The Mobile Tipping Point: Optimize Your Healthcare Site or Vanish

March 27, 2013
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Sometime this year, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide, according to a Gartner forecast.

Sometime this year, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide, according to a Gartner forecast. And with the mobile tipping point on the near horizon (or maybe here), it’s only smart marketing for hospitals and provider practices to have a mobile plan in place right now. Websites that are not optimized for mobile browsing will be left in the digital dust.

Unfortunately, many—perhaps most—healthcare sites and marketing plans have not ramped-up for this critical transition to mobile dominance. Everyone who is still on the sidelines risks a dramatic downturn in reaching their smartphone- and tablet-enabled audiences.

Gartner warns that “websites not optimized for the smaller-screen formats will become a market barrier for their owners—much content and many sites will need to be reformatted/rebuilt.” Prospective patients using a mobile device need to find your complete marketing message.

Take an informal survey of your own. Check with a dozen patients and a dozen colleagues. How many use mobile devices primarily? (How about yourself?) The mobile tipping point may have already reached your market. Some things to consider about the downside:

  • Mobile Web users make fewer clicks on a website than PC users; and in our experience,
  • Mobile users tend to be immediacy- and action-oriented;
  • Smartphone and mobile visitors are likely to be sophisticated and primary prospects.

Over 40 percent of all email is opened on mobile devices…

The swing from desktop to mobile also plays a critical role in email. As of the second half of 2012, “the proportion of email opened on mobile devices reached 41 percent,” according to a Knotice research report. What’s more, says Knotice, “mobile email opens is due to surpass desktop by the end of this year.”

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How Can Technology Personalize the Patient Experience?

The marketing lesson here is that email—like websites—needs to be optimized for mobile. Even more troubling is that few businesses (and even fewer healthcare marketers) have a clear strategy for mobile optimization.