This fact may shock you, but, doctors like mobile devices. A 2013 survey found that 86% used a smartphone and 53% a tablet. The survey also found that they use mobile devices for patient communication, with 47% having shown images or videos to patients on a mobile device.

Unsurprisingly, a stronger focus on good mobile user experience in digital healthcare marketing is more important than ever. Thinking ‘Mobile first’ isn’t just about providing a different version of a website, it’s about how the entire HCP experience is tailored to content on the go.

Want to know more about how you can think ‘Mobile First’? Check out our real-life mobile first tactics for digital healthcare marketing.

Self-directed e-detailing

Everybody knows e-detailing. But what is self-directed? The difference is that it’s not presented to an HCP by a sales rep. Instead, the HCP looks at the e-detail on their mobile device as online content. In fact, a McKinsey report lists several advantages of self-directed e-detailing, including cost effectiveness, the ability to capture large amounts of data and the option of strong personalisation.

Key questions you need to ask yourself are how the user will engage with the content and how to draw the target audience to the content. As a rule of thumb, content in self-directed e-detailing should be easy to navigate and shorter than in regular e-detailing. Target audiences can be reached in a number of ways, like by working with media partners, doing online advertising, promoting the content on existing owned media or using paid placements in physician portals.

Mobile friendly web design

With so many doctors using mobile devices and browsing content on-the-go, it goes without saying that an optimised mobile user experience is essential. While the normal way to go used to be to develop a separate mobile website, responsive web design has been embraced by many as a slicker, more effective way to optimise the mobile experience.

Responsively designed websites automatically adjust to the size of the screen they are being viewed on (typically desktop, tablet or smartphone) and eliminate the need to develop a separate mobile website. Due to the traditionally slower uptake of new digital trends in pharma, an opportunity to be an industry trendsetter certainly presents itself for pharma websites using responsive design.

Social media

Social media is a no-brainer when thinking mobile first. Mobile has overtaken desktop as the medium of choice when accessing social content, with 65% of time spent on social networks happening on mobile devices. Video content is particularly popular on mobile devices, making YouTube a very promising channel for pharma.

In our experience, LinkedIn text ads, display ads and InMails work well for compound, product and trial related information, Facebook for disease awareness and Twitter for announcing important news. We also offer an innovative tool for highly-specific custom audience targeting on social networks.


Events are to pharma companies what medical journals are to doctors. And events offer an outstanding opportunity to leverage mobile marketing to reach participants. Virtually every HCP attending a conference will have a smartphone, tablet or both on them. Things like location-based marketing, bluetooth marketing, QR codes and apps revolving around a pharma company’s presence at a conference are all possible ways to use mobile marketing at conferences.

There are countless reasons why you should think ‘Mobile First’ when developing a new website or redeveloping your current site. And with Google’s latest announcement about changes to their SEO ranking algorithim, mobile friendly sites will take precedence while those that choose not to update their sites to responsive design will be penalised. That alone is one of the best reasons to think ‘Mobile First’.