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Think Health with Google: The Mobile-Empowered Human

Tracie Biggerstaff

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On April 18, 2013, Intouch Solutions attended Google’s Think Health event in New York City. This was an exciting day for healthcare and pharmaceutical marketers to come together and hear what the great and powerful Google had to share surrounding one of the most restricted, regulated and conservative fields in advertising. The hot topic of conversation this year? Mobile.Understand the Mobile User Experience

Health marketers have accepted that the world is now mobile. The question is no longer "why" marketers should pay attention to the mobile medium, but instead "how" to win in mobile. How can health marketers leverage the mobile platform to build ecosystems around a brand and help empowered healthcare consumers maintain wellness?

First, it’s important to understand how healthcare users utilize their various devices to find health-related information:

Today, most people are in front of and actively engaged in multiple screens at the same time. Google published some compelling research on how people use different screens and devices and how they can be used together.

  • Most of our media time is spent in front of a computer, smartphone, tablet or TV. In fact, today, 90% of all media interactions are screen-based, with print and radio at 10%
  • The device/screen we use is based upon where we are, what we want and the amount of time required to assist us with what we are looking for. It is more important than ever to ensure we are connecting with potential customers on each device in the ways that they are being used
    • Computers keep us informed:Task-oriented; geared toward finding information and keeping up-to-date. They require more time and attention and are the devices you use for work or to do product research to better inform a purchasing decision
    • Smartphones keep us connected:On-the-go connectivity for entertainment and communication. These devices are important for acquiring information quickly — in the car looking for a store or waiting in line looking for entertainment
    • Tablets keep us entertained:Primarily used at home for entertainment. These devices require more time but with a relaxed, leisurely approach (e.g., reading, shopping around).
  • Google identifies that there are two types of multi-screening usage: sequential screening and simultaneous screening
    • Sequential screening:When we move between devices. For example, you are on the bus looking at your emails, see a Groupon for spa services, and when you get home, you use your laptop to visit the spa website to help you decide whether you want to purchase this Groupon. Overall, 90% use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time.
    • Simultaneous screening:When we use multiple devices in one sitting. For example, if you are watching TV and commercials come on, you might search a product online that triggers your interest or flip to your tablet or smartphone to go on Facebook.
Create Moments that Matter

All this information is great, but what matters most is how marketers use this information to create, in Google’s terms, "the moments that matter." When is your target audience online? When are they on mobile? What are they most likely to search for on either device? Is there a difference in time of day or day of week? With this information, you can cater to your audience by giving them exactly what they want and making it easy to comprehend and navigate.

For example, a worried mother is at home with a daughter complaining of not feeling well. So, she searches for "flu symptoms" at home on a laptop. The mother notices an advertisement for a doctor’s office in her area that is wisely calling directly to her needs. There’s even a map provided for where the doctor’s office is located with the address, telephone number and hours of business all on the same screen. It makes the decision much easier for the mother since she’s not having to click around multiple times to find this information. This is a great example of creating a moment that matters. Be there in the right place at the right time with the right information.

So how do you know if you’re winning in the moments that matter? Here are a few things that pharma brand managers should keep in mind:

  • Are you discoverable? Can HCPs/patients easily find you? On all devices? All the time?
  • What is the experience like? Does it lead to the next logical action?
  • Are you delivering the right solution for each context/device? Do you know the value you are delivering at each moment?

Create a good mobile experience for your user. One that is relevant, easy to navigate and easy to use in any context. Consider a liquid brand experience that can operate well across all devices with a noticeable campaign.

The Mobile Opportunity for Pharma

Google’s roots as a company were as a search engine, long before we all carried smartphones. But, based on this year’s ThinkHealth event, it’s clear Google recognizes the significance of mobile and its tremendous influence on how users search and navigate information today. Pharma marketers, too, should focus their efforts on recognizing the pervasiveness of the mobile channel, understanding the mobile user experience and using that information to create moments that matter.

Intouch Solutions regularly counsels our healthcare clients on the intersection of search, mobile and other digital components and how they can best be leveraged to reach customers. Learn more about the award-winning GoMeals app we created for client Sanofi and see our list of mobile-related services here. Contact Intouch Solutions for more tips, advice and support on creating a mobile experience for your brand.

For more insights from conferences the Intouch team has attended click here.

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