An insightful Forbes.com article I came across discussed the difference between mobile-friendly marketing, what author Gabriel Shaoolian describes as “the bare minimum required in this day and age” and mobile-first marketing, which takes a step beyond the simplicity of mobile-friendly and standardizes mobile as the status quo in digital and multichannel marketing efforts.
The former had been acceptable, because until just a few years ago, desktop was the norm and mobile was the exception. The tables have turned.
Shaoolian described the shift as an evolution of technological refinement. “For a long time mobile remained something of an afterthought, and many people assumed users simply wouldn’t want to perform more complex tasks on their mobile devices,” explains Shaoolian. “But as devices became more sophisticated, usability improved and speeds got faster. Now mobile users will carry out nearly any conceivable task on their devices.”
That includes physicians looking for employment opportunities.
In one analysis, hospitals, healthcare, and biotech brands had the second-highest mobile readership at 55 percent. It’s suggested that in 2018, 8 in 10 email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices.
All of these arguments support why it’s imperative to incorporate mobile-first into your multichannel recruitment efforts. Otherwise, you’ll get left behind.
Email’s Role in a Mobile World
Another quote which really hit home was highlighted in a CampaignMonitor.com report: Don’t play inbox roulette in a multi-screen world.
Don’t play inbox roulette in a multi-screen world.
If you’re not optimizing email for mobile device consumption, you’re gambling with your marketing budget in a scenario where the house always wins. Unfortunately, many health system marketers are still lagging in making this critical shift.
It’s also important to make the distinction between optimizing for mobile and “adapting” for mobile. You can tweak content to make it fit a mobile device, but that’s not considering the entire design process. Leveraging mobile as a fully integrated platform must factor in these four principles:
1) Screen size: Design for the smallest screen size on the market. Don’t forget about previous generation smartphone models which may be limited to 3x4 inches. Responsive design—which can “read” conditions (screen resolution, screen size, and available fonts per different browsers) and adjust accordingly—helps avoid any rendering issues.
2) Mobile navigation behavior: Physicians don’t have time to suffer inconvenient design, including horizontal swiping and complex graphics that require a magnifying glass to interpret. A health system recruiter who makes communications as simple and clear as possible has an advantage over one who doesn’t.
3) Mobile mentality: Again, docs are busy. They don’t have the time nor the patience to search for value in your email. Mobile mentality—not just in the healthcare field but across the digital marketing board—dictates that once a recipient hits a lull in the “what’s in it for me” perspective, engagement slows or stalls. Make sure your calls to action (CTAs) are clear, concise, and easy to find.
4) Constraints of mobile networks and mobile devices: It’s 2018, but mobile networks continue to face speed and connectivity obstacles (despite what the commercials tout). Another barrier is that not all physicians are up to date on mobile device technology. An expert surgeon possessing years of experience who is current on the latest surgical techniques doesn’t necessarily translate to him having the latest and greatest iPhone—or if he does, knowing how to navigate it.
As mobile engagement takes hold, it doesn’t mean that desktop activity will cease to exist (yet). To cover all bases, design digital communications for the lowest common denominator.
Ease the Physician Experience
Physician recruitment is already challenging enough, given the dissonance of physician supply versus demand. Anything you can do to ease the experience of potential hires becomes points in your favor, including ensuring mobile communications are intelligible and actionable.
If you're heading to the 2018 NAPR/NALTO annual convention March 7-9 in Orlando, make sure to stop by our booth to discuss this topic, as well as even more ways to improve your recruitment efforts.