Marketing metrics…where to start

Briarne Boyd

Student Number :ID: 216046983

 

In the current economic climate it is vital that an business is not only competitive but is able to analyse how through their marketing campaign they are competitive. As outlined by Iacobucci (2014) “you cant manage what you don’t measure”, this being said the potential for companies to analyse its strengths and weaknesses as well as those of its competitors is significant. With the development of IT and social media the indicators which can be measured is vast. Companies want to be assured that what they are spending on marketing is having a positive effect on their business.

This being said where does a company start with metrics? The metrics a company utilises need to be applicable to the specific company to enable effective analysis and strategy planning to enable the company to benefit. Potential metrics a company can utilise moves beyond the dollars and cents of a company and can be classified into these main categories:

  • financial metrics
  • behavioral metrics
  • memory metrics
  • physical ability metrics
  • marketing activity metrics
  • customer profile metrics.

With the evolution of IT the development of computerised marketing dashboards has increased. In previous years companies compared metrics and outcomes manually but in recent times the development of dashboards has flooded the marketplace. A dashboard enables a company to develop what metrics it chooses to illustrate, demonstrate and visualise in an attempt to analyse the company and highlight areas needing improvement.

According to Lavinsky (2103) ,the 2 main issues when developing a dashboard for a company are recognising what metrics to track and building an appropriate dashboard. Iacobucci (2014) suggests measures that include:

  • “Financial :Sales, profits
  • Marketing:Share, customer satisfaction, average prices charges
  • HR: Employee Satisfaction, low turnover
  • Operations: Lean, mean, green, customer pleasing machine”

So clearly the development of a dashboard has significant investment and given the those in charge of companies want to maximise profit and minimise overheads what is the benefit of dashboards?

It is possible to apply a dashboard to any company. Currently, a state government has developed a dashboard so not only the management can analyse metrics of the organisation but the entire community can also analyse the organisation to determine if they want to “buy” into it – or actually attend the service.

http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/about+us/our+performance/our+hospital+dashboards/about+the+ed+dashboard/emergency+department+dashboard

The SA health dashboard gives customers an up to date profile on the public emergency departments within metropolitan Adelaide. It enables customers / patients to identify what KPI is important to them, if a bed is important, if a wait in emergency is important, if they require mental health versus surgical intervention. This dashboard enables executives of SA health to identify which department is under the most pressure at a specific time, if it is cyclic or it is specific to one hospital.

The dashboard also could be seen to have negative elements – when the emergency departments are in crisis or at capacity, consumers may be discouraged to attend, the effectiveness of a department are available for all to see – which may attract negative attention from social media, political opinions and also detrimental or negative media attention.

Levinski (2013) outlines 5 benefits of dashboards – all of which the SA health achieves these include:

  • Visibility- the dashboard gives insight and everyone is aware of the current aspects of the emergency departments
  • Ongoing Improvements – enables executives to constantly measure performance and as defined previously ‘you cant manage what you can’ measure’
  • Time saving – it is automated and up to date and in real time
  • Judge performance against your plan – SA health have specific emergency KPI’s, some of which are highlighted on the dashboard enabling consumers and executives to measure performance
  • Employee performance improvements – when employees can see their performance and are aware others can see their performance they will attempt to meet the KPI’s and various goals set

Overall, marketing metrics are vital for companies to recognise their performance but also provide a starting point for more advance analysis of a company and its performance.

 

 

Reference List

Iacobucci, D (2014) MM4 – student edition

Levinski, D (2013) http://www.forbes.com/sites/davelavinsky/2013/09/06/executive-dashboards-what-they-are-why-every-business-needs-one/#5ad4b1b27568

http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/about+us/our+performance/our+hospital+dashboards/about+the+ed+dashboard/emergency+department+dashboard

The branding of Midwives…..

With the current cash strapped Medicare system, the poor under funded states and territories and the hospitals all being in crisis point with too many patients and not enough beds, Independent Midwifery practices are opening their businesses to provide what they hope a better service.

How then do you brand a service which women need to pay thousands of dollars for when they can receive a similar service through a public funded service? How do you tell women that this new service is worth the money and how do you tell women that whey are getting amazing value for money? You tell them it is all about them….yes every women would love a service which rotates completely about them and their needs. So you call the business My Midwives. You brand the company telling women the service is dedicated to their needs in having a baby.

So why do companies brand? This can be looked at from 2 perspectives – the customer and then the company. According to Iacobucci (2014) the purpose of brands for the customer are:

  1. Brands convey information
  2. Brands signal consistent quality
  3. Brands confer status
  4. Brands reduce customer risk
  5. Brands makes many purchase decisions easier                                                                                                                                                                                Iacobucci (2014:78)

If this is true, does the My Midwives brand fulfill these points and does it then convey accurate information to the customer?

  1. Yes the My Midwives brand tells the customer what the service is about – it provides a Midwifery service for the customer. This could be seen as misleading though. Midwives practice is regulated by various government and regulatory bodies and laws. This means that Midwives have directed guidelines and protocols they must follow no matter where they practice. This being the case it is fair to say while customers aim at receiving higher quality, individualised care through the My Midwives service in reality the outcome will essentially be the same.
  2. The brand of My Midwives is built on word of mouth and advertising – this being said that the brand is a contemporary logo, bright colours attractive to women, and being conveyed through various multimedia and social media sources.
  3. The old saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ could be applied in this circumstance. Paying for a service implies within the community you will get a better service – this can be applied to the service of My Midwives and its brand.By buying into a brand that implies it revolves it service around you as the customer.
  4. The brand implies a company with various practices. As outlined on the companies website having multiple practices with multiple practitioners increases accessibility and availability of services.
  5. Having a baby is a life changing event. Every woman wants to start their life as a parent with the best dreams and aspirations for their soon to be child, so buying into a product and a brand that promises individualised care – the brand of the midwifery model has a significant impact on luring women into the practice

So in reflection the brand of the ‘My Midwives’ practice has positive effect on customer decision making. As stated by Iacobucci (2014:79) “Customers so appreciate the reliability, high quality, and status of their favourite brands that they’re less price sensitive, knowing that they’re paying somewhat more” This is reflective of the ‘my Midwives’ brand of care. Whilst women buy into the brand as outlined previously, they are also willing to pay a significant price for this model of care. Many public hospitals provide the same or similar model of care which would be publicly funded. Whilst these models are not outwardly marketed and branded and the availability of these services are only known through word of mouth or interaction with the public sector hospital, it is clear to see the effect of branding on a service in comparison to the same service which are often under utilised due to lack of public awareness and branding.

So, branding of a Midwifery service may not provide any better outcome, may not guarantee a better outcome, or make you a better parent but it will ensure women get increased status through buying into the brand, and the sense of individualised care – which in reality women were always going to get.
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References

Iacobucci, D. (2014). Marketing Management. 4th ed. South-Western, Ch 7

http://mymidwives.com.au/

How to pull at the heart strings….

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How blissful is a newborn baby, that smell, soft skin and unconditional love. Of course all new parents feel this….don’t they?

The marketing science of customer behaviour is never more evident than in the marketing of pregnancy and childbirth. Iacobucci (2014) identifies consumer psychology including sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation, attitudes and decision making. Each of the aspects can be applied to the My Midwives brand of marketing aimed at the pregnant woman and her family to enable them to have the perfect birth and baby.

Sensation and perception – who doesn’t want the ideal baby, that sleeps soundly? The sensitive topic of independent Midwifery care has been a focus in the media following less than favorable outcomes. The ability to separate the care provided by My Midwives which promotes individualised care, promoting the importance of the customer and her baby, guiding them through the childbirth process, promising to be by their side at every step from early pregnancy through to 6 weeks postnatal. The website which shows women and their babies at various stages of pregnancy and childbirth all with positive images, women friendly pink logos and pastel baby blue and pink themes throughout. Touching every one of the woman’s sense from the tender touch of a newborn baby or supportive touch of a Midwife or birthing partner, to the smell of newborn babies that is implied through visual images.

The My Midwives brand aims at giving women another option which provides them with positive associations with having a baby. The gentle pictures of women being happily pregnant, babies sleeping peacefully, gently being born through clear water and delivered to their parents. These positive associations enable women to attach positive thoughts to the brand, in reality pregnancy and birth is not always as uneventful as this. pictures of severe morning sickness, difficult long labours and traumatic births are nowhere to be found – instead the positive affirmations, constant reference to women being pivotal in the care planning and the role of the midwives to support and the woman’s unique needs to individualised care. All this positiveness and lovely thoughts providing a sense of comfort and stress free care to welcome a baby into the world – now who wouldn’t want that?

The third aspect of consumer behaviour is the motivation. There is plenty to motivate women to buy into the My Midwives brand. Referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Iacobucci  (2014:20) My Midwives not only supports women though out all levels but most significantly encourages self actualisation. The ability for women to achieve the perfect low risk pregnancy and birth through individualised care provided by My Midwives – in contrast to the public system which promotes medicalisation of childbirth. The ability for women to be treated as a individual which motivates women to buy into the brand and connect with what is being promoted. After all who doesn’t the perfect birth?

Finally the issue of attitudes and decision-making is paramount in marketing the My Midwives brand. The ability for women to differentiate from mainstream maternity care through a hospital and turn to individualised maternity care though My Midwives is vital. The marketing of the service highlights the positive, individualised care which is marketed as the ‘ultimate’ in maternity care. With strong branding and developing high expectations the service is aimed at those women who are seeking an alternative to the public sector but as described by Iacobbucci(2014) the weight of customer involvement and the ability to invest not only financially but also physically and emotionally to the process of having the perfect baby.

So the My Midwives brand fulfills all elements of marketing psychology in providing care for women and their families. It differentiates itself from public health care by giving women the drive to buy into the ideal process.

All this uniqueness and individualised care but to what cost…is the financial sacrifice worth buying into when all practitioners are guided by the same code of ethics, laws and guidelines across all models. Surely all models of care aim for safe pregnancies and births and great outcomes – it’s just that some are promoted a little louder.

 

References

Iacobucci, D. (2014). Marketing Management. 4th ed. South-Western, Ch 2

http://mymidwives.com.au/