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Healthcare Consumers in Asia: A Growing Market Online

Asian consumers are becoming active online customers by the millions. As a globally integrated company, you want to take advantage of the excellent potential to expand your reach as a company. However, it is important to recognize that the same marketing and advertising channels that assisted you in your success in other parts of the world may not be immediately relevant to the work you wish to do in Asian countries. A few things to know about this growing market include:

  • According to Euromonitor International, more than 1.6 billion of the 3.6 billion internet users in the world are now in the Asia Pacific region, and this area skews young – about half of the world’s population under 30 also lives in this zone. Recognizing that your potential audience is both digitally connected and young can be helpful in your choices about branding and marketing.
  • Much of this newfound internet capacity is driven by smartphones, not desktops and laptops – for instance, online purchases in China in particular are made on smartphones 73% of the time.
  • New technologies for in-person payment, including proximity payment systems through a smartphone app, are most saturated in the United States and China – there is substantial room for growth with these two countries leading the way.

Reaching New Markets with Healthcare and Medical Services

Specifically, in the healthcare and medical sector, it is important to attune digital services to the regulations and standards of each individual country and to work through platforms that will be recognizable and clear to the residents of an area. When you partner your company’s health-related digital products and services with excellent translation services and digital marketing, you can create a powerful new product that has the potential to reach millions of people.

However, such products and services tend to perform best when they are truly connected to the potential customer. Rather than just translating word-for-word a product that has been effective in an English-speaking place, it is essential to do some market research and fill the gap in the mobile health and medicine marketplace of that country.

How to Market Healthcare and Medical Services to Consumers in Asia

  • Don’t think only about language groups; get granular and market to individual regions and cities. One valuable option is to aim a limited product release toward a particular city in Asia, allowing you to do relevant beta testing and usability studies with people in that place. Use what you learn to make educated choices about how to structure future city and regional releases of your mobile platforms, but don’t assume that every city will respond the same way to a particular mobile healthcare initiative.
  • Even if you are a large company and wish to leverage the work you already do in English, recognize that an on-the-ground team in your target market is essential to the success of a healthcare and medical initiative, even if it is entirely based online. Excellent translations and interpretation are key, but market research will be much better if it is conducted on-site.
  • Use potential competitors as insight into the local healthcare/marketing needs. What applications are growing popular among Asian consumers in your target market? How are healthcare and medical decisions changing in your area, especially as more and more people “go digital” for so many aspects of their lives? What, based on the popularity of other apps, might be the next big thing?
  • Lastly, recognize that a few very large companies have achieved “super app” success in various countries in Asia; the popularity of WeChat, for instance, shows that there are platforms that reach a very wide demographic. When you are ready to move your initiative into many Asian cities, consider how to use a multi-channel approach to get the word out very effectively among a digital-first generation.

If you would like a free consultation, please do not hesitate to reach out to ISI Language Solutions at We can help with a variety of healthcare and interpretation services that work for you!



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