Patients have the need to increasingly access information about health services in order to make more informed decisions about their choice. Nowadays marketing is becoming an increasingly popular tool for “acquiring” patients. Competition on the medical services market is constantly growing, hence it is becoming an increasingly used instrument. Patients have more and more requirements and awareness of their rights, and all this affects the greater need of adapting the quality of health services to correspond to the market requirements. Therefore, marketing has become an obligatory tool, as well as inevitable when conducting medical activities.

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines Marketing as an “activity, a set of institutions and processes used to create, communicate, deliver and exchange offers that have value for customers, contractors, and society in general.”. Many recognized practicians, among others Kotler, Shalowitz and Stevens also cite a different to the developed by AMA definition, which reads as follows: “Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes aimed at creating, communicating and delivering value to clients, as well as managing customer relations in such a way as to provide benefits for organization and its stakeholders’. Marketing in the medical services industry allows not only to “acquire” patients, but also to obtain greater acceptance of doctors, for example a new drug introduced on the market.

The above benefits are not the only ones that can be owed to him. Well-organized marketing aims, for example, to make patients aware of the importance of vaccinating against diseases that can be prevented by such an action. It has the dimension of, among others a social one, because it is also the care for the health of the society or minimizing the risk of epidemics of various infectious diseases. A marketing campaign encouraging a healthy lifestyle (which includes, for example, a healthy diet without fast food or physical activity) has a preventive effect, preventing e.g. diabetes or obesity. Kotler cites that “Marketing is a social and management process, thanks to which, through the creation, offering and exchange of products that have the value of specific people and groups, they get what they need and what they want”.

The most important task of marketing is to meet the client’s needs (the patient’s need to recover) – the most important element of the whole process associated with it. It involves entering the role of the patient and seeing what he needs and the answer to the question of how to ensure it. This entry into the role allows the marketing specialist to perfectly adapt the campaign to the patient’s level, which will probably increase its effectiveness. Marketing offers mutual benefits because hand we have the needs of patients and on the other hand – measurable financial profits of the entrepreneur. Though it must be emphasized that it is specific due to the fact that money is not the only incentive to its use, because the market for medical services is a market for the clients who suffer and need help. This desire to improve health and save lives should guide the overarching goal of marketing health services.

SOURCES:

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