Healthcare Strategic Marketing in the Research Paper
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These products and services, then, offer clients/patients with alternatives that ultimately require them to change their lifestyle, including their subsistence to medical or health care.
To counter this detrimental effects of substitute products and services that "promise" wellness and health of the body, the hospital must develop a "credibility campaign" in which both doctors and patients must become advocates for the hospital and medical/health care in general. Doctors will be advised to remind their patients always, during check-ups, to be more scrutinizing and only subsist to products and services that are scientifically proven to be effective.
Bargaining power of customers (buyers)
Healthcare organizations such as hospitals must always work hard at maintaining its clientele. Retention in patients/clients is a feat for hospitals, since when they start losing trust in their doctor or the organization, it would be easy to just switch doctors and hospitals, thereby losing a specific percentage of the hospital's target market.
Almost always, it is the price of the healthcare service provided that makes clients/patients move from one hospital or doctor to another. If the hospital is not in the position and decided it is not economically feasible to lower its healthcare fees, it should then develop programs that would make clients/patients feel that they are getting value for their money. Thus, establishment of health clubs or community of learners is an effective way to not only keep the clients satisfied with the hospital's healthcare services, but it also strengthens patients' loyalty through the creation of a small community within the hospital that patients/clients can relate to.
Bargaining power of suppliers
Suppliers can also
determine the marketing direction of a hospital, especially when it starts to increase prices of their products or services. In the event that this happens, the hospital must be knowledgeable enough about the products and services it buys and about the network of suppliers/distributors of these products/services that it would be easy for the hospital to request for discounts or easy payment schemes so that the increase in prices would be felt gradually only. Alternatively, the hospital could decide to switch suppliers if its management is informed about alternative suppliers and their performance in the market.
Intensity of competitive rivalry
Lastly, the intensity of competitive rivalry could make or break the survival of a hospital in a specific market or geographic area. For the hospital working for its survival in the market, it must strategize using two major approaches: (i) creating a sustainable competitive advantage over the competition through continuous innovation and (ii) usage of different platforms that enable the hospital to communicate and market its brand/image, products, and services.
Achieving a sustainable competitive advantage over the competition requires the hospital to differentiate itself from other hospitals, and this can be done through the establishment of new programs that aim to strengthen doctor-patient and patient-hospital relationships. However, a hospital that provides quality and economically competitive fees is always an indicator of competitive advantage and would make the hospital sustainable. Using traditional platforms of communication, especially face-to-face, give the hospital a kind of high-touch communication service to its clients/patients. However, it is also critical to experiment and use online platforms such as social media to promote its programs and disseminate information more efficiently and effectively.
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