Strategy Map

Per the text, the health care industry is known as one of the most complex operational environments, placing a premium on excellence in strategic planning and management. Determine the key reasons why health care marketing professionals should realize such complexity. Provide an example to support your rationale.

Due to their global perspective of the healthcare marketplace and its vast array of components, healthcare marketers are frequently charged with strategic management responsibilities. Such responsibilities are important in any institution, but they are especially vital in those that operate within environments of great complexity. Indeed, the complexity associated with the healthcare environment places a premium on excellence in strategic management. Such visionary leadership affords healthcare organizations with the opportunity to position themselves for long-term growth and prosperity.

When healthcare marketers are called upon to engage in strategic endeavors, it is very helpful for them to possess a range of tools that can assist them in the formulation, implementation, management, and assessment of strategy. Importantly, healthcare marketers must also be able to communicate designated strategic pursuits to organizational members—an essential ingredient for strategic success. One tool that can provide assistance to healthcare marketers in carrying out strategic management responsibilities is known as the Strategy Map, a useful instrument developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton.

RESOURCE: Fortenberry, John L. (01/2009). Health Care Marketing, 3rd Edition.

For example, if a hospital assesses patient satisfaction and discovers patients aren’t satisfied (Customer Perspective), one of the strategies might be the implementation of employee training in the area of customer service (Learning & Growth Perspective).

RESOURCE: file:///C:/Users/Teyonna/Downloads/Final%20BSC%20Manual%2010.18F%20(3).pdf

Another example, ER wait time might represent a leading indicator of patient satisfaction.

RESOURCE: file:///C:/Users/Teyonna/Downloads/Final%20BSC%20Manual%2010.18F%20(3).pdf

Appraise the value offered by Ries and Trout’s Marketing Warfare Strategies in assisting in the understanding and implementation of competitor-oriented marketing strategies that can be employed to increase market share. Provide at least two (2) specific examples of the Ries and Trout’s Marketing Warfare Strategies Model that apply within a health care organization with which you are familiar.

Hospitals, medical clinics, and other healthcare entities must attract and retain customers to achieve growth and prosperity. Success at attracting and retaining customers ultimately determines the share of the market—the market share—held by entities. Market share is defined as an entity’s portion, expressed as a percentage, of the total sales generated by a given product in a given market. The entity that possesses the greatest market share is known as the market leader—an enviable position to hold.

One of the most significant obstacles to gaining market share is that of competition. Healthcare entities compete in what might be considered the most competitive of industries. In their given markets, these organizations vie against one another for the valuable patronage of customers. The term competition brings to mind images of contests, challenges, and so on and is a quite fitting descriptor for the healthcare environment. However, two authors view the marketing process as so intensely competitive that it is deserving of a most intense analogy—war.

In their book entitled Marketing Warfare, Al Ries and Jack Trout contend that “marketing is war” and apply warfare strategies and tactics to the marketing process. Ries and Trout specifically note that being customer oriented alone is not enough to achieve marketing success. Entities must also be competitor oriented, directing attention to the identification of competitors and the analysis of their strengths and weaknesses in an effort to wage marketing war.

To be successful, marketing campaigns must be planned like military campaigns. Marketers must, therefore, understand warfare principles and be able to implement these strategies and tactics effectively. For example, they must actively engage in the strategic planning process, seeking to formulate organizational goals and the action plans necessary for achieving these initiatives. They, too, must be skilled at anticipating competitive responses to various actions. Additionally, marketers must be proficient at gaining marketplace intelligence to plan and launch successful attacks. Importantly, marketers must also possess characteristics often associated with military leaders—character, perseverance, discipline, loyalty, and the like—to effectively wage marketing war.

According to Ries and Trout, marketing warfare can be waged using four different strategies: defensive warfare, offensive warfare, flanking warfare, and guerrilla warfare. Each strategy involves a number of basic, defining principles. The particular warfare strategy selected is dependent on the market position held by an entity.

In Defensive Warfare for example, a rival clinic seeks to increase its market share by opening a women’s health division, the market leader should block the move by opening a similar unit.

RESOURCE: Fortenberry, John L. (01/2009). Health Care Marketing, 3rd Edition.