The North America International Auto Show kicked off in Detroit this week with industry and press events, opening to the public this weekend. You might be wondering with that has to do with healthcare, mobile or strategy. Well – there’s a lot to learn from an event like this. It’s a venue for the auto manufacturers to showcase their products and concepts. With thousands of people attending, it’s one big marketing event. A large majority of the world’s auto manufacturers are there, side by side creating a great comparison shopping opportunity for consumers. This is interesting to consider – what would you do if your hospital were in that type of venue? How would you differentiate your hospital from your competition?
In many ways the auto show is a design extravaganza – both from the vehicles exhibited as well as the exhibits themselves. Each manufacturer has its own unique design style and brand representation, just as hospitals do. While you may not find yourself competing for consumers in a venue such as this, you do present a very public way to comparison shop - your Web site. Now, imagine if, like at the auto show, your Web site was on display, side by side with your competition. How do they compare? Does your site look and function a lot like theirs or are you differentiating? How? With the start of the New Year now is a good time to think about how you achieve some differentiation for your organization through site design and web strategies. For a fresh perspective and possibly some inspiration, take a look at other sites. To start, check out the 2011 Greystone.Net Best in Class Award
winners. If you’re interested in specific guidance, look into having an in-depth site assessment
Speaking of getting inspiration, consider this – an American auto manufacturer is researching how to use mHealth in their vehicles. As reported in MobiHealthNews
, Ford is actively researching how to do in-car health monitoring. Now that’s really making mHealth mobile! It also may result in an innovative and unique use of a vehicle. If an auto manufacturer is pursuing this research, mobile is definitely a part of their strategy to attract and engage consumers. The key takeaway here is this – develop a plan to engage your consumers on the mobile platform in a unique, innovative and useful way. The first step is a mobile strategy
that effectively aligns your organization’s strategy with mobile tactics. Be sure to consider things like Ford is seeking to do. With their research they’re looking for ways to embed mHealth usefully for consumers in their product. While a hospital’s product isn’t a vehicle, the end consumers are the same and have a key device – the smartphone. As you’re developing your plans, be sure the mobile web site is included. Move further down the path and consider what other useful applications you can implement to put your hospital in the consumers pocket
. Think about conversions and transactions; think about what your target audience could use their smartphone to do with your organization. Schedule an appointment? Contact your non-emergency / after-hours clinic? Find their way to you? You need not develop the mobile site or app yourself, partner for solutions to implement your plan.
If you haven’t guessed already; I do like cars, for reasons similar to why I like the Web and mobile – technology, innovation, design and functionality. And now, I’m off to prepare for doing some comparison shopping!