May 2nd 2019 marked 1 year of my first post-MBA job. I was recruited for the GMDP Program by Danaher at the campus placements at Indian School Of Business and was placed as a Marketing Manager at KaVo Kerr, one of the medical devices firm of Danaher.
The last one year had been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. From drafting Go-To-Market Strategy for Imaging Equipment and presenting the same to the entire leadership team at the HQ to getting a Mandarin document translated to have some insights for the Marketing Communication for a newly launched product, this job got my hands dirtied at almost everything Marketing. I traveled across the length & breadth of India (to organize trade events) and a bit of USA (to attend the annual GMDP Conference). From attending the welcome dinner for GMDP Associates at Marriott Washington DC, bonding with colleagues on a rooftop overlooking the beautiful Lake Pichola at Udaipur to checking-in in a shady hotel room without any AC in Vellore that I had to book in a rush because my train reached late- this job added another set of travel stories to my memorabilia.
I have been following this practice of jotting down my reflections, musings and learning after reaching a certain milestone since quite a while, more so because I believe that making an effort to write down the learning in itself allows me to delve deeper and gather some more impactful insights from my own experiences. Here are a few of them :-
- Getting the Marketing Communication right is much more important than you think :- We would all agree that getting the right message across can help a great deal in converting the customer and pushing them to the next step of the buyer’s journey. But in Digital Marketing Campaigns, the correct message can also also help you to save money and prevent you from burning your limited marketing budget. For example, if you are conducting a lead generation campaign on Facebook, where you are charged per impression (instead of per leads generated), you should know what message you should put across on the Ad (through Images & Text), so that those who are viewing the ad end up filling the form (and hence generating a lead for you). A faulty message that doesn’t resonate well with your customer, will just be an impression failing to be converted into a potential lead that you can pursue.
- You have equal responsibility towards your internal customers as much as the external customers :- For a Marketing Manager, the internal customers refers to the sales & service team. Providing adequate support to the sales & service team with appropriate marketing content, leads, product expertise, doctors’ contacts etc is of utmost importance.
- Digital Transformation can’t be overlooked anymore :- I worked to build the KaVo Kerr India Mobile App with the help of our National Service Head and a 3rd part Android Developer to streamline and digitize three processes- Filing request for service/repair of an existing product, requesting demo of any product from our portfolio and registering for our Training & Education Events. Once the App was ready in its final form, we realized how much potential it holds to act as a single tool for lead generation and to reduce the service turnaround time.
- Continuous innovation even in a small form catches eyeballs :- Apart from Digital Marketing & Marketing Communication, I am also incharge of Trade Event Management. I have noticed that introducing something new and engaging which our customers haven’t experienced before in a trade event, always helped us in gathering footfall. Over the year, with the help of my team, I introduced multiple new concepts- inclusion of a live training room within our booth, standees with our existing customers’ pictures & testimonials, an online quiz about our products which customers can attempt at our booth and win prizes, a ‘Happy Customers’ bulletin board with our customers’ polaroids and so on. Putting the thinking cap on for such events and going the extra mile and can reap rewards in terms of catching a prospective customer’s attention.
- Wherever possible, try to hit two (or more) birds with one stone :- Immediately after a joining I launched a Monthly online Quiz for customers with prizes for the winners (Dental Consumables that the Dentists could use in their practice). The participants needed to register for the quiz by providing their contact details and the questions of the quiz were exclusively based on the various differentiating features of our products. Hence, along with increasing the brand & product awareness and driving customer engagement, I was also able to collect our target segment’s contact data. Later once the quizzes got popular, I also used them to campaign for our trade events. After this, I have constantly tried to think of ways to achieve more than one objectives while working on a particular project/campaign
- If you will look close enough, you will find where are you burning money :- One of the first actions that I took after joining was contacting our Digital Marketing Agency and letting them know of our expectations. Their contract expired next month and they failed to provide what we asked for. After discussing with my manager, I decided not to renew the contract and take full responsibility of Digital Marketing myself. Though I have no formal training in graphic designing, I also decided to design all the basic marketing collateral such as flyers, event brochures, campaign images etc by myself (Canva.com came to my rescue here) instead of depending on a vendor. At the end, it not only saved a good chunk of marketing budget, but also saved a lot of time.
- Networking ALWAYS helps :- The best feature of the GMDP Program of Danaher was that I got to know many other GMDP Associates from other operating companies of Danaher. I got a chance to learn about various initiatives that Marketing Managers of other Danaher companies had undertaken and eventually learnt a lot from their experiences.
- Continuous monitoring of campaigns’ performance is important :- There are a few campaigns which fail to achieve the desired objective. Hence it becomes imperative that you keep monitoring the performance and stop a non-performing campaign before it eats into your budget without giving any results.
- You must always keep the Business Ethics & Compliance policies on the back of your mind :- There is a reason MNCs put so much of emphasis on Compliance Training. There might be instances where your intentions may not be wrong, still your actions can fall under the ‘grey’ zone. Being thorough with the compliance & ethics policies of your company can save you from such unfortunate situations.
- Rapport between Sales & Marketing Departments helps in mutual respect & appreciation of each other’s work :- Whenever possible, I tried to attend Sales Team meetings to keep them acquainted of everything that we were doing to drive customer engagement, generate leads and help them with marketing content. We also had a provision of inducting every new sales manager with various initiatives and modus operandi of the Marketing Department.
I am excited for all the challenges that this year has in its bag for me and I hope I keep adding value to the firm in any which way possible.