Marketing Mix in Healthcare
The various marketing tools used by healthcare marketers to meet their objectives, together form the marketing mix. These are broadly classified into four groups popularly known as the four Ps of marketing, namely product, price, place and promotion.
- Product includes the healthcare product, its name, quality, features, design, sizes, warranty, etc.
- Price involves list price, discounts, payment period, credit etc.
- Place includes location, coverage, geographical distribution, transport etc.
- Promotion includes sales promotion, medical advertising, customer relations, direct marketing etc.
As regards marketing of healthcare services, these four Ps are expanded to add another three Ps. They are people, physical evidence and process.
- People – As against products, healthcare services are delivered by people. Hence the success of the services also depends on the quality of the people working around them, their attitudes and their skills. For example in a hospital there are receptionist, administrative staff, nurses, doctors. Therefore the effective running of the hospital and delivery of high quality healthcare service depends on these people.
- Physical evidence – As the healthcare service offerings are directly related to consumers, the physical evidence is important. The existence of the service center, the front desk officer to welcome the customers, the enquiry counter to guide new patients etc.
- Process – This is the whole procedure where, a proper sequence of activities is what the customer expects. For example, a process of physician consultation includes taking appointments, then registration, followed by form filling etc. This process should run in a proper way and at the right time so as to satisfy the customers.