Some might be quick to disregard the importance of theory in any discipline. Marketing theory might be among those not given its proper due.
Marketing theory includes the well-known “P’s” of marketing, specifically product, price, place, and promotion. There are additional “P’s” to consider, such as people, processes, programs, and performance. Each of these is important to build a successful practice, create profit/wealth, and to distinguish yourself with the information you provide to those willing and able to listen.
Marketing theory is useful particularly in light of defining your business and your competitors. A study by Brooks et al hypothesized that community pharmacy market competition affects the decision of individual community pharmacies to provide medication therapy management services (MTMS).1 They found that MTMS are more apt to be supplied at the extremes of community pharmacy concentration (very low and very high). Very low concentrations of pharmacies might suggest pharmacy personnel having to be innovative in delivering services to patients who otherwise might have to travel far to receive quality health care, while a high concentration suggests fierce competition and high population concentrations of patients where pharmacy organizations (as businesses) must do more to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
Taking stock of your target market and the various “P’s” associated with marketing theory will help not only to determine the success of your service/product, but even which of those (of many possibilities) you can and should offer, not to mention their feasibility, substitutability, and what patients/customers might be willing to pay for them.
Additional information about Marketing Theory and Business Planning can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in to Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 4e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.
1Brooks JM, Klepser DG, Urmie JM, et al. Effect of local competition on the willingness of community pharmacies to supply medication therapy management services. J Health Hum Serv Adm. 2007;30:4-27.