Cyprus has long been considered a viable medical tourist destination. The reason that it hasn't done as well as it should have is that the marketing to date has primarily been business to business. The various hospitals talking at medical conferences, trying to persuade the health insurance companies elsewhere to send their patients to Cyprus...why would they ?
The trick is to reach patients directly. The other route is through Case managers who are often responsible for patient referrals.
The main aim of marketing from two months prior to the centre being open for surgery/treatment will be specifically for joint replacement and arthroscopy, in the meantime, in order to (a) generate initial revenue and (b) to start promoting the centre, marketing should commence as soon as possible. Covid19 restrictions will clearly be a disruptive factor in many respects but the assumption is that this disruption will gradually reduce.
(a) Generating revenue initially
The initial marketing will originate from the centre/CPHD but will include other medical services/treatment such as IVF, plastic surgery, hair transplant etc. Orthopaedic surgery will also be promoted, in all cases, these will be referred to partner healthcare professionals. Revenue will come from referral/commission payments from the relevant healthcare professionals.
(b) CPHD will be promoting the new centre from the beginning of the marketing campaign but two months before the centre is officially able to accept patients, marketing for the centre specifically will be given significantly more emphasis.
(c) Medical tourism patient referral will be retained as a revenue stream as firstly, it broadens our client and patient base and secondly, increases revenue.
The promotion will come in two formats, static images/promotions in social media on a daily basis plus webinars and videos. The videos will show a variety of subjects including surgeon profile and commentary, information about different conditions and how they can be treated, before and after and as they become available, patient testimonials.
General Marketing Strategy
As in all businesses, reaching large numbers of people is key. One of the fortunate aspects of the medical market sector is that almost everyone needs medical treatment or surgery at some time in their life and active healthcare in general has become a higher priority generally in recent years.
The internet has provided a huge library of knowledge from symptoms, to joint replacement components, to healthy eating and lifestyles and even videos of actual operations. Our SEO in our website will incorporate keyword and key-phrase strategies.
Success in this sector is built on two platforms, the first is Social Media, the second is personal recommendations.
Social Media is second to none when it comes to 'reach' and provision of information. This type of marketing is also relatively cost-effective. With the marketing budget we have set (€2000 pm) we will reach in the region of 200,000 people per month in our target areas, over the course of 12 months, this is a reach of in excess of 2 million people with sustained marketing. (see image below)
As an actual example, on February 27th this year, I organised a seminar on Diabetes Management and Control at the Londa Hotel in Limassol just prior to the Covid19 lockdown in Cyprus. Using separate adsets through Facebook, I generated a marketing reach of over 100,000 people. We had 60 people attend the seminar and it was broadcast simultaneously live to 260 others. The below image shows €100 spent over 5 days (Monday to Friday) and the results of that particular adset. While it's not a foregone conclusion, it's reasonable to assume that as countries like UK, are more densely populated, reach numbers would be better than in Cyprus.
Over the first 12 months, our primary target area is the UK, however, there will be a need to be flexible and be able to react to the changing Covid-19 landscape and adjust our target areas in terms of percentage of effort and time. Alternative target areas are Middle East, France, Germany and Norway as necessary.
We will also work more with Medical Case Managers who are often the referring consultants and other medical specialists in similar positions.
My website (www.medicaltourism-cyprus.com) is also a strong platform. Search Google for 'medical tourism', the site is on the first page of Google, search Google for 'medical treatment Cyprus', the site is number one on the first page, search Google 'medical tourism Cyprus', the site is first on the first page. Google 'hip replacement Cyprus', the site is on the first page. It all helps. Over the last 12 months, the website traffic has been a little under 87,000 visitors.
I am also subscribed to LinkedIn and I am connected to 247 healthcare professionals there, mostly from UK, who are a mix of surgeons and case managers.