Marketing in Healthcare Management Case Study

Pages: 11 (3563 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Marketing in Healthcare Management

Over recent years, the healthcare industry has faced significant changes. Today, managers struggle to maintain the standard of healthcare through the effective and efficient management of resources. Yang (2010) notes "that the concept of marketing have been transformed from transaction marketing into relationship marketing" (p. 235). According to the American Marketing Association, marketing includes the processes and activities that create, communicate, deliver, and exchange valuable offers for clients, customers, partners and society in general. It is not embodied by a single technique, but instead is a broad strategy that builds relationships (cited Rooney 2009, p. 241). In an increasingly competitive industry, marketing can garner valuable market share for an organization or cost them valuable consumers.

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Although marketing is not simply limited to promotional strategies, but instead includes activities including product conception, pricing, distribution channels, public relations, customer service, and overall strategic planning, this paper will explore the concept of healthcare marketing through the critical analysis of a healthcare campaign titled "Save the Boobs." The background of the campaign will be given, as well the reasons for formulating this campaign. The segmentation of the audience will be presented, and the seven Ps of marketing services will be used to explore the effectiveness of the campaign. Particular reference to the promotion and elements of the communication models will be given, followed by an evaluation of the success of the campaign. Lastly, an explanation of what could have been done differently will be presented. These recommendations will be supported by the application of marketing theory.

Campaign Background and Situation Analysis:

TOPIC: Case Study on Marketing in Healthcare Management Assignment

The "Save the Boobs" campaign was developed by the Canadian organization Rethink Breast Cancer. The ad features a buxom young woman walking slowly around a swimming pool, in a bikini. Other pool party guests are admiring her as she jiggles in semi-slow motion. Words cut into the scene that say, "You know you like them. Now it's time to save the boobs. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 20-49." The purpose of the campaign was to provide a memorable piece of advertising that would encourage men to be more aware of the dangers of breast cancer, as well as younger women, who often perceive breast cancer as an older woman's disease ("Save the boobs," 2009).

Using a SWOT analysis gives further insight into this campaign. The primary strength of the Save the Boobs campaign is that it is memorable. it's difficult to forget a beautiful, bikini-clad woman jiggling around a swimming pool. For this reason, it's also incredibly effective in garnering the attention of viewers. In a society where most television viewers have hundreds of channels to choose from, and commercials that are often either missed as viewers surf between more than one channel or fast-forwarded through when programs are recorded, this is a campaign that has the ability to cause viewers to stop and watch. Of course, it's primary weakness is that for many women the ad is seen as too sexy and a campaign that is sexist and degrading to women, making it ineffective for the people breast cancer directly affects -- women.

The primary opportunities this campaign may consider are those centering on increased education for both men and young men. Although this one campaign has gone beyond the Canadian market where it was originally released, the viral nature of the global news coverage of the ad may be something the organization wishes to repeat. This can be accomplished by creating similarly racy and controversial ads in future campaigns. Threats to this campaign lie in the controversial nature. The negative press could backfire on the campaign and draw attention away from the true goal of the campaign -- breast cancer awareness.

Segmentation of the Audience:

Stakeholder management, according to Huber, Scharioth and Pallas (2004), is a popular term for describing the interest groups that have a sake in an organization, company or institution. Putting stakeholder management into practice involves garnering support for a project from stakeholders. The stakeholders for the Save the Boobs campaign vary greatly. First, the general public has an interest in the topic of breast cancer. An estimated 23,200 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, in 2010, and 5,300 women will die from this disease, in Canada alone. In fact, one in nine women will statistically develop breast cancer in their lifetime ("Stats & factoids" 2010). The medical community, feminist groups, the media, and other breast cancer awareness groups all have a potential effect on Rethink Breast Cancer and their Save the Boobs campaign.

There are four primary segmentation variables in marketing: geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Geographically, the Save the Boobs campaign was originally targeted at a Canadian audience, this is reinforced by the fact that the "star" of the commercial is a popular Canadian MTV announcer. Demographically, the target audience is primarily young adult males, with young adult females being a secondary target. Psychographic segmentation, according to Kurtz and MacKenzie (2009) "divides a population into groups that have similar psychological characteristics, values, and lifestyles" (p. 275). The psychographic segmentation targeted by the Save the Boobs campaign is people who are not typically concerned with their health, in general, and breast cancer specifically. Lastly, behavioral segmentation centers on the consumer behaviors that are exhibited in the marketplace (Assael 2005, p. 414; Reid & Bojanic 2009, p. 130). Behaviors common to the targeted market in the Save the Boobs campaign are a general lack of concern regarding breast cancer, which will include behaviors such as not conducting monthly breast exams.

The Seven Ps of Marketing:

To define the marketing mix, the seven Ps of marketing can be used. These seven Ps include: product, place, price, promotion, process, people, and physical evidence (Anselmo 2010, p. 8; Crane 2001, p. 15). The product being offered in the Save the Boobs campaign is breast cancer education. The place for this campaign is primarily in Canada, although thanks to the controversial nature and the ensuing media coverage, it has been shown in a variety of countries around the world. Pricing, for this campaign, is not financial, but centers on the individual's health. As the last line of the commercial points out, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in younger adult women. Promotion for the Rethink Breast Cancer organization includes not only television commercials, but also a strong web presence. The processes used in the organization center on education. The characteristics of the people involved in Rethink Breast Cancer affect their marketing campaign, as they are a younger, trendier group of people, which is reflected in their campaign. Physical evidence to provide tangible evidence of quality service for the organization is actually not physical, but virtual, in the organization's web presence.

Promotion & Elements of the Communication Models:

The promotion facets of the marketing mix typically consist of: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion (Aggarwal & Gupta 2001, p. 359), and public relations (Marsh & O'Connor 2007, p. 50). The Save the Boobs campaign is an example of advertising in that it was a non-personal presentation of the organization's ideas about the importance of breast cancer awareness. As the organization is one that conducts their primary activities virtually, personal selling typically only occurs through their various fundraising events, such as their annual Breast Fest Film Festival or their annual Boobyball ("Events" 2010). Sales promotions are also not applicable in the traditional sense, as the organization doesn't "sell" a product or service, instead sales promotions come in the form of their fundraising events that occur several times per year. Public relations, however, is critical for Rethink Breast Cancer. The organization strives to maintain a young, hip, trendy image to promote breast cancer awareness, to build the brand image of the organization. Yet, campaigns like Save the Boobs may actually damage public relations for the organization.

Furthermore, there are nine elements involved in the communication process, including: message, media, sender, encoding, decoding, receiver, noise, feedback, and response (Guffey 2003, p. 11; Weiten 2009, p. 205). Rethink Breast Cancer is the sender and they have sent the message that they want to increase breast cancer awareness in men and younger adult women. This message is encoded with their campaign for Save the Boobs. The media, in this particular communication, is television. The message is then decoded by viewers as they watch the ad., and they become the receiver of the message. The response is the reaction of the receiver after watching the commercial and has varied from enthusiasm, for the unique campaign, to outrage, for the sexist portrayal of women. The feedback Rethink Breast Cancer received should be that more people are now aware of the potential for breast cancer in younger women. Lastly, noise is the unplanned distortion of the message and is what occurred with the viewers who were upset at the sexual nature of the ad, which distracts viewers from the true message.

Evaluation of the Success of the Campaign:

Rethink Breast Cancer's Save the Boobs campaign met… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Marketing in Healthcare Management" Case Study in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Marketing in Healthcare Management.  (2010, December 9).  Retrieved October 27, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Marketing in Healthcare Management."  9 December 2010.  Web.  27 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Marketing in Healthcare Management."  December 9, 2010.  Accessed October 27, 2021.