Where are your Patients? Use Locative Media to Find Them

More and more consumers are carrying Internet-enabled devices that come equipped with global positioning systems (GPS). Although consumers are using GPS to find their way from point “A” to point “B,” companies are, in turn, discovering how to leverage GPS capabilities to find new customers and build brand loyalty. Since its onset, location-based technology has largely been used by retailers to increase foot traffic and mobile commerce. Led by the concept of seek and serve, they have created mobile applications that put coupons and discount codes literally at the consumer’s touch screen fingertips as they travel within close proximity of the nearest brick-and-mortar store. The path these retailers paved now provides medical marketers with a unique opportunity to reach patients in real-time based on their actual, physical location.

Below are three easy steps that can help those in the medical sector leverage the advantages of locative media.

Determine the need/consumption profile: If you – the marketer – are able to ascertain the end user’s exact location and you are able to target useful information at that point in time, the benefits are shared mutually between you and the end user. However, depending on where, when, how, with whom, and why customers are navigating in physical space, their needs will vary. For example, a married father who is taking their child to soccer practice after work is going to have a different agenda than a single, recent college graduate out shopping. The first step in utilizing location-based technology is to identify your target audience and develop a need/consumption profile.

Offer a clear value to the customer to drive user engagement: Once the target and profile are established, create marketing content that offers a clear and authentic value to the end user. A silly ad is meaningless to a person with a to-do list a mile long and not enough time in the day, but an application that will make their lives a little easier is one worth using. As patients who have downloaded your app drive in the vicinity of your medical practice, the app can send an alert to their phone with a reminder that they are overdue for teeth whitening or their regular mammogram, and provide them with the online tools to schedule their next appointment. An application like this will help them realize the satisfaction of crossing out another item on their to-do list, and it will help you increase patient volume. For out-of-town patients travelling to your office for all-day diagnostic testing or treatment, create an app that helps them find local eateries, places to stay overnight, or areas of interest to explore in the downtime.

Take users’ digital privacy seriously: Lost or stolen mobile devices and digital fraud have slowed the adoption of mobile commerce. Not only are people hesitant to send sensitive information through their mobile device, but they are weary of pervasive, ‘big brother’ technology that can determine their physical location. It is up to you to alleviate patient privacy fears by implementing secure network and encryption technologies to curb illegal activity and by developing clean communication strategies to interact with customers and allay their fears.

DDA Medical builds mobile applications that are both purposeful and entertaining with measureable impact for the business and end user. We have experience using location-based technology for a variety of industry sectors and healthcare is no exception. Contact us by phone at 215-355-6442 or email at info@ddamedical.com to learn more.