There is considerable evidence linking a company’s financial performance to its ability to successfully execute on a marketing plan. If marketers are to gain credibility within administration and the board of directors/shareholders, they will need to demonstrate an ability to design and deliver on a marketing plan that:
- Based on your review of the Learnscape scenario titled “Learnscape 4: How Are We Doing”, justify the value of marketing plans as instruments that compel marketers to think about upcoming periods, perform routine marketing analyses and audits, and set marketing goals and objectives such as Return on Investment (ROI), etc. Provide one (1) example of the use of marketing plans in this fashion to support your rationale.
Provides a clear direction
Demonstrates an astute understanding of an increasingly challenging environment
Acknowledges the complexities and opportunities presented by social media
Acts as alignment tool within the organization itself
Secures commitment from all the key stakeholders
For a marketing plan to really work, it needs to be developed as a result of input from as many parts of the business as possible. A marketing plan needs to answer the questions of value proposition, of key benefits, of past successes, and of potential future scenarios within a given market. A really good marketing plan asks a lot of questions about the organization’s goals and objectives, about the company’s history and about the market demographics. Strategic marketing asks questions about current markets and looks to track trends from sales data and/or patient outcomes. Strategic marketing examines market share, product awareness and brand loyalty. It examines, in detail, consumer buying habits, channels to market, and pricing. For the services industry, specifically healthcare, the marketing plan will need to move beyond the traditional “4P’s” of marketing and consider sustainability, corporate reputation, and corporate identity at a much more strategic level with social media, viral communication is in the hands of the consumer, so modern marketing plans need to be more agile, more responsive, and certainly provide more embedded feedback from the market.
Kotler has developed numerous comprehensive frameworks that integrate insights and knowledge from diverse disciplinary sources and knowledge of practice to improve our understanding of marketing management. Kotler’s ideas concerning the contingent nature of strategy were influential in the development of thought not just in marketing, but more broadly across other areas of strategy. Nearly every hospital places ads in newspapers and magazines to tout its facilities and services. Some hospitals run community health programs. Some hospital CEOs appear on talk shows. All of these efforts go toward building their brand. Managed care organizations (MCOs) develop health insurance products and use marketing tools to compete with other companies in promoting themselves to employers and their employees. New physicians seeking to open their own practices use marketing to help determine good locations, attractive office designs, and practice styles that will attract and retain new patients. Non-profit health related organizations also use targeted marketing plans. The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and other associations turn to social marketing to encourage more people to adopt healthier life styles, like quitting smoking, cutting down on saturated fats in their diet, and increasing exercise. These examples demonstrate one side of marketing, namely the use of influential advertising and selling to attract and retain customers. But marketing tasks and tools go beyond developing a stream of persuasive messages, they also must incorporate strategic analysis to determine so their business can deliver value to customers as well as benefitting the organization and its stakeholders. For example, Walgreens is opening store-based clinics to provide basic health care services, such as measuring blood pressure, providing vaccinations, and treating such common conditions as sore throats, ear infections, and colds. Key marketing tasks it must perform include deciding which stores will have this service, setting prices, and, most important, determining how physician customers will view this service as possible competition.
- Decide whether or not you believe Philip Kotler’s Marketing Plan Model provides a useful framework for developing an effective marketing plan. Provide at least two (2) specific examples of the Philip Kotler’s Marketing Plan Model that apply within a health care organization with which you are familiar
Boyer, C., & Cowart, J. (2013, March). Suzanne Sawyer (Chair). Healthcare marketing strategies. Eighteenth national summit healthcare marketing strategies, Scottsdale, AZ. Retrieved from http://www.healthcarestrategy.com/usermedia/2013HMS_HMS_2013.pdf
Fortenberry, J. (2010). Health Care Marketing Tools & Techniques. (3rd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Kotler, P., & Stevens, R. (2008). Strategic marketing for health care organizations: Building a customer-driven health system. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.