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Opportunity Won or Lost in a Healthcare Digital Nanosecond

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

[Emerging consumerism series article] Healthcare’s traditional delivery systems and marketing means and methods are changing rapidly. Hospitals, providers and forward-thinking professionals are tracking the online shift to consumerism.

GPS map on screen with a thumbtack on destinationHyperbole is a headline attention-getter. In this instance, a nanosecond doesn’t mean an actual one-billionth of a second…but it’s close. Hopefully, in the minute or so that it takes to read this post, you’ll appreciate how healthcare business opportunity can be won or lost in an exceptionally brief moment.

Healthcare marketing’s new consumerism in the digital age moves rapidly. A nanosecond—perhaps figuratively speaking, or maybe literally. You judge. As consumers ourselves, all of us can relate to the idea of searching for an immediate, local answer to a “want-it-now” moment.

"The evolution of technology adoption and usage" Infographic The first bit of evidence is the ever-present smartphone in your pocket. Statistically, nearly everyone (over 77 percent) of US adults own a smartphone, 51 percent own a tablet, and 88 percent use the Internet. (And these numbers continue to grow.)

Consumers want close and convenient answers…

Answering the healthcare shoppers’ needs and wants are becoming similar to the typical retail purchase experience. More than 30 percent of mobile searches are related to location. When people know what they want and are ready to purchase, they need to know where and how.

Maybe you want to find an iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato, a helpful handyman service or a hospital emergency room—local search delivers the answer. Geographic proximity—including location markers, map, driving directions, phone number, etc.—is vital to completing the “ready-to-buy” consumer moment.

They want an instant and convenient answer, and in the retail world, almost 80 percent of local searches become a local purchase. Local Search Engine Optimization, and mobile and voice optimization need to produce nanosecond results.

And they expect to see results instantly…

Here’s another page from your personal web experience. You and I (and the typical visitor) will not wait for a website or landing page to appear. It’s now or we’re gone. Maybe we’re spoiled by having pages and pages of Google search results of “about 172,000,000 results in 0.97 seconds.” Not quite a nano-anything, but “nearly immediate” is fast enough.

How fast a web page loads, or presents itself to the visitor, is called “Site Speed” in Google-talk. What’s more, Google considers this as one ranking factor. Plus, a “too-slow page” means an opportunity lost—the would-be visitor is already onboard a competitor’s page.

The widely-respected HubSpot Academy recommends an ideal page load speed to be less than 1.5 seconds. Other surveys say the majority of users expect a site to load in two seconds or less. The consequence is that visitors begin their exodus within three seconds.

New business opportunity passes in a fraction of a second…

SEO experts remind us that “site speed” is important to Google, as are many other factors. But where opportunity is won or lost is in failing to deliver a solution that is local, fast and convenient. Providers that answer this need win the attention and the business of Internet visitors.

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