The current paper is an example of the marketing plan for the United Healthcare Organization. This company is popular in the American market and specializes in medical and healthcare services. The marketing plan is necessary for the United Healthcare Organization to open new opportunities and avoid potential threats that can prevent the successful growth of the company.
The given marketing plan includes the market analysis, environmental analysis, description of the marketing mix, and plan evaluation. Market analysis is based on SWOT-analysis, description of services, and competitive advantage of the United Healthcare Organization. The environmental analysis includes external and internal analysis and describes the role of leadership and employees. Marketing mix includes the description of the marketing objectives and market segmentation. Plan evaluation discusses methods of performance monitoring and evaluation.
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The marketing plan is the basis for the development of any business. Consequently, such healthcare company as the United Healthcare Organization should follow the marketing plan and fulfill strategic objectives to achieve success. Thus, the objectives of the marketing plan of the United Healthcare Organization presuppose the following activities: (1) defining the ways of growth and development; (2) detection of the possible threats; (3) enhancement of the company’s performance and profitability; (4) achievement of the competitive advantage in the field of healthcare; (4) improvement of business strategy; (5) implementation of change management process.
The given marketing plan will achieve the specific objectives and support the United Healthcare Organization’s business plan and strategic plan by providing the market analysis that will help to understand the company’s service strategy. The following marketing plan is based on the environmental analysis that will reveal the factors that either benefit or restrain the United Healthcare Organization’s development. Moreover, this marketing plan will use marketing mix as a way of understanding the company’s distribution, product, pricing, and promotion strategies. Consequently, this marketing plan will provide a complex analysis of the organization’s current state of affairs and future opportunities. Furthermore, it will describe the elements of the United Healthcare Organization’s strategic and business plans.
The United Healthcare Organization provides diverse services that are related to the treatment and promotion of healthy lifestyle. This healthcare organization has 20, 301 physicians, as well as 5, 622 hospitals and 64, 000 pharmacies, which are the main locations where treatment is provided (United Healthcare, n.d.). Moreover, the United Healthcare Organization also offers the preventive care and wellness programs. They encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle and take care of their health status. The United Healthcare Organization provides such an option as individual and family insurance that simplifies the access of people to medical services.
These services meet the needs of United Healthcare Organization’s determined customer base. First, they include not only treatment but also preventive activities. It means that the company tries to cover the demands of the customers belonging to different age groups. Second, the services are adapted to the trend of the popularization of the healthy lifestyle across the society. It needs to be mentioned that the organization evaluates customers’ needs and implements the results in practice (United Healthcare, n.d.). Not without a reason, the United Healthcare Organization is a reputable company. It is evident that this organization is able to find an individual approach to every customer.
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1. Effective distribution of services.
2. Provision of a broad range of services.
3. Affordability of services
4. Positive and strong brand image.
5. A large number of professionals and medical centers.
6. Direct selling strategy.
7. Strong balance sheet.
8. Favorable business location.
9. The use of an innovative approach to medical services (United Healthcare, n.d.).
Such strengths of the United Healthcare Organization form the basis for further development and growth. Moreover, they justify the company’s positive image and desire to meet customer demands. Most advantages of the organization are related to the service strategy. Therefore, the United Healthcare Organization should also introduce medical products to attract more customers. The above strengths enable the company to meet customer needs. First of all, they prove that the United Healthcare Organization takes care of their customers and tries to adapt their services accordingly. Moreover, these strengths differentiate the United Healthcare Organization from other healthcare companies.
A large variety of services increases the number of customers and profitability. Investments belong to the kind of an operation that broadens the company’s services and strengthens their reputation worldwide. Product customization and competitive pricing help to find new customers.
1. Direct way of promotion (advertisement).
2. Dependence on many suppliers.
3. Low quality of certain services.
4. Lower returns and profit margins.
5. Poor distribution network.
6. High demand for human, financial, and physical resources.
These weaknesses should be used by the United Healthcare Organization as a driving force for further growth. The company should not only admit its weak points but find the ways to avoid them. Thus, the United Healthcare Organization should apply the indirect ways of promotion such as sponsorship and public relations. Moreover, it should improve the quality of services to avoid the negative feedback from the customers.
The marketing planning requires improvement and change as it is not perfect. Thus, the company needs to improve its business strategy to remain competitive. The company has little experience in the implementation of strategic management.
1. Development of online services.
2. Finding new locations.
3. Increase in customer base and profits.
4. New business venture.
5. Human resource development.
6. Collaboration with other companies.
7. Implementation of the innovative processes.
8. Increase in the number of suppliers.
9. Global market penetration (United Healthcare, n.d.).
These opportunities prove that the United Healthcare Organization has many possibilities for the growth and development. It should use them as the ways of the modernization and extension. However, the company should not neglect the opportunities but realize them as short-term objectives.
1. Local and global competitors.
2. Legal limitations.
3. Loss of sponsors and suppliers.
4. Possible lawsuits because of poor service (United Healthcare, n.d.).
These threats are related to customers’ needs, service quality, and competitors’ position in the market. Consequently, the company should react to them immediately and try to predict them in advance.
This marketing plan can provide the competitive advantage for the United Healthcare Organization. First, it aligns the services with the customers’ needs. It means that this marketing plan is oriented on customers’ interests and segments of services accordingly. Second, this marketing plan encourages the attack on new markets as a way to increase profits and the number of customers. It means that it supports the strategy of market penetration. Third, this marketing clearly expresses the company’s advantages and uses them as the driving force for further progress. Forth, it emphasizes the customer service as a top priority. Moreover, the strength of this marketing plan is that it demands the strategic actions and change of the management process.
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The environment of the United Healthcare Organization is preconditioned by the internal and external factors. The internal factors include the culture of the workplace, communication processes, employees, and leadership. The role of leaders and employees is crucial for the United Healthcare Organization. The leaders control all processes in the company. They maintain the corporate culture within the organization. The leaders distribute the resources of the company in a proper way. Moreover, they resolve the conflict situations to save organizational reputation. The employees are responsible for the high level of performance and productivity. They should make only ethical and moral decisions.
The communication processes are also important for the United Healthcare Organization. Communication can be between the employer and employees, as well as employees and the customers. Consequently, the company should use communication systems to support healthcare services. The communication processes should be based on telephone calls, face-to-face conversations, e-mail, and letters. It is very important to establish the successful communication with employees who need a proper treatment, tolerance, and care. It is necessary to mention that customers in the healthcare field differ from those from other areas. Thus, communication is one of the most effective tools to achieve understanding and collaboration.
The culture of the workplace is another essential aspect of the healthcare environment. In the United Healthcare Organization, it is based on the corporate responsibility, moral and ethical values, and ethical decisions. First, the company should provide safe and healthy conditions of work for its employees. Second, there should be a friendly and positive atmosphere that will encourage the employees to improve the performance and productivity. Thus, employees will treat customers with respect and attention and create a customer-centric surrounding. The United Healthcare Organization should employ people from diverse backgrounds and treat them equally. Consequently, the internal factors are beneficial for the company.
The external environment of the United Healthcare Organization is influenced by socioeconomic, legal, ethical, political, and technological factors (Armstrong & Kotler, 2012). The political factors can be the restraining forces for development as the company is obliged to pay taxes and follow all governmental laws and regulations. As the company can operate in the global market, it should mitigate the foreign taxes. Moreover, the United Healthcare Organization should also follow health and safety laws that can influence its reputation and image in the market. The political aspects are favorable for this company as it operates in the domestic market and follows all governmental regulations and procedures.
The socioeconomic factors are related to the economic processes. It should be noted that the buying power of customers define profits and sales of the United Healthcare Organization. Economic aspects of the company are related to the successful economy that ensures a favorable environment. Social factors are related to the demographics as the demographic changes can increase or decrease the number of customers.
Ethical factors are related to the corporate responsibility of the company and its reputation in the market. The unethical cases can damage the United Healthcare Organization’s image. In this regard, the ethical aspects can be related to the customers’ concerns about the quality. The moral vision of the company is the basis for further success. Technological factors refer to the ability of the United Healthcare Organization to implement the innovative technologies and apply them while providing services. Thus, the orientation on the modernized equipment can enhance the performance of the organization. One should mention that online services should become a part of the company’s strategy.
Legal factors also influence the company’s state of affairs. The United Healthcare Company cannot violate the legal regulations as this can lead to its decline. Paying taxes in time is the major condition for having a legally positive image. The legal aspects also require the promotion of equality and diversity policy among all stakeholders. It means that the United Healthcare Organization is responsible for all kinds of discrimination.
The data on the quadrants presented in the Boston Consulting Group Matrix could be applied to this marketing plan. The BCG Matrix consists of the following quadrants: stars, cash cows, dogs, and question marks (Cameron & Green, 2012). The treatment services of the United Healthcare Organization can be regarded as stars as they provide the high market share. They generate most part of cash in the United Healthcare Organization. Therefore, the company should invest in these services. The insurance services belong to cash cows as they have a high market share and low growth prospects. They cover the administrative costs of the company. The United Healthcare Organization should invest in these services as they can also bring profit.
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Preventive services can be regarded as dogs as they have both low growth rate and low market share. It means that the company should promote these services to transfer them to another level or pay less attention to them as they do not bring profit. The health and wellness programs belong to question marks. They have high growth prospects and a low market share. It means that the United Healthcare Organization should invest in them to make them more profitable and demanding for the customers. These services consume much cash, but they bring little in return.
The marketing mix is also a part of this marketing plan that presupposes the analysis of the following aspects: product, place, promotion, and price.
The product strategy of any company should be based on the quality, target group, tastes and demands of customers, appearance, and service functions (Armstrong & Kotler, 2012). The United Healthcare Organization specializes in many services. These are the treatment, preventive, wellness, and insurance services. The company adapts them to the needs of the market and customers. Customers should be the first priority that is why the United Healthcare Organization should satisfy customers’ personal desires concerning healthcare. Moreover, the company should develop a variety of services and adapt them to the international market. It should use a valuable opportunity to develop the services that will be advantageous and innovative. It is recommended to open more locations, streamline, and launch new products and services as a way to win international market.
The pricing strategy of the United Healthcare Organization is preconditioned by the situation in the market and competitors’ pricing policy. Consequently, the company provides services for the premium, promotional, and penetration pricing (Smith, 2011). The treatment and preventive services are provided according to premium prices. The wellness services are provided according to promotional prices, while the insurance services are provided according to penetration pricing. When introducing its services, the United Healthcare Organization should consider the pricing strategy. At first, it should offer its services for free to attract customers. Further, they should establish reasonable prices and flexible discounts for their returning clients (Barney, 1991).
The United Healthcare Organization should have a competition-based pricing. It is recommended to implement a flexible system of reductions. Thus, the company should be sensitive to competitors’ prices. They should offer better services for similar prices to attract more customers. The pricing strategy has to reflect the value of the service or product.
Promotion strategy is used by the United Healthcare Organization to promote company’s image, attract new customers, and increase revenues. As the promotion strategy is a weak point of the organization, it is necessary to improve it by means of public relations and sponsorship campaigns (Scott, 2011). It is a way for the United Healthcare Organization to establish an emotional bond with the clients. It is also recommended to use paid and unpaid, personal and impersonal ways for reinforcing reputation and developing brand image.
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The United Healthcare Organization provides its services at the clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. However, it should also distribute them online. The company should not use only physical distribution but also e-commerce that is more innovative and can increase revenue and market share. The United Healthcare Organization should look for new suppliers as new supply chains will ensure the provision of more qualitative services. The United Healthcare Organization should transfer from regional and local markets to the international ones.
The marketing opportunities of the United Healthcare Organization presuppose the increase of the number of customers and locations where the company can operate. Another marketing opportunity of this organization is to implement a new product strategy that will include manufacturing of the medical equipment (Reiss, 2012). The marketing goals of the United Healthcare Organization include the following: (1) segmentation of customers according to geographic, psychographic, socio-cultural, and demographic aspects; (2) implementation of the future development plans; (3) increasing the cases of the market penetration; (4) collaboration with other healthcare companies; (5) improvement of the quality of services; (6) expansion of manufacturing volumes by attracting more customers; (7) increasing the revenues based on the implementation of new products and services.
These goals and objectives can be achieved through the implementation of a variety of services, globalization and competitive advantage. These goals and objectives are relevant to the United Healthcare Organization’s mission, trends in the customer environment and external environment that are related to winning the international market, finding an individual approach to every client and satisfying customers’ needs. It is obvious that initial marketing objectives cannot remain unchanged.
This marketing plan is based on the following marketing strategies: (1) improvement of the promotional policy; (2) using the innovative technologies as the ways to improve services and attract customers; (3) conducting of the service audit to understand what one should implement; (4) segmenting of customers according to the diverse aspects (Schermerhorn et al., 2013). It is evident that these marketing strategies cannot be final. The situation in the market is very changeable and requires constant innovation and improvement. It means that the United Healthcare Organization should be flexible and make changes in its marketing strategies. Moreover, it should expand the leading marketing position, increase its value, and find new locations for its services.
Strategic options are necessary for the United Healthcare Organization to develop at the operational, functional, business, and corporate levels. Therefore, the first strategic option for this company is market penetration. It should be carried out not only in the domestic market but in the international one as well. Another option is service development. Market development is the strategic option that should be applied by the company. The company should use such strategic option as diversification, especially in relation to services. Moreover, diversification should concern such marketing strategies as promotion, price, and distribution.
The target market of the United Healthcare Organization includes consumers of all genders, ages, and interests. These are those people who support healthy lifestyle and take care of their health. The most active customers of this company are people and families who need insurance services. The majority of current consumers are from the USA (United Healthcare, n.d.). The market segmentation should be based on the following aspects: socio-cultural (ethnic and cultural factors), demographic (age and gender), psychographic (quality sensitivity and price sensitivity) and geographic (orientation on the national preferences). It is evident that market segmentation is the best way to meet customers’ needs.
The database marketing was included in this marketing plan as it gathers and analyzes the information related to customer base, its segmentation, and the United Healthcare Organization’s target groups. The effective database marketing presupposes data collection, transition of data into knowledge and development of business strategies (Certo & Certo, 2012). Consequently, this aspect should be included in this marketing plan. The database marketing will be useful for the United Healthcare Organization as it improves product development and marketing communication, increases sales and profitability.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate this marketing plan: consistency, consonance, feasibility, and advantage. They will help to understand the strengths and weaknesses of this marketing plan. One can determine the following methods of performance evaluation and monitoring that will be used to evaluate the success of the United Healthcare Organization: Business Intelligence and Balanced Scorecard. They will be helpful in recording and reporting on the company’s progress. Moreover, the healthcare organization should develop an evaluation form, identify performance measures, analyze feedback, and establish an evaluation schedule. It is necessary to receive customers’ and employees’ feedback on the United Healthcare Organization. It is also necessary to implement the performance metrics plan that will include evaluation of the customer satisfaction level, employees’ performance, and competitors’ perspectives. It will give an opportunity to evaluate and compare past, present and future performance of the United Healthcare Organization.
The reports for a particular timeframe would be important for the United Healthcare Organization. The reports would be helpful in collecting, recording, and analyzing the information about the number of customers and company’s profits. It means that employees should report on their areas of work. Reporting is the best way to detect the organization’s weak points. Moreover, it is necessary to use feedback to control the future of marketing. For example, if the feedback is positive, it will mean that the United Healthcare Organization works in a proper direction and has the right marketing strategies. If the feedback is negative, it will mean that the company should change its marketing objectives.
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Strategic planning is a necessary condition for making the successful monitoring.
Informal control in the United Healthcare Organization includes customer feedback, self-control, cultural and social control. Formal control refers to the administrative monitoring of practical skills and cultural competences.
The following criteria will help to review potential options for the marketing plan: suitability, feasibility, and acceptability (Pearson, 2014). The first criterion of suitability is checking whether the services of the company correspond to the customers’ demands. The criterion of feasibility presupposes taking into consideration information, time, stuff, and location of the organization. All of these aspects are meant to serve customers and community. The criterion of acceptability checks whether all stakeholders work for the benefit of the company. While analyzing the state of affairs in the United Healthcare Organization, one should mention the criteria of suitability, feasibility, and acceptability, which are typical for the corporate strategy of the company. It is made to fulfill community’s needs. It is also rational and works in a proper way.
One should apply qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation systems for plan implementation. The quantitative analysis of the company should be based on the following techniques: sales growth, earnings per share, debt to equity, market share, profit margin, return on equity, and return on investment. The quantitative analysis is more suitable when it comes to profits and revenues. The qualitative analysis presupposes the use of the following tools: level of positive media, customer retention rate, customer acquisition rate, customer satisfaction, perceived product performance, brand reputation, and brand awareness. The qualitative tools are more relevant when it comes to reputation and image of the company in the market. Moreover, it is necessary to receive the feedback from all stakeholders as their remarks might be objective and may help to make the necessary improvements and changes.
One should say that this marketing plan is not a perfect option for the United Healthcare Organization. However, it suggests the starting points that should be taken into account as they can be helpful for further growth. The market analysis demonstrates that the United Healthcare Organization has a favorable micro environment. However, it should reinforce its strengths and find the ways to mitigate the existing weaknesses. The environmental analysis shows that the internal and external surroundings encourage the company’s growth. However, if the United Healthcare Organization violates political and legal aspects, it will have to deal with many issues. The marketing mix shows that the marketing strategies should be improved according to the situation in the market. This marketing plan supports the goals of the United Healthcare Organization as it is based on company’s values, peculiarities of healthcare field, and market tendencies.