Hospital Mobile Marketing

Healthcare Marketing: Mobile is Part of the Consumers’ Driving Experience

Consumers use mobile devices while driving.  And even though they are concerned about safety they refuse to give up their devices.  They even want more capabilities.       

Much is being discussed today about the dangers of using mobile devices while driving.  Some states have enacted laws making texting or the use of cell phone while driving illegal. But despite the safety concerns, drivers view cell phones and music players necessary items to their driving experience.  In fact, consumers want more capabilities and more convenience.

Rimma Katz reporting in an article for Mobile Marketer, cites a study conducted by G2 Marketing which indicates drivers are very much attached to their mobile devices, and feel disconnected without them.   The study indicated that drive time has become work-time or stay-in-touch time via phone calls.  Time spent driving is no longer viewed as down time but is used as catch-up time for business and personal conversations.

When confronted with the dangers of such activity, drivers were not willing to give up their devices but rather wanted hands-free capabilities. “Drivers wanted wireless capability permanently installed in their vehicles, using installed speakers, and felt his would allow them to pay more attention to the road while using their phone” stated Gretchen Gehrett, president of G2 marketing.

Gehrett continued, “Today’s in-vehicle environment reflects the societal trend of being given exactly what we want, when we want it.”  It’s all about convenience and maximizing the time we have.

The purpose here is not to discuss the pros and cons of using mobile devices while driving.  Or to highlight the potential safety hazards.  The intent is to point out how attached consumers are to their cell phones and how it is viewed as an ever-present necessity.  Mobile phones have become part of our person and we can hardly stand to be without them. That is a marketing lesson.  With people being more and more dependent on their phones, we must discover how to enter that world to effectively communicate and become engaged with consumers.

BMW claims to offer “The Ultimate Driving Experience” but it may be more certain to say that the driver and his cell phone is “the ultimate driving experience”.


Healthcare Marketing: We’re Going Mobile

With the increased penetration of smart phones, consumers are becoming more and more dependent on their cell phones for just about every form of communication.   This presents opportunities for companies, hospitals and brands to market themselves to consumers.

Over 82% of Americans now own a cell phone.  And 60% of those phones are less than a year old.  The increase in smart phones is growing exponentially.  And smart phones are equipped with more and more communication and information options. Soon the cellphone will be used for almost all forms of communication and information gathering – texting, emailing, internet search, GPS, electronic coupons, and more.

Consumers are connected to each other and the world via their cell phones. This creates opportunities for brands to market themselves to consumers via mobile marketing. One of the compelling advantages for mobile marketing is its omnipresence. Frank Powell recently discussed omnipresence as one of the advantages of mobile marketing in an article in Mobile Marketer.  He cites that mobile phone users are within arm’s reach of their phone 90% of their waking hours.  And much of this time is when other media are not available. Mobile phones are not location-centric but are person-centric.  They are where the owner is.

Powell cites in his article two main reasons why mobile marketing can be so powerful

1. Customers can always be reached.

2. Customers can almost always be interrupted.

Although the invasive nature of cellphones cause heartburn for many people, it is a medium that cannot be ignored.  Just as social media has begun to be included in hospital’s marketing plans, we must turn our eyes to mobile marketing and be ready to take advantage of the unlimited opportunities it will offer.  Never before has there been a medium that is so ever-present with our customers and patients. And there has never been a medium upon which our customers and patients have been so dependent.


Healthcare Marketing: The Power We Hold with Smart Phones

The American Red Cross has raised over $25 million with their “Text for Haiti Relief” effort.  

You may think texting is just for the kids.  We see teens and young adults texting all the time.  It is their primary mode of communication.  But make no mistake about it, texting is a powerful force –  even among adults.  The Red Cross’s use of texting to contribute $10 to the Haitian Relief Fund has raised over $25 million thus far.   At $10 per text, that translates into 2.4 million texts.

So texting is not just for the kids.  The effort by the Red Cross effort proves that people in very different demos utilize test messaging. And it proves texting can be very useful for more than just social communication.  In this case texting has even become a powerful force in fund-raising.  About 20% of all the funds raised for Haiti relief by the Red Cross have come from texting “Haiti” to 90999 to make a $10 contribution.

Just a year or so ago, who would have thought that $25 million could be raised from texting?  Texting is becoming more mainstream and is showing its usefulness in marketing.

This is a wake up call to healthcare marketers that text is emerging as a significant and powerful tool. Just when we decide to dip our toes in social media like Facebook and Twitter, along comes texting.  The Red Cross demonstrates the impact and power smart phones and texting are becoming.  It can no longer be ignored.

We are just on the front end of the learning curve of what cellphones and smart phones can do.  Marketers must pay attention, learn and explore creative uses for texting. $25 million dollars is a lot of money, especially in increments of $10.  A whole new adventure is in front of us.  There will be countless possibilities and opportunities to effectively use text messaging to achieve useful and worthwhile objectives.  What power we hold in our hands!


Hospital Advertising: TV Viewership Up – Mobile Marketing Down

Television viewership is up but mobile messaging is viewed less favorably.

With all the talk of the death of traditional advertising and the advent of new media, which some argue to be far superior, some recent trends dispel prevailing attitudes. Nielsen Research recently reported that TV viewership is at an all-time high.   And the average time spent watching television per day has increased to four hours and 49 minutes. Even though primetime viewing is relatively flat, it is at the highest levels since 1991.

On the other hand, Mark Dolliver reports in Adweek  that a BIGresearch study indicates that since June 2008, the percentages of people who don’t like mobile marketing has increased.  More specifically 67 percent don’t like text ads compared to 64 percent last year.

While new media offer unique opportunities, the rush to abandon traditional media for new media may be a bit premature.  Certainly hospital marketers should utilize new media to reach new consumers and to target specific audiences.  But to discount traditional media is a mistake.  Traditional media used correctly is still very effective.

Of course, the optimal approach is to combine traditional and new media for a well balanced and coordinated advertising strategy.  To ignore social media is like putting your head in the sand and refusing to recognize the unique opportunities it provides.  But to get carried away with the newness or novelty of something and forsake what has been consistently reliable is an equally severe mistake.

A strategic, coordinated advertising plan that takes advantage of each viable medium, both traditional and social options, is the best way to maximize effectiveness.