Mobile devices are rapidly changing the way people seek information. In fact, in February 2014, more Americans used smartphones and tablet apps to access the Internet than personal computers for the first time in history.
While many clinical trial marketers are making good use of websites and social media, some have yet to take advantage of mobile platforms for smartphones and tablets. This untapped resource, however, can be an excellent tool for engaging patients and distributing valuable information.
Developing an app that is useful and unique, however, can be trickier than you think. Savvy marketers should follow these guidelines to develop the best app possible for reaching your marketing goals.
Identify and Research Your Target Demographic
As a clinical marketer, you probably have already identified the demographic you are looking to target. Research, however, is the key to developing an app that will not only appeal to that demographic, but will be of practical use as well.
To get an in-depth understanding of your key demographic, consult the following sources of information:
- Academic research published in peer-reviewed journals
- Interviews: patients, field experts, physicians, and clinicians
- Online research, including social media conversations and forums
- Focus groups
These resources will give you the necessary information you need to determine what is important to your demographic so that you can develop an app that is relevant to their interests and needs.
Meeting Patient Needs
Some of the most innovative and engaging apps go beyond simply providing basic information. While providing quality information is an essential component in keeping patients engaged, apps that are most successful focus on solving a problem or becoming a useful tool in patients’ daily lives.
For example, Traxion, an app whose target audience is young ADHD sufferers, provides tools for patients to organize their lives and to manage the symptoms of their condition. By identifying a problem that is unique to patients in your target audience and seeking to solve it, you can create an innovative app that will serve your target market as well as your engagement goals.
As of June 2014, there are more than 1.25 million apps available for download in the Google Play Store. With all that competition, how can marketers distinguish their product and reach their target audience?
One way to make your app stand out from the crowd is stunning design. Good design not only makes your app look more attractive, but also increases its functionality.
Focus groups and beta-testing are excellent ways to test the efficacy of your design. Getting your product into the hands of the demographic you are targeting will provide you with invaluable feedback on how to improve your app. Many design teams make the mistake of either skipping this step or ignoring participant feedback. Taking the time to address problems before the launch of your app, however, will pay off in increased engagement of patients during a long clinical trial.