IntroductionThe healthscape from Mayo Clinic is a critical marketing ploy. By bringing people together to share their stories and bond, the healthscape offers a variety of benefits. To better understand the importance of the healthscape, one must consider why it is marketing, the customer it serves, and the value of the atrium and the events hosted within.Why the Healthscape is MarketingThe healthscape is marketing for Mayo Clinic for several reasons. First, it employs a follower’s first approach on social media. Mayo Clinic utilizes social media to interact with patients and answer some of their questions, share their stories, campaign for awareness for various health concerns, etc. (5 Key Things That Make Mayo Clinic a Marketing Machine, 2016). This is a key marketing strategy, is it treats prospective patients like customers, while simultaneously targeting them through their favorite past time: social media.
CASE 31International Marketing Research at the Mayo ClinicIn recent years, however, it has begun to study the international patient population in particular and the international marketplace in general. These studies fall into a few categories and grow in number in proportion to the organization’s understanding (or per-haps greater understanding of how much it does not know) of the international marketplace. First, the Mayo Clinic tracks international patient trends rather carefully, which seems like an obvious place to start. But as in most data tracking, the value of the concept is signi±cantly more straightforward than the logistics of acquiring consistently reliable data. Internal data systems must be coordinated—a signi±cant undertaking for any institution, and particularly hard when deal-ing with a large and complicated infrastructure. To give a simple example, data ±elds must be made uniform—not just on one data system, but on all of them. Rather than a free-text ±eld, for ex-ample, that allows a registrant to enter Venzuela, or Venosuela, or Vensuala, or maybe even Venezuela, the Mayo Clinic pushes for a prede±ned ±eld that provides standardized information. The Clinic monitors international data by the quarter, carefully watching trends over time by country or region, tracking signi±-cant changes in volume, hospitalization rates, and percentage of new patients out of any given market. For example, it knows it has between 9,000 and 10,000 patients, depending on the year, from more than 160 different countries annually. Some are third-generation patients—maybe their grandfather was cured there in the 1930s—and others are brand new. Some are neighbors from Ontario or Monterrey; others come all the way from Indonesia. Some markets are signi±cantly less predictable than others, and some countries deliver more “new” patients than others. The Mayo Clinic probes further to ±gure out why. Second, it conducts research with internal salespeople—the physicians and their support staff who deliver care to international patients. Through carefully moderated focus groups, the Clinic identi±es the things that are going smoothly, as well as the barri-ers to providing excellent care. And where appropriate, it makes recommendations for change. Third, just as with U.S.-based patients, the healthcare insti-tute conducts both quantitative and qualitative research in the international marketplace, including research with patients, in-ternational physicians, and international healthcare consumers, designed to help it understand why people choose to leave their own communities for healthcare, why some of them come to Mayo Clinic, and why others do not. It works hard to under-stand how healthcare decisions are made so it can better as-sist decision makers, physicians, and their staff in providing care. The Clinic positions itself to offer counsel on where to best expend valuable institutional resources, both human and ±nancial. GLOBAL MARKET RESEARCH The marketing department conducts periodic and ongoing patient satisfaction studies with international patients, measuring their assessment of various aspects of the care provided. To date, the The Mayo Clinic, known for treating international leaders, re-cently saw the president of a central Africa country in its halls. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, was in Rochester, New York, for a checkup, clinic of±cials con±rmed. Security of±cers and limousines—not an uncommon sight in Rochester—signaled his visit. Nguema Mbasogo assumed the leadership of his country with a coup that overthrew his uncle. His country recently began working with the U.S. Agency for International Devel-opment, under the leadership of a dean of the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, to improve Equatorial Guinea’s social services. Dean J. Brian Atwood of the institute is overseeing this effort. He went to Equatorial Guinea in June, and a second meeting is scheduled for this month. The Mayo Clinic has a long international history, providing care to international patients since its inception. Despite its his-tory and reputation, however, the marketing staff continues to monitor the international market to gauge the level of awareness, reputation, and attractiveness of the Mayo Clinic around the world. This institution has used word-of-mouth marketing to maintain its global reputation. Marketing, as most formally de±ned, historically was not a critical factor in delivering patients to Mayo Clinic. Indeed, the marketing department at Mayo Clinic has existed for only the past 20 years, and patients have been coming for care for more than a century. The Clinic believes that the marketing department pro-vides valuable information to physicians and their support staff—information that helps them deliver better care, highlights their patients’ wants and needs, and educates them as to what’s going on in the marketplace. In reality, however, it’s the providers themselves—the doctors, nurses, receptionists, and all the rest of the allied health staff—who bring in business by creating positive experiences for patients. Pa-tients who leave Mayo Clinic highly satis±ed with their care will return to their communities in the United States and elsewhere and say good things to their family and friends. And these family members and friends in turn travel to Mayo Clinic when they need tertiary or quaternary medical care. Although the marketing divi-sion strives to provide excellent internal support, it is the doctors and other care providers who have created and maintained a brand of healthcare excellence. Despite the hype surrounding what has been presented as the highly lucrative international marketplace, “international” is not something new at Mayo Clinic. Experience and research indicates that “international” is a part of who the Clinic is, as well as how the market de±nes it. Nearly 100 years ago, the founders, a family of physicians named “Mayo,” created an international legacy by traveling around the world to compare notes and surgical approaches with physicians across the globe. In some cases, they even returned with international patients who were in need of additional expertise. As in so many other areas of medical practice, the current Mayo Clinic continues in these traditions.