What Turns a Domestic Patient into a Medical Tourist?

What Turns a Domestic Patient into a Medical Tourist
The medical travel and medical tourism industries are growing. To benefit from these industries, a hospital or medical provider must develop a clear and concise marketing campaign to attract these traveling patients. Competition in health care has increased due to the growing number of entrants into this space and because the process of educating and motivating a patient to leave home for medical care goes against the natural urge for people to receive their health care close to home.

Why Are People Adverse to Medical Travel?

Medical travel is based on the need for affordable health care. In general terms, your life and your health are the most important things in your life. You can’t enjoy life’s other benefits of life if you’re ill, in pain or wracked with disease. You can’t plan for the future if you’re not sure you have a future. More importantly, if you have children or other people who depend on you, it would be irresponsible to neglect your health and risk leaving them with no support. That’s why most people are typically conservative about care for our health. We understand how important our health is and we do what we can to protect it.

We humans are creatures of habits. That which we “know” gives us comfort. When it comes to our lives and health, we are generally not willing to take risks. That’s generally why most people do not consider looking outside of their home country for medical care. For many, the savings gained through medical tourism is often not a good enough reason for risking getting a procedure in a different country, especially if they’ve never been there or if they don’t speak the language. Despite the financial savings, the psychological barriers may be too great to allow a potential traveler to pick up the phone and make arrangements. As a hospital or medical provider, what can you do to fight this understanding?

The Difference Medical Travel Marketing Makes

Medical travel marketing rooted in education is important because it helps patients overcome psychological barriers by providing them the essential tools to make the medical travel decision: education and assurance, an abundance of assurance.

A successful medical travel marketing campaign shows your hospital or health center as a place that is safe and trustworthy. It makes one feel that he or she is welcome, among friends that can be trusted and that everything is going to be ok. It shows that language, currency, eating and getting there are not going to be a problem. But most importantly, it shows that the quality of medical care will be equal to the quality they would expect back home.

When your marketing makes both the psychological and financial hurdles vanish or seem diminished, THAT is the moment when it is possible to transform a domestic patient into a medical tourist. The Goodness Company helps our clients break down barriers by marketing that educates and generates confidence.

To learn more how The Goodness Company can help you attract medical tourism patients, contact us today.

General Information Essentials for Medical Tourists

General Information Essentials for Medical Tourists
Most hospitals focus on the qualifications of their medical team, how modern their facility is, and educating patients about the medical procedures they perform. All of this information is essential. However, it is not enough.

Going to another country, especially for the first time, can be a daunting experience for many people. And if you’re sick or uncomfortable, you may find it to be even more stressful. That’s why you should also provide your potential patients with information that will let them feel that the risk of traveling to your facility is minimal.

Here are some examples of general information that’s good to include on your website or in your literature.

a) Hearing from top personnel
Highly successful facilities often have the president, chief of staff, head surgeon or other top personnel make the first contact with patients. This is very impressive, reassuring and leaves little doubt that the potential traveler will be treated as a valued and welcomed patient.

b) Extensive contact information
Giving patients a way to contact important staff members and urgent care numbers by phone 24-hours a day conveys the idea of reliability and trust. It shows that you’re responsible. Even if a patient prefers to write an e-mail, he or she will still think better of you if there’s a phone number where you can be reached—and when the phone rings, if someone who sounds friendly and who can understand their language will quickly answer and respond to their question or request.

c) Travel information
You occasionally find webpages where hospitals don’t mention their address. Sometimes it’s even difficult to discover the city they are located in. It is assumed that everyone locally knows where a prominent facility is. But that’s not going to be the case for someone who comes from abroad.

Top facilities make it clear how to get to their door from airport, bus and train terminals. There is often information about how to find a reliable taxi. However, the best facilities will also help with travel arrangements and greet the arriving patient at the airport and help with baggage.

d) Where to eat and stay
Patients may not be spending all their days in your hospital. Many will travel with someone else—perhaps a friend or family member. It’s a good idea to offer them information about places to stay and restaurants that are reasonably priced and that offer foods that would be familiar or suitable for dietary restrictions.

Some of the best medical tourism destinations will book hotels or allow a family member to stay in the hospital with the patient, eat with the patient, etc. Some will even do laundry for both the patient and the family member. Attention to details like this demonstrates a level of consideration and caring that reassure even the most nervous traveler.

e) Testimonials in their language
It is highly reassuring to see and hear from others who have had medical procedures or treatment at your hospital or clinic. Video is so readily available and inexpensive that you should be soliciting video testimonials from satisfied patients and perhaps even do the filming upon discharge or before a patient leaves the country.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives you some idea of what potential patients will want to see. That’s why you need an ally like The Goodness Company, medical tourism marketing specialists. We have the knowledge and experience in medical travel marketing that will help you transform your website into a medical tourist magnet. Contact us today to learn more about how we can work together to take your organization to the next level.

Getting Trampled by the Bulls: Cheaper than a US Hip Replacement

Cheaper than a US Hip Replacement
After some research on hip replacement surgery prices in the U.S, I came to the realization that getting trampled by the bulls in Spain is a cheaper alternative than getting a hip replacement in the US.

Ok, here is how I figured it out: (Some math ahead! You have been warned.)

Cost of hip replacement in the US = unknown.

What do you mean “unknown?” Won’t hospitals give you a cost?

Hard to believe…but true. Only 10% of hospitals in the U.S will give you a complete price for a hip replacement before you get one. The rest reserve the right to tack on extras like $200 painkillers. (I’ve heard that smiling is not included in the price, but I can’t confirm this.) Independent studies show that hip replacement prices can range from $30,000 to $125,000, depending on the location, the color scheme of the hospital, and the perceived thickness of your wallet. Ok, let’s say that the average is about $60,000 US.

Cost of hip replacement in Spain = $8,000 (I rounded up from an actual price of $7,300.)

Cost of round-trip flight from New York City to Madrid = $1,350.

Now, despite what you may think, the running of the bulls doesn’t happen in Madrid. It happens in Pamplona. So, you have to add the cost of a flight from Madrid to Pamplona in July when the running of the bulls takes place. (And yes, I used July, 2014 to get the ticket prices. That’s how nerdy I am.)

Cost of round trip flight from Madrid to Pamplona = $400

Cost of 8 nights (for the full Festival of Sanfermines experience) in the best suite in Pamplona’s best 5-star hotel (including the most expensive breakfast) = $23,000

So, I can fly to Madrid, have a hip replacement, fly to Pamplona, stay 8 nights in the best room in the best hotel, eat like a king, run with the bulls, get trampled, fly back to Madrid, have another hip replacement to replace my broken hip replacement, and fly back to the States for $41,000 US.

And that would still be cheaper than the $60,000 price I’d have to pay at home for one hip replacement.

Or, I could just fly to Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia or any one of 50 really cool vacation destinations with great healthcare and get my hip replacement surgery, physical therapy and a couple weeks of enjoyable relaxing vacation time for a fraction of the price for the same hip replacement surgery at home.

Patrick Goodness, CEO: The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare Marketing


 

Patrick Goodness: Bio

Patrick Goodness is one of the most recognized names in the global healthcare and medical marketing industry. Healthcare organizations from around the world rely on Patrick for insightful marketing consultation, marketing planning and international public relations services. Patrick’s results-driven approach to marketing has helped hospitals, medical centers, medical practices, dental offices and medical organizations around the world transform their brand and dramatically increase sales and profitability.

Experience

As CEO of The Goodness Company, Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing, Patrick has earned the confidence and repeat business of some of the worlds’ top healthcare organizations. Patrick offers a wide spectrum of marketing and public relations consulting services focused on building powerful branding and dramatically increasing sales. Patrick’s extensive healthcare marketing experience, his global network of clients and colleagues, and his ability to build and deliver valuable marketing concepts and tools that generate significant results are the reason for his popularity and his leadership in global healthcare marketing.

Patrick is recognized globally for his work in the following areas:

  • Healthcare Marketing
  • Healthcare Destination Branding
  • Medical & Dental Practice Branding
  • Medical Tourism Marketing
  • International Healthcare Public Relations
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Relationship Marketing

Connect with Patrick via email at patrick@goodnesscompany.com

How to Develop a Medical Tourism Marketing Budget

How to Develop a Medical Tourism Marketing Budget
This past month, while consulting with a group of hospital CEOs and CMOs from around the world, we focused on developing medical tourism marketing budgets for 2013. While a few of these executives were seasoned healthcare marketing professionals, most were fearful of the marketing budget process because they didn’t understand the dynamics of planning, implementing and tracking an international healthcare marketing campaign. In this article, we’ll demystify the marketing budget development process making it easier to plan and execute successful healthcare marketing campaigns.

In many industries, administrators are accustomed to setting the marketing budget as a percentage of revenue benchmarks. According to Go-to-Market Strategies, “30% of companies spend between 3-5% of revenue on marketing, with 45% spending over 6% (most of those between 6-10%).”

Developing a marketing budget for a new medical tourism venture can be particularly difficult, because the first step is to develop a projected revenue goal then base your marketing budget on this goal. A new medical tourism company also requires significantly more customer education than an established company does. New ventures can expect to spend approximately 20% of targeted revenues to fund marketing programs during the first two years of marketing development. Underfunded marketing is a leading cause of business failure during the critical initial three years of operation.

In general terms, if a company decides to follow a ‘percentage of revenue’ approach, then 8-10% of revenue should be spent on marketing, with roughly 5% allocated to labor (marketing department or marketing agency) with the remaining balance of 3%-5% being allocated to media expenditures. The following factors will help you determine a more accurate percentage to dedicate to marketing.

  • How mature is your market? (Are you in an established or new market?) (New markets require more investment for educating potential customers.)
  • Is your company recognized in your industry (Is your organization new or an established business? Do you have a recognizable brand?) (For example, successful first year international medical tourism marketing programs must invest in branding to establish confidence and credibility.)
  • How fast do you plan to grow? (Plan for a larger budget to support aggressive patient acquisition goals.)

Experience Makes a Difference:

With experience comes confidence. As the director of a healthcare marketing agency with nearly 20 years of regional, national and international healthcare marketing development, we have the experience and data about where and when to spend our client’s marketing money to achieve optimal results. We know what works and what doesn’t. We work with our clients to set revenue targets and we know precisely what we have to do to reach those targets.

As Socrates said, “Wisdom begins with a definition of terms”. So let’s discuss some important terms prior to discussing the medical tourism marketing development process:

Marketing Qualified Lead: (MQL) is a prospective patient that has indicated interest in your organization. At this stage of patient development, you can’t be certain if they are qualified to purchase. An MQL must be further qualified before moving them forward along the sales development chain.

Sales Accepted Lead: (SAL) is a lead that has been formally accepted by your sales team. Generally your team should be given a set period of time to develop this lead into a sale.

Sales Qualified Lead: (SQL) is a lead that has evolved into a strong possibility for closing. These leads have the greatest opportunity of becoming patients.
WIN: This is when a lead becomes a patient.

Case Study:

Let’s review an example which will make the marketing budget process easier to understand and implement.

Medical Tourism Hospital X:

2013 Revenue Targets by Quarter: Hospital X wants to earn $1 million per quarter ($4 Million Total Annual Revenues)

Average per Patient Revenues: $40,000 (It will take 100 patients at $40,000/each to reach the annual revenue goal of $4 Million)

Marketing Stage Conversion Rates: (These conversion rates are for demonstration purposes only and are not to be used for marketing planning. Conversion rates vary greatly by organization and by case.)

Inquiry to MQL: 50%: (50% of Inquiries will become Marketing Qualified Leads)

MQL to SAL: 50%: (50% of Marketing Qualified Leads will become Sales Accepted Leads)

SAL to SQL: 50%: (50% of Sales Accepted Leads will become Sales Qualified Leads)

SQL to Win: 50%: (50% of all Sales Qualified Leads will become Patients.)

Time between stages (Days)

Inquiry to SQL: 120 days

SQL to Win: 90 days

(In this scenario, it would take 210 days from the initial patient inquiry to earning the patient’s business.)

If we set the hospital revenue target for medical tourism at $4 Million in 2013, this would give us a quarterly revenue target of $1 Million. If the average patient spends $40,000, Hospital X will need to close 25 deals per quarter (25 X $40,000) to reach the target revenue goal. Let’s work backward to get our sales lead totals:

  • To close 25 new patients, Hospital X will need to generate 50 SQLs (SQL to WIN rate is 50%)
  • To get 50 SQLs, Hospital X will need to generate 100 Sales Accepted Leads (SAL to SQL rate is 50%)
  • To get 100 SALs, Hospital X will need 200 Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL to SAL rate is 50%)
  • To get 200 MQLs, Hospital X will need 400 Inquiries

In summary, Hospital X will need to generate 400 inquiries for every 25 new patients won. The key to success is in knowing your numbers. The better you know your closing numbers, the more successful your medical tourism marketing program will be.

Now comes the tricky part. Deals take time to close. If you generate 400 inquires this month, they won’t close for approximately seven months. It’s critical to look at the days between stages (known as “velocity”) to understand when you will need inquiries and SQLs to make your quarterly revenue goals. Inquiries generated today will result in SQLs in four months, and won patient business in seven months. Because a dental provider or cosmetic surgery center may have a faster closing ratio than an orthopedic hospital or heart surgery center, it is important to understand the dynamics of your lead development process to best plan for your revenue goals.

Finally, we arrive at the budgeting development piece of the puzzle. This is where we discover how much marketing investment is required to generate the necessary number of inquiries that in turn leads to won patients. This is where you will need the help of an experienced media marketing agency that knows and understands the optimal marketing strategy and media tools to generate the most inquiries for the least amount of investment.

With established healthcare businesses, one can look to the previous year’s numbers to plan for the upcoming year. If last year it cost you $250 per inquiry, this year you will need to invest $100,000 to generate 400 new patient inquiries…which (if your metrics are correct) should drive $1 Million in new patient business. If it only cost you $100 per inquiry last year, you should plan to invest $40,000 to generate 400 new patient inquiries. By lowering your cost per inquiry and/or increasing your marketing investment, you will be able to generate more leads and increase sales.

With new businesses, this process can be very complicated, because one must factor in the expense of patient education as well as branding and marketing tools, which can often double the needed first and second year marketing investment.

This planning and measurement process is part of a much larger marketing strategy called Revenue Performance Management (RPM), which utilizes critical data to maximize marketing performance.

If your numbers are correct, they won’t lie.
If your numbers are incorrect, they will never tell the truth.

Medical tourism marketing development numbers will vary by organization. No two hospitals or healthcare organizations are exactly alike. Do you know your “lead to closing” numbers? If not, you will need to experiment to refine and hone your marketing process lead development program.

There are many healthcare consulting firms that understand the healthcare market, but yet they know very little about the dynamics of international healthcare marketing. While knowing the theory is a good start, practical “hand’s on” medical tourism marketing experience makes the difference between a marketing program that looks good on paper, and a marketing program that drives needed results.

Successful marketing starts with planning! Don’t make the mistake of limiting your marketing budget to obvious costs such as advertising, website development, public relations, trade shows, brochures, promotions, etc. A comprehensive marketing program includes planning, tool development, creative strategy, media marketing, external communications and ongoing monitoring and tracking of your marketing efforts.

Marketing is not a science. While this article outlines some effective healthcare and medical tourism marketing guidelines, a successful marketing campaign is predicated on real world experience. When choosing a medical tourism marketing partner, select a dedicated marketing agency with critical international healthcare marketing experience.

The world of global healthcare and medical tourism is filled with opportunity.
Plan wisely. Execute precisely. Track closely.

 


Patrick Goodness, CEO
The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing
www.MedicalTourismMarketing.com
www.GoodnessCompany.com
patrick@goodnesscompany.com
312-205-6424

Renowned Healthcare Marketing Expert Patrick Goodness Leads UNLV Medical Tourism Marketing Workshop

Patrick GoodnessLas Vegas, Nevada — Las Vegas HEALS and the University of Nevada Las Vegas are proud to announce that global medical tourism authority and speaker, Patrick Goodness, CEO of The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare Marketing, will present a half-day Medical Tourism Marketing Workshop on Friday, November 8th, 2013 at the University of Las Vegas campus.

The workshop is designed to provide local Las Vegas healthcare providers with key information about how their healthcare organizations and practices can target, attract and grow the burgeoning international patient market. The workshop will include the basics medical tourism marketing, including how to attract international patients, the basics of healthcare relationship marketing, positioning your facility for success in the international market, multi-cultural marketing and medical tourism branding.

Medical tourism is a growth industry that offers a significant opportunity for U.S. healthcare providers. “With an estimated eight million patients traveling cross-border worldwide every year, each spending thousands on not just medical care, but transportation, accommodations, etc., we’re talking about a marketplace that easily generates $24 to $40 billion annually. Effective marketing can make a significant difference for those regions and providers seeking to capture a share,” says Goodness.

Doug Geinzer, CEO of the sponsoring organization, Las Vegas HEALS (Health, Education, Advocacy, Leadership of Southern Nevada), is enthused about the upcoming medical tourism marketing workshop featuring Patrick Goodness. “We look forward to having Patrick Goodness share his deep understanding of the medical tourism market with our membership. I have followed Patrick’s work in the medical tourism marketing space for the past few years and was fortunate enough to see him present at the World Medical Tourism Congress last year in Miami. He understands the business better than most, and there is a lot that Las Vegas medical providers can learn from Patrick. Partners like Patrick Goodness will help us position Las Vegas as the most globally recognized destination for health and wellness travel.”

As a leading voice in medical tourism marketing, Goodness has lectured at key healthcare and medical tourism events around the world. Goodness will also deliver a medical tourism marketing workshop, titled “Ten Digital Marketing Strategies to Attract More Patients” at the 6th Annual World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress, November 5, 2013 in Las Vegas. “Las Vegas has long been considered one of the strongest entertainment and travel brands in the world. Las Vegas is now approaching medical tourism with the same zeal and a strategic plan to become a dominant global medical tourism destination,” says Goodness.

Scheduled to follow the World Medical Tourism & Global Healthcare Congress being held in Las Vegas earlier in the week, the medical tourism marketing workshop meets at the UNLV Stan Fulton Building and runs from 8:00 am to noon. The $25 cost includes a continental breakfast. This event is by invitation only. Advanced registration is required. To be included on the invitation list, please contact Doug Geinzer, CEO of Las Vegas HEALS.

Contact information:

RSVP to:
Doug Geinzer, CEO
Las Vegas HEALS
doug.geinzer@lasvegasheals.org

Medical Tourism Marketing in the Bahamas

Medical Tourism Marketing in the Bahamas

Medical Tourism Marketing: Making a Difference in the Bahamas Health Care Industry

The Bahamas is becoming a popular destination for medical tourists who are looking for quality care at affordable prices. The country is specifically attractive to Americans and Canadians, who can take a short flight, receive their medical care, and then recover on the beautiful sandy beaches of the Bahamas.

In today’s global economy, such a success doesn’t occur by happenstance. It requires commitment. The Bahamas health care industry has shown its commitment by building the infrastructure, training its brightest students at the best medical schools, coaching its staff how to treat international patients so that they feel reassured and truly welcome, and by investing in the most modern medical equipment available.

However, being excellent at what you do is not enough. You have to be able to reach potential patients and promote your services in ways that they find understandable and helpful. Awareness doesn’t just happen. It must be generated.

Since doctors and hospital directors dedicate themselves fully to their professions, the best solution is to engage marketing expertise to help your organization generate awareness. Top health organizations know this. This is why the prestigious Bahamas Medical Center is working with The Goodness Company, leaders in medical tourism marketing to present their healthcare services to the international healthcare marketplace.

Remember, promoting healthcare services for one organization has a halo effect for all the others in that country or region. Before long people begin to associate the Bahamas with healthcare. Eventually the Bahamas may begin to occupy a “top of mind” status when people think about cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery or even orthopedic surgery. The Goodness Company, and their team of medical tourism marketing professionals continues to help the Bahamas healthcare industry achieve these goals.

Top Ten Reasons To Choose Bahamas Medical Center from The Goodness Company.

Giving Access to an International Market

For the Bahamas medical care industry, the United States and Canada were obvious markets, but it’s not always that simple. A qualified medical tourism marketing agency can help identify not only primary national markets, but specific demographic groups as well.

Even after selecting your target market, there are many questions that need to be asked and answered to develop a strong medical tourism marketing campaign. The Goodness Company has helped the Bahamas Medical Center save time and improve their processes by having the experience and knowledge to ask and answer the questions that matter. What are the top target cities to promote Bahamas medical tourism? Is public relations an important part of medical tourism marketing? What are the benefits of relationship marketing for medical tourism success? The answers to these and hundreds more medical tourism marketing questions are critical for success. Experience and knowledge count. The Goodness Company has the answers and the experience to provide clients with a clear competitive advantage in the medical tourism marketplace.

Custom Medical Tourism Marketing Strategies

Marketing is much more than advertisements and commercials. It requires a planned, coherent strategy that will work in the short, medium and long term.

A marketing strategy for medical tourism involves many complex inter-related aspects: marketplace positioning, branding, prices and payments (form, currency and time), authoritative information about services and procedures, delivery of services, promotions, marketing channels, effective web and media presence, tracking of effectiveness, etc. The Goodness Company has helped the Bahamas Medical Center develop a strategy that works.

Translating Your Concept Culturally

Different cultures have different values and different ways of approaching healthcare. What is normal in one culture can be taboo or offensive in another. Since 1994, The Goodness Company has been developing global healthcare marketing solutions. Over the years, the medical tourism marketing team at The Goodness Company has come to understand many of the differences and valuable similarities between cultures in target markets. For example, The Goodness Company helped The Bahamas Center team understand the value and attraction of their warm island approach to personal and friendly healthcare. It is this attribute and approach to patient service that makes American and Canadian customers feel comfortable and reassured.

Even the best of hospitals and clinics can’t do it all alone. It takes teamwork with an experienced marketing agency that has a commitment to success in marketing medical tourism. The Goodness Company has demonstrated that commitment as a leading global healthcare marketing agency. We welcome the opportunity to discover what makes your program different and better and to help you successful market your healthcare brand to the world.

Contact Patrick to discuss availability and pricing to speak at your upcoming event. Email: patrick@goodnesscompany.com

Dental Marketing: Make a lasting first impression with these website tips

Make sure your ‘online smile’ leaves a quick, impressive first impression.

First Impression - Dental Marketing Tips

You know how important a great smile is to making a good first impression. Why should your dental practice website be any different?

In a recent survey conducted by Match.com, more than 5,000 American single adults, both male and female, were asked how they judge members of the opposite sex for attraction and compatibility. 71% of women and 58% of men rated the smile as the most important attribute for measuring attractiveness.

Dental Marketing

For those of us in the dental marketing industry, this report comes as no surprise.  Additional support for the importance of a beautiful smile comes to us from a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). This survey concludes that nine out of every 10 adults in America consider an attractive smile to be an important social asset and eight out of 10 believe an unattractive smile makes a person less appealing to the opposite sex.

A website’s first impression

It is clear that a beautiful white smile is critical to overall attraction and to making a successful first impression. But in the world of dental marketing, how important is your dental clinic’s website in making the critical first impression and to attracting the right patient?

Dr. Hong Sheng, who conducted an in-depth eye-tracking research study at Missouri University of Science and Technology, said it takes a website user less than two-tenths of a second to form a first impression when viewing a website and only 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on an area of a website that impacts their first impression.

Your website is your smile

What is abundantly clear is that a company’s website is an essential critical tool for demonstrating consumer attractiveness.  Quite simply, your website is your online smile. Nearly 90% of professionals use company websites as their primary tool for gathering information and forming impressions prior to contacting a vendor for purchases. In today’s Internet savvy marketplace, the failure to have a high quality, professionally designed dental website, filled with critical content, is a failure to reach almost 90% of your target market.

Invest in your online smile

Time and again I hear dentists telling their patients the importance of quality dental work and the value of investing in the best dental care for future health and happiness. Yet, a cursory review of thousands of dental practice websites across the U.S. reveals a surprising lack of investment in quality dental website design, dental branding and informative dental procedure content. In short, the dental industry’s online smile is a bit stained and missing a few teeth.

As a dentist, or dental clinic owner, your success in the increasingly competitive dental marketplace is predicated on your ability to communicate with potential patients about what makes you different and, most importantly, what makes you better than your competitors. This is a valuable element of results-driven dental practice marketing.  An investment in quality branding and website development for your dental practice is critical to building a base of patients that know you, like you and trust you…the basics of health care relationship marketing.

The AACD participants surveyed said they would like to make some improvement in the appearance of their smile.  If your branding is out of date, your website needs a makeover or it’s time to rethink your marketing approach, seek the advice of a professional dental marketing agency to help you craft a dental marketing plan that delivers results and will prepare your practice for years of success.

If you’re not convinced that this article applies to you…please take an honest look at your logo, website and marketing materials and ask yourself, “Would I be impressed with my first impression?”  It’s never too late to make an improvement to your online smile.


Patrick GoodnessAs published in the July Issue of Dental Products Report
Dental Products Report
Wed, 2013-07-31 10:22 | by Patrick Goodness

Top Medical Tourism Procedures Announced: Growth in Demand Drives Competition

Strategic Healthcare Marketing Initiatives Will Create Clear Winners in Medical Tourism Marketplace

Top Medical Tourism Procedures Announced: Growth in Demand Drives Competition
Most hospitals, medical centers and dental providers involved with medical tourism understand that the most popular procedures driving medical travel in recent years are cosmetic, dental, bariatric and orthopedic procedures.  What may surprise many in the medical tourism industry is the increased number of patients that are traveling to take advantage of other less recognized medical procedures. Treatments such as stem-cell therapy, fertility treatments and cancer treatments have seen significant growth in demand and popularity, reports Pramod Goel, CEO of PlacidWay.

Top Treatments and Procedures by Global Demand Percentage

(Source: PlacidWay Medical Travel Company, 2013)

  • Beauty Procedures (cosmetic, anti-aging, etc.) – 20%
  • Stem Cell Therapy & Chronic Diseases – 13%
  • Fertility Treatment – 12%
  • General Surgeries – 10%
  • Dentistry – 10%
  • Obesity/Bariatric / Weight loss Surgeries – 7%
  • Orthopedic & Spinal Surgery – 7%
  • Alternative Medicine – 7%
  • Eye/Lasik Vision Care – 5%
  • Cancer Treatment – 5%
  • Heart Care/Cardiac Surgeries – 5%

As increased numbers of international patients travel for medical care, more and more hospitals, doctors, dentists and wellness providers will enter the global healthcare marketplace to earn their share of the growing medical tourism market.  This growth in both demand and competition will affect current market leaders and new entrants alike.

Most medical providers will continue to compete on price, quality and location.  However to lead in the emerging medical tourism marketplace, international healthcare providers will need to differentiate their medical services from their competitors.  “An investment in positively branded healthcare marketing, medical advertising and public relations, centered on creating trust-based relationships among potential patients is critical for success in the new international healthcare marketplace,” says Patrick Goodness, CEO of The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing. “Today’s medical traveler is a well-informed and educated buyer.  They’re not just looking for the lowest price.  Today’s medical tourism patients seek a competitive price on quality medical care from someone they trust. The key to success in the competitive medical tourism marketplace is to develop reliable marketing and relationship development strategies that generate confidence and build trust.”

“Since 88% or more of potential patients will learn about your healthcare or wellness practice online, investments in healthcare and wellness branding and website marketing are essential to building a strong pipeline of international patients,” says Goodness. “If potential patients do not understand what makes you special, and what makes your organization a better match for their healthcare needs, they will never choose you.  Successful healthcare marketing is patient-centric.  It answers patient’s questions before they have a chance to ask them, and provides patients with reliable, trustworthy information that enables them to say ‘Yes’ to your offer with complete confidence.  In a competitive global healthcare marketplace, a strategic approach to patient marketing will separate the leaders from the followers and will create clear winners in the expanding medical tourism marketplace.”

About The Goodness Company:

The Goodness Company: Global Healthcare & Medical Tourism Marketing has helped many hospitals, medical centers, private practices and dental clinics create and manage their brands to become leaders in the growing international healthcare marketplace.  The Goodness Company develops high-quality comprehensive healthcare websites, medical marketing, video marketing, results-driven print and online ads, public relations campaigns, and original editorial content to give their clients a competitive edge.  The end result of our efforts is to help our healthcare clients develop lasting relationships with potential patients built on the foundation of credibility, honesty and trust.

If your hospital, medical clinic, dental clinic or health and wellness facility could benefit from targeted healthcare and medical marketing, trust The Goodness Company: the most recognized name in healthcare and medical travel marketing.

Top 10 Tips for Increasing ROI on Your Sales Leads

Return on Investment(ROI)Over the past few years sales methods have changed dramatically. Traditional methods and hard line sales techniques are slowly being pushed to the side. For many, sales development was based on pushing the sale to impulse buyers. Successful sales tactics must reflect the needs of the buyer. As the buyers needs have changed…so must the sales methods.  Modern day sales methods are based on relationship building, with a goal of easing the client into feeling that it was their decision to make a purchase or use a service. This process of taking them down the sales funnel is referred to as lead nurturing.

Remember, the central goal of lead nurturing is NOT to close the sale. Your goal is to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit.

ROI

The majority of new sales leads simply aren’t ready to make an immediate purchase decision. Lead nurturing allows you to maintain a relationship with potential clients until they are ready to purchase. If you don’t take the time to nurture leads into clients, you risk losing a potential business and may even push potential clients to one of your competitors.

Lead nurturing focuses on building relationships and trust with your prospective clients in a way that is both consistent and relevant. Lead nurturing can build brand and product preference long before your potential client has even thought about making a purchase.

For most sales professionals, changing a sales protocol is difficult because it requires risk. Few people like change or welcome the discomfort of trying new things. Many long time sales professionals believe that generating sales is no more than a numbers game. The more people you contact, the better your chances of converting someone from a prospect into a sale. That may be true. However, lead nurturing can increase your conversion rate and ROI. There are 5 major reasons lead nurturing cannot be ignored:

  1.  Buyers Are No Longer Impulse Purchasers – Typically the sales process takes on average about 22% longer than it did just 10 years ago. You should expect three or more decision makers to be involved in making the final decision. Buyers will be comparing 3 or more companies. So if you use nurturing to maintain your mindshare with the prospect, you have a chance to shape buying criteria and expectations, which will position your company as the most able to deliver desired outcomes.
  2. Communication is Education – In most cases you are going to have to communicate with the client between 9 and 11 times before you take a prospect to close. These are steps along an educational path, on which the buyer is slowly accumulating the knowledge necessary to make a decision.
  3. Discarding Leads = Throwing Away Money - 80% of the prospects deemed “bad leads” by sales teams do go on to buy within 24 months. Companies that ignore these longer-term leads are handing over opportunities to their competitors.
  4. A Nurtured Lead is a More Profitable Client – Although you may close a lead that was not nurtured, leads that are nurtured normally put more money in your pocket. Nurtured leads deliver 47% higher average order values than non-nurtured leads. This may be attributable to the stronger relationships that are developed as a result of nurturing.
  5. Losing Leads Decreases ROI - In the current economic climate, companies can’t afford to ignore prospects. Companies must track where prospects fall out of the buying cycle, and use this data to shore up deficiencies in the nurturing process. Keeping leads alive reduces your cost per lead.

Lead nurturing is the best way to stay in contact with potential clients, and doing so can keep you at the top of their mind. It also provides insights into your target markets buyer behavior for future marketing activities.

Lead nurturing should include consistent communications that reinforce your expertise by sharing ideas and tips about your brand, product or service, or your industry. When a prospective client is thinking about making a purchase, your brand should be positioned at the top of their minds. There are 10 Fundamentals to Success in Lead Nurturing:

  1. Start Simple – Lead nurturing can be very detailed in nature. However you can build a simple framework to get it going quickly and see the ROI benefits right away. The first 20% of your effort will show you 80% of the benefit of lead nurturing.
  2. Teamwork with the Sales Team - Work with your sales team to understand who your buyer is, to grasp what a qualified lead looks like, to understand the difference between an inquiry, prospect, and qualified lead, and to know what signals buyers give as they progress through the sale funnel on the way to making the decision to purchase. This step is essential.
  3. Keep Score - Use prospect-provided explicit data such as BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing), or observed data such as prospect behaviors, or both. Begin to develop a lead scoring model, and assign numerical values to each characteristic. Scoring leads will help you determine which prospects need more education before they can take the next step toward converting them into a sale.
  4. Develop Educational Material - Buyers want content that directly addresses the questions they face at each point in the decision process. These materials are a great way to touch base with the client, move them down the sales funnel, and keep your product on the top of their mind. Do not give too much information at one time.
  5. Avoid Irrelevant Contact – Always consider the prospect’s recent behavior or areas of interest when making contact with them. If you start contacting them with irrelevant emails they will label your offer as unimportant. Develop coordinated campaigns with a series of scheduled offers, and then track, evaluate and respond to opens, clicks, registrants, etc.
  6. Determine Correct Frequency of Contact - Over-emailing is one the top reasons people unsubscribe from email mailing lists. You have to develop the right frequency and messaging to place in front of them, without being seen as spamming them.
  7. Gain More Prospect Information – As you take the prospect down the sales funnel you will need to obtain more detailed information to ensure they are truly a qualified lead. This is a gentle process that begins with basic contact information. You will then slowly gather more intelligence about needs, budgets, and timelines as the prospect feels more comfortable engaging with your brand. Try to not ask for information more than once.
  8. Handoff to Sales - Plan and establish an efficient, seamless process for passing nurtured leads to the sales team. This needs to be real time and have no delay. A delay can result in a lead losing interest. There also needs to be a process of sending leads back to marketing from sales in case they are not quite ready to purchase.
  9. Contact “Dead” Leads - Find ways to re-engage those contacts that were considered “dead” with new information and breakthroughs. Many times those discarded leads are a great source for finding new deals. It is just a matter of timing in most cases.
  10. Set Up Metrics – Measure everything so you can make sure your process is as efficient as possible. As you nurture these prospects and measure your results, you can influence the percentage who progress from a prospect to a lead to a sales-qualified lead and ultimately an opportunity. By tracking the conversion rate at each stage of the funnel, you can improve overall performance and ultimately quantify marketing’s contribution.

Lead nurturing is an important element of your overall business strategy, especially for businesses focused on generating sales. With a carefully planned strategy, lead nurturing will play a critical role in positioning your company as a leader in your industry.

Remember: Lead Nurturing is a Conversation, Not a Campaign!

Content is Key to Healthcare Marketing Success

How do you turn patient leads into actual patients?  One word.  TRUST.

Before potential patients can trust you, they must first come to know you and like you.

Trust cannot be purchased.  It must be earned.

Effective Content Marketing

Success Content MarketingQuality online and editorial content about your organization, your physicians, your procedures and the quality of care is a step toward earning patient trust.  With the right content, patients begin to see you as a knowledgeable, helpful resource in their search for the right healthcare solution.

Successful healthcare content marketing starts with understanding your patients.  To build an effective content marketing campaign, you need to know who your patients are, what they like to read, and at what stage in the buying process they are ready to read it.

Content marketing and positive editorial exposure through public relations builds trust and credibility. The right content allows you to share best practices, insights, and advice. The best content informs prospective patients, facilitates the healthcare buying process, and lays the foundation for an ongoing conversation based in trust.

What are the stages of the patient decision-making process?

To create the best content to match your prospective patient’s needs, it’s best to outline the key stages on their path from prospect to patient.

While the patient journey varies, most patients are likely to go through the following stages:

  • Awareness. The patient recognizes a problem or a need and seeks a way to define what’s wrong and how to fix it. Good content anticipates the issues they are trying to solve and provides the answers they are trying to find.
  • Research. The patient researches and examines how others have solved the same issue. This is when patient testimonials and video documentation are very helpful.
  • Consideration. The patient sorts through options, reading content from various sources to determine differences between possible providers, and begins to rank potential provider solutions.
  • Decision. The patient creates a short list of providers to research and evaluate further.  This final research eventually leads to a decision.

The relevance and availability of this information is critical at each stage of the decision-making process.  At the awareness stage, patients need to discover what may be wrong and the best solution to fix it.  At the consideration stage, patients begin to evaluate different healthcare and provider solutions. The key to success is to find out what kind of information prospective patients want and need at each stage.

After you discover what they need, you can begin to create and market the kind of content that meets these needs. Create a strong foundation of trust by publishing valuable information for patients at every stage of their journey and you will transform a greater number of leads into patients.