Healthcare Marketing Tools And Techniques

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Healthcare Marketing Tools and Techniques

Healthcare Marketing Tools and Techniques

The health care industry faces several aspects of marketing in the business aspects of their practice. There is more di-rect-to-consumer marketing in the United States of health plans and pharmaceuticals, costs that eventually reach payers. Research and development spending on pharmaceuticals and other technologies is also higher in the United States. (Fortenberry, 2009) argues that without the profit motivation, innovation in health-care would falter should the United States move toward more of a state-funded medical system.

A trend toward increasing decentralization of healthcare in United States will also shape the evolution of the American pharmaceutical market. Because regional governments are now responsible for their own healthcare budgets, many of them want to exercise greater control over pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement decisions, prescribing guidelines, and cost-containment strategies. Over time, the American market is likely to become increasingly fragmented along regional lines, presenting new challenges for pharmaceutical companies. Manufacturers will need to develop regional marketing strategies and may eventually even have to negotiate pricing and reimbursement terms region by region (Cleverley, 2007).

Business leaders know that a marketing information system (MIS) is the basis for effective management decisions. It stands to reason that if organization develops new products, services, or concepts, the market had better want them and be willing to pay what organization needs to charge to cover costs and produce the desired ROI. You are in the business of solving customers' problems better than firm's competition does, so organization had better carefully observe and listen to consumers and customers.

Any basic marketing course teaches the “four P's of marketing”—Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. This model served us well in the past, but now there is a more complex and competitive business environment, so it makes sense to expand the paradigm of the four P's and think of marketing in terms of eight P's. The eight P's are tools to be understood, used, manipulated, developed, and perfected in order to reach the ultimate marketing goal of making and keeping customers at a profit (Enzmann, 2007). Just as organization would use a hammer, saw, and nails to fashion wood into a piece of fine furniture, organization use these elements to fashion raw marketing information into a successful marketing plan.

The first “P” requires organization to ask the question, Who are firm's customers and prospective customers? You need a clear understanding of their demographics, psychographics, and buying behaviors. Underlying the needs, wants, and expectations of these markets are changing lifestyle trends, which alter how consumers think about firm's products and brand. Just think of the healthy eating and fitness trend. Before we all started counting calories and fat grams, fried foods were good! Now, we may still eat them, but we think of them differently. In addition to trends, an important part of the People “P” is who customers “rub elbows with.” Being like other people—the right other people—is part of why consumers buy a certain brand of jeans, join a certain club, or eat ...
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