The selected company is Hospital for Special Surgery, which is located in New York. The hospital was founded in 1863 and is one of the most recognized orthopedic hospitals in the country. It is critical to mention that the hospital is known for its expertise in orthopedic trauma, spine surgery, foot surgery, ankle surgery, sports medicine and joint replacement. One common fact about orthopedic hospitals and patients is that they take a long time to recover. This often means that they are bedridden for several weeks or months. One consequence of this is pressure ulcers that result in painful wounds on the skin of the patients due to staying in one position for a long time. Quality patient care ensures that patients are repositioned often to avoid or limit pressure ulcers. However, Pronovost et al. (2015) explain that this is often not the case due to various reasons.
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Hospital for Special Surgery is a specialist and teaching hospital with a mission to “provide the highest quality patient care, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life for all, and to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and their related disciplines through research and education. We do this regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin” (“Hospital for Specialized Surgery”). The company’s vision is “to lead the world as the most innovative source of medical care, the premier research institution, and the most trusted educator in the field of orthopedics, rheumatology, and their related disciplines” (Hospital for Specialized Surgery).
The specific product that has been selected is the sterile dressing foam wrap. This product is critical for Hospital for Specialized Surgery as it greatly improves patient care. The marketing initiative for the product will revolve around proving that not only does it improve patient care but also ensures patients who have already had surgeries do not waste time in the hospital due to wound care. Thus, the marketing initiative ties well with the hospital’s mission. A majority of the patients who visit the hospital for surgery have to spend weeks in bed. One complication of being bedridden is the development of pressure ulcers. Often, patients who develop pressure ulcers have to pay out-of-pocket for extra wound care as many insurances do not have this provision. Additionally, the same patients will return to their surgeons for wound care. This affects both the time and quality of service these surgeons dedicate to surgery as they are also taking care of the wounds. The sterile dressing foam wrap does not reduce the chances of the patient getting pressure ulcers. However, it makes it easier for the patients and their caregivers to treat these wounds at home.
Currently, the hospital does not directly recommend the purchase of the product to their patients. It can be assumed that this is due to the fact that many doctors like to see their patients physically to assess their recovery. Whereas going for reviews is important, the use of the sterile dressing foam wrap cuts the review time ensuring that doctors see more patients as it lowers reviews of pressure ulcers. A marketing initiative is, thus, needed to raise awareness among the doctors at the hospital on the importance of the wrap.
Critically, when making a marketing initiative, it is important to know customer needs. The primary customer for the product is the hospital and its staff. The secondary customer is the patients who have had surgery and their caregivers. The product, the sterile dressing foam wrap, addresses the needs of both in two main ways. The first is that it addresses the needs of the primary customer by improving patient care, which is the primary customer’s mission. Additionally, it caters to the needs of the secondary customer as it makes the wound care experience easier, faster and less painful. In terms of wants, the primary customer’s main want is to have happier and healthier patients. The product ensures this as patients do not have to use the extra money for wound care. On the other hand, a want for the secondary customer is to reduce the pain involved with wound care. The design of the product makes this a reality for these recovering patients. Lastly, on preferences, both the primary and secondary customers prefer professional products to enhance wound healing and general recovery. The product has been tested and is approved for professional use in wound care.
It is important to think about the four Ps of marketing when discussing the marketing initiative of the product. The four Ps of marketing are product, price, promotion, and place. For product, the sterile dressing foam wrap is sold in various sizes. The perfect size will depend on the patient preference and the wound location. Some of the wraps are colored but a majority are clear. The wraps are waterproof making it easy for the patient and his or her caregivers to wash over the areas with the wounds. The specifics of the product are important as they detail how it improves patient care. The second element of the marketing mix is price. If the surgeons at the Hospital for Specialized Surgery recommend the wraps as must-haves as they discharge the patients (such as painkillers and antibiotics), then the patient will not have to purchase the product out-of-pocket. It will be purchased under the patient’s insurance scheme. Regardless, the product retails at $100 per roll. Price is relevant in the marketing mix as it also indicates whether people will be able to afford the product if they do not have insurance.
The third P, promotion, refers to the marketing and advertising component of the marketing mix. There are several ways the product can be promoted. First, to the primary customers, the product can be promoted through sales reps who can also give free samples for experimental use. Secondly, the product can be advertised to secondary customers through both digital and traditional platforms. It is critical that the promotion also targets secondary customers. This is because the secondary customers are the end-users and if they believe the product will be useful, they will request for them specifically, which will boost the sale of the product to the primary customer as they will have to stock it. The consideration of the different ways to promote the product is relevant as it offers guidelines on how to increase sales. The fourth and final P is place. Primarily, it is intended that patients get the product directly from the hospital. However, this product can also be purchased over-the-counter at any drug store. It is critical to consider the different places both the primary and secondary customers can get the product as it will also determine the customer journey. The product has to be easily accessible to both primary and secondary consumers.
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The drivers for demand are critical in the marketing of this specific healthcare product. Some of the factors that will drive the demand of this product include the probability of scarring caused by the wounds from surgery, extreme sports, and dares or challenges. The first mentioned driver of demand (scarring) is mainly aesthetical. People who believe that the scars will be noticeable will want the product in order to limit this occurrence. Secondly, extreme sports have become popular over the years. Some repercussions of these sports include broken joints and bones. Many of the people participating in these extreme sports are young and would want to be out of hospital fast. The products make it easier for them to take care of their wounds from home. Thirdly, modern technology has also enhanced the desire of people to participate in different modern dares or challenges. Many people have been taken to hospitals from broken joints attempting these challenges for their internet followers. This also drives the demand of the product as it increases the probability of people getting injured and needing orthopedic surgery.
Establish the Context
Three marketing goals can be suggested to help align the marketing initiative to the company’s mission and vision. The objectives are:
- Build awareness of the product and its work in enhancing patient care among both the primary and secondary consumers within 3 months.
- Increase brand engagement through sampling and experimenting on patient care among the primary customer within 5 months.
- Increase product demand among secondary customers within 6 months through reviews of patient care using the product.
The marketing initiative has to also include the industry segment. In terms of demographics of the population segment, the product can be used on anybody regardless of gender and age. The market size is extensive as the product can be used by a majority of the patients that undergo serious surgery at the Hospital for Specialized Surgery, which is approximately 600 every month. Each of these 600 patients will need approximately 5 boxes of the product throughout their recovery. It is important to note that the product can also be used by any person with any psychographic and health status. However, different health complications might use different types of products.
As mentioned previously, the target market for the initiative can be divided into two. These two categories are the primary market (hospital) and the secondary market (patients and their caregivers). An important preference of the primary market is that it values quality patient care over everything else. On the same note, the secondary market prefers feeling as little pain as possible during wound care from pressure ulcers. The product can cater for both these preferences as not only is it validated for professional patient care, but it is also easy to use.
|Strengths ||Weaknesses |
|Opportunities ||Threats |
The organization’s main competitor is St Joseph’s Health which has attracted top orthopedic surgeons as well. One of the factors that makes St Joseph a competitor (strength) is their level of involvement in patient care after the patient has been released from the hospital. However, a weakness of this competitor is that they are relatively expensive compared to Hospital for Specialized Surgery. Based on the SWOT and competitor analysis done, it is clear that Hospital for Specialized Surgery holds the top market position in the city. This is due to the fact that it not only promotes professional patient care but also due to the fact that it accepts a majority of health insurance schemes and is also relatively cheap for patients paying out-of-pocket.
The promotion strategy will use both digital and traditional media. As explained earlier, traditional marketing techniques that include public relations and sales promotion will be used to target the primary consumer. These two are recommended for this specific target market due to the fact that for doctors to embrace the product, they have to trust its ability to enhance patient care. They can get to experiment with the product through free samples and once they are confident, they will be able to adopt the product. The secondary target market will be targeted through digital media such as social media and website endorsements. The marketing initiative will require both financial and human resources to be implemented.
Some of the direct expenses will include paying for digital advertising and the sales reps that will be dealing with the hospitals. Additionally, an indirect expense will be the giving out of free samples for use at the hospital to earn the trust of the surgeons. In order to understand whether the marketing initiative is successful, it is important that several metrics be identified for purposes of monitoring and evaluation. The success of the initiative will be measured through increased brand awareness and also increased demand by both the primary and secondary markets. It is critical to collect the right data from the marketing activity and some of the data that will be measured include sales, demographic of people asking for and buying the product (secondary market) and demographic of doctors using the samples (primary market).
The recommendations that have been given will help support the mission and vision of Hospital for Specialized Surgeries in various ways. First, the adoption of the product will enhance patient care even when the patient is at home. Secondly, the pricing strategy is effective to allow people who do not have active insurances to also be able to purchase the products, thus, ensuring that patients from the hospital still get to enjoy quality patient care. Additionally, the adoption of the product will also help the company realize its vision of using and leading in health innovations. The marketing proposal will ensure that the relevant target markets are approached to adopt the product as well.
Hospital for Specialized Surgery. (n.d). Mission and vision. Web.
Pronovost, P. J., Holzmueller, C. G., Molello, N., Paine, L. Winner, L., Marsteller, A. J…, & Michael, C. A. (2015). An academic institute for patient safety and quality improvement, research, training, and practice. The Armstrong Institute, Academic Medicine, 90(10), 1331-1339. Web.