Paper info: Is context important in healthcare marketing? A comparison between developed and emerging markets
Is context important in healthcare marketing? A comparison between developed and emerging markets
Akmal S. Hyder and Maria Fregidou-Malama
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Sri Lanka in 2018.
Context has been discussed in international business relating to marketing. We argue that understanding context is important in healthcare marketing as it deals with a complex issue of human health and comfort. This paper explores how service providers confront with contextual complexity and deal with marketing of healthcare services in developed and emerging markets. Four case studies have been conducted on a Swedish multinational firm operating in two developed and two emerging markets. By applying a qualitative method, data was collected through interviews, observations and secondary materials like annual reports and firm documents. A theoretical framework based on context, trust and network has been used to conduct the study. Operations in both developed and emerging markets emphasized individual and organizational trust but country level trust was only recognized in the emerging markets. In the developed market, the local customers emphasized on the written agreements. In contrast, emerging market customers put emphasis on informal relationship and considered agreements more as guidelines. Network development was highlighted in both developed and emerging markets to get competence and access to right partners