Each hospital faces a different communication task. Hospital A must work at maintaining its reputation and high awareness. Hospital B must gain the attention of more people. Hospital C must find out why people dislike it and must take steps to improve its quality
while keeping a low profile. Hospital D should lower its profile, improve its quality, and then seek public attention. Each hospital needs to research the specific content of its image. The most popular tool for this research is the semantic differential. It involves the following steps: Developing a set of relevant dimensions: The researcher asks people to identify the dimensions they would use in thinking about the object. “What things do you think of when you consider a hospital?” Reducing the set of relevant dimensions: The number of dimensions should be kept small to avoid respondent fatigue. These are three types of scales: Evaluation scales (good-bad qualities) Potency scales (strong-weak qualities) Activity scales (active-passive qualities) Admistering the instrument to a sample of respondents: The respondents are asked to rate one object at a time. The bipolar adjectives should be randomly arranged so that the unfavorable adjectives are not all listed on one side. Averaging the results: Each hospital’s image is averaged out and represented by a vertical “line of means” that summarizes average perception of that hospital. Checking on the image variance: because each image profile is a line of means, it doesn’t reveal how variable the image is. Did everyone have a perception or was there considerable variation; is the image highly specific or diffused. Management should define a desired image if it differs from a current one. An organization seeking to improve its image must have great patience. DETERMINING THE COMMUNICATION OBJECTIVES Once the target market and its perceptions are identified, the marketing communicator must decide on the desired audience response. The marketer can be seeking a cognitive, affective or behavioral response. That is, the marketer might want to put something into the consumer’s mind, change an attitude or get the consumer to act. There are 4 best-known response hierarchy models. All these models assume that the buyer passes through a cognitive, affective and the behavioral stage, in that order. This “learn-feel-do” sequence is appropriate when the audience has high involvement with a product category perceived to have high differentitation, as in purchasing an automobile. An alternative sequence, “do-feel-learning”, is relevant when the audience has high involvement but perceives little or no differentiation within the product category, as in purchasing aluminum siding. third sequence, “learn-do-feel” is relevant when the audience has low involvement and perceives little differentiation within the product category, as in purchasing salt. By choosing the right sequence, the marketer can do a better job of planning communications.
- Fall '16