The health care system in the United States has recently become immensely commercialized and now it is functioning according to the same principles of the market economy as any other industry. This paper aims to examine current trends and practices in health care marketing, namely advertising, product development, pricing, etc. In particular, it is necessary to examine the impact of modern marketing strategies on consumers behavior and their decision-making. Finally, it is vital to assess the influence of these techniques on medical workers because they may be both positive and negative.
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Overall, the health care market in the United States becomes more and more competitive (Fortenberry, 2009, p. 28). The number of pharmaceutical companies increases, so they have to implement new strategies for promoting their products to the eventual clients. The key task is to emphasize the unique characteristics of the medicaments or services which they sell. The first detail which immediately attracts attention is the great involvement of mass media. More and more people nowadays base their decisions on the advertisements rather than the opinion of their physician. Additionally, it should be mentioned that the competition among medical institutions has also intensified, for example, between health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). They try to excel in the quality and range of their services, pricing, and discounts. They also attempt to adjust their services to the needs of various populations, depending on their income level. Certainly, it has to be admitted that health care service is still regulated from the start but even despite this supervision, it has grown more independent of the government.
Major Marketing Techniques
Companies, operating in the sphere of health care try to diversify their marketing techniques to increase the range of their target audience and make a personal appeal to a potential consumer. According to Thomas (2008), current health care marketing techniques tend to develop in the direction of specification and narrowing of their focus (p. 126). Many scholars point out that modern health care organizations prioritize their customers. They try to determine who will decide as to the purchasing of the medicaments, either a medical worker or an individual patient. Moreover, while advertising their products these organizations emphasize not only the effectiveness and safety; they also set stress on the benefits which a person can take, such as self-esteem, social acceptance, physical and emotional comfort (Berkowitz, 2006).
It stands to reason that the current marketing techniques in health care affect consumer behavior. As it has been mentioned before, they pay attention not only to the effectiveness of a particular medicament, hypothetical aftereffects, or its reliability or safety. This information can be given by a physician or pharmacist. They frequently make their judgment only based on commercial and its quality. It should be borne in mind that customers become more demanding and the health care providers display a readiness to satisfy the increased demands. The key issue is that the modern concept of health has evolved and it cannot be interpreted only as of the absence of pain or physical discomfort. This notion also includes productivity, harmonious relations with other people, and so forth. Hence, pharmaceuticals underline this point in their commercials.
Marketing Techniques Influence Assessment
Naturally, the development of health care marketing techniques affects medical workers directly. The major influences include the increased demands for their performance and the need to obtain additional educational and professional qualifications to be able to conform to the newly established and marketed standards of the company’s services. These effects can be assessed as exclusively positive for the increase in service quality of health care providers. The higher performance standards facilitate the achievement of higher goals and personal development of every person. Increased competitiveness of the market gives more options to medical workers who can select from a vast variety of medicaments and recommend them to their patients. However, this variety of medicaments also sets great difficulties for them. They need to take into consideration that the level of their effectiveness is relatively the same, but their price can be different. So they need to find the best price-quality ratio.
On the whole, this discussion demonstrates that the American health care system is currently experiencing a period of marketing techniques and trends change. The change can be called commercialization. This process eventually shapes the decision-making of consumers. Accordingly, the current health care marketing techniques are on their way to becoming more targeted and personalized in their appeal to clients. The respective consumer trends are characterized by the greater demands set for health care providers and conditioned by the variety of choices present in the health care market.
Berkowitz, E.N. (2006). Essentials of health care marketing (2nd Ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
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Fortenberry, J. (2009).Healthcare Marketing: Tools and Techniques (2rd Ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
Thomas, R. (2008). Health Services Marketing. Springer New York.