Marketing gets tough when it’s difficult to reach your target audience. But Mudit Vijayvergiya, co-founder Curofy, took it as an experiment and overcame the challenge.
Curofy is a mobile platform for doctors to connect with other doctors, seek medical advice, take second opinion, post their requirements, and read and share latest news related to medical developments. After going through the onerous task of approaching doctors and trying as many platforms and channels as possible to reach out to them, Curofy had its eureka moment when they discovered that a simple SMS is what works best for them. Today, they have the largest telephonic database for doctors. Read further to know Mudit’s vision of streamlining the medical industry and his belief in ‘keep trying until there is a way’.
What does Curofy do? What is your vision for Curofy?
Curofy is a doctor’s network which has been started with the mission of making them efficient every day. What doctors can find here is medical case discussions, medical news and medical jobs, hence forming a combined portal for doctors.
The ultimate vision is that once doctors are online, all the businesses like pharmaceuticals, medical-device companies, financial advisories, medical advisories and lots of other startups, who want to reach out to doctors, can do it through Curofy. We are trying to streamline the whole health industry. If I have to put it in one line, it is the Facebook for doctors to educate.
Are experienced doctors your target audience and why?
Yes, the highest numbers of doctors we have are in the age group of 35 to 45, and also a lot of doctors above 45. The reason is that the requirement for them is to build a reputation in their own community, because with patients they are already very famous. So reputed doctors in their own community can actually teach the younger doctors.
The age group you mentioned, they are not really tech savvy. So, how do you market your app-based product to doctors like these?
We have done a lot of things on marketing when doctors were not online. We did one-to-one meetings with them from December 2014 to June 2015, and also did a few digital marketing campaigns on Facebook, along with Google ads and WhatsApp. But with all this we just got 5,000 doctors.
After this, we decided to move to digital completely. There is a very fundamental thing in marketing that you have to test and just test and keep on testing. Keep experimenting. So, we explored Facebook, Google ads and SMS. Finally, SMS worked for us and we were able to get 35,000 doctors on board. We also tied up with all the national annual conferences that happen for doctors. Then we also partnered with few other startups that were approaching doctors. Combine all this with a brilliant product that helped us get more doctors by starting a chain of ‘invite your friend’. Also, whenever a doctor downloaded the app we asked him for permission to get access to his contacts because of which, Curofy was able to get the largest mobile number database of doctors. That further helped us in SMS targeting. We worked a lot on regional PR because doctors mostly read regional newspapers. For example Dainik Bhaskar in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Patrika in Rajasthan spread the word for us. So I think, that the whole effort combined in marketing helped us reach the 1,35,000 doctors that we have today.
Depending on your target audience and demography, should you be using a lot of channels to reach out to them or just one at a time?
So, four months earlier , the mindset was to just test everything we had – blog as first channel, Facebook as the second, Google as the third, YouTube marketing the fourth and finally, offline tie-ups as the fifth channel. So we tested different types of communication in 10 different channels, and finally figured out the best communication patterns.
What do you feel about the power of new age content marketing?
I would say that for all the non-transactional and behaviour change businesses like insurance and fintech startups, content marketing is the only way forward. Till the time you don’t have content around it, no one is going to trust you. Video and infographic are also the future of content marketing for sure. Also, I think gamification of content is also going to be important.