There’s a reason that casting villains is a successful health tourism marketing and advertising tactic for many years: We love to hate the enemy!

It is true: marketing that creates common enemies works because it unites us with groups of people we believe to be like us. How can we use this trait to enhance conversions in health care marketing?

Have you seen any advertisements featuring all of those Apple advertisements that paint PC users as pocket protector-wearing nerds?  That’s product marketing. Is health tourism a product? Of course it is. It is an export product, a service, and a necessity all wrapped up in one? So what is the enemy? What is the tie that binds consumers to want to pay attention and join the bandwagon of whatever it is you are offering?

Freedom from (fill in the blank): 

  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Disability
  • Cancer
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Addiction
  • Infertility
  • Being tethered to a place because of a dialysis regimen
  • Physical imitation
  • Healthcare Expense
  • Mediocrity of care quality, or
  • Something else

Relating to prospects’ pain in your health tourism marketing campaigns can also help you call attention to the benefits that your product or service brings.  With an enemy, it’s easier to tailor messages that play up your strengths. If your competitors are lacking in those areas, that resonates particularly well in the marketplace.  But what you don’t want to do is introduce the mere mention of your competitor in your health tourism marketing materials. So how do you phrase it?

So many healthcare marketing messages are simply sales pitches for procedures. “Come and buy a surgery!” or “We have blah blah blah commitment to blah blah blah”. Nobody cares about your commitment. That’s your business. They care about a solution to their problem, their pain, their limitation, their lack of freedom to travel and experience new places. They care about being addicted, sad, childless and they want an end to those problems.

Villainize the problem to resonate with consumers on a common enemy: diabetes, torn ligaments, kidney failure, physical disability, depression. 


Tactics are the actions or methods you employed to reach a goal. Technique is the style or form which you used to implement those actions or methods. Share your results below with other readers. What did you try when you used this technique or tactic? Would you try it again with another product in your service lines?

If you need help to brainstorm techniques and tactics, please call or write and let’s discuss it. Find me on Facebook at or add your question in the comment space below.