Effective Health Travel Marketing
Medical tourism, or more correctly, health travel, is a fragmented, highly regionalized niche market with opportunities and risks. Medical tourism marketing misses the mark whenever governments, hospitals, doctors, or other providers fail to: 1. Understand the markets, 2. Develop the offering, 3. Create and test the message, 4. Work in partnership and 5. Measure success. Health travel can be successfully developed, promoted and managed.
The markets are not so massive that anyone and everyone can succeed. And while the markets are growing, this growth is not consistent, regionally, or by service line.
And yet, the popular press, and even some of the trade publications are grossly misleading about the size of the market, how complex it is, and how difficult it is to develop a sustainable “business.”
California Gold rush
The hyperbole about medical tourism seemed to peak recently, with a claim that the global market was $439 billion. This stupendous overstatement was walked back by the publisher, but it’s hard to “get the toothpaste back into the tube” after the social media and blogosphere got hold of this. In perspective, this is nothing new.
Since 2005, hospitals, clinics, dentists and governments have spent money on advertising, websites, conferences and other forms of marketing and sales activities attempting to attract international medical consumers. A tremendous proportion of this (80 %+) has been wasted!
Ways to Waste Your Money
The reasons why promotional expenditures in the medical tourism markets have been wasted?
Let me count the ways!
Wrong messages, targeting the wrong populations, delivered through the wrong channels, and at the wrong times.
Modern marketing science allows governments and providers to correctly identify the best potential target markets, and to test messages, arriving at the most efficient and effective marketing investments.
Some governments and providers in the health travel markets have succeeded. By applying sound marketing principles, you can also.
Join me at the International Medical Travel Summit in Opatija, Croatia in April 2017, (#IMTJSummit2017 ) where I and other vetted professionals will discuss what works and importantly, what doesn’t work in health travel markets. Book here.
Hope to see you there!