Share on Facebook Helping people feel better and take care of health problems is just the start of selling health care services and products. You also need to implement a marketing strategy to find ways to appeal to prospective patients or customers. Before you start designing your campaign, get the facts about marketing in the healthcare industry, including the regulations regarding advertising healthcare products and services.
Law firms, management consultants, IT services and telecom providers, architectural groups, healthcare and educational organizations, financial and insurance institutions, and a multitude of business-to-consumer operations profit from performing and delivering people-based services.
But invisibility, or intangibility, is just one factor that distinguishes services marketing from product marketing. Along with inseparability, variability, and perishability, these four characteristics affect the way clients behave during the buying process and the way organizations must interact with them.
Additionally, these characteristics influence the development of marketing strategies and the more tactical marketing mix—from the "packaging" and pricing of services bundles, to defining distribution plans and promotions options.
To ensure business success, services marketing professionals must clearly understand these characteristics, how they affect client behavior, and how their organization can respond to diminish engagement risk, improve customer perceptions, and enhance market opportunities.
Intangibility Services are not physical and cannot be "possessed. A services client will never know how good the service is until after Marketing healthcare services receives it.
In some cases, it actually may be months or years before a trigger event occurs to activate the service, at which time the client hopes to experience the promised service quality e.
This can be unsettling for the client, whose response is to look for tangible signals about the service process and quality prior to purchase to reduce uncertainty and reservation. Services marketing professionals must determine how to effectively communicate the services process, deliverables, and benefits in order to build client confidence.
Tangible signals that indicate services quality and value come from personal interaction, trusted recommendations, clear communications, equipment used or processes followed, pricing, and the physical environment in which the business operates.
With promotions, a logo symbol can offer a sense of tangibility—the "good hands" of Allstate, the Merrill Lynch bull, the Prudential Insurance rock.
Testimonials and case studies can be used to build client confidence and rapport. The communications material itself paper, design, and content can convey quality, too. Pricing can also be an indicator of quality: Premium pricing often suggests higher quality, while prices that are too low may hint at the inexperience, limited depth, or vague processes of the services producer.
But tangibility must extend beyond promotions and price. Because positive personal interaction and "chemistry" is a gauge of quality to the client, marketing as a discipline must be influential in the training of sales and service associates.
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These individuals literally are the embodiment of marketing for the organization. Their ability to deliver on the brand promise affects business success. Therefore, creating client relationships, setting appropriate expectations, and learning to represent the company in an acceptable way e.
Because it is critical to services delivery, the success of client interactions should be quantified, measured, and improved with regularity. Inseparability The production of the services can't be separated from its consumption.
For example, the production and consumption of a medical exam happen together, as do many consulting services and IT maintenance contracts. This leads to two important factors.
First, the client is, essentially, "in the factory," watching production all along the way. It is very important for a service provider or consultant to carefully manage the "production process" as the client is able to observe it in action and make judgments about quality and value.
Second, the client often expects the service to be provided in a specific way or by a specific individual—and that can pose challenges in assigning staff, managing the process, and ensuring the frontline people display the appropriate knowledge, attitude, and appearance when delivering the service.
Services marketing professionals can encourage client participation during the delivery process. As the client is engaged through interviews, strategy sessions, regular communications, testing, and face-to-face updates at major milestones, he gains confidence and builds commitment to the engagement and relationship.
To manage distribution and pricing considerations in the face of inseparability, the marketing professional can identify the level of personalization that the client requires and the company can support. For example, interactions can be managed through conference calls versus on-site visits, or exchanges can be shifted from high-contact to low-contact operations e.
These changes should be carefully evaluated to ensure client acceptance and positive brand impact. Variability Sometimes called "heterogeneity," services quality and consistency are subject to great variability because they are delivered by people, and human behavior is difficult to control.
Personal performance and quality can vary by time of day people get tiredtime of month or year during tax time for CPAsworkload, experience, attitude, knowledge, and other factors. Maintaining client trust during lapses which will happen is critical.Jan 31, · It's been called "selling the invisible"—delivering intangible services as a core "product" offering.
Law firms, management consultants, IT services and telecom providers, architectural groups, healthcare and educational organizations, financial and insurance institutions, and a multitude of business-to-consumer operations profit from performing and delivering people-based services. Healthcare communicators are a special breed, and we invite you to join our tribe.
HPRMA is the only Southern California group affiliated with the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD).
Marketing healthcare services and products presents unique challenges compared to other consumer goods and services, because it deals with health behaviors as opposed to just purchasing behaviors.
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