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7 Ps of marketing for hospitals

The service product is an offering of commercial intent having features of both intangible and tangible,
seeking to satisfy the new wants and demands of the consumer. Hospital industry is action oriented and there is
a lot of interaction with the customers (patients). The service product of the hospitals normally have the following
o Quality Level: When we talk about marketing hospitals, it is natural that we are very particular about managing
our services in the right fashion. Supportive services play an important role in improving the quality of medicare.
These services which include laboratory, blood-banks, catering, radiology and laundry, in a true sense determine
the quality of services made available by medical and para-medical personnel. They get a strong base for
treatment since the diagnostic aspect determines a direction. To get the best result from OT, it is natural that
equipments are properly sterlised. In addition, the dresses and clothes are also required to be made bacteria
free. The patients are required to wear disinfected linen which should be made available. The radiology
department should have hi-tech facilities keeping in view the pressure of work. Of late, we find sophisticated
equipments and unless hospitals make the same services available the same, the quality of services cannot be
o Accessories: This is a very good way of segmenting customers. Many hospitals provide additional services such
as catering, laundry, yoga sessions, cafeterias, etc. for the customers (patients)who are willing to pay extra.
Hospitals have different wards - General and Special. Certain hospitals provide services for the family members
of the patients (when they are not from the same city) accommodation and catering.
o Packaging: It is the bundling of many services into the core service. Eg: Apollo hospital offers a full health check-up
to the patients. Similarly other hospitals also offer package deals for health check-ups. For example if a person
has to undergo a bypass surgery, he can pay a lump sum amount during admission, say rupees 1 lakh for all
procedures, tests, stay, etc, at once.

Product line: hospitals through their services offer many choices to the patients and cover a wide range of
customer needs. For example: Apollo hospital has dental department, cardiology department, etc. and within the
dental department it has dental surgery, root canal, etc.

o Brand name: The hospitals, to differentiate themselves, and their services from others use a brand name. The
intangibility factor of the service makes it all the more important for the hospitals to do so.
Under hospital marketing, distribution of Medicare services plays a crucial role. This focuses on the
instrumentality of almost all who are found involved in making services available to the ultimate users. In case of
hospitals the location of hospital plays a very important role. The kind of services a hospital is rendering is also
very important for determining the location of the hospital.
Eg. Tata memorial hospital specializes in cancer treatment and is located at a centre place unlike other normal
hospitals, which you can find all over other places.
It can be unambiguously accepted that the medical personnel need a fair blending of two important properties
i.e. they should be professionally sound and should have in-depth knowledge at psychology. A particular doctor
might be famous for his case handling records but he may not be made available for all the patients because of
the place factor. Now in this case the service provided, that is the doctor may be a visiting doctor for different
hospitals at different locations to beat the place factors.

Unlike other service industries, under hospital marketing all efforts should be for making available to the society
the best possible medical aid.
In a country like India, which is geographically vast and where majority of the population lives in the rural areas,
place factor for the hospitals play a very crucial role. A typical small village / town may be having small
dispensaries but they will not have super speciality hospitals. For that they will have to be dependent on the
hospitals in the urban areas.
v People
Under hospital marketing the marketing mix variable people includes all the different people involved in the
service providing process (internal customers of the hospitals) which includes doctors, nurses, supporting staff
etc. The earliest and the best way of having control on the quality of people will be by approving professionally
sound doctors and other staff.
Hospital is a place where small activity undertaken can be a matter of life and death, so the people factor is very
important. One of the major classifications of hospitals is private and government. In the government hospital
the people factor has to be specially taken care of. In Indian government hospitals except a few almost all the
hospitals and their personnel hardly find the behavioural dimensions significant. It is against this background that
even if the users get the quality medical aid they are found dissatisfied with the rough and indecent behaviour of
the doctors.
Under hospital marketing a right person for the right job has to be appointed and they should be adaptable and
possess versatility. The patients in the hospitals are already suffering from trauma, which has to be understood
by the doctors and other staff. The people of the hospital should be constantly motivated to give the best of their

Process generally forms the different tasks that are performed by the hospital. The process factor is mainly
dependent on the size of the hospital and kind of service it is offering. A typical process involved in a medium
sized hospital can be as follows.
Apart from this flow there are other allied activities like record keeping administration at services etc which fall
under the process factor. These stages do not exist separately but are interlinked. The most important elements
are lines of communication within the setup. The experience of the patient depends on the final interplay of all
these factors.
Physical evidence
It does play an important role in health care services, as the core benefit a customer seeks is proper diagnosis
and cure of the problem. For a local small time dispensary or hospital physical evidence may not be of much
help. In recent days some major super speciality hospitals are using physical evidence for distinguishing itself as
something unique.
Physical evidence can be in the form of smart buildings, logos, mascots etc. a smart building infrastructure
indicates that the hospital can take care of all the needs of the patient.
Examples 1.

Lilavati hospital has got a smart building, which helps, in developing in the minds of the people, the impression
that it is the safest option among the different hospitals available to the people.

2. Fortis and Apollo hospitals have a unique logo, which can be easily identified.
Physical evidence also helps in beating the intangibility factor.

Hospitals for promotion use either advertisement or PR or both after taking into consideration the target
customers, media type, budget and the sales promotion.
Since a few years the prime times in T.V. are reserved for advertising social issues like family planning, use of
different types of contraceptives, care for the girl child and so on. These commercials use the common man
approach for reference group appeal. In case of health care products and services use for common man appeal
is widely prevalent. The use of celebrities is not as effective as that of a common man. An ordinary person thinks
that if it works well for people like him, it will also work equally well for him. The identification with the common
man is easy and quick.
Besides TV, other media of promotion are to be used innovatively. Unlike the urban area, in rural areas
newspapers and magazines do not have the same impact in conveying messages. In villages, hoardings and
wall writings near the markets and recreation centers attract the attention of villagers. This market consists of 180
million strong middle income group and a small income group. This group has a large discretionary income.
These discerning consumers are very careful in choosing health care services. The last decade has witnessed a
health, appearance and nutrition conscious population.
The health care field has become very competitive. Although around one-fourth of our population stays in urban
India, three fourths of the total doctors have engaged themselves in this part. Many of these doctors visit the
contiguous rural areas, but they may operate from the urban area. The patients of upper middle and upper
income group have a wide choice to make from a number of clinics and hospitals. Therefore, many hospitals
have abandoned traditions and adopted marketing strategies to woo more and more patients to their clinics.
Word-of-mouth plays a very important role in promotion of hospitals. A person in need of a health care service
does not know for sure where to search for relevant information. He consults his family members, relations and
friends first. The patients who come to a hospital generally have the old patients of that hospital as referrals.
Word-of-mouth plays an important role during information acquisition stage of the customers as there are no
objective performance measures to judge the various alternatives available to them. Therefore, satisfied past
patients of a hospital can bring more number of patients to that hospital than a number of advertisements.
In a competitive market place, the images of the firms swill affect their competitive standing. One factor that is
likely to have a significant impact on the health care scene is the growth of hospital chains such as Apollo
Hospitals, Birla Health Centres ,etc. Artificial heart transplants and other complex operations although are few in
number and generate a small portion of the total revenue, they help in generating word-of-mouth which health
care providers are actually interested. Many of these companies are spending a lot in corporate advertising for
Image building.