Southern Baptist Hospital (SBH) had long resisted the
use of marketing, believing it was not an appropriate activity for a
nonprofit organization. By the mid-1980s, however, the erosion of its
market share due to growing competition forced SBH to adopt an
aggressive marketing strategy.
Its primary initiative was a campaign of
television advertisements aimed to reinforce for the general public the
image of SBH as a high-quality institution. Because the organization was
starting its marketing activities from scratch, ad production and
airtime costs were expensive. The television commercials were
professionally produced and received critical acclaim from the
Following the public’s repeated exposure to
these advertisements, a hospital executive requested information about
the impact of the advertisements. The idea to study the campaign’s
impact had not been considered earlier, and a belated evaluation effort
was mounted to determine the extent to which the campaign had achieved
the desired effect. Much to the consternation of SBH administrators, the
evaluation found that the ads had had virtually no impact on the
public’s already high perception of the institution, and no improvement
in patient volumes, revenues, or market share could be attributed to the
campaign. SBH administrators, committed to an expensive initiative,
rationalized that the campaign had not aired long enough to generate the
desired effect and invested even more money in the initiative.
After reviewing the above case, address the following points:
- To what extent did SBH research the needs of its audience prior to developing a marketing strategy?
- Does it appear that SBH has an overall marketing plan?
- Does it appear that SBH had a significant grasp of the nature of marketing?
- What are the implications of focusing marketing efforts on corporate image rather than the services the organization provides?
- What are the implications of marketing to the general public rather than targeting specific segments of the market?
- How much thought was given to measuring the effectiveness of the campaign going into the initiative?
Post your responses in a 2- to 3-page Microsoft Word document.