Marketing refers to product and services promotion, moreover, analyzing and getting feedback from the consumers to develop the product or services according to the consumer’s needs. According to Macmillan Encyclopedia (2003) marketing is a process to develop the product or services according to the consumer needs. It involves getting information from valued consumers, analyze and take appropriate actions to make a product according to the consumer needs. And according to the marketing definition inCollins Dictionary of Business (2006), it strongly emphasize on the market research and getting the true reflection of consumer demands in the product and promoting it accordingly to achieve organization’s objectives.
My Marketing Definition:
Business promotion and brand marketing is recognized as backbone of a progressive business. Marketing starts from market analysis and ends with the finished good and its promotion. Marketing process always depends on the market research and consumer’s behavior which will ultimately provide the best formula to formulate a product or services. Therefore, the most critical business process is to develop marketing scheme as well as the marketing team. Moreover, organize resources to perfectly peruse the consumer’s needs with the consideration and appropriation of cultural differences in the society and consumer’s diverse behavior. However, marketing scheme and marketing team both are supposed to be well equipped with basic analytical and promotional elements to streamline the marketing tasks and to lineup the workforce to contribute its best to achieve the best results towards the progress of an organization. Therefore, business progress mostly depends on marketing scheme, marketing analysis and a product which clearly reflect the consumer needs.
Home healthcare sample organization:
A sample organization “At Home Solutions” is picked by me to exemplify the best marketed healthcare solution with consumer friendly environment. When we refer the website it has user-friendly interface which provide to users a soothing feeling as first impression. However, the slogan appended on the right side of the website “We are dedicated to improving the quality of your life!” is a reflection of the organization’s priorities and consumer friendly relation. Moreover, at home solutions give value added services which bring uniqueness in the organization. When we go to the services area it is quite comprehensive and directly hit the consumer needs with very friendly communiqué. The whole persona of the website reflects that organization has worked hard on their business marketing and presentation proportions. Last but not the least the organization has more than one office which represents its wide range of customers who has confidence on “At Home Solutions” services. All the above mentioned traits can be very closely relate to my marketing definition. It starts from consumer need’s analysis and ends with a product or service which particularly reflects consumer needs. I find all this in “At Home Solutions”.
Buyer behavior analysis is a psychological study of target market. It is to get know-how about when, why, where and how people do or do not show their interest or ready to purchase products. Buyers are running blood of any organization. Therefore, it is quite clear that every organization should have an excellent mechanism to study their consumers. Particularly, in reference of home healthcare services business, a good liaison with consumers and development of consumer oriented products/services have utmost importance for entrepreneur. This is also identified and persuaded by a group of medical supplies and vendors, which ultimately outcomes into Strategic Marketplace Initiative (SMI) a non-for-profit organization which have its prime aim to observe consumer behavior. And develop database to have consumer record for analysis. From the associates it is determined that SMI will definitely deliver an accurate set of information to make future strategies in light of buyer behavior (Rhea, 2007).
Factor of personal preference:
Buyer behavior analysis is about identifying the personalities. Getting know-how about personal preferences of target market individually is actually buyer analysis. Hence, buyer behavior analysis starts from personal liking and disliking ends with personal preferences and needs. Therefore, the word “personal” is actually denoting an accurate meaning of buyer behavior. That “personal” has much more important for a services concern than any other. Moreover, when it comes to home healthcare services it has such a great importance to the service provider as well as to the consumer. People always stay very conscious for their healthcare, so, they always go with their personal preference. On the other hand, the service provider remains very conscious to understand and make them appropriate with the consumer’s personal preference. Therefore, “personal” is the premier in buyer behavior analysis which ultimately provides the best results to understanding buyer (Hoyer, & Macinnis, 2009).
Understanding marketing environment:
Market is a place where buyer and seller make the decision to purchase or sell products and services. Marketing is a process to promote the products and services. After globalization and E-commerce revolution marketing and business promotion became more technical business activity than before (William, 2001). At that point it is important to understand that marketing schemes vary industry to industry. And marketing environment also depends industry to industry, but, marketing schemes always depends on marketing environment. Therefore, marketing environment matters in product and service development with appropriate identification of economic, cultural and political factors.
Economy is considered the driver of businesses and products. Therefore, economic environment plays the most decisive role in marketing strategies, schemes and marketing policies. Moreover, economy is also a measurement tool of demand and supply and key to pricing model. By deeply analyzing the economic force it can easily be realized that economy is directly linked with the consumer’s purchasing power and producer’s pricing model.
Economic environment matters a lot for home healthcare services. Because, most of the business come through the government programs Medicare and Medicaid which is only possible with a concrete national economy. However, home healthcare service other than government support does not have paramount preference to the consumers even with good economy. For this an efficient marketing and an accurate solution is the only way to get maximum business. However, after all the efficiencies, accuracies and the government support programs the importance of micro and macro economic environment can not be denied (Polonsky & Mintu-Wimsatt, 1997).
Micro Economic Environment:
Business cannot be flourished without economic management. A managed micro economic environment is most important to propagate the best persona of an organization. It is even more important for home healthcare services, because, it demands a dedicated persona of organization to personify the services to the consumers. Therefore, micro economic environment should be a paramount importance for progressive healthcare service provider. Moreover, Reimbursement from the government should be well managed for business and financial management.
Macro Economic Environment:
Macro economic environment is ultimate driver of business and industry. It decides the consumer purchasing power and service provider’s costing and pricing model. If economic conditions are good it obviously has good impact on consumer purchasing, however, if economic conditions are not good it will reduce the interest and purchasing power of consumer. Economic stress is not well for businesses especially for home healthcare service which is not a paramount importance of the consumers.
In efficient marketing social and cultural norms of target market has to consider realistically. For that purpose marketing research should be organized according to the social and cultural norms of target market. By determining broadly the rapid growth of home healthcare services since formation of Medicaid and Medicare as well as wide awareness in the citizens about their healthcare. However, marketing policies have to consider the diverse cultural norms to synchronize them in one marketing scheme and make strategy for growth of business. That is also very helpful to devise the services according to the cultural norms of the costumers.
Technical environment is also one of the most pivotal players especially in the current technological competition. On the one hand, market completion is very high due to the easy and affordable technological tools for business promotion. And on the other hand, technologies in home healthcare services created race to reach the customer with utmost consumer relief. As well as it also provide decent options to the customer to choose the best one. Therefore, it is very important to upgrade and continue with the most recent technology for giving the healthcare services to the customers with latest technology. Otherwise, it would be very hard even impossible to reach to the customer and get them with the business.
Strategies to overcome the threats:
Business is combination of opportunities and threats. Threats should be very strategically and amicably reconciled. The most appropriate way to deal with the threats is to identify them properly and have plan for reconciliation. For instance, economic threat can be handled with a good financial forecasting and economic management. In time analysis can only rescue the disastrous situations. The only way to overcome the threats is to analyze, forecast and get strategy to properly handle (Ferrell & Hartline, 2007).
Strategies to capitalize on the opportunities:
Opportunities are always there, but, a straight line strategy got much importance to properly capitalize them. Therefore, businesses always run with the strategies, it is very hard to have opportunities and more than that to properly capitalize the opportunities without strategies. For instance, technological business environment is paramount need in the today’s competitive market of home healthcare services. And when some business is investing in the customers priorities it is obviously capitalizing the opportunities with a straight line strategy of growth. Therefore, in reference of home healthcare services it is more important than any other business because of it’s pamper and relief factor.
Importance of marketing and role of marketing environment in marketing strategies can be realized with its true concept. Home healthcare service is totally dependent on marketing to snatch the business proportion in the market. A huge market competition in healthcare services cannot allow a business without market strategy to identify the threats and opportunities with reference of economic, cultural and technological environment.
Marketing strategy development:
An entrepreneurial mindset is about aspiring and devising the organizational setup by introducing a ground-breaking business strategy. In philosophical business sense existentialism, axiology, pragmatism, and ethics are the key magnets that influence nurture of entity’s persona to establish marketing strategy and management structure. Though, in business pragmatism marketing strategy development has core importance to setup business, maintain it and carry on. Success of business turns around the marketing strategy development.
Marketing: a strategic business activity:
In today’s ingenious and methodical business era achievement of standard business environment and market standing with market segmentation is not only hard. It is impossible in some cases for an un-resourceful business approach. Therefore, entrepreneurial development is also important for marketing strategy development especially in current competitive market environment. Moreover, marketing strategy development its implementation and pursuing it according to the most appropriate practices has much importance to cover maximum market (William, 2001).
Today’s market is more expended from national to international. It is more specifically due to commerce integration. Now in the current business era it is very easy to reach the global customers, however, at the same time it brings hard time for market segmentation for developing marketing strategy with global consideration.
With the passage of time and expansion in business markets an international marketing strategy is now utmost business need. Geographic segmentation is to make consumers group according to geographic locations like local, domestic, national and international. It helps to analyze the target market geographically. Moreover, particularly it addresses the cultural aspects, on ground realties and market space which ultimately helps to categorically integrate them into the marketing strategy to makeup a precise consumer oriented product.
Demographic segmentation is about to evaluate the consumer. Consumer can be identified by their age, sex, family background, income, occupation, religion, race etc. So that consumer is core of marketing studies and marketing strategies. Consumers obviously have difference from one to other by its geographic means, demographic realities and psychographic elements.
Different cultures have different personalities and different personalities have different psychology. Psychographic segmentation is about buyers’ class, their lifestyle and personality. Proper identification of consumer’s psychographic constituents is essential in marketing strategy development. It cannot be denied that marketing is study of consumer, so, consumer’s psychographic know-how is something like fuel to run the car. (Armstrong & Kotler, 2008)
Advanced marketing strategy in healthcare:
Advanced business concepts and latest electronic channels have changed the conventional norms of business after dot com revolution. In the current global business environment the mechanics of doing business has been upgraded by eCommerce.
Home healthcare service is one which is also revolutionized with technologically upgraded services. As home healthcare is a services business, moreover, a huge technological up-gradation in the industry competition is also increased. Tele-health is most new and upgraded technological method which gives easier, technological preeminence and cost effective home healthcare solution to the customers (Dansky, Ajello, & Duncan, 2005).
Competition is healthy to enhance the quality of services. Two very large size telehealth suppliers are in real time competition. One is “Home Telehealth” and the other is “Telehealth Services” both are professionally promoting their products online as well as conventionally. Organizational persona of both telehealth service providers is much equated and both have very large telehealth products in showcase. It is fact that the prime aim of any business is to enhance its productivity promote its sales and snatch the maximum part of business economy. And both organizations are busy to attract the consumers through their marketing enchanters. In my view entire commercial persona should not be the ultimate aim of an organization. It should have some welfare aspect to cover them who can’t afford.
My marketing strategy:
Telehealth competitors defined above have an extensive range of products in their showcase. However, they didn’t channelized all marketing segments and more particularly the psychographic segment of marketing strategy. In fact home healthcare service is about consumer attraction due to its importance to the daily life of every human being. But, besides enchanting promotion an element of welfare should be considered to cover the psychographic segment of marketing strategy. However, otherwise, it also impacts on the organizational persona which helps to nurture economically as well as morally. I think it is the most lacking thing in the current business practices.
At the end importance of marketing strategies, consideration of marketing segmentation and essentials of entrepreneurial approach cannot be denied. However, business approach for consumer affiliation should have moral elements to promote a socio-business environment.
The marketing mix: value added services:
An appropriate offer and proper presentation always add value into the product. Marketing is core of business activity which starts from market analysis/consumer behavior and ends with finished product. Finished product, however, needs suitable offer and apposite appearance to influence market to cover the maximum proportion (Armstrong & Kotler, 2008)
Proper branding and precise solution with specialty can influence more effectively to the end- users. Therefore, specialty has much significance especially for healthcare products. Currently healthcare market has various kinds of home healthcare products with quality claims and guarantees. On the other hand, healthcare industry is continually upgrading its products to enhance the capability to the utmost consumer satisfaction. In fact a value added product can only survive in current competitive market. Therefore, specialty is the most essential in a healthcare product which can really attract the consumers to purchase some unique product with appropriate solutions. Moreover, healthcare is most concerned issue to the people, so, specialty in the product should be hundred percent compatible with consumer needs and have a precise solution. So that consumer should not think about the second thought in his mind.
After Sale Support:
Product sale has a process behind it which starts from quality, branding with specialty integration and ends with guarantees and after sale support. It is more essential when it deals with type of products like healthcare. More specifically it has great importance or it is not wrong to say that healthcare products cannot be sold without after sale support/guaranties. Therefore, most important decision in product development in such a competitive market environment is after sale support program. The utmost aim of every business is customer satisfaction. Thought, product specialty and after sale support program is the most appropriate guarantee to the customers.
Business is an ongoing process which starts from market analysis precede to product development and streamlined with selecting the right distribution channels. Distribution is key section in business process. Without a strong distribution channel no business can proceed well to penetrate its product to the maximum portion of market.
An overview of distribution channels
There are many distribution channels which provide direct and indirect distribution solutions. The distribution system which is very familiar and commonly used by many distributors is indirect distribution system. Direct distribution system has a problem with it which engages the producer in large number of interaction directly with the consumer. Direct distribution system is an almost unfeasible or a very comprehensive and harder solution to the producers. On the other hand, indirect distribution system distributes the producer’s difficulties as well (Armstrong & Kotler, 2008).
Channel Levels - direct versus indirect distribution
Both direct and indirect distribution channel have no competition between. One is very easy and the other one is quite hard for a producer. An independent distributor can provide more efficient and cost effective solution than direct. It also diverts the huge systems and procedures from producer to independent or indirect distribution channel. This is the reason that most producers, but, very large number of producers selects indirect distribution solution (Don, & Martha, 2007).
Conventional, vertical, horizontal and multi-channel marketing:
The survey questionnaire is chosen for its cost effectiveness. The telephone questionnaire allows for a sample population to be easily reached with responses documented and easily dissected using data entry and statistical analyzing methods. Because of their widespread use, questionnaires are non-confrontational to the sample population and do not force opinions or options, allowing for accurate and viable responses to be gathered with little bias or influence from the researchers or complicated research equipment.
Advertising is any paid form of no personal presentation of ideas, products, or services by an identified sponsor. Most advertising media are mass media e.g. newspapers, magazines, television, radio, billboards, etc. Thus rather than transmitting messages to one buyer, most ads communicate to thousands or even millions of buyers: this makes each contact for less expensive than personal sales presentation.
Like personal selling and advertising, sales promotion stimulates consumer buying and middlemen’s effectiveness, but with a wide variety of means. Sales promotion tactics are expected to supplement salespeople and advertising to make them more effective. Retail store window displays, product sampling, premium offers, and coupons are all examples of sales promotion.
In contrast to “Advertisement”, “Publicity” may be defined as any “Unpaid” form of non-personal presentation of ideas, goods or services. Personal selling advertising and sales promotional are all direct forms of promotion, whereas publicity is indirect: a firm cannot just go out and buy it. Publicity has been defined as non-personal stimulation of demand for a product, service, or business firm by planting commercially significant news about it in communications media. Some publicity about companies and brands is of course not solicited by sellers: indeed, it may even be negative.
Analyze your target market's needs:
The selected target market is home healthcare consumer. First priority of the customers is to have very sophisticated product which may have user friendly features with ultimate solution. The market is now very much technological and has great competition. So that consumer needs are very high by the meaning of technology and revolution in health services (Brent, 2004).
Explain what you know about your target market and what they want from a channel of distribution:
Target market of Tele-health products is very wise has enough information about the products available in the market. Target market of a telehealth product needs utmost perfection in the product and advancement technologically. Telehealth product customers want a high quality service, top quality reliability and quick availability. So that consumers can use it on a proper time.
Determine which channel members you will use and explain why:
As it is recognized by the time that indirect distribution system is most trusted. So, it is very appropriate to user indirect distribution channels like wholesaler, dealer and retailer. This channel is very cheat than direct distribution channel and already has roots in the consumer market. So, an indirect distribution channel is right solution for a smooth transition of product to the end user.
Distribution is very essential and most critical part of business. In product development distributors plays very pivotal role. So that it is very important to have a strong, reliable and efficient distribution system to make the process of production going on. And for this indirect distribution system is the best model to achieve success in promoting the products.
Pricing is core of competition a reasonable price can attract the consumer most. Moreover, pricing is another stage where business needs to concentrate to appropriate it according to the market competition and consumer needs. The common pricing model which is normally applied by maximum business practices is to format cost of product and add its expenses and the net profit. Though, considering the price from the consumer point of view or value based pricing model is most appropriate especially for new products. It plays most critical part in making mind of consumers to purchase product or services.
What factors will impact pricing strategy?
For a new product it is quite compulsory to have a marketing factor in the pricing model. Moreover, another factor which is very essential especially in the global product is to evaluate the market segmentation properly. Therefore, market segmentation plays pivotal role especially with international market standing. According to my evaluation mostly two factors impact on pricing strategy. One is consumer purchasing power and other one is market environment or market competition. Every business has to design its pricing model according to the consumer purchasing power and have to consider the competition in the market (Armstrong & Kotler, 2008).
What pricing method would you use for your product/service and why?
I think product or business is about considering and analyzing the target market or specifically the consumers. Therefore, I consider that the most prime pricing method should be value-based pricing method. Because, it involve the consumer analysis and consumer value perception about a product. Moreover, it will ultimately conceive a product precisely according to the consumer needs and value perceptions. A product with consumer analysis and consideration of consumer needs and value perception can identify the best market price.
Integrated marketing communication
Business is a long process which ends with product promotion to the consumer to get profit from the maximum sales. The integrated marketing communication is about identifying and communicating the message with the available tools and the platforms. There are two types of marketing channels which are used to propagate the marketing message. One is online marketing channel and other is offline marketing channel. Online marketing channels include SEO, pay-per-click, affiliate marketing, email marketing campaign, banner posting and other online marketing solutions. Offline marketing is the traditional one which is very commonly used from inception of professional marketing concept in business. The offline marketing tools and platforms are print media, electronic media, personal realigning, billboards, broachers etc. However, marketing is about spreading the message with brand promotion (Armstrong & Kotler, 2008)
Push & pull marketing strategy:
There are two types of marketing strategies push and pull. Both have one target but with a diverse strategy. The push promotional strategy create the demand for product using sales force promoting to distribution channels, distribution channels promote to retailers and the retailers promote the product to the consumers. On the other hand, pull promotional strategy goes with the advertisement campaigns and use professional marketing tools to hit the target market and build demand in consumers. Both are good to promote a product if properly utilized.
Promotion mix strategy:
Nowadays consumer is not an unfamiliar element in business activity. Therefore, push marketing strategy is quite hard to go with. In today’s business scenario pull marketing strategy very rapidly making the competition and affecting the consumer decision to buy or not to buy. So, a very attractive and solid pull marketing strategy has more capability than a very conservative push marketing strategy. Moreover, in pull marketing strategy the company is not promoting its brand through influencing the consumer or insisting them to purchase. It is a battle of services and value which make the difference and influence the consumer decision. So, pull one is the perfect one!
A very general but, at the same time, a comprehensive message to the consumer. “We know that’s why we offer”. This message allow user to think about his needs and the services he has. Moreover, it pinches the consumer to concentrate on the quality of service he has. Therefore, a competitive brand can cater the market with this message as well as with a supreme quality.
The three most common promotional tools advertising, sales promotion, public relation are much effectual in the current business environment.
Advertising is advance demonstration of product to the consumers which make their mind to purchase the product. That marketing tool can be utilized through electronic median like television, radio and other broadcast networks.
Sales promotion is traditional tool to hit the target market through sales channels or through indirect marketing. It could be possible vide a catalogue to spread in the target market. And to utilize the sales team to promote the product with pushing the distributing channel.
Public relation is most important to have a soft as well as corporate image in the market. It is only possible with B2C contact to build relationship between. It could be possible through arranging seminars and workshops to spread awareness in the consumer about product. Seminars and workshops provide a platform to the brand and consumer to interact with.