Marketing in Medical Tourism is one of the most important headlines for tourism industry. A marketing strategy supported with correct planning and effective methods is the key to boost the medical tourism.
The Steps For A Successful Marketing Strategy
Let’s start with the major two questions :
1-How Can We Reach the Patient?
2-How Can We Turn a Potential Patient Into a Real Patient?
All the dynamics of medical tourism such as hospitals, doctors, clinics, intermediaries, agencies, public or private health institutions have to focus to develop their services focusing on branding in the international markets.
Let’s determine our patient profile: what do we do and whom do we aim to reach?
Let’s identify our target markets and decide if our existing target markets are appropriate for us. Let’s narrow down the identity/definition of our market.
Let’s draw attention in our world where all kinds of communication flow with incredible speed and chaos, we can attract the attention of the patient with the correct marketing in medical tourism
Let’s be trustworthy: The patient should believe that s/he will successfully receive the treatment s/he needs by choosing Turkey and us, that s/he will have the right experience and that s/he will receive all of these with the right price and services (package). So let’s tell our story (storytelling) on our social media channels. We want to describe a treatment, but it is difficult to describe it properly at once; an average of 3 seconds is the time that people devote to sharing on social media. Then let’s share our stories gradually, say our target audience what we want to say and finally present what we want to convey.
Let’s be accessible Let’s establish a system that can fully support the patient as soon as he/she contacts us with a live support line, respond to the questions, meet with the doctor and provide data transfer if necessary.
Let’s establish correct pricing Knowing the price policies of our competitors in the world, let’s create competitive prices. Let’s consider other services together with the health service budget. Let’s see if the economic situation of the people in our target market is in line with our price policy. Let’s review insurance practices and know if there are bilateral agreements between countries.
While we achieve the parameters above, an effective marketing in medical tourism should focus also on :
Ongoing Dynamics of Medical Tourism
Let’s establish partnership Medical tourism is a wide-ranging field of study. When domestic/international partnerships are established and worked together, a sustainable success is achieved.
Let’s packaging Only pricing of health service is not sufficient for the patient. Let’s provide all services individually but by packaging. Let the patient and his/her companion feel that we will be supporting him/her for all services such as transportation, accommodation, etc. during the health trip.
Let’s conduct consultancy and performance management Although we do good work most of the time, we cannot show them. Let’s set up a system to collect patients’ references and feedback. Let’s share in the channels we can share.
Concentration Medical tourism market is very large. Let’s set our own goals and areas of work and develop our marketing in medical tourism strategy by focusing on them.
Let’s Participate Let’s participate in activities and meetings related to the sector and create memberships.
Let’s position the brand and manage reputation With the development of technology, it has become easier for patients to check the reputation of what they are researching before making a decision. Therefore, the first thing that online marketers should do is to check the current status of the evolutionary reputation of their companies and products. We can use Google and social media platforms. Let’s interact with our customers so that we are prepared to combat a possible evolutionary reputation crisis.
Let’s ensure patient satisfaction: After receiving our patient, we need to satisfy him/her with a successful experience, thus achieving patient loyalty. Satisfaction of one patient will be transmitted by word of mouth for reference. The positive effect of this goes exponentially.
Let’s create a Customer Relations Management System. (CRM) Our aim should be to aim at long-term customer relations and loyalty withpatient-oriented marketing approach in medical tourism.
Let’s create a Post-treatment Follow-up System Let’s create alternatives for the follow-up of the treatment the patient receives when she returns to her country and present it to our patient.Establishing trust is necessary for satisfaction and loyalty.
In order to create our appropriate marketing in medical tourism strategy and to get new patients, we have both traditional marketing tools (newspaper+radio+TV+direct mail+billboards) and digital marketing tools (email+ live chat + website + SEO+ search advertisements+ social media advertisements). How we implement them depends on what goal we have. Although digital marketing is very important and indispensable, let’s not give up traditional marketing.
Since COVID 19 will continue to be the most important issue in the coming period, let’s follow all practices and legal procedures in the world. Regarding our own practices, let’s inform our patients from abroad about the precautions we take regarding how they can travel safely and make them feel safe with us.