SaskTel Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Marketing Situation Analysis

Company, Product and Technology

            SaskTel was a company that was dealing in full service communication to the province of Saskatchewan. These services included: voice, data and dial up speed internet, entertainment, web hosting, text messaging, cellular, wireless, home phone, multimedia data services and business solutions. SaskTel also offered directory assistance, security monitoring, hospital room communications to the health care sector and telecommunications consultation as well. 5,200 people were employed in SaskTel and its subsidiaries.

            In January 2007, the Senior Director of Marketing at SaskTel, Pat Tulloch evaluated product information for the LifeStat health monitoring system. This health care insurance program is also known among Canadians as Medicare, the executive committee of SaskTel had just approved a proposal to launch this new system into the Canadian market. Pat Tulloch had been assigned the task of completely designing a marketing plan that would to be presented to the executive committee within the two weeks’ time. In order to implement this plan, Pat Tulloch would need some quick promotion along with distribution decisions and he would also need to conduct a financial analysis of the products’ potential profitability.

            A LifeStat service was a monitoring tool that facilitated the communication of a client’s health information. The tools that clients used are blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, scales and heart rate monitors. This service connected the patients and their caregivers in order to ensure personal health.

Customers and Markets

            There are two potential customer segments that Pat Tulloch had identified for the LifeStat technology, the first segment consisted of people who were suffering from diabetes and the other consisted of people who were suffering from hypertension. Basically, there are two types of diabetes, the first type is when one’s body is unable to make sufficient amount of insulin, the second type occurs when body can’t use insulin that it makes in the body or we can also categorize it as non-insulin dependent diabetes. As far as Canadian market is concerned, approximately 8.3 percent of the population had been diagnosed with diabetes and to the independent survey; eight percent of the people indicated that they will purchase the LifeStat Technology at a cost of $50 and $65 in order to help them to monitor their blood glucose levels.

            Another potential customer that Pat Tulloch had identified was the one who suffered from hypertension, which is also called arterial hypertension. It is a medical condition in which the blood pressure gets totally elevated in the arteries; it is the number one cause of stroke as well. Talking about the Canadian Population, 14.9 percent of the people had been diagnosed with hypertension, and this disease is expected to further increase by 20 percent by 2011. The doctors recommended preventative actions for these patients in the form of self-monitoring. Due to this, both diabetes and hypertension patients always searched for the products that were affordable at cheapest rates, user friendly and easily approachable as well because they really need it in order to cope with these diseases.

Porter Five Forces

Industry Competitors: High

            The competition within this healthcare industry is very strong. Cost of illness in Canada was forecasted to increase further at $140 billion due to rising population. SaskTel has three big competitors namely, CyberNet Medical, Philips Medical Systems and AMD Telemedicine, so the industry remains competitive because all the competitors were ready to adopt the technologies and wanted to make user friendly products for customers that were accessible as well.

Threat of Substitutes: Low

            This threat is not a concern for SaskTel because there is only limited number of alternatives available for the customers and switching cost is also not a concern for service providers in most cases. LifeStat health care technology focuses on complete user friendly approach by including both diabetes and hypertension patients. In order to introduce clinical diabetes management for patients with support of Home based and Community care team as well, patients would like to use this product instead of depending on other ones because of the benefits and accessibility that it provides them.

Threat of New Entrants: High

            Due to the fact that Canadian Illness ratio is expected to increase very rapidly, this may result will be opening the doors for the new players. Usually in the healthcare industry, the threat of new entrants is always very competitive. As Canadian’s provincial and territorial governments are also responsible for managing and delivering the health services for their residents; therefore, this is also a point of concern for the private sector including SaskTel as well.

Bargaining Power of Buyers: High

There are numerous service providers along with the limited number of marketing intermediaries which results in higher   bargaining power of buyers. Price sensitivity of the buyers also strengthens their buying power.

Bargaining Power of Supplier: High

            LifeStat was monitoring services for client’s health; there are various .............................

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