Kagan Seymenoglu of Longevita tells us about medical tourism.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Kagan Seymenoglu: Thank you. We are well. I hope you and your team are doing well too.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Longevita.
Kagan Seymenoglu: I come from a corporate background. I worked for Fortune 500 companies in the automotive and financial services industries in London, New York, and Istanbul prior to setting up my own medical tourism business, Longevita.
How does Longevita market its product/services online?
Kagan Seymenoglu: We are active in pretty much all pillars of digital marketing. We perform search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, email, and SMS campaigns, as well as affiliate marketing. We have three websites and post regularly on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, thanks to the visual nature of our industry.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Kagan Seymenoglu: There were no flights between the UK and Turkey for 3.5 months in 2020 and 9 months in 2021, so our core medical travel business from the UK to Turkey was severely impacted. We did not let any of our staff go but applied for the furlough schemes in both countries. Thanks to the government support during Covid-19, we managed the hard times. Also, we were able to launch hair transplant and cosmetic surgery in London, UK, for our patients who were not able to fly to Turkey. We were the only provider in our industry who adapted this quickly and offered this service, which has become one of the most important pillars of our business today.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Kagan Seymenoglu: We use Zoho’s applications for social media marketing, SMS, and email campaigns. The agencies we work with use SEMRush and Ahrefs for SEO. We have an in-house digital marketing team for content marketing who regularly publish fresh content on our WordPress websites. We use Facebook and Instagram Ads too.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kagan Seymenoglu: Medical tourism market is very fragmented with lots of SMEs; therefore, competition is very fierce. We compete with other facilitators and international patient departments of large hospitals in Turkey. There are also private practices set up by a small group of surgeons who started to become active in this space.
Your final thoughts?
Kagan Seymenoglu: Medical tourism has been on the rise in the last 10 years, and it is still growing. It proved its resilience during COVID-19 as demand for cosmetic procedures continued to flourish. It would be interesting to see how regulation in different countries will develop and if any disruptors in this market would come into play. I believe the major contributor to this is social media and the impact of FOMO – fear of missing out. You see a lot of influencers promoting cosmetic procedures on Instagram, and inevitably their actions boost demand. The number of people seeking to look beautiful and younger has been increasing even among young people who want to look their best. We have seen during COVID-19 that FOMO was more powerful than fear of getting the virus.