There are a variety of different marketing strategies and choices that can be utilized by healthcare consumers. Marketing related to medications, procedures, providers and healthcare facilities, are just a few examples of services and products that healthcare consumers often see promoted and/or advertised, to provide more education to it’s consumer base and increase competition. Healthcare facilities have to be strategic with marketing their product and/or services as concerns arise that marketing creates needs.
In order to avoid this, it is important to differentiate whether or not a service or product is a want or need. For example, patients may feel the need to seek their doctor’s assistance and/or advice about something they think they may “need” since seeing it advertised. It can be confusing and create barriers between providers and patient’s to effectively provide proper education, correct treatment options and/or guidance towards services or products they truly need. Marketing is very important for an organization and should help convert consumers wants into needs to eliminate any potential for confusion, as well as provide the ability for them to make their own decision without the influence of what is being advertised/promoted.
A major concern for many health professionals is the belief that marketing “creates” needs. This means that if you are marketing a product or a service you will need to have what it is to provide for your clients when they ask for it. If you put it out there you have to be prepared and make sure it’s available for them and that the right people are trained to provide that service. Some people want something and expect it to be done a certain way but if it is not needed then it will not be serviced. For example, a patient goes to a doctor’s office after a fall and is requesting an MRI, but the MRI is not necessary until an x-ray is done to rule out the diagnosis and make sure nothing else is going on. Patients want it but it is not needed. “A major concern for many health professionals is the belief that marketing “creates” needs.
Berkowitz, E. N. (2022). Essentials of Health Care Marketing. Jones & Bartlett Learning.