Posted: July 25, 2017

The following story is true.

One of our employees, Garett, recently went on a four-day, three-city trip – to Louisville, Nashville, and New York – without his wallet. He realized too late on the way to the airport that he’d left it at home, but he had his passport with him. So, he decided to wing it. No cash. No ID. Just a passport and a cellphone to get him through airports, hotels, dining out, meetings with clients, and transportation.

Because he had a mobile smartphone with him, he was able to:

• Cancel his rental cars – no ID, no renting
• Use Uber to get around
• Book, check in, and use digital keys for his hotels
• Pay for food at the airport with Apple Pay
• Pay for food with restaurant-specific apps
• He even got cash out of an ATM via Apple Pay

All this to say, we live in a mobile world. Garett traveled around the country without a wallet because he had his mobile phone. Mobile phones are everywhere. They’re an intrinsic part of our lives. I’d imagine had he left his phone at home instead of his wallet, he would have had a much harder time getting around.

And because we live in this mobile world, when you’re a marketer, mobile marketing is more important than ever. It’s essential.

When you can no longer argue the importance of mobile marketing, even in healthcare, you have to start looking at the data to understand consumer behavior, how it changes based on device type, what preferences people have, how you need to adjust to meet those differences and preferences.

Take a look at the facts:

• Worldwide, more than 3 billion people use the internet, 80% of whom access it from their smartphones.

• Last year mobile search was projected to generate 27.8 billion more queries than desktop.

84% of companies that describe themselves as “consumer centric” focus their efforts on the mobile consumer experience.

39% of consumers will stop engaging, or leave, a mobile site if the images take too long to load.

2 out of every 3 minutes online are spent on mobile devices.

So why wouldn’t you follow suit and focus your healthcare marketing efforts on the mobile experience? It translates to better consumer experience overall, and the horizontal companies that are giving mobile all the love are seeing great success.

Think about Amazon – a benchmark site for consumer experience. Whether you’re looking at their site on your laptop, tablet, phone, or using their mobile app, the experience is the same. The look and feel. The ease of use. The features, like a prominent search bar and product reviews and ratings.

In healthcare, we can apply the same principles as Amazon to meet consumer expectations and even improve rankings on Google, who take mobile responsiveness into account in their algorithms. Some of your consumers’ expectations are simply design-based. Is your site responsive? Or do consumers have to squint and scroll to find a search bar or cardiologist? Or maybe you have a mobile app. Does it offer all the most important features that consumers use on your regular site? Or can you only pay a bill from a desktop?

Perhaps the biggest difference a solid mobile marketing strategy can make in healthcare is in those “near me” search moments, the moments when a mom with a sick child is searching on her phone for pediatricians open near her location. In those “near me” moments, having a site that’s mobile friendly, ranks well, and offers relevant and valuable information like directions, provider profiles, provider ratings, even insurance types providers accept, can make all the difference in whether that mother calls your hospital or one that offers a better, easier, more consumer friendly mobile experience.

To win at mobile, you have to take all those factors into account, and make sure they deliver on the promises your brand makes on your regular site. The mobile view may be the only interaction some consumers ever have with your brand. So you want that impression to engage.

Want to learn more about what can help your health system deliver a more successful consumer experience? Read our white paper, Bringing the Amazon Experience to Healthcare.