پژوهش حاضر از نظر هدف در حیطه تحقیقات توسعهای میباشد که با روش کیفی انجام میشود. جامعه آماری در فاز کیفی شامل مدیران شرکت های تسهیل گر گردشگری پزشکی و مدیران بخش پذیریش بیماران بین المللی بیمارستان های شهر تهران میباشد که از این میان 15 نفر به صورت هدفمند غیرتصادفی بعنوان انتخاب شدند. ابزار اصلی گردآوری دادهها، مصاحبه عمیق نیمه ساختاریافته است. تحلیل دادههای کیفی با روش نظریه داده بنیاد و با استفاده از نرم افزار MAXQDA انجام شد. جامعه آماری در بخش کمی شامل کلیه مراجعهکنندگان به بیمارستانهای شهر تهران میباشد (جامعه نامحدود) که بر این اساس با استفاده از جدول مورگان نمونهای متشکل از 384 نفر انتخاب شد. گردآوری دادهها در بخش کمی با استفاده از پرسشنامه و تحلیل دادهها با روش حداقل مربعات جزئی انجام شد.
عنوان مقاله [English]
Designing and explaining Digital marketing model in Iran's medical tourism industry
This is developmental research, with a qualitative method. The statistical population in the qualitative phase includes the managers of medical tourism facility companies and the managers of the department of international patients in Tehran hospitals, including Farabi Khatem Al-Anbia (pbuh) and Shahid Rajaei Heart hospitals, of which 15 people were selected purposefully and non-randomly. The main tool of data collection is semi-structured in-depth interviews. Qualitative data analysis was done using the database theory method and MAXQDA software. In the quantitative section, the statistical population includes all patients who refer to hospitals in Tehran (unlimited population), based on which a sample of 384 people was selected using Morgan's table. Data collection was done in the quantitative section using a questionnaire and data analysis was done with the partial least squares method.
Based on the obtained paradigm model, the components related to digital marketing in the medical tourism industry in six categories of causal factors (application marketing, social media marketing, digital advertising, display advertising, facilitating communication, and providing the information), background conditions (social media technology, social media environment, interactivity, comprehensibility), central phenomenon (human-centered digital marketing, customer data analysis, and market development), strategies (b short-term and long-term strategies, functional value and expected value), intervening conditions (software and hardware indicators) and outcomes (tourist loyalty, tourist satisfaction, service quality, and social media content) were identified.
Medical tourism can be defined as the process of traveling outside the country of residence in order to receive medical care. The growing popularity of medical tourism has attracted the attention of policymakers, researchers, and the media. In the past, the term often referred to the travel of patients from less developed countries to pursue treatments unavailable in their country. At the same time, we are experiencing quantitative and qualitative changes in patient mobility as people travel from wealthier to less developed countries to access health services. Such a change is mainly due to the relatively low cost of treatments in less developed countries, the availability of low-cost flights, and increased online marketing and consumer information about the availability of medical services. Medical tourism represents a multi-billion-dollar worldwide phenomenon expected to grow significantly over the next decade. For those interested in health care, cost is a key factor in receiving medical care abroad.
With the development of mobile applications and increasing digital literacy, digital marketing is becoming the dominant paradigm in the service industries today, and this is also true in medical tourism. In order to create trust and awareness in medical tourism, offices and centers providing such services must provide timely and reliable information to patients worldwide. Therefore, in the past few years, social media has been used as a medical tourism tool for advertising and information. Some countries' experience shows that social media use and investment in this field have played a significant role in the development of medical tourism. Iran - at least at the regional level - has high capacities for developing medical tourism; a large part of this capacity has yet to be realized.
If a targeted and appropriate program is made for digital marketing, the necessary platform for developing medical tourism in the country will be provided. However, despite some medical tourism agencies' occasional use of social media, there needs to be a codified and coherent program in this field inside the country. Part of this shortcoming may be that managers and decision-makers in the medical tourism sector need to be better aware of the importance and effectiveness of social media in attracting tourists and patients. In this regard, the first step will be to prove the effectiveness of social media for marketing medical tourism destinations by conducting field studies. Such studies will increase senior managers' insight and awareness of the high potential of social media. On the other hand, the review of the research literature shows that despite conducting numerous studies in medical tourism marketing, there needs to be more research in presenting a model in this field. Especially In domestic studies, more effort must be made to present the digital marketing model of medical tourism. These studies need to indicate a research gap in medical tourism destination marketing. With these explanations, the current research aims to provide a marketing model for medical tourism destinations in Iran using digital media.
Materials and Methods
The current research is developmental research. Qualitative data analysis was done with exploratory and interview-based data theory, and quantitative data analysis was based on the nature and method of descriptive-survey research, which was a questionnaire for data collection. Also, the current research was conducted with a mixed (qualitative-quantitative) approach.
The statistical population in the qualitative phase includes managers of companies that facilitate medical tourism and managers of international patients' departments in Tehran hospitals, including Farabi Hospital, Shahid Rajaee's Heart Hospital, and Khatem Al_Anbia Hospital, of which 15 people were selected in a non-random way. In the quantitative section, the statistical population includes all patients who refer to hospitals in Tehran (infinite population), based on which a sample of 384 people was selected using Morgan's table.
The main data collection tool in the qualitative part is the semi-structured in-depth interview. In the quantitative part, to test these research hypotheses, a questionnaire tool was used to collect information. In order to evaluate the reliability of the questionnaire, Cronbach's alpha coefficient was calculated, and two methods of form-content validity and divergent validity were used to check the validity.
Qualitative data analysis was done using the database theory method and MAXQDA software. In order to analyze the data and test the research hypotheses, inferential statistics, partial least squares technique (PLS), and Smart PLS software were used.
Discussion and Results
The indicators of application marketing, social media marketing, digital advertising, display advertising, facilitating communication and providing information were selected as categories of causal conditions in developing the research model. Social media marketing is important because it not only creates a relationship between the organization and customers, but also provides a network of internal relationships between customers to talk about the brand; so, it forms an ecosystem of mutual relations that provides the basis for promoting a product or brand as much as possible.
Social media technology, environment, interactivity, and comprehensibility indicators were selected as background categories in developing the research model. Over time, a social media marketing strategy reinforces a company's brand and message in customers' minds. That is important because consistent branding tells consumers what to expect from a company, leading to reputation. If a business can continue to meet these expectations and improve its reputation, it can build trust among loyal customers and increase its brand value in the eyes of consumers. Strategic use of social media has become essential for marketers to achieve competitive advantage and superior performance.
Human-centered digital marketing indicators, customer data analysis, and market development were selected as central categories in developing the research model. Customer-oriented marketing is an approach in which the business identifies customers' needs, problems, and challenges by conducting market research, collecting and categorizing data, and creating value by providing solutions. This approach focuses on maximizing customer lifetime value (CLV) and converting potential customers into loyal customers. Today's model for building a company's brand differs from the past. Thanks to the rise of social media and the increasing number of ways we can communicate with each other, branding has become less about traditional PR and marketing campaigns and more about organic growth. In social media, an organic relationship is created with the permanent presence of humans (users), which leads to the promotion and introduction of the brand in the best way. Previous studies have shown that the strength of human ties is an important determinant of customer behavior in social networks.
Software and hardware indicators were selected as intervention categories in developing the research model. This finding shows that success in digital marketing requires a new combination of hardware and software. With the advent of widespread social networking platforms, customers are no longer limited to a passive role in their relationship with a company. In addition to having more information about competitive products available anywhere on mobile devices, customers can easily express their opinions and distribute them to a large audience. Companies are likely to manage customers' messages about their products/services. They find it difficult. The net effect of the rise of social media-based technologies has been to increase the power of consumers. Instead of CRM, companies should focus on understanding vendor relationship management (VRM), where consumers manage their vendor relationships. These developments are potentially harmful to companies: customers spreading negative messages about a company can damage its reputation. However, the rise of social media offers companies opportunities to listen and engage with their customers and potentially encourage them to become advocates for their products. The challenge for companies is identifying and using such opportunities and avoiding the following traps.
Indicators of short-term and long-term strategies, functional value, and expected value were selected as strategic categories in developing the research model. The customer spends money to buy the product or service he receives. What does he want in return? Of course, he wants value that justifies or exceeds his price. Customers today have several options and alternatives. So, the question is, how can a company please and retain its customers? The answer is simple; customers' money should be valued. Customer value is a measure to determine the value of a product or service and compare it with its alternatives. It is a tool that determines whether the customer feels they are getting enough value for the money they have spent. So, technically, value serves as an insight into preventing customer regret.
The indicators of tourist loyalty, satisfaction, service quality, and social media content were selected as outcome categories in developing the research model. Studies show that loyal customers spend 67% more on products and services than new customers. So, even if most loyal customers make up only 20% of the audience, they provide up to 80% of revenue. When it is 5x easier to retain a customer than to acquire a new one, numbers like these are hard to ignore. Loyal customers are more likely than new customers to buy products and services from the same brand or store again.