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10 More Compelling Reasons Healthcare Marketing Absolutely Must “Think Mobile”

By Kathy, Senior Marketing Strategist

Animated 3D stick figure doctor using stethoscope on iPad and iPhoneThe Internet assures me that “we look at our smartphones 150 times each day.” It must be true…I saw it on my smartphone. Look it up…I’ll wait.

But seriously…three things collided on our healthcare marketing radar recently. Collectively and individually they are sharp reminders that if your plans and strategy are not “thinking mobile,” your audience isn't going to get your marketing message. What caught our attention included...

Cleveland Clinic: The first attention-getter was our conversation the other day with Paul G. Matsen, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Cleveland Clinic about brand recognition. In this podcast interview, Paul cautioned fellow marketing professionals that “mobile has been transforming the Owned digital media space in the past three to five years, and this is going to continue.

“In August, 69 percent of the visits [among a total of 19-million visits] to the Cleveland Clinic website were made on a smartphone or tablet device.” His advice: “having a great mobile user experience is vital, build that into your planning, and think about responsive design. When you’re thinking about your search campaign, consider if they work on mobile devices.” Otherwise, much of your intended audience will miss the message.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Next across the digital transom was the release of Apple’s much-anticipated iPhone 6. Notwithstanding that the public will buy a bizillion Apple smartphones before the end of the year, Forbes reports that one-third of doctors might buy the iPhone 6. Roughly 85 percent of physicians are already using the iPhone, but the latest, greatest and bigger version will likely get traction with doctors, in part, because of the activity sensors and fitness features. Think "doctor," think mobile.

Apple iOS 8: The just-released operating system for iPhone owners—iOS 8—puts health and fitness on the main screen. Apple’s new HEALTH app for personal fitness tracking, along with Apple’s partnership with Mayo Clinic, will influence your healthcare marketing plan. It also sets the stage for the yet-to-be-released and health-monitoring enabled Apple Watch. Other mobile devices--including thousands of apps and health trackers--are also in the wellness/wearable biz. And many of those will communicate with the Apple Watch and iPhone combo. (More on that soon.) 

Even more compelling reasons healthcare needs to think mobile…

  • In January 2014—for the first time—Americans used smartphone and tablet apps more than PCs to access the Internet. [CNN Money]
  • Virtually everyone (91 percent of US adults) now own a mobile phone, and 61 percent of those are smartphones. [PewResearch] (We suspect that “dumb phones” are giving up territory fast.)

Pew Research graph

  • In the United States, there are about 143 million smart phones in use, and 71 million tablets. [Comscore]
  • Mobile ads outperform online ads. [iMedia Connection]
  • About one in four Americans use mobile devices (primarily tablets) exclusively to access the Internet. [MobileIndustry News]
  • In online search, the first four positions, (“above the fold”), receive 83 percent of first page organic clicks. For mobile devices, the average click through rate skews even more toward the first position. [Catalyst Research via Brent Carnduff]
  • Nearly one out of five Facebook users (189 million last year) are mobile-only. [Fast Company]
  • Industry monitors say that over three-quarters of Facebook users AND Twitter users are on mobile devices. And better than half (65%) of emails are opened first on a mobile device.

And some things you probably didn’t know...

  • Fee-for-service, charitable giving, hospital foundation contributions? Mobile payments are on the rise in retail business, service industries and charitable giving. Are you mobile-optimized for that? [AboutMoney]
  • Tablet users spend 50 percent more online than PC users. [Adobe]
  • The “checking habit” among smartphone users was the subject of a peer-reviewed study in the journal of Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. (Yes, there really is such a journal. Can't put it down.)
  • And, if you are addicted to your smartphone, WebMD provides a helping hand about “what to do and tips on reclaiming your time and concentration.” [WebMD]

RELATED READING: For more on this topic, see our previous posts:

Author: Kathy Gaughran


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