Marketing Communications in Healthcare
Marketing communications means the communications made by the producer to the target audience as regards the availability, quality, price and other features of its products.
A strong healthcare marketing communication plan must include:
· Clear objectives of marketing
· A specific message that the consumers can relate to their needs
· Execution plan of the set objectives
Promotion, which is a combination of all the communication activities, plays a very important role in this process. Various methods are used as a tool for communications in healthcare. Some of them are:
Advertising: It is a non-personal presentation and is used for persuading the customer to use the concerned healthcare product. It is a very powerful tool and is a type of ‘pull marketing’. The main aim of advertising is to provide medical information, create awareness, convince about the competitive advantages, or to remind them of the good product so that they continue using it. Some examples of advertising are press ads, television ads, brochures, banners, newsletters, etc.
Sales promotion: This is used to introduce new medical or healthcare products or building loyal customers. For example, giving discount coupons or free trials of some new healthcare services or membership concessions offered by diagnostic centers or pharmacies for loyal customers.
Sales persons: This is direct or face-to-face communication where a salesperson for example a medical representative tries to sell the healthcare product and is available to answer queries. This is a type of ‘push marketing’ where the salesperson job is to persuade the customer.