Walker Marketing: Home Care Companies Should Make Mobile a Priority

The following article is provided courtesy of Walker Marketing‘s Kevin Cary. As an account manager, Kevin is committed to helping clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of print, broadcast and interactive media. Click here to view this article on Walker Marketing’s website.

Home care executives are plugged into the times. They know about the expected changes to Medicare for 2012, the impact of the Affordable Health Care Act, and the rising number of people who need health care.

The way they get that information is ever-changing. Thirty years ago, many executives would get their information from the newspaper or television. Fifteen years ago, they began to rely on computers, both at home and in their office. Now, those same executives are relying on a third distribution vehicle: their phones.

The mobile phone has evolved from a simple portable phone into a phone, camera, music player, and now, pocket computer. Smartphones such as the iPhone or Android devices allow home care executives to read emails on the go, get the latest news, and use applications to even pay their bills.

Mobile data usage is skyrocketing now, and is expected to surpass wired devices such as PCs by 2015. It has created another avenue for home care companies to reach potential customers. Home care companies have been slow to tap into social media and other Internet ideas, but they can’t sit back on mobile applications.

Select home care and hospice companies have already developed applications for customers, and at least one allows referrals straight from a mobile phone. That kind of futuristic thinking is smart, because mobile media consumption won’t be slowing down, it will just continue to grow.

Making a mobile application takes more than a programmer and a couple links to your website. Applications must have a convenience factor that helps caregivers and patients access your company at any time. At minimum, a mobile application should include direct contact links, ways to make referrals, instant directions to the nearest office, and continuously updated news about the home care industry.

It is understandable for home care companies to be hesitant when looking at the newest social media sites, but mobile integration should be a key part of your strategy for 2012. If it isn’t, your home care company may find difficulty, thanks to being hung up on old methods.

Is your company developing a mobile application? Let us know in the comments.

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