Mobile technology is driving the healthcare revolution. It has also had a dramatic effect on how doctors and patients interact and how they access and communicate healthcare information. Smartphones, iPads, remote monitoring devices, mobile health (mHealth) apps, cloud-based computing among other such technological advances are re-writing the healthcare delivery script for both doctors and patients. Forbes, in fact, has named 2013 as the year of digital health. Why? Well, according to the 2012 comScore Physician Mobile Survey, today 60 percent of doctors access health-specific content that is online via their mobile devices, while 44 percent used tablet computers to do the same.
THE CONNECTED WORLD: MOBILE USAGE TRENDS
A large majority of cosmetic surgery patients are affluent and they are already utilizing mobile technology in their decision making process. This makes it imperative for cosmetic surgeons to build on their mobile marketing strategy if they want to generate more business and retain their current client base.
Here are a few interesting mobile usage trends:
- 91% of American adults own a mobile phone
- 56% of American adults own a smartphone
- 34% of American adults own a tablet computer
- 28% of Americans own an Android phone; 25% own an iPhone; and 4% own a Blackberry
- 84% of mobile phone owners say they cannot go a single day without their mobile device
- 2012 Saw an 81% growth in smartphone usage
- 51% of traffic on mobile devices in 2012 was video-based
- 12-fold increase was seen in mobile traffic in 2012 compared to the Internet in 2000
- 2013 will see mobile-connected devices surpassing the global population
- By 2015, there will be more than 7.1 billion mobile devices users
These figures indicate the extensive impact that mobile technology has on users. If cosmetic surgery practices don't respond and adapt to these changing trends, they will miss out on an effective means of reaching and connecting with their target audience.
MOBILE MARKETING FOR PLASTIC SURGEONS
It really should not surprise you to know that more people today own a mobile device as opposed to a toothbrush—4.8 billion people own a mobile phone while 4.2 billion people own a toothbrush. Then again, numerous studies have indicated the growing connection between health-related searches and mobile phones.
- 20% of health consumers look up health-related content on their mobile devices.
- Health specific searches on Google went up 47% last year. However, mobile Internet consumption is expected to beat traditional desktop usage in the coming year.
Factor in these two statistics and we have one glaring trend— The Growing number of mobile phone users equals more informed consumers. These informed consumers are obviously going to patronize cosmetic surgery practices that utilize intelligent and sophisticated Internet marketing avenues.
SMART MOBILE MARKETING IDEAS FOR COSMETIC SURGERY PRACTICES: THE MOBILE PLATFORM
- Make it easy for your clients to find and contact your office.
- Design mobile friendly menus along with descriptions and graphics.
- Include your practical information such as your practice history and surgeon bio.
- Publish photos of your previous work; ensure they are optimized for a smartphone.
- Create external links that connect to your Facebook, Twitter, and other social profiles, and embed smartphone optimized YouTube videos into your mobile site.
THE SHORT MESSAGE SERVICE (SMS) PLATFORM
- Create an appointment scheduling and reminder service platform.
- Include a short opt-in code for getting more information.
- Create a patient list and mass message all important announcements.
- Create mobile coupons that can be delivered via mobile web/SMS code.
- Design and develop patient polls to gauge practice perception and to gain valuable patient feedback.
- Post important announcements and coupons to your social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter.
Mobile technology is changing for the better with each passing minute. The advent of the smartphone era in fact revolutionized the way patients interact with their doctors and today more than ever, patients are increasingly dependent on their mobile devices. A distinct benchmark is associated with the user of a smartphone; the more high-end the device, the higher is this distinction. Mobile marketing for cosmetic surgeons is evolving in a big way; cosmetic surgeons can use mobile marketing tools to reach out to their sophisticated clientele or ignore the movement and stick to the dusty, deserted marketing roads of days gone by.
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa.com. Ekwa Marketing is a complete Internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media marketing, and the online reputations of dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the US, Canada, and the UK. Visit them online at www.ekwa.com.