Pros and Cons for Crestview Hospital
The billboard targets the main traffic corridor that runs by Briarwood Medical Centre and Crestview Hospital, but its situation within the close proximity to Briarwood creates the impression of Briarwood endorsing its competitor as the best medical care in Oakland. Effectively, this billboard is great for Crestview’s brand and sales. Given the facts given by Susan that 42 percent of new patients are influenced to visit hospitals because of advertising, especially those patients that do not have relationships with hospitals. The value of the influence that marketing communication has on elective services. In addition, the situation of the billboard within the grounds of Briarwood, specifically targets the latter’s clients, which should lead to a flow of patient traffic away from Briarwood to Crestview. In addition, the billboard creates awareness of the hospital two miles away, at the expense of Briarwood.
There are considerable cons too. It is critical that Briarwood’s customer loyalty is difficult to undermine so easily, by directly targeting them. Further, Briarwood has an advertising budget of its own, generating patient traffic to the hospital, and it is unlikely that patients who change their purchase decision at the gate of the hospital. Another disadvantage stems from the fact that the billboard’s $30,000 cost has an opportunity cost because it takes away funding for advertising through other channels. Since Briarwood will be using these other channels, the competitive advantage that Crestview hopes to get will be easily lost. This is worsened even further by the fact that outdoor advertising is not as effective and targeted as other advertising channels such as per click, internet advertising or SMS messaging.
The reaction of the community stakeholders and the customers should be mixed. To begin with, customers are likely to be confused by the Briarwood’s apparent endorsement of its rival. The likely explanation to a casual observer/customer/community member is that Crestview owns Briarwood. However, there is little possibility of massive changes in market shares just because of the billboard, especially considering Briarwood’s historical customer legacy, quality offerings and the fact that it is a non-profit organization. To a minority of Oakland’s population, there is a possibility of the billboard creating the impression of Crestview’s coming of age and finally beating Briarwood as the best hospital in the region.
Briarwood Marketing Strategies
Other measures include quality improvement, coupled by price cuts. The fact that Briarwood is not-for-profit means that it can afford to lower prices compared to Crestview. While there is a possibility of a price war breaking out if Crestview retaliates, the fact that it is $30,000 worse because of the billboard in the next six months means that Briarwood has a budgetary cushion against Crestview. For patients who are not already attached to hospitals or are without health insurance, cost and quality are crucial. Reduced prices and better quality is an immensely effective strategy with the capacity to draw customers away from Crestview.
The evidence from Susan’s customer satisfaction survey results and the market research information that up to 42% of new patients are driven by advertising, it is clear that advertising adds great value to any organization. As such, it is critical that senior managers realize the role marketing plays, and actively support it through the allocation of resources and other input to ensure effectiveness.
Marketing Communication Strategy
Briarwood and Crestview should adopt a marketing communication strategy that is centred around relationship marketing and advertising. The health care sector comprises of a few players including primary physicians, consultants, private doctors, insurance companies, nurses and other health care practitioners, medical products suppliers, nursing and assisted living homes among others. Patients mostly f low from these players, and if a hospital has the right partnerships and networks (including a great affiliate program), then patient referrals will generate sufficient demand to be profitable. Given the quality and size of both hospitals, the Oakland market is sizeable for both institutions to thrive. In terms of strategies to be employed for advertising, Briarwood must emphasized its legacy, tradition, quality and commitment to the people of Oakland, coupled by the fact that it does not seek profit, but service and good health. On the other hand, Crestview should lay emphasis on its the trust that Oakland has afforded it in so little time. Since both companies are struggling with mounting marketing costs, using social media should the company to maintain its market presence without the associated costs.
Marketing Research Tools
Customer satisfaction surveys are helpful for both companies to understand their existent customer needs and the institutions strengths and weaknesses, which should in turn form a basis for proper marketing strategies. The fact that this targets existent customers means that that the data collected would be representative of the customers and may be easily generalized (reliability and validity). Further, customer satisfaction surveys can be easily built into the website and other publications by the hospital, making then relatively cheaper and pragmatic. The hospitals may also conduct market research by itself or by engaging the services of marketing research firms. Online marketing provides facilities such as Google and Bing provide helpful analytical reports that can help firms make marketing decisions. Internet services are also relatively cheaper compared to the traditional market research tools. With the emergency of data mining services, these hospitals can get access to crucial market intelligence from relevant providers in the market. Such market intelligence is indispensable in everything from the choice of the marketing media to the marketing segmentation and targeting.
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