Healthcare Marketing




  1. Describe the elements of successful marketing for a health care organization, provide detail with examples

Healthcare industry, just like any other industry is facing stiffcompetition as a result of globalized markets. Therefore, there isneed for proper marketing of healthcare organizations, to besuccessful in the highly competitive markets.

  1. Specialize referral marketing

Oneof the elements of successful marketing of a health care organizationis specialized referral marketing. When an organization receives astream of patients from other medical experts, it becomes a favoritefor many patients since it is viewed as an organization with qualityprofessional and health care facilities. According to Gandolf (2011),doctor referrals do not just happen by the mere fact that a healthcare organization is a good provider. An organization needs toimplement proper plans to maintain and expand the flow ofprofessional referrals as marketing strategy.

  1. Internet Marketing

InternetMarketing is another element of a successful marketing of mostsuccessful health care organization in today’s highly competitivemarkets (Kotenko, 2013). Many successful health care organizationshave embraced the latest technologies such as websites, social mediaplatforms and mobile apps to reach out to so many customers. Gandolfpoints out that internet marketing are fast, affordable and highlyconvenient (2011).

  1. Branding

Manyorganizations use unique tactics to stand out from the rest in thecrowded markets (Courtemanche,2015).The only way providers become unique in a positive way is through apowerful differentiating brand for the business. Effective brandingoccurs through correct messaging platforms that gives a health carebusiness a name and identity that makes it stand out from the rest inthe market. The brand message is then used in marketing campaigns tomake them successful (Gandolf, 2011).

  1. Public relations

Publicrelations can be defined as the way an organization relates with theoutside world such as creating exposure through the available socialmedia and the press. Through careful planning, perfect timing andproper messaging, a health care business can use the press such asnewspaper articles and broadcast interviews to make its name popularin the public.

  1. Internal Marketing

Manyorganizations focus on external marketing and overlook the importanceof internal marketing. Internal marketing is a powerful tool formarketing an organization. It entails communicating and interactingwith the people who already know the institution, current andprevious patients (Gandolf, 2011). Internal audience is importantsince through them, an organization can get more patients throughreferrals and at the same time act as word-of-mouth campaigners forthe organization.


Courtemanche,H. (2015). Effective Doesn`t Have To Be Brain Surgery. Availableat:

GandolfS. (2011). 6Proven Ways to Market Any Healthcare Organization.Available at:

KotenkoJ. (2013).Thedoctor will see you now: How the Internet and social media are changing healthcare.Available at:

  1. Describe the concepts of the BCG matrix and GE matrix that are used to determine organizational strategy. What is an advantage of the GE matrix model over the BCG matrix?

Thecreation of the BCG matrix by Boston Consulting Group in 1968 was abig step in identification of growth prospects by many organizations.According to Arline (2015), the BCG matrix focuses on discoveringhigh-growth visions by differentiating a business’s products on thebasis of growth rate and market share. By segmenting a company’sproducts into four based on the two elements (growth rate and marketshare), the matrix assists a company to focus and optimize theirresources in products identified as having the largest market shareand the highest fastest growth rates (Leila, 1989).

TheGE matrix a joint invention by McKinsey and General Electric in 1970sis primarily used to carry out business portfolio examination on thestrategic business units of an organization (Arline, 2015). A largecorporation is composed of several strategic business units (SBU).The GE matrix is composed of nine boxes, which provides an insight ondecision making on all matters pertaining investment and development.The matrix guides decision makers with an effective framework for adecentralized corporation to make sound investment decisions anddevelopment of effective strategies to enhance upcoming productgrowth. The matrix also helps in identification of new marketentries, which will attract more customers for the organization.

Themain advantage of using the GE matrix is that it enables acorporation to embrace a multi-dimensional approach to examine thefuture performance of each strategic business unit (Amatulli,Caputo and Guido, 2011).The matrix utilizes two components to evaluate business,attractiveness of the relevant industry and competitive strength ofthe business unit within the same industry. The two components areused in analyzing how each unit will perform in the future hence helpa corporation in choosing the best strategies to develop and grow thebest business units identified. One advantage of the GE matrix overthe BCG matrix is that it evaluates products on the basis of businessunit strength and industry attractiveness rather than market share.The GE matrix is preferred by many companies over the BCG matrixsince it enables the implementation of organizational strategies thatwill focus on business units which proof to be the most attractiveand strongest in terms of competition in the available markets,making the strategies successful.


Amatulli,C., Caputo, T., &amp Guido, G. (2011). Strategic analysis throughthe general electric/McKinsey Matrix: An application to the Italianfashion industry.International Journal of Business and Management,6(5). DOI:&nbsp10.5539/ijbm.v6n5p61Arlinek. (2015). What is a BCG matrix? Available at: J. (1989). Frameworks for Organizational Strategy.Journal of Training and Development,Vol.43, No. 9.

  1. Explain the HIPAA’s patient basic needs and what it permits or forbids marketers to do.

HIPAAsees to it that as marketers and health care providers do theirmarketing, they respect the various basic rights of the patients. Oneof the patients’ basic rights is the right to be informed inwriting of all the information practices by the health care providersand marketers. According to U.SDepartment of Health &amp Human Services (2003).Every patient has the right to examine and use their healthinformation under the protection of their health care providers. Ofgreat importance is the fact that health care providers and marketersshould be aware that the patient has the right to ask for amendmentsor corrections if they feel their health record is incorrect orincomplete. Health care providers are not at their liberty to recordinformation pertaining a patient’s health without letting thepatient read the recorded information and ensure it is correctlyrecorded (U.SDepartment of Health &amp Human Services (2003).It is also the right of the patient to allow the health careprovider, use his or her health information for other purposes otherthan treatment, payment, or health care operations (Ericksonand Millar, 2005).HIPAA also ensures that when a patient opts out of a marketingcommunication, the health care provider or marketer should honortheir request and stop using or disclosing the patient’s healthinformation.

Healthcare organizations are allowed to maintain communicationrelationships with patients using protected health informationwithout the knowledge of the patient unless it falls within thedefinition of marketing by HIPAA (Gostin, Levit and Nass, Eds.2009).Under HIPAA, all health care providers and marketers are supposed toseek permission before executing most of their marketing activities(U.SDepartment of Health &amp Human Services (2003).However, HIPAA allows use and disclosure of protected healthinformation for marketing purposes without authorization under thefollowing instances:

  • When the marketing information is passed in face-to-face interactions.

  • When marketing involves products or services of nominal value. This is to enable the distribution of diaries, calendars and other products intended for promotions.

  • When marketing is about health-related products or services of the healthcare company, if the marketing communications:

  1. Identifies the concerned party as the one executing the communication

  2. Reveals any direct or indirect compensation received by the entity involved, for the use or disclosure of health information

  3. Highlights guidelines on how to opt out of related future communication

  4. Give reasons as to why the individual has been targeted for the communication, when the marketing is covering the patient’s health status or condition.


Erickson,J., Millar, S. (2005). Caring for Patients While Respecting TheirPrivacy: Renewing Our Commitment.&nbspOJIN: The Online Journalof Issues in Nursing. Vol. 10 No. 2, Manuscript1.DOI:&nbsp10.3912/OJIN.Vol10No02Man01

Gostin,L. O., Levit, L. A., &amp Nass, S. J. (Eds.). (2009).&nbspBeyondthe HIPAA Privacy Rule: Enhancing Privacy, Improving Health ThroughResearch. NationalAcademies Press.

U.SDepartment of Health &amp Human Services (2003). Uses andDisclosures for Treatment, Payment, and Health Care Operations.Available at:

  1. Describe what role routine decision making and complex decision making has when it comes to the choosing health insurance using the health care exchange for Obamacare. Provide detail.

Despitethe various amendments which have been implemented on health carepolicies, much still need to be done to make healthcare moreaccessible in terms of awareness and cost (Gamage, 2012). ManyAmericans lack the knowledge of the various factors that should beconsidered when choosing a health insurance from exchange marketplace(McKeown, 2011). The ObamaCare exchanges are internet-automatedbazaars which Americans utilize to choose the most appropriate healthinsurances in terms of affordability and healthcare needs. Themarketplace is highly competitive with several healthcare providersand hence the public has to make wise decisions in choosing the bestinsurance plan that fits them in terms of cost and healthcareservices catered for (ObamaCare Facts, 2015). Through routinedecision making, an individual may rush into choosing the cheapesthealth insurance plan. However, choosing a health insurance fromObamaCare exchanges does not only need routine decision making butalso complex decisions. Apart from making simple decisions as towhether to enroll for an insurance program, an individual has toemploy complex decision making to evaluate whether the healthinsurance plan covers all his and that of his family’s health careneeds. Complex decision making will enable an individual choose ahealth insurance not based on one factors such as cost but all otherfactors making it the best for him and the entire family.

Theprimary focus of the Affordable Care Act is ensuring that allAmericans especially the poor have access to affordable healthinsurance and enhance health care quality (ObamaCare Facts, 2015).There are four options of health plans that an individual or employercan choose from: bronze plan, silver plans, gold plan and platinumplans. The bronze and silver just as the names suggest are of lowerquality but more affordable. On the other hand, gold and platinum arequality insurance plans but come at a cost. HealthCare providersshould therefore avail all the information pertaining these fourtypes of health insurance plans to assist patients in their routineand complex decision making (McKeown, 2011). It is important for thepublic to make wise decisions in choosing the best insurance plansconsidering a variety of factors such as affordability, benefits anddeductibles among others.


Gamage,D. (2012). How the Affordable Care Act Will Create PerverseIncentives Harming Low and Moderate Income Workers.&nbspTaxLaw Review,&nbsp65.McKeownK. (2011). EmpoweringPatients as Key Decision Makers in the Face of Rising Health CareCosts. Available at: 2015. What is the ObamaCare Health Insurance Exchange Marketplace? Available at: you were conducting a health care market research study onthe effects of Obamacare on the uninsured. Describe in detail whichtype of data collection and sampling methods you would use for thisresearch study.ObamaCareis a law amendment which focused on expanding and upgrading theaccess to quality health care by the poor. Therefore, it is theexpectations of many that the health care reforms impacted positivelyon the uninsured who mainly are the poor (Rosenbaum, 2011).Astudy to investigate the impact of ObamaCare therefore would focus oncollecting data from the poor who purchased their insurances as aresult of the Affordable Act or are still uninsured due to variousreasons. I would use survey method in which ten public hospitalswould be selected through random sampling. After the selection of theten hospitals to be covered by the current study, cluster samplingmethod will be used in selecting the research sample. In particular,the research would employ two-stage sampling method in selecting thesubjects to be interviewed. The first stage will be selectingsubjects on the basis that they are insured under Obamacare or wishto get insured in the future. In stage two, the selected subjectswill then be categorized into two clusters, the insured and theuninsured. This method is appropriate for this type of study becauseit allows a researcher to study a large sample with a limited budget,a factor that other methods do not allow (Ahmed, 2009).

Interviewsand questionnaires are effective data collection methods forcollecting detailed and unbiased data (Opdenakker, 2006). Since thesample is large, stratified sampling will be used to choose thesubjects to be interviewed from the two clusters. Interviews willoffer the researcher a chance to interact with the participantsface-to-face therefore increasing the validity of the data collected.The rest of the participants will be issued with questionnairescontaining both open and close-ended questions. The interviews andquestionnaires for the insured will touch on areas such:

  • The benefits of the insurance plan

  • Shortcomings of the ObamaCare reforms

  • Accessibility to quality health care

  • Affordability of the insurance plan

  • Recommendations to improve the Affordable HealthCare Act.

Forthe uninsured cluster, their interviews and questionnaires will touchon issues such:

  • Reasons for being uninsured and means of accessing healthcare services

  • Impact of ObamaCare on the accessibility to quality, affordable healthcare services

  • Challenges in enrolling for a health insurance

  • Necessary alterations to ObamaCare Act to make it more successful in making healthcare more accessible and affordable


AhmedS. (2009). Methodsin Sample Surveys: Cluster Sampling. Available at:

Opdenakker,R. (2006). Advantages and disadvantages of four interview techniquesin qualitative research. In&nbspForumQualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative SocialResearch&nbsp(Vol.7, No. 4).

Rosenbaum,S. (2011). The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:implications for public health policy and practice.&nbspPublicHealth Reports,&nbsp126(1),130.

  1. Explain how important factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity are to socio-demographic segmentation. Give detail with examples.

Socio-demographicsegmentation mainly entails categorization of markets intosub-categories using demographic variables such as age, religion,gender among others. The socio-demographic variables are veryimportant since they are closely related to customer’s preferencesand hence useful in implementing effective marketing strategies(Jain and Kaur, 2006).Each variable is significant in demographic segmentation since itprovides useful information that helps in business strategies andproduct development (Lindsayt, 2014).

  • Age

Agecategorizes a market according to the ages of the consumers. As aperson ages, his needs and preferences change. Therefore, thisvariable it provides useful information which business use indeveloping new and services based on their market preferences anddesires as determined by age.

  • Income

Thisis most important factor in segmenting a market. The purchasing powerof a person is greatly determined by the level of income (Lindsayt,2014). This variable groups the consumer market into three groups:low, middle and high class. The grouping is important in since itinfluences the quality and pricing of goods and services offered bybusinesses (Larsen, 2010). For instance, the services and goodsdesigned for the high class people are of better quality but costlycompared to those targeting the middle and the low class.

  • Family size

Thesize of the family determines the consumption rate of goods andservices. The family size also affects packaging size. Thisinformation is important in helping companies and business indetermining how much they produce and how they package their goods.For instance, large families will go for goods packaged in quantityto cater for the large family while a family with few members will gofor smaller packets.

  • Gender/Sex

Themarket is categorized into two, female and male. The two havedifferent needs, preferences and spending rate influencingbusinesses’ marketing strategies. For instance, markets with manyfemales than men will focus on services and goods which arefemale-oriented and the vice-versa.

  • Occupation

Occupationgreatly influences the consumer buying decisions greatly influencingwhat companies produce. For instance, professional such as athleteswill mainly target goods and services related to athletics.

  • Religion

Religionis a key factor that greatly determines the sale of certain goods.For instance, Muslims will eat cow meat instead of pork since it isconsidered evil and impure.

  • Race/ethnicity

Internationalcompanies use this form of categorization, which suggests thatconsumer preferences and buying patterns differ according to race andethnicity. Currently, the international market is grouped intoAmerican, Europeans, African and Asians. For instance, a foodprocessor will package cow meat targeting Chinese markets but packagechicken meat for the Indian markets.


Jain,S. K., &amp Kaur, G. (2006). Role of socio-demographics insegmenting and profiling green consumers: an exploratory study ofconsumers in India.&nbspJournalof International Consumer Marketing,&nbsp18(3),107-146.

LarsenN. (2010). MarketSegmentation – A framework for determining the right target customers. Available at:

Lindsayt(2014). Demographic Variables and Marketing Strategies. Available at:

  1. Is customer satisfaction more important than customer loyalty? Provide your thoughts with detail.

Customersatisfaction is the measure of how products and services meet thepreferences and the needs of the customers (Tobe, 2013). Customerloyalty is the measure of the probability that a customer willpurchase the goods and services again and the likelihood of choosingto another competitor (Ganiyu, Uche and Elizabeth, 2012). Personally,I would support Tobe’s arguments that a satisfied customer isdifferent from a loyal customer. Satisfaction is just one of thefactors that make a customer loyal. Many are times satisfied or evenover-satisfied customers leave a business for other competitors inthe market. Satisfaction or perfect customer service experience isnot enough to ensure customers are not lost to the competitors (Tobe,2013).

Theimportance of customer loyalty cannot be overemphasized since many ofthe successful business such as Forbes and McDonald endeavor to makeall their customers loyal to them. A loyal customer will not onlyrepetitively purchase goods and services from a business but underrare circumstances will he or she defect to another competitor. For Acustomer may visit X business once and get satisfactory goods andservices and leave the premise, with all needs met. However, the samecustomer may visit another competitor Y, in the same market anotherday and get better services and experiences that will make him or hernot return to business X again. If business Y strives to offer thebest products and services to this particular customer, he or shebecome loyal to business Y making it a priority over business X.

Accordingto Gustafsson, Johnson and Roos (2005), businesses should strive tomake their customers loyal not just making them satisfied.Customers are made loyal through extra attention, extra customerservice experience and extra recognition. Businesses should aim tomake their customers feel important and valued apart from making themsatisfied. Successful businesses are maintained by loyal customersand not satisfied customers. I would conclude by pointing out thatcustomer loyalty is more important compared to customer satisfactioneven by the mere fact that a business has first to achieve customersatisfaction before achieving customer loyalty.


Ganiyu,R. A., Uche, I. I., &amp Elizabeth, A. O. (2012). Is CustomerSatisfaction an Indicator of Customer Loyalty? AustralianJournal of Business and Management Research,&nbsp2(70), 14-28.

Gustafsson,A., Johnson, M. D., &amp Roos, I. (2005). The effects of customersatisfaction, relationship commitment dimensions, and triggers oncustomer retention.&nbspJournalof marketing,&nbsp69(4),210-218.

TobeJ. (2013). A Satisfied Customer is NOT the Same as a Loyal Customer!Available at: