Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mobile Medicine and Healthcare

With more and more physicians and patients (consumers) using PDAs and Smartphones, mobile marketing has become a critical channel of communication between Doctor and patient.  Proper implementation of a strategy featuring mobile applications can go a long way in helping physicians build their business and maintain successful relationships with their customers, the patient.  Doctors would gain a great deal by just merely implementing a more user friendly, informative mobile website. Indeed this is a much less expensive solution than implementing a mobile App.  Furthermore, there is no need to worry about platform implementation i.e. creating an app for the iPhone or the Pre or any other format.  For example a mobile App for the iPhone would likely only reach 25 percent of users.  Mobile specific websites would reach a much larger demographic because at least one third of all users have Internet access on their phones.

Doctors need to consider a mobile marketing strategy as the growth in smartphone usage continues and the consumer expects to be able to communicate with their healthcare providers at any time of the day, and anywhere.  In fact, medical Apps is one the fastest growing categories in the Apple App Store with about 2000 Apps already available.  Consumers are therefore hungry for medical information on their smartphones. 

Some simple advice to physicians thinking about implementing a mobile marketing strategy:
  • Consider who your target market is.  Is it really local?  Therefore consider location based marketing techniques including Facebook Advertising.
  • Try out an online mobile phone simulator to see if your website is mobile-friendly and easily navigable on a smartphone, before embarking on building a brand new site.
  • You may wish to just simplify what you already have; cut out the bells and whistles and just make sure it is easy to navigate on a small screen.
  • The most important information should be viewable at the top of the screen.  Don’t make your patients have to scroll down to find what they want.  (Think like you are a user.)
  • Provide a back button for convenience, as most phones don’t have a physical back button like a computer keyboard.  
These little things make all the difference to the user experience. 
For more information and marketing consultation, please contact me via this Blog.  Or , tell us about your healthcare mobile marketing experience.


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