There are many things to be considered when marketing a product. These things include: length of existence time, quantity of competitors, and the quantity “of sales or revenue the product is generating” (p264). These are ways the marketer can obtain factually information on the product. After understanding the information the marketer can then look at the product life cycle. The product life cycle is the different “stages a product goes through as it exists in the market from its first introduction to its final withdrawal” (p 264). This life cycle has four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and the decline. The introduction phase consists of the stage in which a product, or service, is first introduced into the healthcare market. The product, or service, has a great expectation in this phase. If the product, or service, is introduced into the market and does not meet consumer expectations, it is likely that it will not greatly advance to the growth phase. With the economy as down as it is, price is a factoring concept in the introduction phase.
Marketers can use a “skimming price strategy”, come out with a high or equal to competitors price, or use a “penetration price strategy”, come out with a low price (p 265). Promotion is known as an “essential component to consider in the introduction stage” (265). This is because marketers have to get that product, or service, out to the consumers. Without consumer support the product, or service, cannot move into the next phase: growth. Growth is the phase where the product, or service, begins to drastically increase its sales or revenue. During the growth phase, marketers should produce a selective demand. Selective demand helps consumers choose a certain facility over another. Sometimes the facility will even make an altered version of the product, or service, to better accommodate a different group of people.
Pricing factor becomes critical during this stage. Consumers are looking for the best product at the best price. If the price increases too much, it could lead to a decrease in sales due to consumer dissatisfaction. The maturity stage of the Product Life Cycle has a lot of competition in it. By this time the product, or service, has already been selected. If any changes are made it is developing “new lines” to help redirect the facility in hopes of achieving the introduction and growth stage again. Since competition is so great, consumers can see a lot of discounts or cuts in the price. This sometimes can cut the number of competitors.
Promotion has now turned into withholding onto the consumers the facility once had. Places where sale or revenues do not meet the standards may be shut down which can lead to a decline in the facility. During the decline phase, a facility must recognize that their efforts for the product life cycle have not succeeded. Again, this may cause a facility, or even a particular department, to shut down. If the facility chooses against closure they have two additional options. They can contract a different party to be the sole provider or a service in a department under contract. The second option is harvesting the parts of the service that worked and getting rid of the parts that did not. Of course there would have to be a reduction in price since the service is being split.