In the last years, Chinese people’s living conditions improved hugely and so, Chinese people started leaving their houses in search of the best care available. The Chinese healthcare market is powered by lifestyle diseases, changing population demographics, increased healthcare spending, and a demand for better medical services. This has created unprecedented opportunities for international companies in medical tourism.
Market overview of Medical Tourism in China
483,000 people traveled outbound from China for medical tourism in 2015. These medical travelers spent USD6.3 billion on treatment in 2015, and a further USD3.4 billion on travel and accommodation.
In 2017, the size of China’s medical tourism market was 129.1 billion yuan, and it will exceed 200 billion yuan in 2019.
The market size is expected to reach 264.3 billion yuan in 2021. Medical tourism is not only a niche market. Countries have actively formulated various measures to promote the development of medical tourism, making this service universal, becoming a national industry targeting a wide range of groups.
The global medical tourism industry keeps growing at an annual rate of 20%. In 2018, the per capita consumption of Chinese outbound medical tourism tourists exceeded 80,000 yuan.
As Chinese consumers become more internationalized, have richer travel experiences, and continue to improve their basic language skills, the market structure is quietly changing.
Medical Tourism Target audience: The silver generation in China
The target audience of medical tourism in China is the “silver generation”.
- International vision;
- Rich travel experience;
- Basic language skills;
- Overall consumption upgrade.
They look for:
- Cost-effective products;
- Low-cost high-quality medicines;
- High-quality medical level.
They have 60 years old or more, and they have considerable personal wealth. They account for 17% of the overall population of China. By 2021, their consumption will reach US$ 806.6 billion. They are practical and they look for quality and durability.
They are the fastest-growing group in China. By 2050, this “silver generation” is estimated to reach 500 million, of 35 % of China’s population, up from the current 220 million. Trends also indicate that this demographic is experiencing a growth in purchasing power while enjoying more free time.
While China’s super-wealthy prefers the US or parts of Europe for medical holidays, China’s middle-class prefer more affordable treatment options in South Korea, Singapore, or Thailand.
Visibility on Baidu is the first step to have success in China with your dental clinic
The equivalent of Google in China is Baidu. It is the most popular search engine in China, with 70% of queries. It has more than one billion mobile active users.
To be effective, a website must be hosted in China or Hong Kong, must be translated into Chinese, with an eccentric layout, and with plenty of information.
As one of the most important sources of information for target people. Baidu is the preferred promotion channel for expanding new users in the industry.
To rank, it is also important to work on the Seo, Search Engine Optimization.
A website with a Seo structure is indexed in the highest positions. Usually, a user clicks on the first five presented answers. A good Seo campaign can help to arrange your website in a successful way on the internet. For a good Seo strategy it is necessary to identify the sector and the target, the more effective keywords, avoid the forbidden ones, and to know the competition.
PPC is the abbreviation of Pay Per Click, it’s also pay-per-click advertising or bid advertising. It is part of the Sem, the search engine marketing. Unlike SEO, PPC can boost the promotion of the brand/website ranking in the search engine in the short term. It is a way to increase the visibility and presence of a brand on the search engine.
Another Sem tool is Baidu Display Network Advertising. It is an advertising banner service offered by Baidu that allows you to invest in ads that appear on external sites and earn money based on the number of clicks on the ads.
Build an e-reputation around your dental clinic brand
In China, there is a widespread lack of trust in doctors and the healthcare system in general.
There’s a trust crisis between consumers and brands, which affects consumer buying habits. Health is a matter of trust and social media help to boost this trust capital. It is therefore important to work on the reputation of your brand and on the quality of your health services.
It is suggested to deliver high-quality service as even the richest Chinese demand excellence, to have medical employees who speak fluent Chinese rather than relying on translators, to offer a competitive price level, and to have simple health tourism visa or visa-on-request policies.
Press release to increase your credibility as dental profesionnal in China
PR is one of the most cost-effective solutions there is out there. It is a basic of marketing where the right people talk about you.
It consists of having an authority profile talking about your company. It can be media (newspapers, blogs), KOLs, or even the community.
Agencies like Gma can write press releases and communicate to journalists in China, to increase the trust of the clinic or the Hospital.
Word of mouth: use forums like Zhihu to improve your e-reputation
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most efficient way to increase and improve the image of a product, a brand, or a service. Chinese consumers often
The aim of this is to improve the online reputation of clients and indirectly enhance the loyalty of the brand-consumer community.
Being present on Baidu Zhihu will allow you to answer questions about your field but also to educate your target audience about your brands/services. It is an excellent tool to increase your conversion rate and to generate organic awareness about your brands.
80% of users are well educated, 30% are well paid (they earn 10.000 RMB per month) and 40% of users live in first or second-level cities. Users are mainly men. 78.2% of users have more than 25 years, this makes her the perfect platform to address more aged and rich consumers.
Zhihu is indicated for those companies that have more longer-term brand building projects. Zhihu enjoys a high domain authority on mainstream search engines, meaning Zhihu posts often rank higher than most other platforms.
Use WeChat to get in touch with your potential dental clinic clients
WeChat is the Chinese super-app, similar to our Whatsapp that enables people to communicate, to pay, to book a holiday, and so on. Chinese silver generation uses this only social tool. Today’s most frequent users of China’s popular social media app WeChat is dominated by this age group, who use 80 percent of their cell phone data on the app, compared to just 6.8 percent by millennials.
It is therefore important that your dental clinic has an official account on WeChat because this gives you authority and credibility.
Official accounts can also be used in connection with the WeChat Advertising function. Thanks to it, the so-called ad WeChat Official Accounts can be created. These ads are shown in the form of banners at the bottom of an article published in another official account. In this way, brand awareness is effectively spread among potentially interested users.
Wechat Kol: A good Option for Dental Clinic Promoting their Services in China
There are thousands of KOLs on WeChat (what we call “influencers”) who could distribute your content, in exchange for a fee, and make it visible to their huge number of followers. The more followers they have, the higher the cost of the service. Gma can help you to find the best Kol for your dental clinic. KOL promotions are very effective. If chosen well, they are therefore an excellent weapon to bring you, new followers. You can, for example, ask Kols to come to your clinic and to advertise it by recording a video presentation of the clinic and the services offered.
Do you want to attract Chinese people to your dental clinic? Contact Gma to work on a marketing digital strategy.
GMA is a marketing agency that helps foreign companies grow their business in China. Get in touch with our Wechat expert to get some insights into your project.