Every electric utility is looking for new ways to market energy to customers. And why not? Hospitals and other health care organizations constitute one customer segment sorely in need of a new marketing campaign. Even so, the utilities are making many mistakes. The health care sector can present a unique challenge to the utility marketing professional.
The first mistake that utilities make is assuming that hospitals are run like businesses. Technically, hospitals are not businesses. Hospitals do not function like businesses. It is critical that an electrical utility marketing staff understand that.
To design proposals for hospitals and health care companies, a utility must first understand the fundamental principles of these organizations. The utility must structure a proposal with a working knowledge of the corporate culture inherent in health care. This corporate culture includes an increasingly risk-avoidant approach to new proposals. If an electrical utility is to succeed in marketing energy to hospitals, that utility must tailor its approach to the mid-level hospital manager and to the level of risk with which that manager feels comfortable.
Identifying the Mistakes
The differences between hospitals and businesses reach down to the very roots of each of these institutions. The foundations of hospital organization stems from a monastic/academic tradition, whereas the business decision-making process stems from the entrepreneurial origin of Venice, Italy where Western civilization commerce was formalized. Those two tradition foundations are far different from each other and have produced far different industries.