The 4 P’s of Marketing: An Old School Way of Thinking

Apr 23, 2021 | Hospital Solutions

Product, price, place, and promotion have been at the core of marketing for ages. The four P’s of marketing focused on what to sell and how and when to reach people. Yet, the beloved four P’s have lost a bit of their magic in the ever-evolving industry. Marketing is no longer just an internal activity; it is a more complex process incorporating media and all that it holds. In recent years, there has been a shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing as companies take full advantage of the medium where an audience encounters their message. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, we had to rely far more on digital channels than ever before. 


The future of marketing now lies within the four E’s: experience, everyplace, exchange, and evangelism.



Now more than ever, consumers crave an experience, something that catches their attention and holds it. As a hospital system, physicians are your product, and the health services they provide attribute to the patient experience. Hospital systems providing a higher-caliber patient experience achieve net margins 50% higher than those only providing a “mediocre” patient experience. As a marketer, what does this mean for you and your roles? It’s crucial to highlight those aspects of the patient experience that set your hospital system apart from others to attract and retain customers. What makes your hospital system's patient experience stand out from the others? Emphasizing the extras that make your patient experience memorable could be the reason why someone chooses your physician and not the other. 



Everyplace describes how your hospital system needs to be available and seen at any time of day. Consumers spend more time searching for specialists on third-party websites than they have before. This is where digital channels aid in marketing efforts. “Eighty percent of patients revealed that they still conduct online research on providers they’ve been referred to, and 90 percent will choose another provider entirely if they don’t like what they see online” (Becker’s Hospital Review). To best position yourself for the online research patients will be conducting it is crucial to expand the reach you have on those third-party websites.



More emphasis is being placed on the value of a brand and its product rather than the cost. This concept is becoming increasingly popular among millennials and younger generations. Seven in 10 U.S. millennials actively consider company values when making a purchase decision; this is no different in the healthcare industry. Having quality physicians is no longer enough for them; hospital systems need to have their core values stated and act on them. 



Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the highest value and least costly activities that hospital systems can use to their advantage. Simply promoting your system may not be as effective as consumers actively spreading the word on your behalf. According to surveys, 90% of patients use online reviews to evaluate physicians, and almost three-quarters of patients use online reviews as the first step in finding a new physician. In most cases, hospital systems are not utilizing patient reviews because they are not expanding reach through digital channels. What do we recommend? Look at what digital channels your consumers are using and interact with them. When you get the reviews display them on your website and push their importance.