By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
If you don’t have a mobile strategy for your healthcare marketing, your online presence may have disappeared from view. The critical question is: Is your medical, dental or hospital ready for the “small screen?”
Just when you thought your healthcare marketing website was completely functional, along comes an overpowering wave of smartphones and mobile devices. Suddenly your online message has moved from desktop, to laptop, and now to tablet and smartphone.
To validate this trend, here are some of the numbers…although you likely know about this intuitively:
- 101.3 million US mobile subscribers use smartphones, up 13 percent since October 2011. [comScore]
- 234 million Americans (13 and older) used mobile devices in general. [comScore]
- Soon after launching its new iPad last month, Apple announced that three million devices were sold worldwide in the first three days. [Apple]
- It’s not just Apple. In 2011, smartphone and tablet shipments exceed desktop and notebook shipments for the first time. [KPCB]
- In the US, mobile users reached 76 percent penetration in 2011 (and growing). [KPCB]
As connected users themselves, most healthcare marketing professionals and marketing savvy practitioners already own and use a smartphone…and likely a tablet as well. Apple’s iPhone and iPad products are especially popular among doctors and medical professionals.
Recently constructed websites can usually—but not always—be viewed on a mobile device. It’s important to check your mobile presence and bring it up to date. Here are some initial things to consider:
1. Review your website and online presence. A third-party—one that’s marketing and technically grounded—can provide solid, and independent, feedback and “fix” recommendations.
2. See yourself as others see you. Test on various platforms including iPhone and Android operating systems as well as a selection of browsers.
3. If your website is over three or four years old, you should probably rebuild. Not long ago, the preferred method of building websites used HTML (Hypertext Markup Language). The HTML code does not always display properly on mobile phones.
4. Check usability in the small form. Although you can see a regular website on the screen of a mobile device, the navigation and content are tiny, and usability (navigating via touch screen) can be a challenge.
5. Is your website searchable on mobile devices and are your emails mobile friendly?
6. Are you using online and mobile advertising? Should you?
Mobile devices and broadband connections are now mainstream, and online healthcare marketing isn’t confined to the “big screen” of laptop or desktop. Are you ready to move up to mobile’s small screen? That’s where your audience is these days. Read more about Mobile Strategy and How to Get Started in this previous article.