911 Patient Care Service Corporation’s goal is to provide an effective means to provide critical medical knowledge in emergency situations. The aim is to deliver a healthy product that guarantees patients’ identity security by leveraging revolutionary technology to reduce this risk.
Products and Services
The tool being launched is a portable retinal scanning system that incorporates laser imaging to identify the patient automatically, providing an instantaneous patient profile and history to hospitals, ambulance crews and other healthcare staff members. This device is linked with a software support system that locates identified retinal scans within a profile database and transmits this data to assist emergency technicians in providing necessary treatment with minimal risk. This is an innovative product with absolutely no competition, thus giving 911 Health Care Corp. the opportunity to corner the market in this new technology sector. It has been developed with some of the most reputable software and technology designers in the industry who have offered their support and opinion for production and maintenance.
Because not everyone has access to a family or associate support network, in the event of an emergency it is next to impossible for the patient to accurately communicate their needs related to medicine interactions, blood type, or other aspects related to their medical history. This service is designed to not only assist hospitals or other emergency crews in improving efficiency of health care, but reduce the risk to patients in the event of an unexpected emergency.
There are two segmentation strategies for the new retinal scanning device: end-user application segmentation under business-to-business principles and psychographics associated with lifestyle and attitude. End-user segmentation is a divisional strategy that isolates markets based on how the industrial purchasers will use the product (Boone & Kurtz, 2007). Because the retinal scanner will be used in emergency teams, hospitals and clinics, functionality will be a key marketing strategy with efficiency and quality as the positioning strategy. Positioning is essentially “owning a place in the mind of the consumer, like a bookmark, concentrating on a single idea or word that defines the company in the consumers’ minds” (Trout, 2008, p.1). Since there is no competition for this type of device, end-user segmentation was determined the primary segmentation strategy rather than geographic or demographic segmentation. The majority of communications will be with organizational buyers.
Psychographics are also part of the strategy, based on the end-user profile and attitude. It involves “grouping buyers on how they live, their priorities and their interests” (Rodoplu, 2008, p.52). In personally-operated medical clinics across the country, budgetary restrictions continue to plague doctors in relation to labor and information technology support payments. High-salary physicians tend to be more explorative regarding their personal interests, such as the stereotypical golfing aficionado, and therefore becomes a segmentation tool based on time-saving and cost-savings preferences with a lifestyle focus.
Target Market Segment
The target market is the hospital, either publicly funded or privately owned. There are currently 5,815 registered hospitals in the country according to the AHA (wiki.answers.com, 2011). This represents enormous selling opportunities without being restricted to a single geographic location. Such hospitals targeted include Mass General, Mount Sinai, Mercy Hospital Center, and Johns Hopkins.
The secondary target market is the personally-owned medical clinic physician. The goal in this market is to influence the high-salaried physician to consider launching their own emergency team practice to build more business and seize some market share from local hospitals. By sending out their own teams of health professionals when patients are immobile or otherwise unable to visit, they can be equipped with these devices for immediate health care services.
Market Needs and Competition Buying Patterns
The key target market, hospitals, are always under financial risk and rising costs of health care provision. Additionally, liability suits for improper medical care are always increasing and pose even more risk to their budgets and reputations. This retinal scanner removes some of the health care liability by ensuring that patient needs are met properly and there are no adverse side effects from allergies or other medical complications with drug interaction. This will be a key selling point for the target hospital buyers.
As identified, there is currently no competition whatsoever in this market, other than those companies that offer 911 cards that read their data on a bar coded scanning device. The innovation of the retinal scanning device supersedes the technological innovation of these products and therefore should not be considered a threat to marketing success and reputation of 911 Health Care Corp.
Strengths of this product is the ability to register health coverage data on the scanner’s software database. There is also a two-year hardware warranty attached that will be part of the value proposition. “The information we offer is as much a part of our overall value proposition as the outputs of the operations” (Mitchell, 2010, p.27). Warranties act as strengths of guarantee that will assist in higher sales interest.
Weaknesses are the higher price attached to the device, unavoidable due to the support needed and the operational production and materials needed to produce a single scanning device. It is currently not compatible with MAC applications in the launch phase.
Opportunities include the ability to save lives where once there was more risk in this area and also the development of secondary compatibility enhancements (such as MAC) that will be developed over time with the assistance of IT support. Threats to this product include lack of universal standards for medical database storage and a current unfamiliarity with the market characteristics, however this will improve through experience and marketing research in the form of surveys and questionnaires.
Competitive Edge and Sales Strategy
“Strategic marketing starts with understanding who your customers are and what is important to them” (ignitemarketinggroup, 2009, p.1). The competitive edge in a market where there is no leading power with a technology that might equal or rival the retinal scanning system is creativity and consistency. Edge is then done by integrating the business necessary with the efficiency and profitability of the product and then selling both points in direct sales and ads. It is also an incentive to enhance corporate social responsibility as the organisation will offer a portion of income with restricted health care coverage to third world countries. “Business operations are undeniably linked with trust-building with community people where the operation is based” (wcdr.gfdr.org, 2007, p.4). In hospitals and healthcare settings that are still committed to enhancing the well-being of people domestically and abroad, CSR would be a big selling tactic.
Sales strategy will consist of the creation of a dedicated website that is interactive and allows potential buyers to view a virtual snapshot of the device to gain understanding of its functions and quality. The site will be equipped with a blog and email system so that customers who have purchased the product can offer their testimonials. This will be monitored regularly to ensure that negative postings are removed to ensure a better brand reputation in the virtual environment. Social media will also be explored as it represents low-cost and effective advertising if it is linked with sites associated with health care or sites that offer expert lecturing on new medical technologies and procedures.
Brand alliances with well-known hospitals will also be part of sales strategy, developed through direct sales. Dedicated salespersons with detailed knowledge of the product will make appointments with important decision-makers in the hospital and clinics where they will conduct formal presentations about functionality, risk reduction, cost savings, and efficiency as key selling points. Other advertising will be conducted in print form in reputable health care magazines and other publications on an as needed basis if direct salesmanship does not return desired profit results. In the personally-owned clinical environment, attempts to reinforce the value of retinal scanners in multiple formats will be presented in both formal and informal meetings with top-level buyers.
The product has a very long life cycle on the market since there are currently no technological competitors. Promotion of the product will begin prior to launch and evolve as sales progress.
- Pre-launch advertising duration: 14 weeks
- Magazine advertising: 24 weeks in early launch phase
- Direct salesmanship: ongoing throughout product life cycle
The product will be successful as it relates to the functionality of the product, related to the product itself in the marketing mix. Its innovations supersede any others on the marketplace especially considering nothing like it is currently being produced. The product will secure psychological elements for long-term gain by appealing to the lifestyles of busy and active physicians looking for new technologies to improve their businesses and their personal goals and recreation (not to mention budget). It will provide an opportunity to save lives for those in need of emergency care and with clever promotion it will build a solid brand for the business that is recognised as a leader and innovator in medical care.
- Boone, L. & Kurtz, D. (2007). Contemporary Marketing, 12th ed. Thomson South-Western.
- Ignitemarketinggroup.com. (2009). “Strategic vs. Tactical Marketing”, Ignite Marketing Group. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from https://www.ignitemarketinggroup.com/uploads/Strategic_vs_Tactical_Marketing.pdf
- Rodoplu, Kamer. (2008). “Psychographic Segmentation”, School of Applied Technology and Management – Bilkent University. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from https://www.tourism.bilkent.edu.tr/~benice/restonews/page52.doc
- Mitchell, Alan. (2007). “Effects of Price Promotions on the Perceived Price”, International Journal of Service Industry Management. 18(3), p.269.
- Trout, Jack. (2008). “The New Positioning: The Latest on the World’s #1 Business Strategy”, Genii Group. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from https://www.genii-group.com/pdf/Book_Review_The_New_Positioning.pdf
- wcdr.gfdr.org. (2007). “The corporate sector role in disaster and environmental management: beyond corporate social responsibility”, Kyoto University. Retrieved April 2, 2011 from https://www.wcdr.gfdr.org/imgs/pdfs/White_Paper_on_the_Corporate_Community_Interface__CCI_.pdf
- Wiki.answers.com. (2011). “How Many Hospitals in United States?”. Retrieved April 3, 2011 from https://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_hospitals_in_United_States