Database marketing in the health care industry{Comments Off on Database marketing in the health care industry}

by Giselle N
The article I read dealt with database marketing, or lack there of, in the health care industry. According to the article, database marketing is essentially a combination of collecting data from consumers and storing it for further study in order to direct future company decisions. Also, the information retrieved should be, “data relevant for retaining customers and prospecting for new ones.” The article goes on to say why the healthcare industry has been behind on picking up this type of marketing approach. Ultimately, one of the main challenges to this approach is the consumer privacy aspect of it. It is much harder and more dangerous to try to disclose a patient’s medical history for the use of marketing purposes as opposed to trying to disclose a person’s retail shopping habits. However, confidentiality is not the only main concern. The complexity of the data involved also makes is very difficult to use database marketing because a lot of knowledge regarding different parts of health care is needed. As for the future of database marketing in the health care industry, most experts say that if this approach is handled properly, it could potentially be a great success. Not only in the sense of profitability, but also health conscious wise. As one of the persons being interviewed goes on to say, “The shift from an emphasis on treatment and cure to an emphasis on prevention and wellness should also encourage database marketing initiatives.”

I thought this article was very interesting considering the focus in our government and economy regarding the health care industry. Because database marketing in this industry can potentially raise health awareness and health management given all the data involved, I think its success can be certain. However, like the article said there is also a lot of issues involved regarding privacy and complexity and in agreement with the interviewees, it will take a lot of  “in depth understanding” to truly generate a successful marketing database.


Will database marketing work in health care? McKenna, M; Lee, L; Hallick, J. Marketing Health Services21. 3 (Fall 2001): 23-6.