Handbook of Healthcare Management

Handbook of Healthcare Management

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky

The Handbook of Healthcare Management is a comprehensive examination of key management practices for global healthcare organizations, arguing that insight into and implementation of these practices is essential for success and sustainability.

Chapter 10: Healthcare marketing and social media

Donna Malvey, Alicia Beardsley, Peggy K. Howse and Sandra Ruff

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, strategic management, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


Marketing is a science and as such is a complex discipline replete with theories and constructions. The American Marketing Association (2013) defines marketing as follows: “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” This is an acceptable definition for marketing, although it would be helpful to include some reference to monitoring and evaluation. Doing so would assure that what is being done, as well where the money is being spent, is achieving the intended goals. Healthcare marketing is now recognized as a functional discipline to be used in the management of a healthcare organization. Marketing in healthcare is viewed primarily as a process that involves planning and execution of the four marketing mix variables: product, price, place, and promotion. While not always effectively practiced, the perspective that marketing is more than advertising has gained increasing recognition over the years. Although healthcare is undergoing significant structural change, the basic elements of marketing will be at the core of any healthcare organization’s successful position in the marketplace (Thomas, 2010).

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