Choosing marketing channels to introduce a product or services
When selecting marketing channels, an organization should consider the costs of using such distribution. The cost of distribution will heavily impact the final consumer prices of a product, and as such, a producer who wants to control product price outside its real costs would rely on this factor to influence the market. Market studies reveal that increase in the number of channels has accounted for higher health care prices in the US (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008).
The target market should be considered in the process of selecting a distribution channel. When a market spread is too large, using multiple chain supplies will be practicable since fewer chains would not reach out to the target market with speed and efficiency. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that the market is served reliably by providing products in real-time to be rated as most reliable based on the availability of goods whenever needed.
Strategies to change physicians’ perception of marketing and promotion in health care
Marketing, advertisement, and sales are terms that have occasionally been used interchangeably by many people, including physicians. However, it should be noted that though they point to one thing, they are completely different. Physicians are an integral audience in healthcare marketing hence the need to incorporate them in marketing. To make them understand the need for promotional strategies, various strategies may be employed.
One of the strategies could be involving them in the development of meaningful and relevant communications programs intended for the promotion of health care services (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). By doing so, physicians would rise above a narrow perception held against advertising and other forms of promotion. The other strategy can be to share marketing information and build relationships between various health participants and physicians to gain knowledge of marketing from the best-practices perspective.
Another strategy could be developing physician marketing techniques and tools that facilitate referrals and engage them in direct consumer campaigns to grow business for hospitals (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). The proposed physician marketing tools and tips will help in minimizing marketing hurdles faced by physicians.
Trade shows for medical device, pharmaceutical, and health information systems companies
Trade shows in health care marketing mainly target wholesalers and retailers as drivers of product selling. They target the channels of distribution to help in pushing health care products through the distribution channel. The other target market is the general public, since most attendees are active seekers of products and services. Therefore, health care marketers use trade shows in promoting direct sales at their booth stations.
There are numerous advantages to medical device companies, pharmaceutical companies, and health information systems companies derived from using trade shows. One advantage is that they can complete nonpromotional marketing goals at shows (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). An example of such an accomplishment is that marketing research data can be gathered from visitors to improve their services. Secondly, organizations responsible for trade shows provide assistance and information to exhibitors; hence these participants could choose this form of promotion. Lastly, they serve as drivers of publicity and advertisement. During the exhibition, companies get the public’s attention, and as such, the general public gets to know of them as market participants.
One of the disadvantages of using trade shows is that there are no immediate returns. During the show, huge costs incurred, such as “give-away” items and operational costs, are not offset immediately. This may not be practicable for small scale companies with no adequate capital base. The other disadvantage is that they are usually expensive and time-consuming. Organizing for a trade show requires huge funds and, as such, may be inappropriate based on cost ineffectiveness (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). Lastly, many businesses in the same industry engage in trade shows; hence it is a competitive process in which a company may risk losing consumer confidence if not well planned.
Personal marketing communications in health care
Personal marketing communications are effective when a marketer is targeting small market coverage. In this process, a marketer uses a one-to-one marketing approach by reaching the target audience (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). This strategy enables marketers to gain a direct response from the market audience while boosting their sales. Another circumstance that will make personal marketing appropriate is when it needs to get direct responses or feedback from its target audience.
Word-of-mouth can appropriately be used by hospitals when it needs to build strong customer relationships within its market place. To make this method viable, health care marketers can use customer care representatives and personalized service provision to promote its image.
Marketing for a new “men’s health” product line
One recommendation would be to carry out focused market research to measure the market response on the intended new product line. Market research and surveys are key drivers of market penetration, and as such, the hospital should undertake them before the launch (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). This will help to forecast the future of the product while establishing its viability within the market.
The other recommendation is that competitor analysis should be conducted, and the results creatively used to the hospital’s advantage with the view to position the product on the edge of advantage.
In the process, numerous setbacks are inevitable; hence as the vice president of marketing, I anticipate the following as the possible obstacles:
- Resistance and lack of cooperation from some of the team members in the process of releasing the new product. This drawback is based on the knowledge that employee resistance to change and innovation is a usual phenomenon in organizations trying to accommodate new challenges of the contemporary business world.
- Stiff competition from the already existing products and hospitals in the target market.
Web-based marketing for a small orthopedic implant company
Web-based marketing ensures that customers shop from anywhere around the clock, seven days a week. It is convenient for consumers since they do not need to visit the distributor’s premises or the manufactures selling points. This method of distribution allows easy means of comparison by consumers. Through the internet, consumers have the capacity to check and chose from the unlimited product offerings from a range of suppliers while having the convenience to quickly order items (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008).
There are disadvantages to the use of web-based distribution as a distribution strategy. One of them is that potential consumers of products feel uncomfortable disclosing their financial information contained in their credit cards. This strategy hence faces threats of uncompleted business transactions based on fears from customers who otherwise would have purchased the products.
It can be extremely expensive to design, use, and maintain web sites. Establishing a website-based business takes huge advertising costs; hence it may not be cost-effective for a business venture. This method does not give customers the luxury of touching and feeling the products. This may make new potential users to shy away from purchasing since they have not yet established their confidence in the product.
Marketing strategies for a hospital that is the only level one trauma center within a 300-mile radius and the indigent care facility in the city where there are four other hospitals
The first marketing strategy that could be used is direct marketing. This strategy is one of the most effective approaches when marketing within a small market range. This is because it is simple, cost-effective to reach put to the target market or audience. To facilitate this strategy, these institutions can use one-to-one response campaigns in reaching its target audience (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). This method is significant to increase sales by getting to the market instead of waiting for consumers to come to the clinic’s services.
The second marketing strategy that could be used by the health care service provider within a short-range market is personal selling. This approach involves the mobile provision of health care services to the nearby target audience. This method is effective since it is cheap for hospitals to move its personnel and facilities within the location without much inconvenience (Kotler, Shalkowitz, & Stevens, 2008). The process can achieve its selling objective by installing temporary or movable structures that facilitate the provision of services.
Kotler, P., Shalkowitz, J., &. Stevens, R. J. (2008). Strategic Marketing for Health Care Organizations Building a customer-driven health system. San Francisco, CA: John Willey &Sons.