Health Care System Positioning and Differentiation

A well planned marketing and branding tactic will offer a course of action for the maturity of an effective marketing campaign. A hospital’s marketing and branding strategies are key components of consideration in the development of all encompassing marketing plan. Mercy Health Systems and Crozer-Keystone Health Systems have both successfully marketed themselves in the community as outstanding health care providers. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different strategies used by Mercy Health Systems’ and Crozer-Keystone Health Systems’ to actively market their organizations.

A well planned marketing approach provides a course of action for the expansion of a thorough marketing initiative that will attract a distinguished market that has not been previously considered. An organizations target market is a detailed group of consumers that the organization aims its products and services. The target customers are those who are most likely to become clients of the organization. To create a suitable strategy, the organization’s target market must be evaluated and well thought-out.

It is very important that health care systems develop a plan for the target market within the surrounding community. Health care systems must position themselves separate and unique from its competitors. All health care systems, at first sight, all offer primarily the same services and products. By providing a unique service, the company can attract a new customer base and develop lasting relationships between the customer and the organization. An organizations target market has to be as unique as the services and products offered to attract the new customer base.

Mercy Health System is the most prevalent Catholic health care system servicing the residents of Delaware County and the surrounding areas (Mercy Health System, 2010). With a focus on developing an extraordinary patient-care experience, Mercy Health System is made up of over 8,000 staff members (Mercy Health System, 2010). Mercy Health Systems considers itself as a “significant force in creating an environment where competence and compassionate care meet” (Mercy Health System, 2010, p. 3).

Mercy Health Systems is comprised of four acute-care hospitals, a continuing care facility, a home health care agency and two Medicaid managed care health plans (Mercy Health System, 2010). Mercy Health Systems positions its self in the community as a provider of compassionate care and community access to quality health care services. Mercy Health System’s target market is aimed towards individuals who are looking for an environment that has respect for each person and a sacredness of human life, a commitment to the poor, and to care for and build up the health care ministry (Mercy Health System, 2010).

Crozer-Keystone Health System is the foremost provider of health care in Delaware County (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). Crozer-Keystone Health System has more than 1100 physicians and 7100 employees (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). It is a major employer in Delaware County (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). Crozer-Keystone’s mission is to obligate to working with the community to build healthy neighborhoods to live and work in (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007).

The health system is also dedicated to improving the health of the community and the surrounding areas (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). Crozer-Keystone Health System is comprised of 15 hospitals and facilities, including a sports club, occupational health center, an MRI center and Emergency Medical Services (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 20107). Crozer-Keystone Health System’s target market is aimed at individuals interested in a dedicated provider of high quality health services (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007).

The Crozer-Keystone Health Systems website states that “care is patient-centered, cost-effective and directed at meeting the many needs of people in this region” (2007). The claim of the health system is that they strive to respond to the needs of the community and they recognize that the ultimate product of quality care is a healthy community (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). A vision of Crozer-Keystone Health Systems is to discover and apply new technologies and to embrace justifiable alternative forms of care (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007).

The health system is also committed to an academic mission to educate not only clinicians but also caregivers (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). Alternative care and education can attract not only the new customers but also, if advertised efficiently, new innovative staff members. Although Mercy Health System and Crozer-Keystone Health System may provide the primarily the same services and in the same area, their marketing in the community have similar but different aspects in the community. By distinguishing a difference other providers Mercy Health Systems can develop its distinctive focus.

Mercy Health Systems position is to provide quality care to the surrounding community without regard for ability to pay. Mercy Health Systems also focuses on its ministry to serve people by making them healthy. Crozer-Keystone Health System’s focus is also on the people of the community but its secondary focus is to educate clinicians and caregivers and to implement and explore new technologies. Mercy Health Systems has a more compassionate, missionary position were Crozer-Keystone Health Systems is more of an educated, technological and up to date position.

The main focus of both organizations is to provide quality care for the community. The additional visions that each establishment focuses on is the key focus for each organizations differentiation strategy. Branding a product or service requires a formation of something about the product or service that is exclusive in the market (Hyatt, 2001). Consumers must recognize the product as having advantageous features not provided by the competitors (Hyatt, 2001).

Mercy Health Services branding technique is focused on the organization’s being “motivated by faith in a merciful God, works to actualize that faith” (Mercy Health Systems, 2010, p. 5). This focus on a religious aspect sets Mercy Health Systems apart from Crozer-Keystone Health Systems and gives Mercy Health Systems a branding strategy that sets them apart from many other organizations. Mercy Health Systems not only promotes healing in the physical and emotional since. Mercy Health Systems also endorses a spiritual healing.

On the Mercy Health Systems it states that a greater family unity is encouraged along with helping patients and family members to accept the patients’ medical condition while providing kindhearted support (Mercy Health Systems, 2010). Mercy Health Systems branding strategy seems to have a direct focus on the spiritual wellbeing of it patients and their loved ones. Mercy Health Systems mission is “Healing in the broadest sense” (Mercy Health Systems, 2010, p. 2). Crozer-Keystone Health Systems’ focus is on education and the exploration and implementation of new technologies.

Crozer-Keystone Health System has over 400 miles of fiber optic cable that connects all of its physician’s offices, hospitals and health centers (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). Crozer-Keystone’s telemedicine operation, its integrated lifetime clinical record, and its award-winning Child Health Reminder System are all prime examples of the efforts that are poured into technological advances maintained by the organization. Crozer-Keystone Health System incorporates individuals who embrace the challenge of innovation on national levels.

The organizations goal to continue to be technologically advanced and its focus on fostering leadership are factors that differentiate Crozer-Keystone Health System from Mercy Health Systems. In order to actively respond to an ever changing consumer demand and to set itself apart from other health systems, Keystone Health System is open to legitimate alternative forms of treatment (Crozer-Keystone Health Systems, 2007). Crozer-Keystone Health System is also committed to the education of clinicians and caregivers (Crozer-Keystone Health Systems, 2007).

Crozer-Keystone Health System vision is to “Create an environment where each board member, employee, physician, and volunteer uses his or her creativity, learning, and skills to promote the health and wellbeing of our patients, their families and communities, and each other” (Crozer-Keystone Health System, 2007). By distinguishing it self from its competitors by creating a focus on education and innovation, Crozer-Keystone Health Systems creates an exclusive market. The elite market will entice individuals to consumers who are looking for a more innovative establishment to use Crozer-Keystone Health Systems over its competitors.

Branding can be attained through many unique products or services. An organization must focus its marketing and branding strategies on its uniqueness in order to attract the consumers interested in the exclusive products and services that the organizations have to offer. Effective branding can create a level of customer loyalty. An organization will be able to create a competitive advantage by realizing its capability to establishing a distinct brand in the market that takes advantage of the company’s distinctive qualities.