Marketing Mix in health service (4Ps)

Updated: Sep 5, 2021

1. Marketing mix

The combination of actions a company uses when selling a product or service.

In the sale of goods, four variables compose the marketing mix (4 Ps): Product, Price, Point of sale (Place) and Promotion. In the case of providing services, three further elements play a role: Personnel, Physical Evidence and Processes (7 Ps).

Within this article we will learn more about 4Ps in marketing mix and how you can use them to develop a successful marketing strategy.

2. The 4Ps of marketing

A good way to understand the 4Ps is by the questions that you need to ask to define your marketing mix. Here are some questions that will help you understand and define each of the four elements:

  • Product/Service

- What does customer want from the product/service? What needs does it have to satisfy?

- What features does it have to meet these needs?

- How and Where will customer use it?

- How will customer experience it?

- What size(s), colour(s), and so on should it be?

- What is it to be called?

- How is it branded?

- How is it differenciated from your competitors?

  • Place

- Where do buyers look for your product/service? (public or private hospital, Clinic, Pharmacy, Medical Device store, supermarket...)

- How can you access the right distribution channel?

- Do you need to use a sale forces? or make online submissions?

  • Price

- What is the value the product/service can bring to customers?

- Are there established price points for product/service in this area?

- Is the customer price sensitive? Will a small decrease in price gain you extra market share? Will a small increase in price be indiscernible and so can bring you more extra profit margin?

- What discount should be offered to trade customers, or to other specific segment in your market?

- How is your price compared to competitors?

  • Promotion

- Where and when can you get marketing messages across to your target market?

- Will you reach your target audience by advertising online, on the press, on TV, on radio, or on billboards? By Private relation or Public relation?

- When is the best time to promote? Is there any seasonality in the market? Are there any wider environmental issues that suggest or dictate the timing of your market launch or subsequent promotions?

- How do your competitors do their promotions? And how does it influence your choice of promotional activities?

3. Using the 4Ps of marketing mix

Follow the steps below to help you to define and improve your marketing mix:

- Start by identifying the product/service that you want to analyze.

- Go through and answer the 4Ps questions - as defined in detail above.

- Try asking "why' and "what if" questions to challenge your offer. For example: ask why your target audience need a particular feature? What is you decrease the price (5% for example)? What if you increase the price? What if you offer more colors, more sizes? Why sell through wholesalers rather than direct channels? What if you improve PR rather than rely on online advertising?

4. Examples

A Traditional Marketing Example

A soft drink company creates a new product under its brand name. To efficiently market the new drink, the product is advertised in the local papers with coupons that offer a price reduction. The company distributes the new drink with their existing products so that it is available at every major grocery store in the country. Here is how this company used the marketing mix:

  • Product: new soft drink; released as part of existing brand

  • Price: reduced price for introductory period

  • Place: widely distributed to convenient locations

  • Promotion: advertisements in local papers

A Health Marketing Example

The CDC develops a new rapid HIV testing kit that provides results in half the time of current tests. To efficiently market the new product, the testing kits are announced by the national media and medical journals. The CDC sends free samples of the new testing kits to each of the state health departments, who deliver them to local health departments, clinics and hospitals. Here is how the CDC used the marketing mix:

  • Product: new HIV testing kit; released by a credible research agency

  • Price: free for trial use

  • Place: widely and evenly distributed throughout states using state and local health departments

  • Promotion: national media publicizes to public; journals inform medical community

As demonstrated in these examples, each of the marketing mix elements must be present in the marketing process. Tailoring the elements to match the target market and using each component in coordination with one another leads to a successful marketing mix.

By: VSHR Digital Media


1. Cambridge Dictionary

2., May-June 2018


4., Feb 2011

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