Recalling Kotler’s Old School Marketing 4Ps and its application on the Modern Day Healthcare Market
Familiar with Philip Kotler?
Ever read Marketing books in college?
Your answer might be either (Nope.. Yes… Maybe?)
Well, just google his name, and you’ll find out that he was dubbed as the Father of Modern Marketing.
His book “Principles of Marketing” that was originally published in 1957, is a staple reading material for every Marketing Course in practically every college or business school there is.
Principles of Marketing is popular because of the Marketing Mix – or otherwise known as the 4 P’s of marketing:
But, I bet that you didn’t stumble into this article to read about Kotler right?
I know, I know….
You’re here because you have a healthcare company and you want to know the practices your healthcare business should have.
Well, I just want to congratulate you because you just found the right article you’re looking for!
Well, Kotler’s Principles of Marketing maybe old, but it is actually the right ingredient that you need, to solve your modern day marketing challenges you face in this vast and highly competitive medical community of providers, professionals and patients.
Why are we using Kotler’s Principles of Marketing?
Glad you asked.
We’re using Kotler’s Marketing Mix 4 P’s because it’s simple, easy to understand and is very applicable for healthcare marketing despite the changing dynamics of the consumer demographic of medical care.
(In short, it is a timeless reference for anyone wanting to engage in Healthcare Marketing.)
So here you go!
The 5 Practices your healthcare business must understand:
1. Define your PRODUCTS and Services in Healthcare
Make sure that you define your company well.
How do you want your business to be perceived by customers and potential customers?
If your products/services are for patients, makes sure you market it in a way that clearly speaks to patients. If your company means to serve healthcare professionals, see to it that your branding appeals to doctors, dentists, nurses, therapists and other healthcare practices.
Your Healthcare Marketing strategies have to be designed, sculpted and shaped to attract your consumers.
Communicating to customers and clearly defining what your services will be key in the marketing aspect whichever way you look at it.
This is highly critical for doctors, home healthcare agencies, dentists and virtually every known healthcare practice there is.
Is your pricing competitive for the healthcare market?
Dude, do some research!
If you can, try to “shop” around for information about how much your competitors are charging their patients or healthcare customers.
A research made by Harvard Business Review shows that 56% of Americans had tried to determine the price they or their insurer would face for a service before getting care, not including any copayment.
Healthcare Marketing is about ensuring your business stays competitive price-wise.
You don’t necessarily have to set the bar with the least cost but you can stay competitive with your quality if you can’t lower your service charges for medical care or healthcare products.
The point is to be competitive: that is, to give great value for the price your customers are paying.
3. PLACE: Choose the right avenue for Healthcare Marketing
With Healthcare Marketing today, there are two things that are more effective as the “places” to be reached by your consumers.
You guessed it!
websites and social media.
Think of your website as your healthcare company’s marketing headquarters.
You’re using social media with individual accounts, blogs and pages to draw the audience in so they will visit your website.
According to Life Hack:
“Launching a fantastic web site means you’ll instantly become a global business, allowing you to expand your clientele to a much larger audience. Your web site is visible in almost every country around the globe, and that means you expand your potential client base by millions.”
Yes it is..
When we say “website”, we don’t mean those ready-made templates your domain provider gives you for free.
We mean ‘custom web design‘ – to make your websites recognizable.
(Hint: If your template website looks the same with every other company using the same template, how are you set apart from the rest of the healthcare providers out there?)
4. Promote your Healthcare Products and Services Online
Did you know that your physical office is only secondary to your online presence as a healthcare company?
While having an office is still very important in your business, in healthcare marketing, however, it’s very rare for customers to go to your office directly to check out your services.
The usual consumer behavior these days is to swipe open our phones, type in a company name or a product/service we’re looking for and wait for google to return some results.
The point is, if you don’t have a “place” online for your consumers to visit, you’ll be stumped by competitors who are actively maintaining custom websites and social media presence.
Let’s turn the Marketing Mix into “4 P’s and an E”
E for Engagement (resulting from the last P which is Promotion)
If you promote, it has to be effective so that you can engage people to market in your behalf.
Let your consumers, patients and customers spread the word for you.
Encourage customer response on your facebook page, engage with them, answer their queries.
Connecting with customers is definitely something you should consider when developing your Healthcare Marketing strategies.
Healthcare Marketing can truly influence a buyer’s response.
It can work for your business or it may not.
And if it’s not working, there may be an aspect in your healthcare marketing that you’re overlooking.
Think out of the box. Be different – and make sure that your target market for healthcare marketing knows it.
Applying Kotler’s 4Ps in your marketing strategies is a fail-safe way to advance your business as a healthcare provider, pharmacy or private medical practice.
Are you facing healthcare marketing challenges right now? What has been the most effective way to get the word out there, to show your customers that your healthcare company exists? How active are you on facebook, twitter and other social media?
Share your experiences about Healthcare Marketing in the comments section below.