Mobile platform to ease prescription communication for US doctors

Smartphone for medical useA healthcare communications network in the USA has revealed a new mobile platform for managing prescription plans.

NaviNet, a web-based provider of health messaging systems, will be using a system called Mobile Connect for PBMs (Pharmacy Benefit Managers) to allow pharmaceutical companies to communicate with doctors and insurance providers.

Mobile Connect for PBMs lets doctors check their patients’ insurance plans during check-ups to see which drugs they can and cannot administer according to their plan.

Doctors will also be able to receive information on whether patients are sticking to their medication schedules based on refill data from the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

This will help them to improve their levels of care for each patient. It also enables them to access this vital information quickly and easily, saving them time on research and administration that can be better devoted to clinical practice.

Although the medical system is slightly different in the USA than it is in the UK, Mobile Connect for PBMs shows how smartphones can be used to improve communication between pharmaceutical companies and their end users and stakeholders in order to improve both sales and service.

Around 80% of doctors in America use smartphones, a figure that is expected to be replicated in the UK within the next couple of years. It’s clear that healthcare companies’ IT and marketing strategies need to embrace the smartphone and all it has to offer.

Mobile search gets bigger share of marketers’ budgets

Marketers are spending more and more money on mobile search. According to a new report producted by marketing insight firm Econsultancy, the proportion of marketing budgets allocated to mobile PCC has increased significantly in 2011.

Out of the 600 digital marketers and agencies surveyed, 16% are using mobile search as part of their marketing strategy. That’s exactly double of those using mobile search last year. A further 45% are planning to involve mobile search in their marketing strategy.

Meanwhile, a third of agencies surveyed report that their clients are involved with mobile search – an increase of 12% from last year.

The links between social networking sites and PPC also appears to be growing stronger. Most of the marketers questioned say that they have increased the amount of money they are spending in PPC investment in The majority of client-side marketers say that, over the last year, their companies have also increased their PPC investment in Facebook (65%), LinkedIn (62%), YouTube (55%) and Twitter (54%).

The survey also revealed an increased focus on local search. Agencies quizzed in the survey said that 22% of their clients’ budgets are spend on locally targeted paid search. The figure was only slightly less amongst the companies surveyed (17%).

The emergence of local search as part of a marekting strategy could be linked to the boom in the smartphone market.

An introduction to digital marketing

The use of digital marketing for business purposes has grown year on year and now outstrips the annal spend of TV advertising. It is proving highly lucrative for businesses across all industries, including the pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare sectors.

A company can gain more brand exposure and consequently more sales by utilising measurable digital marketing channels – but what does that mean in plain English?

We’ve put together a run-down of the main types of digital marketing activities that businesses can explore:

Social Media Marketing

Essentially, this is used to attract fractured customers you may not reach through conventional channels such as direct mail. When utilised properly, websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can become social hubs for your business. Your ‘followers’ and ‘fans’ can communicate directly with you – but more importantly you can respond.

Facebook has over 500 million users: even if your target market is only a tiny fraction of that, it’s still a huge opportunity to reach people who might not otherwise hear about your company.

It’s very easy to link to your company’s social media pages from your website, and this is a great way for your company to build a list of people who might otherwise browse your website and then leave, never to return.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, means gearing up your website so it ranks highly for certain keywords when users type those keywords into the search engines. When done well, SEO can vastly increase the amount of traffic to your site.

By researching the search-terms used by your target audience, an effective SEO strategy can be drawn up to make sure these words appear prominently on your website. This is something that should be done with the help of a professional, who knows how to use keywords effectively in your site’s metadata and copy.

Link Building

Link building is an important part of the SEO process which comes after the initial on-site keyword optimisation has been carried out. ‘Backlinks’ are links to your site placed on other relevant websites across the web. Done well, this can increase traffic to your website and raise its position in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

A well thought through, strategic approach tailored your business will help you build your profile online and allow you to track and monitor the success of any campaign. In conjunction with relevant regularly updated content, carefully designed website navigation and  conversion points your website will become an integral part of your marketing strategy allowing you to take full advantage  of the online arena.