- Posted by Nigel Edelshain
- On December 4, 2015
- Mobile marketing
We sure do love our phones.
- 46 percent of smartphone owners “couldn’t live without” their phone (Pew)
- 80 percent of millennials say their smartphone is the first thing they reach for when they wake up (Zogby)
- 87 percent of millennials say their smartphone never leaves their side (Zogby)
We used to talk in digital marketing about designing for the “second screen”, meaning phones. But today we need to think of smartphones as our patient’s “first screen.” This means making your marketing look great on a phone even if that means it looks less great on a desktop.
New research from Google highlights where we need to focus our attention as marketers.
Google has coined a new term “micro-moments” to describe how consumers interact with their phones today.
According to Kleiner Perkins, we interact with our smartphone between 80 and 150 times per day but each interaction is very short, averaging 1 minute 10 seconds. These short interactions are what Google is calling “micro-moments” and our marketing needs to be designed to be effective in these very short chunks of time (and on a small screen).
Google defines the four types of “micro-moments” as:
Source: think with Google
“To-know” micro-moments occur when we are searching for information. We need to know something.
Examples of “to-know” micro-moments in healthcare include:
- Looking up symptoms to understand what you may be suffering from
- Researching information related to an ongoing chronic condition
- Searching for options to address your symptoms
- Evaluating procedure and medication options
None of this behavior is new. 72% of consumers go on the Internet to search for health information. But the behavior that Google’s research highlights is how patients may be doing this on their phones and how they may be doing this during a micro-moment, i.e. while they are waiting for a bus.
Consumers may come back to their laptop once they have found something of interest but their first interaction with your brand may be for 60 seconds through a phone.
Google recommends that your information be made available in “snackable” chunks. This information could be in text form but the reader must be able to clearly see what’s in it for them quickly.
To-Do micro-moments occur when we need to know how to-do something.
Examples of healthcare content that could satisfy this need:
- A blog post that explains to a patient how to check their symptoms, answering a question in their mind such as “how to tell if you might have strep”.
- A video showing how to treat a common condition such as “how to treat a minor burn”.
- An ebook with healthy living tips such as how to build up your running distance
Whatever information is covered it needs to be delivered in snackable “bites” that patients can consume on their smartphone in a minute or less.
Source: think with Google
Increasingly consumers that decide they need medical attention, or a professional opinion, use their smartphones to search for doctors.
Do your physicians show up in these local searches? What keywords do they show up for? Are they on page one of the search results for those keywords? Is all their information accurate or do they have incorrect phone numbers or duplicate listings?
Online reviews are also critical. If a patient finds one of your physicians, what reviews will they see? If their first interaction with your doctor’s reputation is a 1- or 2-star review, they will probably go no further.
Health system marketers need to take control of their physicians’ directory listings so they show up in local search. Directory listings are the #1 factor in local search rankings. Marketers also need to proactively gather positive reviews for their physicians so their ratings grow their reputation not hold it back.
Local Ranking Factors 2015, Source: Moz
The final micro-moment is “to-buy.” In a hospital context this means to schedule an appointment.
Can patients do this with ease on your website, or app, while waiting in line at the post office? How frictionless is your appointment system when consumers only have a micro-moment?
Smartphones are sure to be a big factor in health system marketing in 2016. If you’d like to know more about the other big trends in hospital marketing in 2016, check out our ebook 13 Imperatives for Hospital Marketers from 13 Top Experts.