According to a recent marketing survey, 66.3 percent of hospital marketers said traditional channels, such as print, direct mail and radio, accounted for the core of their integrated marketing budgets today, compared to 9.9 percent who said online channels such as search engine marketing (SEM), display advertising and social media were the core.
By 2013, hospital marketers predict that traditional and digital marketing channels will dramatically shift and flip-flop in terms of importance. The rapid proliferation of digital outlets, such as social, video and mobile in hospital marketing will rapidly change how you craft your overall marketing plan. But the question is do you have a plan in place?
Based on the data, the biggest weakness hospitals have is integrating mobile into their marketing plan. They have the money to invest in mobile but don’t have a clear objective on what they should be getting out of it. Well here are a few ideas of where to get started:
- The first thing you should have is a mobile-friendly website. According to Microsoft, 50 percent of all search queries on mobile devices have a local intent. If they are looking for a hospital in your area, you need to make sure it is properly optimized for mobile viewing. The last thing you want is a person to find your website and bounce right off of it because it isn’t easy to navigate. Remember, attention spans these days are extremely limited. If they can’t find what they want quickly, they are gone!
- Another way to utilize mobile is by creating SMS appointment reminders for patients. Everyone these days is using text messaging. Wouldn’t it be great to give patients reminders of their upcoming appointments by texting them! This will also allow office and hospital managers to be able to focus on other items – such as billing.
- Lastly, hospitals can create and utilize mobile applications (apps) for refilling patient prescriptions. With just a few clicks a doctor can be notified that their patient needs a prescription refilled, which makes it much quicker for them to notify the pharmacy.
It is no surprise that hospitals lack digital experience and are unprepared when it comes to mobile marketing. Today, the majority of hospitals, large or small, are limited to one staff member dedicated to digital. And nearly 10 percent of larger hospitals (401+ beds) and 27 percent of smaller hospitals (fewer than 401 beds) don’t even have a single dedicated employee focused on web or online activities. This is a need that can’t be overlooked, if you want to stay ahead of the times.
This is where Wax Custom Communications can help. We understand your business and can help you get the creative edge when it comes to mobile and digital marketing. For more information, visit http://www.waxcom.com.