The new age marketing is SMARKETING (sales + marketing = smart marketing) not just Marketing. It is more INBOUND than Outbound. It is more INTEGRATED than fragmented.

Are we all geared up for the New Age marketing?

First of all, let’s not get bogged down by the terminologies / jargons. It is just as simple as a ‘Pan-wala’s’ interest in CARING for the needs of his customers.

INBOUND MARKETING: How nice would it be if your customers approach you for your product / service instead of you approaching them every time! Would it not be a “Dream Come True” for you! Gone are the days of knocking at doors randomly. Whether it is patients for hospitals, investors for Entrepreneurs, consumers for your products – you can still attract the right customers and make them come to you rather than you making cold calls. Without pilferage of resources. With more than 4000% on ROI.

There are numerous classes around the world talking about Inbound Marketing. It is the need of the hour. This is the only way to get ahead of the competition. But, I don’t want you to worry too much about learning Inbound Marketing. It is not rocket science. It is simply understanding your customers very well. Inbound Marketing in one sentence is “Learning about your buyer’s behaviour”.

Be extremely sensitive to the buying behaviours of your consumers. Be emotionally intelligent towards the emotions of your buyers.

There are tools. There are ways. There are guidelines. But, just learn this one thing before anything else- “Bend over backwards to learn about your buyer’s behaviours”. That’s it. Now you know what Inbound Marketing is!

SMARKETING: Smart way to achieve an organisational goal is to make sure that your Marketing team as well as your Sales team has the same goal as that of the organization. The sales targets, the marketing targets have to be just the same as the Organisational target. From now on, let Marketing & sales team work hand-in-hand. Let there not be two separate departments. The role of Marketing starts with clear demarcation and ends with handing over information to the Sales team, from where the Sales team takes charge and closes a sale! In return, the sales team goes back to the marketing team to give feedback, corrective measures and assess the marketing leads. But, we need to remember that both teams have be in absolute sync and speak the same language to the clients.
INTEGRATED MARKETING: There are two equally strong “worlds” of marketing – Online & Offline Marketing. Online activity also includes e-commerce which takes your business (buying/ selling of products/ services or transmitting funds/ data) to the electronic platform. It is very easy to position yourself in two different routes. It is also easy to see conflicts in communication, standpoint, promises etc. It is important that you communicate the same everywhere. The world has not yet fully geared up for Online marketing. So, there is a different set of people who operate in isolation in this space. This does not work. Online & Offline must work hand in hand. Apart from regular Receptionist or Front office staff, please remember the touch points:

• All departments- must know the offers/promotions that are happening in online & offline through their whatsapp – including Housekeeping
• Telephone Exchange- to have daily meetings on offers / promotions
• Random check of a Physiotherapist / Ward Secretary / Phlebotomist – on the online campaigns
• All centers- if it is a chain of hospitals / clinics / labs
• The core team- a stand up one minute meeting on Marketing with Drs / HoDs etc.

The writer is the Director of X Factor group of companies with 20 years of experience in Hospital Marketing.