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International Marketing Research at the Mayo Clinic

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Published: Fri, 02 Jun 2017

Given that Mayo Clinic is seeking to expand its outreach on the international level by 100%, market research is needed to determine where our marketing activities are most likely to succeed, what strategies for market penetration are needed, and what types of marketing activities are most likely to generate increased use of Mayo Clinic services by international patients. It is necessary for us to conduct market research that obtains data from international insurers regarding the kind of insurance policies that are available internationally in different markets, the number of individuals or households with private insurance or with government insurance that would pay for the majority of costs incurred at Mayo Clinic, and other relevant data.

As the Mayo Clinic marketing research team, we will survey insurance companies to determine whether or not they cover services that the Mayo Clinic offers. Determining whether these insurance companies offer policies that provide for our services would be a key research finding which could ultimately lead to new and more profitable relationships with premium health insurance providers.

The marketing research will also include an emphasis on primary data gathering. Using the Internet and drawing upon lists of international alumni of the Clinic (Mayo international alumni now number 1,500, representing 67 countries), a greater survey effort will be undertaken to determine what in the Mayo Clinic experience will be emphasized in subsequent marketing activities. Surveys via e-mail will augment previously conducted telephone interview activities and will also include a large sample of individuals who have not previously used Mayo’s services.

Primary data can also be gathered through targeted focus groups in those countries where we hope to expand our client population. Focus groups should prove to be quite useful in identifying the kinds of marketing and promotional activities that will be well received within a particular country or culture. This kind of research will also identify potential avenues for enhancing the image of Mayo Clinic through targeted advertising via direct mail and print media. This particular strategy should be undertaken in conjunction with health insurance providers who may be interested in adding a specific Mayo Clinic benefit to their health insurance policy.

Finally, Mayo Clinic will survey hospitals and other health care providers in our foreign target markets to assess their willingness to refer patients to our clinic for services that cannot be obtained locally. According to Cateora and Phillips, “Most believe in the abilities of their own doctor and feel very confident about medical care in their own community. Even though “quality” may be regionally or culturally defined, almost everyone considers his or her doctor to be a good one.: (Cateora, 2009). With this in mind, individual physicians will also be surveyed on this critical issue to build awareness of the Mayo brand and its products and asked under what conditions would they refer a patient to Mayo Clinic. These kind of primary data will augment the secondary data that are more readily obtained.

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