International Marketing Research at the Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic is a well-known health care provider that treats international and domestic, upper class society. An example of their consumer base is the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who was seen at the Rochester clinic in New York. Founded almost a Century ago by the “Mayo” family, these world renowned physicians travelled the world comparing notes and surgical approaches as well as adopting international patients, creating an international legacy.
For years this clinic has used word-of-mouth as their main marketing tool to maintain its global standing. Only within the last 20 years has a formal marketing department been established, showing that marketing was never their most critical factor for delivering patients. Mayo Clinic is known for having most accredited standards and has a reputation for groundbreaking and successful treatments for diseases that have gone undiagnosed and untreated and in recent years achieving at a lower cost (Mayo Clinic Website).
With the entry of their fairly new marketing department, Mayo clinic has implemented internal and external research to gain an international understanding of the global market for healthcare providers and also where they themselves stand. The internal data, that are used to oversee hospitalization rates among patients of different countries, and also, the amount of new patients from various regions, are evaluated quarterly along with research based on customer satisfactions among international patients. Additional to international patients, the clinic has also assessed Mayo Clinic policyholders through qualitative and quantative primary data. Other primary data was collected through the use of focus groups, including patients and non-patients, of up to six different cities globally, which was used to study their path to a healthcare decision. This research found that these conclusions were correlated by their insurance policies.
Many examples were given showing that their marketing department concentrated immensely on Latin America, and more recently, the Middle East. The performed surveys through different questioners, including mail surveys, along with face-to-face interviews and numerous phone interviews, exclusively to Mayo Clinic policyholders. The face-to-face interviews focused on demographics, preferences, healthcare behavior, the Mayo brand awareness and the significance of Mayo Clinic coverage as a benefit. The phone surveys however focused mainly on brand awareness and the questions were completely differently structured. The questions were either if they have ever heard of Mayo Clinic, or different interviewees were asked to name the top medical centers in the United States. With these different questions came different answers.
From: Minashki Sinanan (Vice President Marketing)
For the Past 20 years many new developments have been made with your marketing department, which has proven to be successful. However, with our new intentions of expanding international for the next five years, we must change our direction and add on further research plans.
In previous data, I have noted that many of the primary data collected were within a limited market sample. The samples that I have seen included Latin America and the Middle East and included majority policyholders that purchases insurance offering Mayo Clinic. Also survey questions were assuming pre awareness of the brand, which results in less accurate data because of the unawareness of the majority surveyed.
It is clear that there is a lack of brand awareness associated with healthcare on the whole, and particularly important to us, Mayo Clinic. As a team we have to now structure ourselves to increase the Mayo Clinic brand recognition. By the obvious answer of market research...