In a September 2013 AYTM Market Research survey, 26.4 percent of respondents reported using health-related apps. More than two-thirds of this group believed the apps had a significant impact on their health. And consulting firm Accenture recently found that nearly one in four direct sales force interactions have been replaced with digital interactions for targeting doctors, providers, payers and patients.
Apps are already widespread in our personal lives, used for everything from entertainment and travel to shopping and sharing. The statistics show that now more than ever, mobile and tablet apps are also critical to an effective marketing strategy. Apps can increase visibility among target audiences and drive brand engagement. The right apps even let you be interactive, share rich media, provide 3D product imagery and capture lead information that integrates with your CRM.
To app or not to app?
We recommend that you think about apps like any other marketing tool. To be effective, an app must support your business strategy – and either influence target audiences or support your internal teams.
Take a look at your existing content, processes and tools to see whether mobile and tablet apps make sense. These questions can get you started:
- Do you have existing content (such as white papers) that could be optimized and shared on e-readers and tablets?
- What type of interactions does marketing have with sales? Can an app serve as a “bridge” between these groups?
- How does the sales team obtain the marketing materials and support they need to be successful? Can they use a tablet for ease of use on the go?
- Could user experience be improved if an existing marketing tool was mobile ready?
- How do you interact with your target audiences today? Can the interaction be transformed or optimized with an app?
An app for every audience
Signal has a track record of helping clients make a splash with apps. Here are some of our ideas for life sciences audiences and the potential benefits.
- Improved medication adherence: Apps can be an extension of your existing patient-support initiatives. They allow you to share information on the benefits of taking the medication as prescribed. Additionally, daily reminders can help safeguard against missed doses, as can automatic refill reminders.
- Education on the go: Provide easy access to support resources, forums and online communities via mobile app.
- Better healthcare outcomes: Get patients engaged in improving their lifestyle using mobile games that also drive “stickiness.”
- Showcasing expertise: Give prospects interactive apps to showcase industry expertise, market differentiators and the caliber of your staff. For example, build an interactive map that pinpoints clinical trial sites across the globe or identifies where your consultants have successfully submitted regulatory applications and product registrations.
- Highlighting thought leadership: A mobile strategy also can bolster thought leadership campaigns. Give prospects access to “mini portfolios” of content specifically designed for mobile devices such as white papers, blogs posts, recorded webinars, videos and news articles. Or optimize white papers for e-readers so they can be easily downloaded from sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
- Education 24-7: Apps can share your user guides, training videos and provide an interactive product catalog with a selection tool to help prospects identify what they need.
- Instant access: Use mobile sales apps to provide the sales team with instant access to collateral materials, up-to-date presentations and other built-in support tools. Tablets applications have been instrumental in helping several Signal clients streamline their sales process and even shrink the sales cycle.
I hope this post has been helpful as you think about adding apps to your marketing strategy. Please feel free to ask questions or share thoughts in the comments section.
Want to learn more about the changing marketing landscape? Check out the rest of Signal’s new educational series, Life Sciences Marketing: Insights for Positive Outcomes in 2014.