Healthcare Marketing; Product strategy: Lowndes Primary Care Lowndes Primary Care will entail preventive elements geared to curb the community from illness. The services offered will entail immunization services, health education, home visiting services, maternal and child healthcare, rehabilitative services such as occupational therapy and substance abuse rehabilitation.
The services will also entail curative services such as diagnostic procedure s for common conditions and provision of drugs to treat them, outreach services geared towards offering home health screening programs as well as surveillance for diseases within the community.
The primary care is a preventive service that will gear towards preventing enhancing the lives of the residents (Helfand & Krages, 2016). The preventive services will entail ensuring the availability of the services, provision of various screening services, health education to the members as well as letting the understanding of early warning signs and symptoms. The services provided by Lowndes Primary Care center are in the introduction stages based on the fact that it is in its initial phases of getting rooted in the community. At the same time, there still exist numerous services that are not yet availed to the residents including home-based care as well as transportation services which ought to be launched after stabilizing the operations of the facility.
Constraints on the pricing policy
Pricing constraints entail those factors hindering the flexibility in pricing various services within the facility. These factors may go beyond the ceiling prices as well as our beak-even points. Some of the constraints on the pricing policy are the state regulations that require certain services to be offered for free or extremely subsidized levels (Laugesen, 2016). These include the immunization and maternal health services. These are related to the fact that the government yearns to increase the immunization coverage in the entire state while at the same time working towards reducing maternal related complications and mortalities.
Another constraint is the customer’s demand for our health services. With the existence, only one healthcare facility and no pharmacy to purchase their drugs, the pricing of our services will have to consider the potential market to meet both the demands of the community members as well as generating to run and maintain the facility. While considering that the population living in Lowndes County has various social and economic factor such as negative beliefs in seeking healthcare and low affordability from low income, the demand may be low thus the prices have to be adjusted to be affordable. In so doing, the affordability of the services will then encourage them to utilize the services of the facility.
The competition also dictates the constraints that affect the pricing policy. Having a competitor, the local health department, the pricing is affected by the services and charges provided by the facility since it determines the point of seeking health services. Ta the same time, the price is also impacted by making the services to advertise the facility thus making pricing a non-issue to the target group.
The pricing policy is also controlled by the costs control prices (Laugesen, 2016). These entail the consideration of the purchasing prices of the commodities which impacts the selling price of such services or commodities (Laugesen, 2016). For instance, due to the costly acquisition of diagnostic reagents leads to a relatively raised diagnostic charge for certain conditions.
The pricing of services within the facility aims at attracting the members of the Lowndes County to seek the services even with the increasing and potential competitive cases. By proper pricing, the facility aims to brand itself and gain trust among the community members thus considered to be affordable while still providing
Price elasticity of the services
The price elasticity allows for reduction of expenditures in alternative policies. Elasticity in our prices is dependent on the number of visits by the patients on various care aspects (Brot-Goldberg et al., 2015). With high turnout, the prices are either maintained or slightly raised to accommodate the high number as well as to cater for quality improvement. Low turnout leads to the reduction of services to increase demand and utilization. The intensity of each visit is also a determinant of the price elasticity as it impacts the resources used. The elasticity is also dependent on the sensitivity to price among various groups such as the elderly and high-income individuals as compared to the low-income earners and the young people.
Cost and volume relationship for the service
In facilitating the promotive activities through health education, vaccination, medical camps and outreach services, the cost of the services will be dependent on the number of visits which indicates the workload. At the same time, the intensity and supplies used during service delivery determine the cost.
Pricing approach that is optimum
The pricing approach ought to take care of various variables. The health center needs to cater for various costs thus the pricing must be able to high enough to cater for the expenses but also the same time not so high to turn the patients away. Similarly, the pricing will be based on the levels that both the facility and the service users can bare (Fukushima et al., 2016). These pricing approaches can also be adjusted depending on the changes that may occur in the market as well as the impact of competition.
The appropriate pricing strategy for the services
The use of marketing research to determine the prices for the various services would be the most appropriate method of pricing. This method can be based on the fact that the Lowndes County is composed of diverse groups of people impacted by both social and economic factors in the access to healthcare. By doing research, a relatively affordable but at the same time high price to maintain the facility is critical. The marketing research would entail conjoint analysis, Gaber Gabger, Van Westendrop and use of additional tools.
Distribution (Place) strategy
Channel of distribution
Concerning actors, the direct distribution is planned and managed by the firm while the indirect channel distribution is dependent on the intermediaries to undertake the duties on behalf of the facility. Based on the state of the facility which aims at providing primary health care, a direct channel of distribution will be utilized to ensure the services trickle down to the rural areas (Dwivedi et al., 2016). At the same time, the staff aligned to the facility will spearhead all the functions of care provision and act entirely for the interest of Lowndes Primary Healthcare center.
Level of channel intensity appropriate for the service
By employing the direct channel of distribution, goals, and objectives of the acts are set to get in line with the facility mission and vision. With the determination of the objectives, specific distribution functions for the direct distribution are determined (Ross, 2015). To provide promotive care to a good number of the residents of the County, intensive manner of distribution intensity will be used. This type of distribution takes advantage of various aspects of care provision to the clients for instance through massive campaigns for vaccination, home visiting activities and conducting outreaches in various cities within the county.
The appropriate marketing system
Similar to The vertical system which entails the main members of the distribution channel coming together to meet various demands of the clients, Lowndes Primary Healthcare will utilize the system to provide a range of services to the patients. These aspects will entail multiple elements of care including diagnostic, preventive and pharmacy working hand in hand to serve the patients (Kotler, 2015). The vertical marketing system is vital especially concerning inter-sectoral collaboration within the facility thus coming together as various departments and working towards accomplishing the needs of the service users.
The verticals systems can also entail the suppliers of the medical pharmaceuticals and non-pharmaceuticals joining hands to assist in the delivery of care. This system is appropriate based on the fact that the healthcare system for the residents of Lowndes County is poor and requires support to stabilize it. Through the cooperation of teams, efficiency is promoted, the health services get inspected to meet the standard quality as well as the residents having the opportunity to get a credit on various goods and services (Kotler, 2015). For example, through the vertical system, the community members can benefit from free or subsidized diagnostic services especially where the supplies of such gargets are involved. In the long haul, the health of the population gets promoted while the economies of scale for the suppliers and the facility also get elevated.
The system is also appropriate based on the location of the facility. With the facility located in Lowndes County in Hayneville, Alabama and its proximity with the University of Alabama in Birmingham, it can utilize the several medical doctors graduating from the institution. Besides, the human resource from the local colleges and university is also crucial especially when the healthcare is provided in conjunction with the local medical schools. The medical schools can get along with the facility to conduct various research activities as well as provide the students with the practicum experience centers thus better training as well as better access to care for the residents.
Retailing concepts used by the facility
Customer segmentation is a critical determinant in the formation of our target group (Örtenblad, Löfström, & Sheaff, 2015). With the population of Lowndes County at 11,000, the planning for service provision will be based on reaching this population. At the same time, the residents of the county are low-income earners thus the pricing and other accessibility matters take the center stage in planning. Majority of the residents are also Black Americans thus the care ought to consider conditions specific to the race such as diabetes, tobacco exposure, asthma and high blood pressure among others.
Customer orientation applies to our services in theta the facility determined the needs of the community members and worked towards meeting these needs to the fullest. Being responsible for the care provision to the residents, Lowndes Primary Care monitored the standards of customer satisfaction and is working towards meeting the expectations. The care provided by the facility is of quality thus appreciated by the residents. The facility also ought to respond quickly and with much respect to the complaints and inquiries by the customers as well as being sensitive to issues related to the community.
Another retailing concept applying to the service provision is the coordinated effort from various departments and care provision points (Örtenblad, Löfström, & Sheaff, 2015). The multiple channels of service delivery have a common system of the information through the electronic health record system. The channels also have a common database thus allowing sharing of information.
Goal orientation is another concept that has been used strategically to impact the community. With the goals of the services provision directed at promoting the health of the residents concerning accessibility and affordability, the utilization of the servicers is raised. The setting of goals by the Lowndes Primary Care center has also seen the facility working towards achieving the mission and vision.
The facility can use billboards placed at strategic points to advertise the services being offered. The billboards can contain the services being offered by the facility as well as the prices for the various services (Andrews & Shimp, 2017). The facility can also utilize local television channel displaying the various activities that the facility undertakes. It can sample the activities in various care points and departments to indicate the varieties that exist within the facility.
This method of promotion can be used for the highly valued or complex services that apply to a few members of the society. This situation may entail services such as home visiting, home-based care services to those with terminal conditions as well as treatment services for certain conditions such as cancers after their diagnosis. This method may also be used to persuade the community residents having negative beliefs about seeking health care since the method will provide an opportunity of sharing information with residents on their views and giving them factors about the new services that are being provided by the facility.
By using the mass media, the facility can reach put to various residents and make them aware of its availability in the County. These can be approached in the form of having a professional website, a twitter handler, an active Facebook page and a well-written blog for Lowndes Primary Care. It is through the social media strategy that the facility can remain current. Besides having the platforms, various posts can be made through them by aiming at a certain number of posts per week.
This method of promotion is applicable in the instances where the facility ails at inspiring the community members to use their services by giving specific services for free or with specific offers to lure them further to the facility (Andrews & Shimp, 2017). For the Lowndes Primary Care, this strategy may be applicable in the form of creating a specific week or certain days where certain services are offered for free. For instance, the facility can offer free consultative services from the staff but then cater for the other services such as purchasing of drugs and diagnostic procedures. The offers can also range from free seminars to the residents to free screening for cholesterol levels. Special packaged prices can also be offered to both new clients and regular clients.
The advertising campaign will entail multiple aspects to reach to various target groups. The facility will engage in advertising by allocating adequate funds for the digital marketing to ensure the facility is trending in the mass media. By having multiple marketing teams, the collaborative process from the various departments of the facility can reach a relatively a more significant population. The campaign will also get aligned with the information from the residents thus reaching people in the appealing form. Based on the fact that Lowndes Primary Care is a new facility yearning to provide the unexplored healthcare industry, involving an institutional advertising campaign would be most appropriate (Parente & Strausbaugh-Hutchinson, 2014). In doing so, the new marketing agencies can use the robust experience in their industry to sell the services before taking over after establishment.
The target audience for the campaign
The campaign will aim at reaching residents with low-income levels who are not able to afford healthcare services due to the costs. On getting informed of the subsidized services, they can opt to seek such services. The elderly population in the rural areas are also of a great target based on the fact that they have various chronic illnesses that are not on either treatment or follow-up. The campaign will also aim to reach out to the young population on encouraging the, to seek frequent medical checkup with the aim of breaking the culture created by the older generation that has poor health-seeking behaviors.
Advertising for the services aims at increasing its utilization by the residents by making them aware of the availability of the services. The advertising will also aim at branding the facility for their services to promote the loyalty of the public. Through the advertisement, we shall also be to do marketing research to determine areas that require adjustment as well as the preferences of the customers (Trehan & Trehan, 2015). The advertisement will also work towards persuading the residents to use the available service.
The Lowndes Primary Care will use zero-based budgeting because it is a new service delivery thus does not base its provisions and allocation on previous instances. This type of budgeting entails starting with a zero baseline, and there is a requirement to justify the expenses (Walsh, 2016). The records will then be made extensive, thus every move and service ought to be accounted for to allow analysis. The budgeting method also allows only the inclusion of only the essential services that are needed.
Message or appeal to the public
The information to be passed to the public will revolve around the need for active participation in various healthcare practices and activities. They can do this by getting involved in organized community health services as well as expressing their views and suggestions concerning the various health needs that they wish to be accomplished. This message will be passed through the local communication channels. This medium can reach majority f the residents since both the high and low classes can access the information.
Working with various individuals to run an institution such as the Lowndes Primary Care center is not smooth and requires a robust management system. By placing various strategies covering the pricing, policy development, and the product, the realization of implementing various activities and objectives of the organization are made possible. Other aspects that will amount to the success of the service provision include the advertising strategies that will not only persuade the community members but also inform them of various healthcare issues.
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