This article serves both as an introduction to our company and, hopefully, as a source of information to all medical tourism facilitators, both current and potential, and the medical tourism industry in general. The five articles of creation, we will call them for the purposes of this article, are Organizational Structure, Strategic Planning, Industry Association Membership, Marketing and Launch. They constitute the areas that we focused on as we created our company and positioned it for long-term success.
In most cases, I would imagine, available resources govern a company’s structure. Resources, in the form of capital, that are solely owned usually would create a sole proprietorship. Similarly, resources that are jointly owned, would lead to the creation of a partnership company. Other factors such as the amount of risk, and ensuing liability, that a company wants to assume, is comfortable assuming, or can afford to assume, would also contribute to a company’s organizational structure.
In our case, we felt it would be best to select a structure that would make our company most competitive, efficient, reliable and effective to compete long-term in our industry. Therefore, our company consists of a partnership of two distinct entities. One entity is the leadership, management and operational entity, Debson Medical Tourism. The other entity is where our biggest, but not only, competitive advantage can best be managed and marketed. That advantage is our experience and expertise in the telehealth sector. That company is Debson ITS.
With this organizational structure we can ensure that the company has excellent leadership guiding it to successful business outcomes, while the technical leadership that is needed to maintain our technological expertise advantage can also be managed optimally. Simply put, it is the combination of what exists in most corporate executive, operations, product development, sales, marketing, and IT departments but structured to be leaner, more nimble, responsive and effective.
Planning & Service Selection
Our strategic planning was essential in order to determine and allocate our resource needs so that our company could launch effectively and compete long-term. We want to be of value to our industry and our client base, so we really would like our products and services to fill the needs of the industry. We also want repeat customers and to be able to grow our business through success, customer satisfaction, marketing and good leadership.
We know that healthcare is an emotional issue with most patients. We know that this issue involves the harsh reality of affordability. We know that patients so desperately desire successful outcomes so that their quality of life can improve and the investment in their healthcare can bring the desired results. So, we made sure that our services, particularly our telehealth services, would compliment the healthcare travel process and add a measure of guarantee to the follow-up so that the complete patient experience could be managed to a successful outcome.
The careful selection of services was not the only contributing decision-maker to our strategic planning but certainly the most important. Future Debson articles will talk about our positioning, network selection, network management, and ancillary service management process.
As professionals and experts in our chosen fields, we understand that our company success will partially rely on the overall success of the medical tourism and global healthcare industry. In addition, we know that our resources are best utilized by focusing them on attracting, satisfying, retaining and creating repeat customers. So, we leveraged our available resources by tapping into the vast network, resources, expertise, counsel and guidance of the Medical Tourism Association.
We established more than just a membership relationship with them. We established a partnership. We applied for MTA certification as soon as we could and anticipate completion in the upcoming months. We also established a rapport with the MTA by sharing our company plans, objectives and business goals with them, so that they could best direct us to the necessary and available resources.
This relationship is a win-win. We benefit from the membership services they offer. They benefit through their improved understanding of our company, which, in turn, leads to their ability to better tailor their services to their facilitator company members. We were honestly very impressed with the association’s willingness and ability to help and we feel our membership was a very wise investment.
Delivery in the Message
Our marketing planning envelops everything that we do and want to do. It embodies all the decisions we have made from the creation of the company, the product and service selection, our positioning, and how we want to introduce ourselves to our industry and clients. Our decision to select our telehealth capability as a highlight of our services was a business decision. But then we had to decide on exactly how to market it so that the industry didn’t perceive us as a telehealth company, but rather as a great company with telehealth expertise.
We also gave careful thought to how to package our products. As we all know the healthcare industry is one that contains a vast amount of products and services. Its clients, or patients, also need a vast amount of those products and services but, fortunately, not all at once. Therefore, we focused on creating three packages that would enable the customer to select the one that best meets their needs at the time. This gives us the flexibility also of editing or modifying the packages, as our clients’ future needs change.
Pricing is a big competitive determinant. We wanted our pricing to not only be attractive to our clients, but also to enable us to compete long-term. We are emphatic that our company is not a flash-in-the-pan company. Here today, gone tomorrow. So our pricing, of course, is adequate, fair and transparent. We really take the mystery out of the pricing, are straightforward and honest about what it contains and does not include, and did the research so that we know our pricing is competitive. However, we make no bones about the fact that we are not the lowest priced company on the market, nor do we want to be.
We know you get what you pay for and we know that this applies to marketing. While we don’t boast about having unlimited resources we know that we’re not marketing geniuses. Therefore, we entrusted our marketing creative and design to partners that came highly recommended in the industry for doing great work at affordable and fair pricing. We also were very involved during the process and provided feedback to our marketing partners regarding the marketing materials that we wanted. Our website, ads, event banners, and even our PR articles are all consistently created so that our brand equity can grow as fast as possible and our awareness building within our industry and client base can be most efficient.
We took advantage of our industry association outlets such at the Health Medical Tourism Magazine and, of course, the Medical Tourism Association Magazine. This seemed like a very cost effective way to reach our primary target market and to begin to gain some notoriety and awareness within our industry. Which brings us to our launch.
We have chosen the MTA Congress in Los Angeles this October to launch our company to the public. We timed our marketing and created specific launch marketing materials to coincide with this launch. We are aware that launching does not in and of itself ensure success, but we are also aware that a good launch can enable you to cover some much-needed ground very quickly. So, on behalf of Debson Medical Tourism, we conclude this article with a hearty “See You in LA”, and hope we see all our industry players and clients there. We’ll also be talking more with you via articles in this magazine throughout the year.