Marketing Digital Wayfinding Presents Unique Challenges
During MediNav Stage 2 - where most of our clients are today - the focus is on driving an initial level of awareness and adoption of the solution. Since MediNav is an All Screens Solution, there are many aspects to this. But given that the mobile turn-by-turn indoor navigation is the most effective tool to actually help people when they are in the building, the challenge of getting them to try it is paramount.
Getting a person to download a mobile application is hard - especially one that is perceived to only be useful for a short term need or experience such as wayfinding - is hard. Numerous studies show that consumers suffer from app overload and are reluctant to install new applications. But, of course, mobile apps have become one of the most important vehicles for any engagement with consumers. Comscore's 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, for example, reported that "Mobile apps account for 57 percent of all digital media usage, and smartphone apps alone capture more than half of digital media time spent."
There are many tools and strategies for marketing that are absolutely important and essential to success. Connexient and our clients are all learning together in our community which ones are most effective for mobile applications by sharing ideas and best practices.
We believe that the key to success is presenting, marketing and integrating the Digital Wayfinding solution into key contextual touch points where users will be focused on and eager to try it.
Stages of the Patient Journey for an Appointment
So, what are those contextual touchpoints? We encourage our clients to think in terms of Stages of the Patient Journey for an Appointment.
1. Preplanning - thinking about or planning an upcoming appointment
When a patient or visitor is in the act of pre-planning for their visit, this is what we like to call a "golden moment." All kinds of questions will be swirling through their minds. Where is the appointment? Where do I park? Where is that in relation to my appointment? And so on. This is the moment when a user is motivated and eager to learn about and try a digital wayfinding solution - even if it does mean downloading another app.
So think about all of the touchpoints where your patients and visitors be engaged to prepare for their appointment. Here are just a few examples.
- Print - appointment letters, news letters, etc.
- Web - the Web site physician finder and patient portal appointment scheduling screens. This is where you can leverage MediNav's Web APIs and Deep Links to make the solution one click away when it is most needed.
- Email - appointment reminders and preparation instructions. What better time than to help them with wayfinding?
- Mobile - banners & links in other mobile apps and mobile Web sites are powerful. But in particular mobile SMS appointment reminders are hugely effective because of their 97%+ open rates, and you are engaging the user at precisely the moment when he or she will be thinking about how to get there and where to park!
Note - integrating MediNav directly into other mobile apps is the most powerful approach of all, but that goes beyond marketing.
2. Arriving at the facility for an appointment
If they have not preplanned their visit - and do not have MediNav - chances are your patient or visitor is already lost at this point! Think about those key arrival points where signage can be placed: garages, lobbies, reception and information desks, elevator banks, etc. Other creative opportunities include things like having the parking attendant hand out a flyer, or adding information on the parking ticket itself.
And what digital vehicles are there? Anyone that logs onto your WiFi Portal and/or Mobile Web Site is almost by definition a "Digital Native." Engage them right there with a banner and call-to-action!
And, of course, Kiosks and Digital Signage are where many arriving visitors turn to for information and help. You can use the MediNav Wayfinding Kiosks, or integrate MediNav into multi-purpose Kiosks or Interactive Digital Signs that support HTML5. And don't forget that even standard digital signs can have be a great place to market.
3. At the Facility – and probably lost and actively seeking wayfinding assistance!
Many people are reluctant to ask for help, or over-confident about their ability to find their way. Once they venture deep into the building - and as often as not get completely lost - this is a prime opportunity to make them aware of the MediNav solution!
Signage, flyers, posters or stickers at key wayfinding points - elevator banks or in elevators, confusing intersections, known problem areas - can be very compelling. Once a patient or visitor gets to the waiting room, with time on their hands and fresh off a wayfinding challenge, be sure that you have flyers or better yet incorporate messaging into other print materials.
Most importantly of all, don't forget about staff. They are your "wayfinding solution" today for most lost patient or visitors - and therefore your most important marketing asset! In our experience, high rates of familiarity and usage of MediNav by staff - who get lost sometimes too! - empowers them to become ambassasors and social marketing agents for the app. Even if they do walk the patient to their appointment, often the app enables them to get there much more efficiently.
4. Follow-on Communications
Just because a patient or visitor has left the facility does not mean the chance to make them aware of the digital wayfinding solution is over. Any email, print or mobile follow-on communications are an invaluable opportunity to remind the user once again. If they did not use the solution, the pain of the wayfinding experience will be fresh in their minds to motivate them to try it on the next visit.
Make Sure That You Leverage Mobile SMS
Each of these stages in the Patient Journey to and from an appointment - and the particular touchpoints you focus on - will have many different types of media that can be leveraged. But when weighting tools and and mediums to focus on, there is no question that mobile SMS is one of the most effective. Nothing else even comes close in the reach and conversion rates.
Further, most healthcare networks are already sending text messages for things like appointment reminders - a perfect 'magic moment' to present the digital wayfinding solution - and would benefit greatly by increasing their opt-ins and engagement through this medium.
But that is a topic for another blog coming soon!