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5 common mistakes in mobile healthcare

By Keith Betz

The way people consume media has fundamentally changed over the last few years, with mobile playing a huge role in that. Mobile’s utility and convenience has made it an integral part of consumers’ lives.

Forty-six percent of U.S. smartphone owners say that their smartphone is something they cannot live without, according to Pew research.

Mobile has also created incredible opportunities for brands to engage with consumers in ways never before possible.

Unfortunately, many brands and marketers are either making the same mistakes that they were making five years ago or they have not evolved at anywhere near the same rate that mobile technology has evolved.

Successful healthcare brands need to use mobile for its unique opportunity to talk to their consumer in key moments of receptivity.

Here are the most common mistakes that healthcare marketers make when building out their mobile strategies, and reaching the consumer at the right time:

1. Not thinking mobile-first. Mobile is no longer the second screen and the sooner that healthcare marketers realize that the better.

For years we heard about “the year of mobile.” We are past that. We now live in a mobile media world.

Mobile now accounts for more than half of all time spent on digital media and is the only major media channel expected to grow over the next two years, while all others – television, print, radio and desktop – decline, per eMarketer.

According to Pew, almost two-thirds of smartphone owners have used their phone in the past year to look up information about a health condition – that is hundreds of millions of patients.

2. Stopping at making your creative and content mobile-friendly. It is amazing how many brands are still just resizing their standard banners for mobile or who think it is enough to simply modify the layout of their content to make it mobile friendly.

The bar should not be “this looks OK when you are on a phone.” Mobile is an entirely different medium with its own unique features and capabilities.

Understand how your consumers want to interact with your brand on a mobile device.

What they want when they visit your site on a mobile device may be entirely different than what they want when they visit from a desktop.

Mobile is about utility. Understand what kind of utility your consumers want from you and how you can leverage the unique capabilities of mobile to provide it.

3. Forgetting about HCPs. Doctors have not somehow magically been unaffected by the mobile revolution. They have smartphones and tablets and they are using them.

Eighty-four percent of physicians use smartphones for professional purposes and 56 percent are using tablets, per Kantar data.

Doctors want utility just like everyone else.

The top types of health-related content that physician’s access from mobile devices are specialty/clinical content, pharmaceutical information, continuing medical education content and practice management content, according to MedData Group.

Mobile needs to be an integral part of your HCP strategy. Just like with consumers, make it easy for them to get what they need and what they want.

4. Not being targeted enough with your mobile media. It was not that long ago that geo-fencing a radius of a few miles around a specific event or location was seen as cutting edge.

The continued evolution of advertising technology and integration of different data sources into targeting have created opportunities to make your paid media far more impactful and efficient than ever before.

Instead of targeting a general demographic or shoppers of a certain store, target based on loyalty card and over-the-counter purchase data to reach people treating for a specific condition or using a competitor’s treatment.

If you want to reach people with a specific condition, instead of relying solely on condition-specific content, target with de-identified Rx and insurance claim data to reach them.

Instead of geo-fencing around HCP offices, target the specific building and floor that they are on and then use the geo-habits of people in that location to begin segmenting the audience between HCP and patients.

5. Measuring the wrong metrics, or establishing the wrong KPIs. Do you measure engagements or outcomes?

Click-through-rate, time on site and pages per visit are fine to look at relative to how people are engaging with your brand. But those types of metrics are not outcomes and they do not tell you whether your campaign is effective or if you are accomplishing your business objectives.

Measuring whether the consumers exposed to your campaign are going in store to purchase, are going to the see a doctor or are getting a script at the tactic- and publisher-level are outcomes.

You can have a tactic or a publisher with low engagement metrics be highly effective at driving your desired outcome.

Do not fall into the trap of trying to define success based solely on engagement metrics. Use the available data and technology to focus on outcomes.

Keith Betz is group account director for healthcare at Butler/Till, Rochester, NY. Reach him at [email protected]