Through CRM, we can supply the content our audience most wants, because we’ll have listened to them and learned what they care about. And just like that friend, they’ll know we’ll be there for them when they need it most.

Marketing, particularly digital marketing, has often been suspected of being a frothy mix of alchemic divination and jargony labels. The jargon accusation is likely valid, but the divination less so. Marketers do put a lot of time and energy into figuring out what people want, all the better to be able to supply what the market demands. The mode of investigation, however, is most often an analytical, quantitative system like a survey — not, say, a dartboard.

The latest addition to the quantitative toolbox is CRM, or customer relationship management, systems.  CRM systems help companies and institutions (“brands”) to better understand their audiences to provide more customized and relevant experiences. In short, it’s about building relationships by giving people what they want and need — kind of like when a friend sends you a basket of that fruit you mentioned you like so much. It’s thoughtful, meaningful, and makes you want to reach out and talk to them some more.

In support of both the strategic priority of patient- and family-centered care and the mission to educate, the Internet Strategy team has a strong desire to provide health information to the world. In addition to benefiting the audience, this strategy helps us build the brand by building audience. The objectives: to connect the people of the world with the people of Johns Hopkins Medicine, to have more people know and understand what we do, and to improve people’s lives by sharing that information.

Along the way, we’re building a relationship between Johns Hopkins Medicine and the broad consumer audience before an individual has need of a specific medical service. To make that a meaningful relationship, we want to make sure we’re giving people the information they care about. With the introduction of a new CRM system for Johns Hopkins Medicine, originating out of the Marketing and Communications Department, we’ll be better able to deliver customized and personalized content based on the interests our website visitors and social media followers express to us.

Just like when that friend sends the perfect fruit basket, we’ll be supplying the content — articles, videos, Q-and-As, profiles and more — our audience most wants, because we’ll have listened to them and learned what they care about. And just like that friend, they’ll know we’ll be there for them when they need it most.

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