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Although marketing and public relations are very similar functions, they are different in
concept, function and implementation. Below are definitions for these two terms / functions, as
well as other key marketing and public relations terms and definitions:
Marketing – (1) Actions undertaken to elicit desired responses from a target audience.
Includes identifying and meeting human and social needs profitably.
(2) An organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating,
and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit
the organization and its stakeholders (American Marketing Association, 2004).
Public Relations – Programs that are designed to promote or protect a company’s image or
its individual products.
Marketing Public Relations – Corporate and product promotion and image making (Kotler,
P. & Keller, K. L.).
Marketing Mix
The traditional marketing mix consists of four components:
Products / Services – includes the type, quality, design, packaging, warranties, and
related value – added services.
Price – includes areas such as retail pricing, discounting, managed care contracting, and
the business office / patient accounts functions.
Promotion - includes public relations, advertising, promotion, sales, and recruitment.
Place – includes channels / locations for access and delivery.
Marketing Communication
The marketing communication mix consists of five components:
Advertising – Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas,
goods, and services.
Direct marketing – Uses consumer-direct channels to reach and deliver goods and
services to customers without marketing middlemen including direct mail, web sites, and
Events & experiences – Uses a time-specific event or the creation of an experience
through the focused efforts of combining multiple goods and services for the consumer.
Public relations – Programs that are designed to promote or protect a company’s image
or its individual products.
Personal selling – Individual, one-on-one selling to referral sources, physicians, or
Marketing Communication – The means by which the hospital attempts to inform,
persuade, and remind consumers / patients – directly or indirectly – about the services it
Relationship Marketing – Goal is to build mutually satisfying long-term relationships with
key parties – patients, suppliers, physicians, employees, employers, or others – in order to earn
and retain their business.
Marketing Metrics – The set of measures a company uses to quantify, compare, and
interpret marketing performance.
Marketing Dashboards – A summary of relevant internal and external measures assembled
for purposes of monitoring, measurement and evaluation.
Marketing Audit – Systematic or periodic examination of a hospital’s marketing
environment, strategies, objectives and activities.
Customer Satisfaction – The customer’s (patient, family, physician, or employee)
perception of the service they receive and feeling of pleasure or disappointment resulting from
an outcome or comparison made in relation to his / her own experiences or expectations.
Marketplace – The physical and geographical territory of a given market of buyers and sellers.
Market – All the buyers in the hospital’s service area who are able and willing to purchase
healthcare services that are provided by the hospital.
Available Market – The set of consumers who have interest, income, and access to a
particular hospital service or offer.
Target Market – The part of the qualified available market the hospital decides to pursue.
Market Share – The hospital’s volume of inpatient and outpatients by service category as
compared to the total volume of patients by service category in the market.
Market Demand – The total volume that is purchased or accessed for a defined healthcare
service category in the hospital’s service area in a one year period.
Market Forecast – Expected / anticipated market demand.
Forecasting – The art of anticipating what buyers / patients are likely to do under a given set
of conditions.
Customer Performance Scorecard – A record or report of how well the hospital is
performing on a year-to-year comparison on a variety on customer-based measures including
satisfaction, litigation, inpatient and outpatient market share, top-of-mind awareness, etc.
Service Demand – The number of inpatient and outpatient admissions per physician,
ancillary service, or mid-level provider, typically done as a year-to-year comparison.
Marketing Information System (MIS) – An organizationally-designed system of people,
equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute needed, timely,
and accurate information to decision makers.
Marketing Intelligence System (MIS) – A set of processes, procedures and sources used
by managers to obtain everyday information about developments in the marketing
environment. MIS is typically obtained by reading books, periodicals, newspapers, internet
sources and trade publications; talking to physicians, patients, families, employees and
community members; talking with suppliers, vendors, colleagues and consultants; or attending
conferences or seminars.
Marketing Research – A process used to design, collect, analyze, and report data and
information and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the hospital.
Primary Data – Freshly gathered data for a specific purpose or project.
Secondary Data – Data collected for another purpose that already exist.
Research Instruments – There are three primary avenues for collecting primary data:
1. Questionnaires
2. Qualitative measures
3. Mechanical devices
Qualitative Research Techniques – Relatively unstructured measurement approaches that
permit a range of possible responses. These techniques create an unstructured and creative
way for researchers to explore consumer perceptions that may otherwise be difficult to
Loyalty – A customer’s commitment to re-buy or re-patronize the hospital. This can also
include a physician’s commitment to admit patients to the hospital to continue utilizing its
Consumer Behavior – The behavior consumers or patients display in searching for,
purchasing, using, evaluating, and communicating about services received from a healthcare
Focus Group – The gathering of six to ten people carefully selected based upon certain
demographic, psychographic, or other criteria to discuss one or more topics of interest.