NHS Go was launched a year ago this month, and in the time since has racked up over 50,000 installs across iOS and Android devices. SOHO Managing Partner, who oversaw development of the brand and delivery of the app, discusses some of the lessons learned during this time.
Whilst originally brought in to “create the app and brand”, subsequent to launching the application, we were asked to apply our experience in delivering targeted online advertising campaigns to the project.
Over an initial 30-day period, we developed a strategy for delivering incredibly cost-effective installs of the app (as much as an order-of-magnitude cheaper than previously-run campaigns). However, in the process, we came to appreciate some important things.
One critical realisation we made early on was that the breakdown of users finding our app organically was not spread evenly across our broad target demographic of under-25s, but concentrated amongst young people with higher-education backgrounds, or who come from higher-income families.
To reach those most in need, we introduced a hyper-targeted approach to social-ad retargeting that specifically sought out young people who (1) would be unlikely to hear about the app otherwise, and (2) who would be most in need of its care.
A typical key-performance indicator (KPI) of an ad-campaign might be the cost-per install (CPI) of an ad-set. Indeed, our initial approach was to obtain the lowest CPI possible, to maximise installs of the app amongst our target demographic (under-25s in the London region). From this, we quickly ascertained a few things.
Very often, long periods spent in-app are indicative of good, engaging content. When looking at feedback obtained from people who had been using the app for an extended period, however, we found that the reality was more mixed than this simplistic assumption would imply.
Many users were indeed amongst the most positive reviewers of our app. Others, though, were stuck. A small number couldn’t find the information they required. A larger group struggled to take in some of the more confusing medical information in the app.
We concluded that certain key content must be more easily-digestible in-app, and reframed for young people. Improving the ways users engage with the app forms a large part of our vision for year two.
One year in, and with fifty-thousand users, we are now in a much better position to test hypotheses and gain insights into what works, and what doesn’t, when communicating with young people about their health.
Having proven the app’s utility, we’re now making much-needed improvements to the way information is delivered and communicated within it, as well as how it is marketed to young people generally.
We hope to bring additional functionality into the app in the coming months and years, and are lucky to be working with a truly visionary team within the NHS who act upon evidence, and look to emerging technology for new ways of solving old problems.
If your organisation has a digital challenge in need of a thoughtful, novel, evidence-based strategy, then contact us via the form on our website, or email SOHO Managing Partner, David Wilkinson, at [email protected]