If it seems like almost everyone has a smartphone these days, you’re not far from the truth. More and more people are carrying around tiny computers more powerful than the lunar module that landed on the moon in their pockets, and they’re doing more with them than ever before.
As healthcare goes mobile, it’s important to know as much as possible about your target audience if you want your marketing to be effective. These stats showing how people use their smartphones could have a big impact on how you shape your marketing message for 2016.
1. Nearly two thirds of Americans own smartphones (Pew)
The crazy part of this stat isn’t that 64 percent of U.S. adults own smartphones—it’s that almost twice as many own smartphones as did just four years ago (35 percent in 2011). The industry is changing and it’s changing fast—who can say where it’ll be in another four years?
2. 46 percent of smartphone owners “couldn’t live without” their smartphone (Pew)
3. 36 percent of smartphone owners would choose their phone over their TV (Google)
With a world of knowledge just a tap away, smartphones are quite literally life changing—and nearly half of smartphone users say that they couldn’t live without all that information at their fingertips. A majority of those people would even choose their smartphones over other sources of entertainment.
4. 87 percent of millennials say their smartphone never leaves their side (Zogby)
5. 80 percent of millennials say their smartphone is the first thing they reach for when they wake up (Zogby)
6. 78 percent of millennials use their smartphones more than two hours every day (Zogby)
Millennials and their smartphones are practically joined at the hip. I am the 80 percent; l reach for my smartphone every morning to shut off the alarm and more often than not find myself scrolling through my Twitter timeline. This demographic is only going to get more mobile—if you want to reach millennials, your mobile marketing has to be top notch.
7. 51 percent of cell phone users 55 and older own smartphones (Nielsen)
It’s not just millennials, though; as of 2014, more than half of cell phone owners over 55 years old use smartphones as well. (There’s even a Jitterbug smartphone.) That means you’re not limiting your marketing to a younger audience when you adopt a mobile-friend mindset.
8. 7 percent of Americans are entirely smartphone-dependent (Pew)
10 percent of smartphone owners don’t have high speed Internet access at home, while 15 percent have limited options for Internet access. The overlap between those two groups—approximately 22 million Americans—represents another group who go online only with their smartphones. That figure grows to 15 percent among young adults, 13 percent among Latinos, and 12 percent among African Americans. Depending on the demographics of the region your hospital serves, neglecting mobile marketing could mean neglecting a significant percentage of your audience.
9. 60 percent of millennials believe everything will be done on mobile devices in five years (Zogby)
Millennials make up the largest smartphone-dependent population, and that number will only grow as younger users favor mobile devices over desktop and laptop computers. By adopting a mobile-first mindset now, your hospital can avoid playing catch-up in a few years.
10. 64 percent of smartphone owners use their phone to look up health information (Pew)
11. 94 percent of smartphone owners look for local information (Google)
People are looking online for answers to their health questions, and hospitals are uniquely equipped to provide them. You need to anticipate your community’s needs and share relevant information online where they’ll find it. That means posting to social media and optimizing for search. Optimizing for local search is vital, too—your name, address, and phone number need to be correct and consistent so prospective patients can contact your hospital or find directions to it.
12. More smartphone owners use their phone for watching videos than playing music (Pew)
13. Vertical video viewing is on the rise (KPCB)
Smartphones may be descendants of the iPod, but they do so much more than make phone calls and play music. People love watching videos on mobile—75 percent of users aged 18–29 said they watched a video on the phone compared to 64 percent who listened to music—and there’s now a growing trend of vertical video viewing. Popularized by Snapchat, portrait video ads see completion rates as many as 9 times higher than landscape ads and could be a good fit for a mobile ad campaign regardless of platform.