Elementsof Marketing in Health Care Organization
Marketingrefers to all activities in and around communication of the productof an organization to the people with an aim of selling the productto the customers. A product refers to the physical goods, a serviceany other innovation that an organization sells to customers and hasthe potential of providing utility to those who consume. The main aimof marketing is to convey the value of the product with an aim ofincreasing sales and by extensions profits. Very many marketingtechniques are available which include identification of a targetmarket. This can be achieving through an extensive market analysis,understanding the market behavior, as well as market segmentation.
However,all these can be comprehensively understood if there is a thoroughstudy of the basic elements of marketing. The four elements arenamely product, price, promotion and place. Healthcare products arenot exceptional, and the four elements of marketing apply to theirproducts marketing needs. Service industry depends on marketing dueto the very nature and characteristic of their products. Services areintangible, cannot be stored, are perishable, cannot be separatedfrom the provider, and lacks divisibility. Marketing plays animportant role that determines its success (Dyck,2015).
Aproduct is anything offered to the market that can provide utility ormeet a consumer need. Hospitals offer vital services to the patientsby ensuring that they are treated for their ailments. The product, inthis case, is a service that is treating with an aim of providing theutility (healing). The type of hospital should be able to providetreatment for the kind of problems that the patient bring.To bedesirable, a hospital should be able to provide a wide range oftreatment that is always the case with many hospitals nowadays.However, some hospitals are deciding to specialize on a narrow rangeof products and in some situations deals with a singlespecialization. For instance, it is a common view across major citiesin the United States to spot dental clinics and dental healthproviders.
Othersdeal with other specialized treatment and perfect on the same. Themost important thing is to ensure that the service been offered meetthe customer expectation. Also, the product offered should be of thehighest quality and provided in the prescribed standards. Hospitalsdealing with a wide range of treatment are preferred by a patientbecause they do not understand what their problem is. To avoidmovement, they visit a hospital that is likely to offer the service.The quality of treatment by hospitals can be enhanced throughinvestment in modern technology and machines that help inidentification and diagnosis of a disease (Hennig-Thurau& Hansen, 2000).
Inthe context of marketing, Place refers to the place where anorganization locates its operations base. The aim of a hospital is toserve the people and as a result, locating to a place where there arepeople is considered. Nevertheless, it is not always the case aslocating a hospital can be affected by other variables including thegovernment regulations and availability of land. As a result, themost desirable location may not necessarily be the location of thehospital. The question for the hospital management should address thebest alternative to locating the hospital. The number one rule forlocating an operation base is to locate near competitors. Theimportance of this is that it can provide a source for new customersif the competitors do not have a service that is offered at yourhospital. For example, due to the bureaucratic procedures ofprocurement in the public hospital, the government hospital may havea stock out in some vital medicine.
Ifa critical patient is prescribed the same drug, the patient could beforced to buy from your hospital. What is important to note inlocating a hospital is that the facilities should be easilyaccessible by many people with ease. It is, therefore, advisable toavoid locating the in busy streets prone to huge traffic. Access tothe hospital ought to be convenient to the patient. It is the reasonmajor hospitals are located in major cities since the population ishigh, and the area is easily accessible. Locating in the countrywould be difficult to reach, and they would only serve a smallproportion of customers (Siegel& Lotenberg, 2007).
Priceis the economic drain a customer will have to suffer so as to receivea product or a service from an organization. For an organization, 9itis the compensation received in exchange for a product. Hospitals,like all other organizations, charge customers in exchange for theservice offered. The price level charged for a particular treatmentshould be fair. The name fair should not be confused by the term low.Some treatments are extremely expensive which include chemotherapyfor cancer patients while others are cheaper including treatment forinfluenza. Before setting a price, it is good to consider what thecompetitors are charging for the same. As stated earlier, the qualityof treatment offered should match the price charged. The highesthealthcare should be provided and the best treatment available.Charging very high price could discourage patients who are notcapable of meeting the price. As a result, the hospital may end upreceiving few patients and may end up incurring a loss (Smith,2012).
Promotionrefers to is a general term that refers to all activities that areaimed at creating consumer awareness about the existence of a productor brand, so as to generate a sale. Different promotion tools areavailable for a hospital. One of them is through creating a strongand recognized brand. Referrals by other patients and professionalalso play an important promotion function. People are likely to seekservices by referrals because they have confidence. The hospital canalso work on advertising its services through the print and viewmedia. The other important channel is through the internet that havebecome the heart of today`s life. Social media and messagingapplication can be used to advertise and offer some free publicity.
Takingadvantage of these channels can enable a hospital to provideawareness of the service provided. The channel of promotion usedshould be that which is likely to reach many people and is accessibleto many people. Target groups are specific, and promotion will onlybe successful if the target group is served with the intendedpromotion. A promotion is an important element in marketing thatserve to inform potential and existing clients of the existence of aproduct. It also communicates important aspects as where and when youcan find a product. Promotion also reminds customers of the existenceof the product and announces any development in the product tocustomers. Hospitals can use such channels to announce opening of aheart center or opening a new branch in a different neighborhood(Naidoo,Wills & Naidoo, 2009).
Dyck,E. (2015). LocatingHealth.Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Hennig-Thurau,T., & Hansen, U. (2000). Relationshipmarketing.Berlin: Springer.
Naidoo,J., Wills, J., & Naidoo, J. (2009). Foundationsfor health promotion.Edinburgh: Baillière Tindall/Elsevier.
Siegel,M., & Lotenberg, L. (2007). Marketingpublic health.Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Smith,T. (2012). Pricingstrategy.Mason, Oh: South-Western Cengage Learning.