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Assignment Questions

Marketing Forces and Diversification 

Marketing Forces and Diversification

using the Noonan and Savolaine article as the focus, please respond in a 3-4 page paper to the following questions:

1.What do you think about the Market Orientation of the community hospital?
2. What do you think created the change?
3. How the quality of service changed and why?
4. If you would be the CEO of the hospital how you would approach the marketing issues?

reading material:

Abstract (Summary)
The challenge of engaging a community in the opening of a birthing center becomes even more daunting when community members speak 40 different languages. One midwestern community hospital not only took on this challenge, but also turned it into one of their greatest marketing success stories. Service area analysis identified the following ethnic populations: 72.2% non-Hispanic white, 7% African-American or black, 0.5% Native American, 11.2% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 9.1% other. Hispanics were included among the multiple ethnic background populations and accounted for 18.9% of the service area. However, ethnic descriptions of the service area failed to describe the unique features of the service area. Among the Caucasian population, recent immigrants from the Middle East and Eastern Europe predominated. The hospital’s goal was to increase the market share for obstetric services in a highly competitive market. To do this, it developed marketing strategies to raise awareness of the new family birthing center in these ethnic communities by adopting several objectives.

Full Text
(933 words)

Copyright American Marketing Association Winter 2001

[Headnote]
CASE STUDY

[Headnote]
Serving a multicultural community requires a marketing melting pot.

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[Photograph]

The challenge of engaging a community in the opening of a birthing center becomes even more daunting when community members speak 40 different languages. One midwestern community hospital not only took on this challenge, but also turned it into one of their greatest marketing success stories.

Defining the Market

Thirteen hospitals within a 10-mile radius of the primary service area provided obstetrical services, and an estimated 24,274 women of childbearing age lived in the primary service area. Another 134,055 of them lived in the secondary service area. The number of childbearing age women residing in the primary and secondary service areas was expected to decline by 7% over the next four years.

Service area analysis identified the following ethnic populations: 72.2% non-Hispanic white, 7% African-American or black, 0.5% Native American, 11.2% Asian or Pacific Islander, and 9.1% other. Hispanics were included among the multiple ethnic background populations and accounted for 18.90 of the service area. The percentage of Asians in the service area was quadruple the state and national populations, and the percentage of Hispanics in the service area was double the state and national populations.

However, ethnic descriptions of the service area failed to describe the unique features of the service area. Among the Caucasian population, recent immigrants from the Middle East and Eastern Europe predominated. The Asian immigrants came predominantly from Korea, Pakistan, India, and the Philippines. To narrow the market for ethnic childbearing women, researchers reviewed obstetrical discharge data and asked physicians to identify the major ethnic and cultural groups of their patients.

Using this technique, researchers were able to estimate the following major ethnic and cultural groups utilizing obstetrical services: Korean (23%); Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern (29%); Assyrian (6%); and Hispanic (13%). Research into cultural considerations for these groups identified a significant subgroup of Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern patients that were Muslim. Four target ethnic markets were defined: Korean, Middle Eastern, Muslim (Middle Eastern, Pakistani and Indian), and Hispanic (Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban).

The hospital’s goal was to increase the market share for obstetric services in a highly competitive market. To do this, it developed marketing strategies to raise awareness of the new family birthing center in these ethnic communities by adopting the following objectives. Difference services from competitors with the following:

* Graphic images and color coding for directional sinage within the facility

* Multilingual and color coding for directional sinage within the facility

* Multilingual and multicultural physicians (male and female), nursing staff, cultural liaisons, and interpreters

* Culturally diverse artwork throughout the facility

* Large state-of-the-art labor-delivery-recovery-postpartum rooms with jacuzzis and room for fily members

* Ethnic menus, microwaves, and refrigerators for patient use

* Spanish, Korean, Arabic, and Hindi language childbirth preparation classes taught by Hispanic, Korean, and Indian nurses

* Family-centered program of care

* Superior quality measures (e.g., low cesarean section rates and successful vaginal birth after cesarean initiatives)

Enhance its marketing presence in the following ways:

* Creating a new maternity services “brand” for the hospital (the graphic image of infant footprints)

* Aggressively marketing and promoting the new features and benefits of the hospital’s maternity services

* Reinforcing the unique positioning of its culturally sensitive family-centered maternity care

Grand opening events included a series of receptions for the Korean, Middle Eastern, and Muslim (Indian, Pakistani, and Middle Eastern) populations. Korean physicians and nurses planned the Korean reception with the assistance of the marketing staff. On the evening of the reception, five Korean obstetrical and neonatal nurses dressed in traditional Korean gowns and led Korean-language tours of the facility. Korean food was served and gifts were distributed to the more than 400 guests. A program of dance and chamber music provided by Korean dancers and musicians followed the reception. The uniqueness of the event captured extensive Korean television coverage.

The Middle Eastern, Muslim (Middle Eastern, Pakistani, and Indian), and Hispanic receptions were similar in structure. Each event was planned with the help of bicultural and bilingual nurses and physicians and included facility tours, ethnic foods, and culturally appropriate gifts and entertainment. In total 2,700 individuals attended the events.

The Family Birthing Center has experienced 25% growth per year for the last three years following the opening of the center. Patient satisfaction has improved consistently and quality measures have remained above national averages, which is evidence that serving ethnic markets appropriately is an excellent business development strategy.

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