon the services they provide to clients.Companies that succeed are those that realize the need for modernization and understand thatlack of it will lead to stagnation in their businesses. Hence they take steps that will create aniche for them in the market and will help them gain a bigger share in their industry. Thepresent times  filled with uncertainty and doubt  present itself as challenging and exciting byvirtue of the fact that companies will need to chase a decreasing number of customers.
How can you better prepare for market downturns like the recent recession? Canyou do something in the present that will prepare you for the events that arebeyond your control?
Undoubtedly you as liaison officers are well aware of the recent market downturn and like somany other industries, healthcare has been affected as well. Not only are patients holding backon non-essential medical procedures such as hip replacement and other minor procedures,they are more likely to wait on other non-life threatening procedures too. Unlike yesterdaywhen patients would come to a hospital whenever they needed care, patients today are moreprone to prioritize health needs.USA Today reports that in the first six months of this year, healthcare spending declined by0.2%
and looking at slow pace of the market recovery, it doesnt seem very likely that this willimprove in the short-term. Given these long odds, the only plausible way to start yourcompanys recovery is innovation: whether it is in terms of delivering new products to themarket or better dissemination of information about your existing services to a larger base of customers than you currently have.Throughout this year, the thought that has been taped to the head of any marketer, healthcareor otherwise, is the fear of declining business. The bad news is that business has declined on allfronts and not just healthcare. The even bad news is that things might not improve in the shortterm. However, the best news is that it doesnt have to be that way for your business. Withclever marketing and better utilization of the existing resources you have, you will be able to
grow in any market conditions and should also be able to ride out through any downturn with abigger market share than you previously had.
Kelloggs or Post!
Recessions often weed out weaker brands making category leaderseven stronger. 
Brand Building in a Recession 
n the late 1920s, the country was entering the Great Depression. Just like any other market,the sales of cereals were falling.
n the face of decreasing sales and increasing hardships, Postcut back on advertising spending
. At the same time however, Kelloggs took the other wayaround: it doubled its advertising budget and focused heavily on radio advertising releasing itsnew cereal Rice Krispies [Snap, Crackle, and Pop also appeared during this time].Now turning the clock to 1933 when the country is still in the midst of the depression, we seethat the strategy taken by Post backfired.
ts sales remained sluggish. On the other hand, profitsat Kelloggs had risen by thirty percent. To this day, Kelloggs still remains dominant in theirmarket and Post has had to play catch up ever since.Let us now play a little game. The answer: Kelloggs.
can guess your question: whichcompany would you rather be? Unsurprisingly, the Kelloggs strategy has been imitated bymany other companies. Hospitals in Chicago spent 16% more in advertising in 2008 than in theprevious year with some hospitals spending almost 70% more than the previous year. Thisspending spree despite the recession only shows that marketing is a very effective way of increasing business during slumps.
n times of tapering market conditions, marketing can help stroke up demands by keeping yourbrand and products in the public consciousness. The first casualty of downturn is alwaysmarketing budgets; but if you decrease marketing efforts, it only follows that customersnumber will soon follow suit. So, if you are in a situation with lower advertising budgets, findout one strong point that sets you apart from all of your competition and focus on that corestrength. Good marketing is a very important ingredient of any good business plan andmarketers must understand that lack of it will hurt their business.
Mark Gallagher and Laura Savard
Brand Building in a Recession
James Surowiecki
Hanging Tough
(The New Yorker, 2009)
What can you learn from Circuit City!
There was a time when Circuit City was a retailing juggernaut; but that was the past and now itis non-existent in any physical form. Having successfully expanded its operation during the 80sand 90s, the retailer rested in its laurels while old competitors advanced and new competitorstook a slice of their pie.
n the face of decreasing sales, Circuit City took a new step to cut costs.
t fired 3000 of its best performing salespeople and replaced them with high-school teenagers.As a result of this, customer satisfaction dwindled. So did sales and now, the company is gone.
Business has only two functions - marketing and innovation.
Milan Kundera
Circuit City could not understand the nature of its own business.
n electronics retailing, a storeneeds salespeople that understand the products on sale because of the complexity of the saleand a natural tendency of customers to know as much as possible before investing on a $2000HDTV. Hiring high-school students works for Walmart because in Walmart, salespeople areclerks that stock products on the shelf. Nevertheless, Walmart too has a dedicated electronicsclerk in every superstore.You, as liaison officers, need to understand your business and know what potential patientslook for. You are in the business of long-term relationships with physicians who send you theirpatients hoping that they get the best care. McKinsey Quarterly shows that 70 % of doctorswere influenced by their patients requests when deciding the hospital to send their patientsto
. Thus, one bad experience will result in the patient moving to a different hospital.
Tactics will get you nowhere if you present them to the wrong person,in the wrong fashion, without sufficient information, or at the wrongtime. 
eil Rackham
Unlike a travelling salesman, the success of your enterprise depends entirely on properlydisseminating the right information about your product to the right person. Thus a key factordefining your achievements is how good your liaison officers are when they talk to physicians.Although you are selling the same services, you need to treat each physician differently and
Kurt D. Grote, John R. S. Newman and Saumya S. Sutaria
better hospital experience
(McKinsey Quarterly, 2007)
Neil Rackham
Strategic Selling
(William Morrow and Company,
nc., 1985)

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