The medical tourism industry has its ups and downs. But you can learn a lot from your mistakes and grow wiser as you work on your 2023 business strategy for your medical center. You’ll encounter many old and new challenges emerge post Covid-19 pandemic years. 

The good news is that in recent years you have started to see various elements that drive how to keep your patients safe, promote your clinic and attract new patients

This article is all about learning from medical tourism market development mistakes. We share with you the 15 major mistakes your medical tourism practice should avoid in 2023.

  1. Putting All Your Effort into Social Media Marketing 

The last couple of years have been a revolution for Social Media marketing, as everyone wanted to dive into this ocean of opportunities and take a piece of the pie. However, in the healthcare industry, marketing dynamics are completely different than in any other industry. Your key consumer is a patient who has come to you for pain relief.  

Let's accept the fact that your typical patient will not follow you on social media or put their status as "Checked-in at the XYZ Hospital" or "Feeling blessed at XYZ Hospital". Your patient will not tag you on the story or post. In short, social media platforms are a great way to communicate, but you should not rely solely on them. 

  1. Ignoring the Power of Internal Marketing 

Do you wonder why you don’t get referrals from your own staff, why your staff isn't interested in medical advancement, and why your staff doesn't feel at home in your hospital/clinic? If these questions run through your mind, they are major roadblocks to achieving your marketing objectives. Do not ignore the power of your staff members.   

Instead, begin involving them in all marketing activities, and you will see better results than before. Because after participating in activities, they will feel included and will begin to open up with new marketing ideas and suggestions for the improvement of your medical facility. 

  1. Neglecting Brand Ambassadors 

As a healthcare practitioner, you are aware that word of mouth is the primary communication channel. It acts as an influencer when making healthcare decisions. Patients and their relatives play an important role as brand ambassadors in clinic businesses. They act as 'word of mouth' marketing among the masses about good and bad things about one's healthcare practices. 

As a healthcare provider, you must be careful not to underestimate the power of brand ambassadors. In fact, they should be used strategically to promote or influence the public's perception of healthcare businesses.

  1. Ignoring Patient Feedback 

Customers are kings, and their feedback on your healthcare services should be very important to you.  Healthcare marketers should create a seamless channel into the hospital system through which patients and their families can easily share feedback with management. Marketers, on the other hand, should ensure that all positive and negative feedback is addressed by management within a specific time frame for effective communication and action. 

Unfortunately, the majority of healthcare management and marketers do not even review their existing feedback mechanism and don’t encourage patients to provide feedback on paper or digital media. Those who review on a regular basis attempt to avoid responding to negative feedback in real-time, which backfires and gradually harms the overall reputation of healthcare businesses. 

  1. Rejecting the Importance of Marketing Audit 

Marketing auditing is simply a review of your own activities over a specific time period. Healthcare providers must conduct regular analyses of all marketing activities. By performing this analysis or audit on a regular basis, you will gain a better perspective for future marketing strategies. And by understanding gaps and insights from previous marketing activities, you will be able to develop revised strategies to test in the market.

  1. Neglecting the Significance of Traditional Media 

Facebook, Whatsapp, and Google advertisements in local newspapers and on the front page, as well as radio jingles running on local FM channels, TV commercials by these big brands, all of which are primarily on digital media and have their presence on mobile. So, the moral of the story is that traditional media has its own reach and engagement, and you as a medical tourism provider should always make effective use of your own financial resources and which media to use to maximize your return on investment.

  1. Not Using the Advanced Technological Tools in Marketing 

The world is changing at breakneck speed, and newer technologies such as artificial intelligence are gaining traction. The COVID pandemic has shown how technology can connect us all and how it can help healthcare businesses to reach or communicate with target populations.  

Remember how you used to promote your telemedicine and teleconsultation to your patients during COVID? You should keep a close eye on the latest technological developments in the healthcare industry happening around the world and try to make optimal use of them for various marketing activities.

  1. The CRM Is Missing 

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management System and is an umbrella term for a set of processes that are critical to manage patient acquisition. Without proper CRM usage you will be crippled to gain customer confidence and trust overtime. Unfortunately, the majority of medical professionals do not have access or understanding of proper usage of CRM applications to manage their customer interactions on a regular basis.

  1. You're Not Expanding Your Network in the Right Places 

The majority of healthcare providers do not network in the right direction. For example, networking with industry leaders, other clinics and people who are supporting medical tourism industry. Clinics must understand changing international consumer purchasing habits as well as gain insights into consumers' mindsets and overall perceptions of the medical tourism industry.  

These kinds of public relationships can help you gain a better understanding of the market's requirements. Sometimes you need to analyze and then expand your network in such a way that you get direct or indirect benefits from strategies for marketing and communication.

  1. Failure to Monitor Competitors' Activities 

Why should I care what others are doing when my clinic is the best in the region, our doctors are the best in the city, and so on. This attitude destroys your brand. As a healthcare provider, you should always keep a close eye on your competitors, both current and potential, as well as non-competitors such as national and international healthcare businesses. This will help you think outside the box for your business.

  1. Neglecting the Interests of Your Customers 

Do you tend to push information and communication in the healthcare market that only you believe is most appealing, while ignoring what your clients want to hear from you? If you assume that your customers are not familiar with certain topics, you will try to spread such information.  

In short, communication is a waste of your time and money unless you understand the demands and interests of the market. Before developing any marketing strategy, your medical tourism practice should conduct a market interest analysis.

  1. Not Developing a Niche 

Centers trying to attract international customers need to define the niche consumers are interested in buying. Trying to market a procedure with no demand or a high level of competition will reduce your chances of attracting any customers. Your personal specialization will be key in communicating with and attracting customers seeking such services. 

  1. Putting an Emphasis on a Discounted Pricing Strategy 

One of the key incentives for medical tourists is price. They are considering procedures abroad because they are looking for discounted prices. Having a clear and competitive pricing strategy to attract customers is critical to winning new international customers. Building a reputable brand for international customers will require strategic pricing thinking from the customer's point of view. 

  1. Ignoring the Value of Branding 

The process of creating a distinct identity for your healthcare business in the minds of your target audience and consumers is known as branding. Basically, branding consists of a company logo, visual design, mission statement and tone of voice. Another important aspect is regular engagement in branding activities. Since branding is not a one-time event, but an ever-evolving process, branding activities should be undertaken regularly. To create a recognizable brand in medical tourism you must go beyond “I am the best” to establish WHY you are the best with a deep knowledge base. 

  1. Not Maximizing the Potential of Digital Marketing 

Everyone knows that digital media works for you 24/7. Therefore, you should not underestimate the power of digital marketing. There are numerous misconceptions about digital marketing. Most people associate digital marketing with social media marketing, but it is much more than that. It includes your website, search engine optimization, social media, blogs, video marketing, channel marketing, email marketing, and advertising. 

Several medical tourism marketing professionals use these channels for marketing, but are you taking full advantage of them? When you examine the available digital marketing tools and techniques, you will notice that most medical centers do not use them correctly. As you enter a new digital marketing era, it is critical to maximize your use of this medium.

Thrive with PlacidWay’s Medical Tourism Marketing Services 

There are so many mistakes that your medical practice should avoid when promoting your facility and services. Remember that without strategy and systems you’ll not succeed in medical tourism business and patients will choose your competition instead. 

PlacidWay Medical Tourism team are here to help your healthcare business thrive. Let us make your healthcare business respectable, with a diverse patient population and meet all your revenue goals. 

If you would like to discuss this further, contact us for a free consultation.