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The Marketing Enigma

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As the economy continues to present its myriad of challenges, SunStone Consulting has observed that hospitals are embracing numerous cost cutting measures including cutbacks in capital projects, employee layoffs, and other broad based actions.

Departments without direct patient contact such as marketing, community, and public relations are typically perceived to be the easier layers to peel in these expense reduction activities as they are significantly scaled back or even disbanded.

Hospitals have implemented fluctuating sequences as they have decreased and then eventually increased marketing department sizes and budgets through the various economic cycles. Unmistakably, because patients continue to need to know, marketing is more important than ever in challenging economic times.

Many hospital executives are not experts in this area, and consequently, they move in lock step with those individuals who see these programs as expense centers that drain the organization of its resources.

In order to avoid erroneous decisions that lead to disastrous business consequences, marketing evaluations may be performed by professional marketing assessment companies specializing in this arena. Some firms can provide this service in economically practical risk-reward agreements that do not further complicate financial challenges. They determine which marketing functions need to be discontinued and which should be restructured, or outsourced. The goal of these firms is to help preserve the positive impact created by marketing, to build better practices, and to cut costs.

Firms that provide this specific service can be found through The American Marketing Association and the Society for Professional Marketing Services. Over two decades, we have found at least one company that has continuously provided the necessary analytic and evaluation components required to complete this sensitive task. Corathers Health Consulting is a unique organization because it utilizes luminaries and exceptional specialty consultants on highly customized projects. Their distinguished consultation supplied an unparalleled differentiating factor over the myriad of other consulting companies with whom we had previously worked.

Regardless of the organization chosen, the concept is the key, and that is before cuts are irreversibly implemented, your organization needs to understand exactly what can or should be eliminated or outsourced. The future of your organization may lie directly under that hatchet, and once the decision has been made, reversing these decisions is almost as costly as lost business. The answer lies in cutting wisely and appropriately as you attempt to keep patients informed and to grow your business. More at URL

SOURCE SunStone Consulting
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