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Understanding global consumer behavior in aesthetic surgery

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1. Can medicine and doctors be included in a discussion of marketing? How? What are the marketing tools? Answer:Medicine and doctors can be included in a discussion of marketing.
By using online, offline marketing or referral marketing:
(a) Online marketing is one of the applications for developing and maintaining a growing customer base. When implementing the online marketing strategy, it is more effective to spend time on building a successful website and a dynamic social media presence. For example, a medical office website might not be just a single page to list their office hours and contact information. It can have informative articles for patients to read and find information on treatment options, new technology, or other things related to health care. In order to get a good first impression, the website should be professional, user-friendly, informative and memorable. (b) Offline marketing is important for medical office marketing plan.

Although many patients are using internet to find a new practice, offline marketing is still an effective approach to reaching out to patients. (c) Referrals might come from several places but it is necessary to build, develop and maintain great relationships with patients. Most patients do not seek specialists but are referred by other physicians and hospitals. When doctors develop relationships with patients, it has mutual benefits to each other. The marketing tool is promotion, which is advertising. Various tools are necessary for a successful advertising campaign, depending on a number of factors, such as the demographics of the target market, the marketing plan and the advertising budget. The advertising strategy includes the direct email, newsletters, billboards, contact information and the signage.

2. Who are the global patient-consumers of aesthetic surgery? What is their consumer behavior? What are the cultural similarities and differences?
Answer:People all around the world are having a greater number of aesthetic surgeries. They are not just patients and they are the patient-consumers with unique demands and different expectations. These kinds of people are the global patient-consumers of aesthetic surgery. People are encouraged to discipline their bodies in the name of health. They perceive the body as another consumption item and they are consumers, so this medical branch becomes an area of consumer behavior. The cultural similarities are the importance of physical appearance is highly recognized and the demand for aesthetic surgery rises all over the world. The body can be measured in terms of height, weight and skin color. Therefore, people can communicate it globally in the form of statistical averages and medical facts.

The cultural differences are the standards of beauty in different countries. Fashion through large-scale mediums such as fashion shows and models influences the way people establish a standard about what is fashionably beautiful. Film and music represent other areas where consumers in different parts of the world might be exposed to prevailing norms of beauty. The standard of beauty may be based on the movie stars, singers and celebrities. Beauty pageants are also visual discourse of identity and otherness that serves as a model for the way global and local cultural institutions articulate beauty.

3. How is tourism defined in terms of a global phenomenon in the context of aesthetic surgery? Answer:The phenomenon of Aesthetic Surgery is rising. People want to be more beauty and charming, so they travel outside for seeking medical treatment and services, which can contribute to worldwide spending on Aesthetic tourism. This rise is supported by the existence of a global market for international hospital chains. The planning of aesthetic tourism is similar to planning a vacation using a travel agent. Moreover, aesthetic tourism is relative low cost, so it provides an economic benefit. It also offers social benefit and legal benefit because the decisions are relatively autonomous and do not become a community affair, and some clinic apply procedures that are illegal in patient-consumers’ home countries. Furthermore, these clinics market has gateways; patients can enjoy having fun in exotic city. They can take to the doctors over the Internet. So it is convenient for people to connect oversea for the surgery. And it rises up the global phenomenon in the context of Aesthetic Surgery. 4. What are the ethical issues concerning medical marketing?

Answer:There are some ethical issues that concerning medical marketing: a) Confidentiality- Conversations between a patient and a doctor are strictly confidential and access to them is strictly monitored. An ethics committee needs to make sure that its patients’ medical records are safeguarded. b) Transmission of diseases- The risk posed to doctors and nurses of acquiring a communicable disease from patients is a concern to those serving on ethical committees. This is especially true if a patient’s health history is not made available to the providers. c) Aggressive marketing practices – Certain guidelines or standards need to be adhered to when promoting and marketing services. It is extremely inappropriate to recommend unnecessary services to a patient just for the sake of profit. d) Patient welfare – All personal information needs to be kept private. It is also important that physicians are honest with their patients. That is, reports of such discrimination should be taken very seriously. e) Provided information- The information that a hospital provides to advertising companies needs to be accurate and honest. It is important that the advertisements for the market and its services are not misleading or false. The patients’ welfare is the most important.

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