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Application of Marketing Techniques in Health Care Business

Marketing can be called the customer relationship building and satisfaction view. We know that a physician who develops an e cellent service reputation will attract !any new patients as a result of word"of"!outh reco!!endations. The !arketing ai! of healthcare co!pany is to create, communicate, and deliver value to a target market profitably (CCDVTP). A hospital !ight position itself as having the !ost advanced !edicine or the best patient service# or being the !ost efficient hospital. $ood positioning requires looking at how to best i!ple!ent the 4As (Awareness, Acceptable, Available and finally Affordable) of that target market. The discussion has divided into three parts: %art &ne describes how health care organi'ations can seg!ent# target# and distinctively position their products and services within the health care !arketplace. %art Two e a!ines the various tools of the !arketing !i available to health care providers. %art Three e plains how health care providers can i!ple!ent their !arketing plans.. Health Care Market Segmentation Targeting and Positioning: (everal !edical specialties focus on different age groups) pediatricians treat children# obstetricians focus on wo!en ages fifteen to fifty# adult cardiologists tend to treat !ainly people over age fifty and# of course# and geriatricians treat older adults. Most health care providers first seg!ent their !arkets according to the disease# organ syste!# or diagnosis of the patient. Medical subspecialties are organi'ed in this type* for e a!ple# heart +cardiology,# -oints +rheu!atology,# cancers +oncology,# hor!ones +endocrinology,# and skin +der!atology,. The health care !arket includes four different benefits buyers. The quality buyer wants the best product regardless of cost. Service buyers prefer the best personal treat!ent* they assu!e that !edical e pertise is fairly equal. alue buyers are price sensitive* they want the lowest price and highest !edical care co!bination. !conomy buyers are also price sensitive# but they are concerned !uch !ore about price than about care. .ive attitude groups can be found in any health care !arket) enthusiastic# positive# indifferent# negative# and hostile. .or e a!ple# hospitals can classify referring physicians into these groups. They thank enthusiastic referrers and suggest that they continue to refer* they reinforce those who are positively disposed* they try to win the referrals of indifferent physicians* they spend no ti!e trying to change the attitudes of negative and hostile physicians.

Positioning is the act of designing the organi'ation/s offering and i!age to occupy a distinctive place in the !ind of the target !arket. The goal is to locate the brand in the !inds of consu!ers to !a i!i'e the potential benefit to the organi'ation. 0o organi'ation can succeed if its products and offerings rese!ble every other product and offering* !arketing strategy !ust be built on segmentation, targeting, and positioning (S"#). An organi'ation first discovers different needs and groups in the !arketplace. (econd# it targets those needs and groups that it can satisfy in a superior way. Then it positions its offering so that the target !arket recogni'es the organi'ation/s distinctive offering and i!age. Marketing Mi! "or Health Care Provider #roduct $evel The health care organi'ation needs to address three product levels. The funda!ental level is the core benefit that the custo!er is really seeking. A patient visiting a hospital to deliver a baby wants a safe# healthy birth. The purchaser of aspirin is buying headache relief. At the second level# the !arketer has to turn the core benefit into a basic product. Thus a patient hospital roo! in a !aternity depart!ent includes a bed that also serves as a delivery table# a scale# and a recliner# and it supports high"intensity lights and an ultrasound !achine. At the third level# the !arketer prepares an e%pected product) a set of attributes and conditions buyers nor!ally e pect when they purchase this product . 1 pectant !others can e pect a clean gown# fresh bedding# working la!ps# acceptable food# and a relative degree of quiet. Service &uality' Health care service co!panies can try to de!onstrate their service quality through physical evidence and presentation. (ervice !arketers !ust also be able to transfor! intangible services into concrete benefits. 2n the case of health care services# buyers are beco!ing increasingly sensitive to service delivery. (ervices are highly variable because they depend on who provides the! and when and where they are provided. (rand and (randing' Most consu!er health care products carry a brand na!e. A few !ight be labeled with -ust a generic na!e# such as aspirin. Health service organi'ations do not often pay the sa!e attention to branding as do product fir!s. .or e a!ple# although all physicians and hospitals have na!es# they !ay not have the status of brands. However so!e physicians !ay have achieved widespread recognition and preference# whether si!ply due to their quality work or through further leveraging by so!e personal !arketing. #roduct $ife )ycle' The %3C +%roduct 3ife Cycle, concept can be used to analy'e a product category +phar!aceuticals,# a product for! +drug tablets,# or a brand +0apa,. Most product life" cycle curves are divided into four stages) introduction# growth# !aturity# and decline. The shapes of these curves will depend on the nature of the product and the environ!ent in which it is used.

#ricing' 1very health care organi'ation sets prices on its services and products. The concept of price is the sa!e whether it is ter!ed a co"pay!ent +for a doctor/s visit or phar!aceutical purchase,# a deductible +for a hospital ad!ission,# and tuition +for !edical school education,. With respect to health care services and products# consu!ers have traditionally been price takers* that is# they accept prices at face value or as given. *arketing communications) Marketing co!!unications activities contribute to brand equity in !any ways) by creating awareness of the brand# linking the right associations to the brand i!age in consu!ers/ !e!ory# eliciting positive brand -udg!ents or feelings# and# ideally# facilitating a stronger consu!er"brand connection. *arketing )hannel' Health care service providers# as well as health care product fir!s# often do not sell their services and goods directly to end users# a set of inter!ediaries# or channel partners# perfor! a variety of functions needed to deliver the!. These inter!ediaries function as !arketing channels# service delivery networks# and distribution channels. #mplementing and Controlling the Marketing $""ort The critical role that !arketing plays in the health care sectors requires !arketers to participate at every step of the develop!ent process) identifying opportunity areas# gathering infor!ation fro! physicians and consu!ers to aid in decisions about dosage# pill si'e# and sa!pling# and conducting post"launch !onitoring progra!s to !onitor effectiveness and co!petitive positioning.