By Dawn Iacobucci, Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org | Deidre Popovich, Rawls College of Business, Texas Tech University, USA, email@example.com
Healthcare is becoming an increasingly complex issue and requires more active decision-making from consumers. This monograph outlines a research agenda for studying healthcare issues from a marketing perspective. Marketing scholars and practitioners alike have a unique perspective to help address healthcare challenges, and this monograph provides broad guidance for applying insights ranging from the individual level to the societal level. First, the authors briefly explain several key theories in psychology, economics, and behavioral economics that can be applied to the healthcare landscape. Next, several topics related to changing consumer behaviors related to their own health and help guide practitioners toward healthier relationships with their patients are examined. Emergent topics in healthcare are also considered from an organizational and societal level. Finally, the monograph concludes with guidance for future research and a summary of extant marketing research in the healthcare domain. As a companion piece to A Chronology of Health Care Marketing Research (Iacobucci, 2019), the goal of this monograph is to help bridge the gap between marketing and healthcare research and practice and to provide a forward-looking, marketing-based perspective to healthcare challenges.
Studying Healthcare from a Marketing Perspective is forward-looking and reflects on issues where marketers could have greater impact and use their potential roles to further improving health care. This monograph is intended to be practical and useful, and with all suggestions and recommendations deriving from solid theory. These topics are useful for healthcare administrators, providers, marketers, and other practitioners in this industry, along with academics who are interested in contributing to healthcare research. Section 2 begins with a brief description of several relevant and applicable theoretical perspectives. These conceptual frameworks have been applied to many kinds of human behavior, and we will implement them as relevant to healthcare decision-making and consumer behavior. In the sections that follow, we then draw from these concepts because they provide validated grounding in offering suggestions that certain marketing actions should be effective in modifying healthcare behaviors and improving healthcare outcomes. Section 3 discusses healthcare issues for individual consumers, such as lifestyle choices and how marketers influence more beneficial decision-making. Section 4 discusses dyadic healthcare phenomena involving the consumers (patients) together with another actor such as their healthcare provider or other system entities such as their insurance company and payers. Section 5 reviews the numerous organizations representing the many industries that converge on health care provision and support. Section 6 provides a societal perspective regarding health care and welfare more generally. Section 7 offers conclusions, and the monograph closes with an Appendix that presents a brief summary of the marketing research literature on health care.