Marketing in Healthcare

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・3 Sources

Primary healthcare facilities can market their services and products through various channels. It is essential that the marketing avenues exploited by such facilities are legal and within state or legal standards, taking into consideration the delicate nature of health. Healthcare marketing is a trend that should not be based on mere advertisements for sales, but should rather be driven by strategies that govern the future of the healthcare industry. The Massachusetts Medical Society (2004) offers various guidelines through which medical marketing can be affected in a legal and ethical way. It is advised that medical practitioners need to have a clear thoughtful of the environment of practice. With such knowledge, one can well engage in marketing efforts that are suitably tailored to that environment.

Massachusetts Medical Society (2004) speaks of various ways in which the primary care givers can market their products; marketing to patients, to other care providers and to health plans. Patient satisfaction surveys are a method that has been recommended by many players in the industry as a plausible marketing method. In this mode of marketing, patient satisfaction is measured in an all-encompassing way that takes into consideration the access factors, communication, courtesy of the office staff, helpfulness of the staff and the interaction between physicians and patients. It is also recommended that involving patients by questioning them of their experience is a method that can be very productive as it also assists in giving feedback regarding quality. Marketing to patients is a multifaceted process that is very vital for the industry. One of the marketing methods in this realm is generating direct referrals from members of a patient’s family and their friend. This method, however, requires multidiscipline efforts from the office to the patients, and should be done in a very friendly manner.

According to the Health Insurance Portability Act (1996) (HIPAA), marketing is allowed as a means of communication about a product/service and is meant to encourage the recipients of this communication to purchase the product or the service (Gray & Christiansen, 2009). In this regard, HIPAA outlines that marketing is thus allowed in marketing but certain regulations must be put in place when such marketing involves the use of patients’ records. Further, HIPAA’s definition of marketing is set to exclude any information that is private to individual entities.  

The U.S Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) exemplifies this by stating that a doctor who develops a certain solution for snoring, should not just send flyers to all the patients in the records irrespective of whether they had such a problem or not. Practicing such a behavior would amount to unallowable marketing (Gray & Christiansen, 2009). HIPAA notes another allowable mode of marketing for primary care providers, which is termed as consultation through business associates. A doctor is allowed to market to the current set of patients but through a firm that deals with marketing. Such a firm is supposed to aid the doctor spread the message, where in this case, the service is outsourced to external experts termed as business associates. In this regard, the associate is the person working on behalf of the medical entity (Gray & Christiansen, 2009).

Marketing Principles in Healthcare            

Healthcare professionals are central to the development of healthcare practice. To increase efficiency, reduce inappropriate treatments and eventually lower healthcare costs, marketing principles take effect, a factor that will require increased discipline. There are various marketing principles that seek to affirm this assertion and include; marketing strategy, opportunity analysis and program planning.

a) Marketing strategy

Marketing strategy lies in product positioning, development and the management of its lifecycle. Product positioning holds in clinical practice as it involves reinforcing the specialists, a factor that leads to more value and distinction to the guidelines in the clinical fields. When users are involved in the development of the product, industry prospers. In the same regard, involving users in development of the clinical guidelines will lead to the proliferation of the clinical area. In the evolution of the product, clinical guidelines can also be made to use the upcoming mechanisms such as evolution in technology. In this regard, healthcare will have been in line with marketing strategies.

b) Opportunity analysis

A clinical guideline, just like any other guideline in the conventional market should be analyses for market success using the available analysis metrics like the SWOT analysis. The various strengths achieved in the guidelines are in line with conformance to regulations, acceptance, low costs and high demand. The Weaknesses realized in the SWOT could be in line with reduced freedom in clinical practice, and lower market efficiency. Opportunities go hand in hand with such aspects as communication availability through the various options like the proliferation of the internet. Overload of information could augur well with the threats part of the SWOT. Hence, the healthcare industry fits well in the opportunity analysis principle of marketing.

c) Program Planning

In a conventional marketing planning, the 7ps such as product, price, promotion, place and others take effect (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010). The Ps can also be used in the healthcare industry where price may be affordable. Promotion may be conformance to the essential guidelines and inclusion of various facilitators to ensure that the practice is kept at an arm’s length. The choosing of the right channels of communication for the health guidelines is the same as ensuring that the distribution channels are at the best. Hence, it is possible to still apply the program planning principle to the marketing principles.

Real healthcare System and Provision of Primary Care and Marketing Efforts            

For this part of the paper, I will choose mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Florida. The reason for this choice is the high ranking performance of the facility at national levels. It’s a high capacity hospital performing many admissions yet acclaimed through various awards add recognitions. The hospital has been outstanding in three adult specialties which have made it perform very well nationally, with very good scores in various fields. The marketing for the hospital can be described as excellent as it has a remarkable online presence. It has been able to provide excellent patient statistics without having to delve into patient details, thus being within the allowable guidelines. From the patients as explained in U.S News (2017) indicate that most patients had a positive impression of the hospital a  factor that is enough for word of mouth  referrals for the hospital.  The ratings of the procedures done at the hospital are also remarkable. The essence of any marketing efforts is to make a product or a service appease a buyer. The ratings of the hospital through their services, data presented, client feedback and more so online presence indicate that the marketing efforts are successful as would be deemed for a standard facility of its size.


Gray, D. & Christiansen, L. (2009). Marketing to patients: A legal and ethical             perspective. Journal of Academic and Business Ethics, 1, 69-79.

Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2010). Marketing Principles. London: Pearson.

Massachusetts Medical Society (2004). Medical Practice Marketing. Retrieved from         (pdf)/ U.S. News (2017). Mayoclinic Jacksonville. Retrieved from          hospitals/area/fl/mayo-clinic-6390380

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