Marketing Healthcare Services

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Marketing is concept that helps determine the success of an organizational mission. Essentials of Health Care Marketing (2006) define marketing as, the execution of the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of the goods, ideas and services. The author, Berkowitz (2006) goes on to say, “in order to respond to customers, an organization must develop a product, determine the price customers are willing to pay, identify what place is most convenient for the customers to purchase the product or access the service, and finally, promote the product to customers to let them know it is available.” Often referred to as the four Ps of marketing strategy; the four main principles of marketing are: product, price, place and promotion. The mix of these four controllable variables that a business uses to pursue a desired level of sales is known as the marketing mix (Berkowitz, 2006). These principles can be applied to business marketing almost any industry, including healthcare. Successful healthcare marketing strategies will combine a variable mix of these principles within a marketing initiative.

When considering healthcare marketing, the term, product is applied loosely. Healthcare products include items or goods such as: wheelchairs, hearing aids and over-the-counter medications. In healthcare marketing, healthcare services such as: physical therapy, weight management and diabetes education, can also be referred to as product.

Price focuses on what customers are willing to pay for a service (Berkowitz, 2006). In healthcare today, price is a major issue. Insurance premiums, for example; the prices continue to increase, while the benefits and amount of covered services decrease. Employers are paying a smaller portion of premiums. Insurance companies are now requiring a co-payment from the consumer, whereas in the past, insurance companies paid the entire medical bill (Berkowitz, 2006). This influx, in turn, drives up the cost of the services...
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