The tools of hospital marketing are always adapting to the nearly ubiquitous Internet, but if you don't already have a mobile strategy, you're going to need one. The reason: The smartphone is a small and highly mobile computer that puts the Internet into nearly everyone's pocket.
A Mobile Strategy? When healthcare marketing budgets are tight and resources are stretched, who needs "one more thing?" Perhaps you already have a mobile strategy, and if that's the case, you can grow from there. But if you're on the sidelines looking for justification, take a few quiet moments to digest the following numbers.
Internet access is already a mainstream fact of life for most American households. But the Internet-once heavily anchored to a desktop in the family room-left the building ages ago via portable laptop. And now, even a notebook computer is not as close, convenient and immediate as a smartphone.
About one third (35 percent) of American adults, says the Pew Internet Project, own smartphones. (We wonder if that isn't a conservative finding.) The numbers run even higher in upscale and educated demographic groups.
What's more, some 87 percent of smartphone owners access the Internet or email on their handheld, according the Pew report. The smartphone is becoming the device of choice for going online-25 percent of users mainly use the smartphone.
Doctors are at the front of the mobile revolution. Today, nearly 65 percent of physicians use smartphones, according to Manhattan Research, with nearly all of them (95 percent) going online for clinical content. By 2012, physician smartphone adoption is expected to reach 81 percent penetration and about half of this group will expand the use their devices to include administrative functions, learning and patient care.
Within the next two years, half of all web traffic will be from mobile devices. And by the end of the decade, mobile devices will be the primary connecting point for the Internet, experts predict. We're talking about smartphones (iPhone being one of the leaders of the pack), as well as the new wave of tablet devices (where iPad is a big hit). The social media phenomenon-including Facebook and Twitter-is increasingly accessed from mobile devices.
Get started on a new or revised hospital marketing mobile strategy with the help of these six questions. Everyone's plan will take a different shape, but here are some challenge questions to begin the process.
Review your hospital blog, your hospital Facebook page, your Twitter profile/picture or logo, enewsletter and/or email, and all other online communications. If your website is a few years old-before the rise of mobile's popularity-it's time to rebuild or start over with mobile viewers in mind. Let us know if you'd like a candid website review.
Some examples-for now or soon-include website and text messaging of hospital ER and department waiting times; text reminders about medications; exercise or smoking cessation support; mother and family (neonatal) programs; and medical appointment and follow-up reminders.
We're here to help, so let us know what you see by looking
at your hospital marketing through a 4.0 inch mobile display.
Give us a call on your smartphone at (800) 656-0907, or connect
with us here.
"Want to be famous? Share your marketing success story,
and we just might write a case study about you."