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new marketing realities | the use and benefits of abm

Webinar: New Marketing Realities | The Use And Benefits of Acount-based Marketing

The Healthcare Technology marketing environment has undergone a seismic shift in the last two years. We recently ran a webinar on the changes marketers have experienced, how they have adapted, and the use and benefits of Account-based Marketing (ABM).

We hosted a panel of 5 marketers for a discussion on the New Marketing Reality. The webinar was organized in collaboration with HIMMS, and had the following panelists:

  1. Royce Brunson –  Chief Revenue Officer at Health Recovery Solutions (HRS)
  2. Kaycee Kalpin The Chief Marketing Officer, & Agile Marketing Expert at Premier Inc.
  3. Michael Mahoney Senior Vice-President of Marketing, Inovalon
  4. Lucy Railton Director of Marketing, Smile CDR
  5. Karsten Russell Wood  Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, Equum Medical

Webinar Highlights & Timestamps

  • 00:04 – Introduction & Career Backgrounds of The Panelists
  • 04:40 – How Marketers Have Adapted In The Last 2 Years
  • 18:50 – What Tactics Have Been Most Effective
  • 32:32 – How Event Marketing Has Changed As A Result Of The Pandemic
  • 42:30 – The Use and Benefits of Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
  • 50:00 – Answers To Questions By Webinar Participants

Market Changes and Benefits of ABM – View Full Webinar Recording Video

Webinar on New Marketing Realities & The Use and Benefits of ABM: – Transcripts With Time Stamps

Adam Turinas (00:04): Welcoming Participants

Welcome, everybody. I’m going to ask the panelists to put your video and audio on if you wouldn’t mind. There you are. Great. Good to see you all. Thank you.

I want to welcome everybody to this panel, which is brought to you by HIMSS and healthlaunchpad. So this part panel is about The New Marketing Reality, how marketers are changing the way that they market, and how marketer use and benefit from  ABM

This panel is being recorded, so you’ll be able to get another look at it later.

And we invite your questions. Please, share those in the Q&A. Preferable, not in the chat.

I’ve left the chat up so that you can have discussions amongst yourselves, but you should be concentrating on what the panels are saying.

And we’ll try to get to as many questions as we can.

Now, what’s today’s panel about? Well, I mean, we all know, right?

Adam Turinas (00:58): The Challenges of The Pandemic

The last two years have been probably the most disruptive in a generation of marketers. And actually, I’m a case in point.

I launched my business healthlaunchpad on March 5th of 2020.

My plan was I was going to go to HIMSS that following weekend, and then I was going to go to a series of other conferences.

And one minute after I launched the business on LinkedIn, HIMSS was canceled, and then all the other events were canceled.

So like yourselves, I then had to scramble and figure out what I was going to do to grow this fledgling new business.

Adam Turinas (01:36): New Marketing Reality: Marketers Adapting To Changes

Today is about how marketers are adapting, and I put together with HIMSS here, a fantastic panel. I’m so excited to hear what they have to say.

And what we’ve tried to do here is to get us sort of a range of different companies to bring in different perspectives.

So software, services, small and fast-growing, large and mature. And so, you’re going to get a range of different insights today.

Introducing The Panelists

Adam Turinas (02:10): 

So let me introduce the panel. So from the remote monitoring high growth company, Healthcare Recovery Solutions, I have their chief revenue officer, the one and only Mr. Royce Brunson.

From the Awesome Premier, we have an equally awesome chief marketing officer, Kaycee Kalpin.

And from Inovalon, I’m delighted to introduce the Senior Vice President of marketing, the amazing Mr. Michael Mahoney.

And from the Canadian North American soon to be global, I’m sure probably already global Interoperability Rocket Ship, Smile CDR. We have their superstar marketing director, Lucy Railton.

Last but not least, Equa Medical, is a virtual care services company.

We have their chief marketing and experienced officer, the one and the only fantastic Mr. Karsten Russell-Wood. So good they had to name him three times.

Adam Turinas (03:13): Poll Questions From Webinar Attendees

Before we dive in and we hear from the panelists, I want to ask all of you who are attending this webinar to get your perspective on how things changed.

And so I’m going to launch a poll here.

And it’s a real simple question, which is, how have you adapted to the way you market in 2022 compared to before the pandemic?

Is it transformed into something radically different? Is it a mix of old and new?

You’re still figuring it out? Or you’ve gone back to the way things were? So you don’t need to overthink this, and I’m going to give you another 15 seconds.

Adam Turinas (04:04): Different Poll Answers 

Great. Looks like nearly all the participants have completed this. So let’s end the poll, and I’m going to share the results. Can you all see that?

All the panelists just put their hands up, so you can see it. Okay, great.

So not particularly surprised at the results, I think it’s a mix of old ways of doing things with a lot of new things as well, which I think is generally what people have found.

A couple of people have said it’s transformed the way that they do it. No one is saying they’ve gone back to the old way of doing things.

And that’s not surprising, right? We just don’t have that option anymore.

New Marketing Reality: How Marketers Are Adapting To Changes

Adam Turinas (04:40): Asking The Panelists How They Are Adapting To The Market

So with that, I’d like to turn to the panelists and ask them how they’ve adapted in the last two years. Please, also use this as a brief way to introduce yourself and your company.

And again just because we have a lot to get through if you could just try and limit it to two minutes. And we’re going to start with Royce.

Royce Brunson, Chief Revenue Officer, HRS

Royce Brunson (05:27): Formative Experience

My name’s Royce Brunson, I’m the Chief Revenue Officer here at Health Recovery Solutions Hyper-Growth Digital Healthcare organization.

I would say the last two years have been very formative for our marketing organization.

We did a lot of what you would consider traditional tactics and traditional channels and enterprise of healthcare.

One thing that we’ve seen transition dramatically over the last two years is something, Adam, had hinted to before, which is especially in digital healthcare and enterprise healthcare events were such a cornerstone of marketing budgets.

We’ve seen a dramatic pullback over the last two years. Now in 2022, we’re throttling up again.

But the last two years we’ve seen that our CFO is thrilled that we have a lot of savings, but we’ve seen that throttled down and almost be reallocated completely towards digital channels.

Royce Brunson (06:16): Focusing on Educational Content

That’s been a big piece of our strategy over the last few years, but it hasn’t just been about SEO or paid ads. One thing that we’ve been focusing on is educational content.

So the thing that we’ve noticed is that our buyers are less about what I would call the clicks in understanding the technology and more about the education of the market that we’re serving.

So for us, we’ve been putting out a lot of very top-of-funnel content around the education of the actual programs in educating our buyers.

It has been an unintentional slow bake of our brand with our market.

A lot of folks in the market are now recognizing us as thought leaders because we’ve just been putting out so much content around a lot of that work.

Royce Brunson (07:11): Involving Content Marketers

So making sure our content marketers were incredibly close to our value propositions and what our customers needed, was something that we found very valuable versus outsourcing that.

And then the other piece I would highlight is something I touched on, which is our digital channels. We do have in-house digital folks here around paid and SEO.

And we’ve repurposed and reallocated a lot of our budget back towards those folks. We’ve seen a lot of testing in those worlds.

And truthfully one of the biggest learnings for us throughout this pandemic has been the optimization of our website.

Royce Brunson (07:49): Website Optimization

So when we talk about figuring out different channels, that we’re going to be putting dollars towards, in our digital teams we’ve put a lot of time and a lot of dollars towards the optimization of our sites and understanding CTAs and conversion rates across the board.

So things that we probably would’ve traditionally focused on and baked here and there, have become our forefront, kind of the cornerstone of our strategy.

Kaycee Kalpin, CMO, Premier

Adam Turinas (08:12):

The very interesting big shift there. So, Kaycee, you represent a company of a very different nature. How do things change for you guys?

Kaycee Kalpin (08:20): Introduction, Customer-centricity & Agility Approach

Hey everybody, I’m Kaycee Kalpin CMO of Premier. Thanks for the intro, Adam.

I will say it boils down to two. I would’ve answered that it’s a mix of old and new, but for us, it was a lot about customer-centricity and agility.

From the customer-centricity standpoint, we are a member-driven organization, that supports hospitals, the majority of all hospitals, and health systems around the nation.

Before going public, about eight years ago, we were owned by hospitals and health systems.

Kaycee Kalpin (09:03): Being Close To Customers

So we’ve always had a very deep and close relationship with our customers, but this brought a new level of that.

You really kind of needed to predict and be able to access information about what’s going on with your customers before they even knew, in order to tailor your marketing.

And so I think the customer-centricity element of marketing we had to kind of catapult into accessing new data, predicting what markets COVID was going to hit next, making sure to hold back marketing or any sort of aggressive marketing.

If someone was going through a surge, particularly on the hospital level, and just really being sensitive to their needs.

Kaycee Kalpin (09:49): Agility Approach

The other aspect that I’ll touch on is agility. Fortunately, right before the pandemic, my entire team got trained in agile marketing.

We couldn’t have predicted the pandemic obviously, but for many reasons that I’m sure we’ll go into later in the webinar, we wanted to be more agile with getting things to market.

And so that helped us. We had online tools to be able to roadmap what we were taking in two-week sprints, what we could accomplish.

And anytime you’re helping your customers navigate a crisis, you have to have a certain level of agility. So I’ll say customer-centricity and agility, Adam.

Michael Mahoney, SVP, Inovalon

Adam Turinas (10:31):

Very interesting, very different adaptations. Michael, how about you in Inovalon?

Michael Mahoney (10:40): Introduction

Again, thanks for having me, Adam. So I’ve been in Inovalon for about a year and it’s been an interesting year obviously to join a new company here in our office today.

But I’m one of about three people still. So for us, Inovalon is a company that spans the entire universe of healthcare.

And we focus on empowering our customers to leverage data and analytics to improve the way they serve their customers.

So whether that’s a health plan and serving their members, providers doing traditional revenue cycle management, workforce management, tech activities, specialty pharmacies, life sciences companies who kind of play across the entire continuum.

Michael Mahoney (11:28): Being Responsive & Analytics-driven

I think and I fully agree with Royce and Kaycee’s take but I think the word agility resonates big time with me, in that, I don’t think ever before you had the opportunity to have tech and look at marketing activities and see what’s working, what’s not, and something that may have been working for a very short time.

Previously the previous month or a previous week might not be working anymore because the behaviors of your customers shift so quickly.

And also all customers are not created equal in terms of the way they’re adapting to these very dynamic and different environments.

So we’ve been trying to be responsive and our activities are even more analytics-driven.

Michael Mahoney (12:17):  The Transition Period

I think the other thing for us, which and we’re, we’re kind of going through a little bit of transition too. We’ve grown quickly and historically have been very sort of business unit marketing focused.

So the activities that we would do for our health plans would be very focused on health plans.

The activities we were doing for providers would be very provider-driven.

Michael Mahoney (12:37): Restructuring to Centralize Marketing  & Sharing of Best Practices

We didn’t do a lot of knowledge sharing. We went through a restructure last year to centralize all of marketing.

And I think the shared best practices opportunities have never been richer because it’s also accelerated the nature of all marketing in this environment.

This also allows you to get direct feedback very quickly.

I think every marketer in the world can probably relate to the idea of bringing best practices to a new business.

And the business goes well, we’re different. We don’t have to operate that way. It’s never going to work for us.

Michael Mahoney (13:17): Creating New Opportunities Based On Data

The opportunity to really show and demonstrate the value of different activities and how they can fundamentally enable sales, velocity, connect with customers, create new opportunities, based on the data I think it’s never been richer than it is today.

So, Inovalon, yeah, certainly, I would echo what Royce and Kaycee said so articulately.

It has been that environment of customer-centricity and agility that has been our focus.

Lucy Railton, Director of Marketing, Smile CDR

Adam Turinas (13:47):

Very interesting. Lucy, how about yourself and smile? You’re pretty new in the growth cycle.

Lucy Railton (13:55): Introduction

Yeah, we are. I’m Lucy the Director of Marketing for Smile CDR. I joined the company really at the beginning of the pandemic a little bit after in the summer of 2020.

And we have grown our team from two to over 20 in that time, just the marketing team. The entire Smile CDR team has grown exponentially as well.

So we had to focus on kind of the entire marketing function, not just what needed to be different during a pandemic, but growing and developing a team.

What we’ve been focusing on recently is our email deliverability. It’s not a new topic, but it’s even more important today with people working remotely, right?

And developing our community because as there are more and more privacy laws and more and more people who don’t want to receive our email, we need to find a way to reach that community.

Lucy Railton (14:51): Developing & Growing a Team

So we’ve worked on developing our SCR processes and our SCR team, coaching new people to our team for what is our audience, who is our audience, and understanding them a little bit better.

We’ve been working on growing our annual event, which we call the Intelligent Health Data Symposium as a way to kind of kick start our community and start that conversation.

So we’ve unfortunately had to focus on both the traditional, the branding, and the who are we, as well as the digital and the changing landscapes while growing a team.

Lucy Railton (15:28): The Challenges

So it’s been a lot of fun. There’s been a lot of growth challenges that we’ve gone through that I think everybody on the panel has gone through because of the pandemic.

How do we work well remotely together?

I want to hear more from Kaycee on agile marketing because that’s something I think we all need to be paying attention to, but with all the changes that are happening with privacy laws, the future ban on cookies, our focus right now is really about how can we hyper protect our email deliverability and grow channels that we own.

Karsten Russell-Wood, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer at Equum

Adam Turinas (16:04):

A very interesting, very different perspective. Karsten, how about you in Equum?

Karsten Russell-Wood (16:08): Introduction

So good afternoon. Karsten Russell-Wood chief marketing experience officer at Equum. I’m a two-decade marketeer having worked at big companies and now building a company.

I think going last is tough with this panel but I’ll stretch two ideas that probably haven’t come up.

One is how do I build a high-reliability marketing organization when my marketeers aren’t together.

They’re distributed and I need to bring that talent and still reach deadlines, which all of a sudden become a lot more complicated because just like in manufacturing, our agents to create whatever we’re creating have COVID as a reason for being delayed.

Karsten Russell-Wood (16:51): Shifting Priorities

And so for me, the number one thing is how am I still predictable and delivering as a big engine as a marketing-led organization, the results of marketing.

The second is our customers are fatigued just like we’re all fatigued and their priorities have shifted.

Karsten Russell-Wood (17:10): Understanding The Experience Key Stakeholders

So imagine this because we’re all marketers, imagine not being able to say we’re going to re-purpose something, right? Because we all love to re-purpose PowerPoints.

Well, you can’t because the customers have changed.

Now, imagine starting with a clean slate and figuring out what your customer problems are and you’ll be amazed how they’re different.

I made it very clear when I accepted this role at Equum.

I wanted my title to include experience because I’m so passionate about understanding the experience of our primary stakeholders, the executives, but also our patients and our care providers, the doctors, and nurses.

And you realize that if we’re marketing properly, we have to change what we’re saying.

Adam Turinas (17:53): Players Forced To Adapt, To Be Agile

Very interesting. I think it’s just so interesting here in different perspectives because of each of you… I mean, I think there’s a general theme across all of you guys about a sort of greater focus on customer-centricity.

Not that you weren’t before, but it seems like it’s forced, the disrupt has forced everybody to say we’ve got to focus on what’s important to our customers.

And this general theme of agility. It’s like you got to adapt, that’s all about what agility’s about.

So interesting. Now, I want to move on to the next topic.

To do that I’m going to share just one slide with a little piece of research. So can everybody see this slide?

HIMMS Research Questions – Effectiveness of SEO & Social Media

Adam Turinas (18:50): HIMMS Research Questions

All right. So this is a piece of research that we did with HIMSS.  So we’ve done a couple of waves.

We did this about 7, 8 months ago.

And we ask a whole bunch of different questions of folks like yourself.

But what you’re seeing here is other tactics that marketers said were most effective. And also least effective.

So paid search that showed up to be one of the most effective drivers, email bit of a polarizer, some found it very effective, some struggling with it.

Lucy brought up some of the issues that they’re struggling with. Account-based marketing.

The interesting thing is that it grew from the previous wave. And then the other two are SEO and social media.

And social media for some was very effective and some were least effective.

So I want to now turn to the panel to ask them what for them were the most effective and I’m going to change out the order a bit.

And I’m going to have Karsten go first. Are you able to unmute or do I need to do it? Oh, you can. You can.

Karsten Russell-Wood (20:09): Personal In Content Approach

Well, I think our primary approaches have changed as you’ve said. And from that list to be fair, what I interpret is we’ve gone from moderately impersonal to very personal, right?

And what I mean, that is we have to know a little bit more about our customers than we’ve known before. If I would go through the philosophy of segmentation and marketing, what we’d realize is we used to just create three tranches, right?

You know, the primary tranche that we’re going to make sure that we all can attest to and it’ll offer parades 80% value. But the reality is those three were just classic frames.

Karsten Russell-Wood (20:55): Focusing On Addressing The Pain Points

And I think really what we’ve tried to do is how do we go deeper? How do we look at even that top tranche and say, “How are those individuals different?

What are they suffering for now?”

And what’s interesting, especially through COVID, it’s been a fascinating opportunity for the government to help marketers.

I can look out on the HHS website and see exactly which hospitals have less than 5% capacity in critical care beds or hospitals whose patient surgery ratios are off the charts or who are indicating that their staffing capacity is less than 2%.

All of a sudden I can immediately pivot and create a marketing campaign that addresses those pain points.

Karsten Russell-Wood (21:38): Seeking Partnerships For Enhanced Solutions                     

Now I don’t think anybody’s trying to chase ambulances.

This is a benevolent endeavor where we’re realizing that this is the first time we have hardware and software, and people companies like Equum can come together and offer a solution.

I’ve found what’s most important and meaningful in the conversations I have, is if we can come to a health system executive and say as a dis-intermediated partner, we can deliver everything to you tomorrow.

Karsten Russell-Wood (22:09): Building Trust 

So really the concept of time to care, right? How quickly can we give you a solution?

And honestly, 60% of that solution may not be from us, but we will bring the right trusted partners together.

And I think that that is what health system executives are looking for, is frankly somebody to trust. Somebody that will bring them an answer as cleanly and as simply as possible.

The second thing I’ll mention there is how are we modifying our marketing approach? And I would say as we looked in mass before we’re much more oriented towards the concept of giving, right?

I can get you more information on that, was always the Gartner buyer survey kind of statement, which meant that one customer question in, we might have 25 case studies, which may flex around really what the true purpose was, but volume was king.

Karsten Russell-Wood (23:04): Providing Customers With Simplified Information

The second one that we’ve moved to is this idea of telling let me tell you exactly what you need to know, which is to put some thought leaders in front of them.

And in that case, be a true consultant in the sales process.

Frankly, the last one, which is today is we don’t know any better than you because we’re living it in real-time with you.

So let’s just make sense of this and sense-making is this idea of how do we collaboratively guide customers to evidence, and how as we’ve done that, do we prioritize making it simple for them to understand not massively complex?

Adam Turinas (23:48):

Very interesting. Very, very interesting. Again, customer centricity drives, everything that you do.

Lucy, how about you? That email is such a big driver for what you guys do.

And so what do you think of that slide? And what’s been the most effective or least effective for you?

Lucy Railton (24:06): SEO as The Leading Leads Driver

What stood out for me, what I thought was interesting is, of all the five, top five most effective tactics, they all need content. They’re all very reliant on content, right?

All five of those channels are channels that are important to us. But for us, what I found interesting is that for us, SEO currently represents our highest percentage of leads.

It’s one of the first things we started to focus on. When I joined Smile CDR, in fact, I actually consulted with them for a couple of years before I joined full time.

Lucy Railton (24:39): Enhanced Optimization to Boost SEO

And we were working on the Search Engine Optimization. So we all know it’s a long game and for us is starting to pay off and often startup budgets don’t have a budget to help with paid channels.

Paid is expensive and the rules change all the time and it just gets more and more and more expensive. So even though the rules change all the time with Search Engine Optimization, it’s just something that we are always sure that we’re anything new that we do.

We put the optimization lens on it. We make sure this is optimized so that in the long term is going to reap more and more benefits for us. Right?

Adam Turinas (25:17): 10X Increase In Organic Traffic

I’m such a big believer that we did 90 posts in the last year and our organic traffic grew 10X as a result of it.

And it doubled the overall traffic. So it just works, but, boy, do you have to stick at it?

Lucy Railton (25:31): Multi-channel Attribution

It has to be incorporated into everything you do. And then on top of that one thing not mentioned here is multi-channel attribution.

We know how difficult it is to measure. Yes, everything is automated.

Yes, we can sell the first and last touchpoints. But we might need to reestablish some old school technologies that we aren’t doing because we got complacent and,

“Oh our marketing automation system can tell us what the first and last source point was”

And every touchpoint they’ve had, but if we’re not asking our customers and our prospects in a one-to-one way, there are lots of dark channels they might be engaging in that we are unaware of.

Lucy Railton (26:20): Content That Makes Sense To Customers

And we won’t get a full picture of what’s working and what’s not working. What’s supporting what channel without sprinkling in that. Just ask the question: which is kind of old school for us?

So for us, it’s still absolutely Search Engine Optimization.

For us it’s a lot of content as much content as we think makes sense for our target audiences in optimizing everything.

Adam Turinas (26:45):

Kaycee, how about you guys?

Kaycee Kalpin (26:46):

I do agree with you, Lucy. I want to hang onto that. The dark funnel.

Adam Turinas (26:51):

The dark funnel.

Kaycee Kalpin (26:56): The Dark Funnel & More Spending on SEO

Interesting right now. Trying to give you different answers than what you’ve already gotten. I wasn’t surprised by the tactics that are being used.

I mean, we have leaned into digital a ton. SEO has always been a pretty big effort for us.

We’ve increased our spending on Search Engine Optimization.

I think the reason for that, Adam, is that consumer behavior is changing.

We’re sort of seeing a convergence of business-to-consumer marketing and business-to-business marketing.

Kaycee Kalpin (27:28): Changing Buying Trends & SEO Driving It

And so some of those traditional tactics that you’ve seen and the consumer that is generally for consumers, businesses are just buying differently.

I mean, so much more of the funnel is happening online, before you ever interact with a person. I’ll tell you always really surprises my executives to learn that some of our top customers fill out forms on our website.

And it’s always just so surprising for them to learn that, but it’s because it’s there and we’re meeting them where they are and there’s a form.

And they know that someone will contact them on exactly what it is that they’re interested in. So I totally agree with that.

And I think SEO is driving some of that, by the way. I was very surprised to see emails still so high on the list.

Adam Turinas (28:16):


Kaycee Kalpin (28:17): Content Aligned to Customer’s Buying Journey

Particularly because if you’re doing it right, it’s very easy to opt out. And once someone opts out, if you do it right, it’s very hard to communicate with them again through email.

And so that preference, that kind of preference center and the evolution of consumers owning their data and being able to opt-out of your communications, we’re being very careful with email and making sure that the content is perfectly aligned to a buyer journey before we send something to an inbox.

So I’m very surprised to see that so high, but for the most part, I agree with all those tactics.

Adam Turinas (28:52): Email Seen As a Necessary Evil

I think there’s one of the themes that came out of both those waves and research is that email for many is just seen as a necessary evil, which is I kind of want to get stopped doing it, but I have to keep doing it on doing webinars.

It’s the only way I really can get people to come other than LinkedIn. I think people are struggling with it.

And it’s very interesting Lucy that you are a relatively new company.

That’s where it’s one of the key things that you’re focused on, on just optimizing and getting. Right. So Royce, how about you guys? And then we go to Michael last.

Royce Brunson (29:29): Customers Coming Through Websites & Chatbot

Yeah. I think, well, a few things, one that Kaycee said that will stick with me is, that we’ve had some of our biggest customers come through our chatbot on our website.

And it’s always funny when you explain attribution to operations or other executives and they’re like, “Wait that little bot on the website.” Yes.

And so it’s always interesting just to add to that. The way that we tend to think about attribution is both on the new logo as well as the growth side. Right?

Royce Brunson (29:57): Emphasis on Both SEO & Social Media

So an imperative part of our annual operating plans is growing our current customer base, not just always acquiring new logos.

We certainly have an emphasis on both, but it’s a split percentage.

And so I think just to speak to two things, one with current clients, it was going back to what I mentioned before, which is around education and optimization of what they were currently doing and using.

Royce Brunson (30:20): Collaboration of Product & Marketing Teams

So we found a lot of our clients coming back to us and saying, “How do I continue to make this part of my day-to-day with all of these things that are going on?”

And so we try to remove a lot of the friction from our technology, to make it easier for them to optimize and use the technology.

I think what’s interesting about that thesis is, that it’s just as much of our… If not more of a product conversation as it is a marketing conversation.

And so we had a lot of emphasis on the product and the marketing teams coming together, to make sure there wasn’t a long bridge of feedback between customers and product.

And that we shortened a lot of that communication pathway.

Royce Brunson (30:57): Warm Outreach Approach

And then on the new logo side, it’s interesting, it depends on the organizations if the SDR, BDR, MDR teams report to you.

But one of the things that we found was making sure that the outbound teams move from cold outreach to warm outreach.

It became one of our best channels. And so what we ended up seeing was rather than our… We call them SDRs.

Rather than our teams just having lists that they were calling out to, we actually put marketing in front of that.

So the marketing would target folks two to three months ahead of time.

And then the SDR teams would be reaching out to those folks.

Adam Turinas (31:32):

So really softening the target.

Royce Brunson (31:35): New Marketing Realities: – Figuring Out What Works

Yeah. We’re all living from home or working… Well, live at home. Working from home, we get calls on our cell phones, office lines weren’t working.

We were calling cell phones and texting. We had to figure out a different approach for a lot of that.

And so that worked well. The other thing that I would say is we tend to March towards what we hear in the highest level conversations.

What we heard a lot as I’m so busy. Right?

So what we did was a lot of what Lucy was talking about, which was trying to thread the needle on how are our paid campaigns targeting leads and then our SDRs reaching out, and then this multi-touch attribution model to understand that it wasn’t just one, it’s not a first or last touch.

It’s all these touches in between that are really important.

So for marketers out there, wondering how do I thread the needle on a lot of this, or how do I optimize it, really sitting down to understand all the different touchpoints throughout that journey is imperative and that’s what we’ve done.

Adapting To The Changes In the Events Space

Adam Turinas (32:32):

I’m going to… Michael, what I’m going to do is I’m going to change to the next question and get you to be the first to answer it.

The next question’s actually about adapting to what’s happened in the event space, right?

A lot of us we’re all just sort of dependent on the big annual events and the big regional events.

So talk to us, Michael, about how you guys have adapted to what’s happened in events.

Michael Mahoney (33:04): The Importance of Events & Changes

That’s a huge question, I think for a lot of us who have been dependent on events for so long, in terms of reaching customers and identifying the leads and being able to have highly engaged to connect with.
For us, we still have found it, and again, just speaking to our business it’s a very interesting world we live in because as I mentioned our provider business, which has hundreds of thousands of end-users, thousands of transactions to hit our business plan and that business.

And then the other end of the spectrum especially the pharmacy business, they’ll do a couple of deals a quarter, right?

And long lead times really long negotiations and deals and a lot of bespoke implementations.
So it’s very interesting from a marketing perspective.

When we think about events and one of the things that made events relevant for us still is two things.

One is just the nature of more of the smaller geographically focused shows, where people aren’t getting on the airplane, they’re able to drive and spend a day.

They might not do it overnight in a hotel, has been still a rich opportunity for us.
Second, the people who show up are really engaged.

I think we probably all have RISE and HIMSS and all these big events coming up and they’re not going to look like the ones they have in the past in terms of attendance.

But what we’ve found is when events have happened in person, the people who are there are really… They want to be there.

Michael Mahoney (34:53):  Importance of Events & Different Types of Events

And so we try to take a thoughtful approach to that. And I would credit our team. One of the things that… Going back to really kind of the previous question of different marketing tools or tactics that have been important to us.

We use events as a way of continuing to drive better and better content.

And making sure that we are looking at, the people who are there, who are incredibly engaged and are dedicated because they’re showing up where are they engaging?

What workshops are they attending? What workshops have the highest attendance?

And how do we maybe take some of that and say, “Let’s build that into a webinar for us that’s going to attract people to engage with Inovalon.”

So I think events continue to be an important part of our marketing mix as most, I think we probably agree the hybrid ones seem just to not work at all.

It’s either a virtual kind of event or it’s something in person. I think that every time I hear the word hybrid event, I’m like it’s going to require a lot of work and a very questionable return.

Adam Turinas (36:12):

So yeah, it feels very much like when it’s a hybrid event, it’s really like two parallel events running in parallel.

I think with HIMSS, the way that they treated their global event last August was we’ve got two events going on.

You can attend both. You can attend either, but they didn’t position it as a hybrid event.

Lucy, so actually the only time I’ve met you in person was at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

Lucy Railton (36:36): Appetite for Events 

Right. That’s right. So we have a healthy appetite for events. We’ve been to four events since August, in-person events.

I’m excited for the world of in-person events to open again.

I even missed the SWAG (giveaways) “Grabbers” that you have to deal with. Right?

But I don’t think hybrid events are going away. And here’s why you have people who can attend events that they were never able to attend before either because they couldn’t travel or they couldn’t get budget approval from their company.

So I think there’s always going to be some participant who wants that virtual element, who want to be able to participate. But 100% traditional sponsorship of events does not work for a hybrid.

Lucy Railton (37:21): Need To Improve Engagements In Virtual & Hybrid Events

Anything that we did hybrid where we had the virtual booth, we got little to no engagement.

So I think a lot of work needs to be put into how do we get that engagement in a hybrid event?

How do we provide value to sponsors who are going to sponsor a hybrid event or just a virtual event, so that they have a chance to capture leads, so there is an actual value proposition for them?

I’m not exactly sure what that is. It might be something where it’s almost like a dating service.

If it’s hybrid if it’s virtual and I’m a sponsor, you organizer are going to have to make sure you understand what the needs are of your attendees, and you marry them with the solutions of your providers.

So what that looks like, I don’t know, but I do think there’s going to be some big changes coming with ensuring that virtual and hybrid events have an engagement of participants so that those event companies still get sponsorship dollars from companies like mine because there is a value other than sticking my logo on a website.

So there’s a lot of work to be done, but I don’t think a hybrid is going away.

I think participants got a taste of being able to get some of that training and subject matter expertise that they missed out on.

So now we need to figure out how to bring the value in for sponsors to continue to grow that side of the business.

Adam Turinas (38:42):

How about you, Royce? Does it fit in with your plans?

Royce Brunson (38:47): Upcoming Events

Because we’re selling directly into the health system, clinical executives, I will just keep this short, they weren’t leaving the home base for quite some time.

And so for us, personal events were completely off the table until two weeks ago when we attended our first event.

So we have a great year lined up this year with a lot of upcoming events, but I was surprised on that list that you just showed, Adam, about the channels before, that in-person event had any sort of positivity over the last two years.

Kaycee Kalpin (39:27): Different Approach To Events

Yeah. I mean, clean slate for us. We’re designing those experiences just entirely different.

Pre-pandemic events were our highest converting tactic in terms of leads to opportunity and also helped us accelerate deals through the pipeline very quickly. It’s just a different ballgame.

I mean, your value proposition for your meeting has to be so good to get people to travel.

The exhibit, I think, is we’re going to see in the next year or two this whole idea of an exhibit floor dwindle because it’s just an in-person component of your digital front door, right?

It’s like a mirror image of what your website should look like.

And why would someone go to that when they could just go to your website? Right? Back to consumer behavior.

Adam Turinas (40:22): A Shift to Meeting Spaces

What I’m hearing about from other folks like yourself is a shift towards having meeting spaces then.

So you can have a meeting… You can book a meeting space, and use the actual event space for maybe demos but also like a concierge-type thing as well.

Kaycee Kalpin (40:42):


Adam Turinas (40:44):

Karsten, anything to add to that? Or we’ll move on to the use and benefits of ABM.

Karsten Russell-Wood (41:03): Events Have Gone From Big To Micro

The only thing that I would add is, that we’ve gone from the big to the micro.

So micro-events are city-level events that almost in a very kind of gorilla tactic personalized invitations to maybe three organizations.

Now that distributes our marketing spend very differently.

But if you think about it, the idea of a massive booth relative to a specific customer that’s entering the booth can be inefficient, right?

Because the first thing you say is, which of my 20 or 200 things are you interested in?

Three… Right? Well, why don’t we try and orient that experience, not to the whole, and, “Oh, you still have to take the tour, but let’s just get you in deeper on the three.”

So to me, the micro event strategy has been fantastic, and what’s important is personalizing it.

As Royce mentioned, we have to be very respectful of the fact that we’re in healthcare and that our potential partners could be with patients.

So we do make sure that they’re all events that meet the guidelines, but at the same time that idea of having a round table, and something I always love is I think our customers do the best job selling what we do.

And so if we can bring together three potential customers and they talk through what the solution looks like, we get a real benefit.

Discussion: The Use & Benefits of Account-based Marketing

Adam Turinas (42:30):

Something that I’m looking at with many of my clients now is just doing some small virtual events, like a panel with 10, or 12 people, and maybe you position it as a panel or a webinar, but it’s much more of a discussion.

All right, I want to move on to my favorite subject, which is the use and benefits of ABM.

And so just before we get there, I want to give you some questions know which of the three buckets do you fit into?

The answers can be: Not doing it, still figuring it out, been doing it, and we’re getting traction with it.

Adam Turinas (43:04):

So Karsten, why don’t you lead off? And I want to ask you to try and keep your answers to about a minute and 30.

Karsten Russell-Wood (43:20): Measurement of ABM Or Benefits Is Necessary To Win 

There’s no way we can win without doing it. We break it up into ABM for very targeted new prospects as Royce mentioned, and then also dig in deep for a share of the wallet.

There’s an opportunity there that I think we often forget as marketers to exhaust and saturate an opportunity.

And usually, that’s because we don’t get it measured in the same way.

And so that’s where the analytics and the performance of a customer can be brought back to increase their interest in expanding the service.

One side is the pure cost of inaction, right?

Which is, “Hey we’re showing you your data, which instructs us that we could do better and perform better here. Every day it cost us money.

But the other is the opportunity cost of saying, “You haven’t even started yet on this journey. Where do we start and how do we work together?”

Adam Turinas (44:22):

Terrific. Kaycee, how about you guys? I know IBM’s a big part of what you do, right?

Kaycee Kalpin (44:27): The Use and Benefits of ABM Strategies  | It’s Very Expensive

Yeah, same. We’re all in, I’ve got some competitive recruits leading that program for us.

We look at it as one to one tactics, one to few tactics, and one to many tactics.

The one-to-many and even one-to-few in many cases is really for us a technology that we use to customize ads and deploy ads digitally.

1:many is exciting because we’re getting invited to the table with sales on huge recruits and building custom digital experiences for them, which is fun.

I will say it was expensive. I mean, it is really expensive.

So if I were to offer any advice on the use of ABM, I would try a few pilots in those areas, prove it out so that you can give them an accurate cost of the sale or cost of marketing to that in order to acquire that sale, because you’re going to need your sales team to invest for sure.

Adam Turinas (45:26):

I love it. That’s a fantastic answer. So how about Royce? I know you guys are always a bit skits of IBM…

Royce Brunson (45:35): Dipping Toes In ABM 

Yeah. I think I’m at the other end of the spectrum. If we were a play lead, we would just be cleared for takeoff, I’ll put it that way.

We have just started dipping our toes in this.

And the reason is, that in my role I oversee the commercial functions of sales and marketing, and I knew the sales organization was not set up for it.

And so the sales organization was very territory-based moving into this year. What we moved is not only a segmented model for the sales team, where we have an SMB and enterprise and a strategic accounts team.

We’ve also segmented our front-end functions with marketing and lead generation to match that.

Currently, we’re using our first phase one kind of ABM approach with our strategic accounts organization.

So we have not from a budget perspective, invested heavily in this traditionally because we’re just starting this journey.

And so Karsten and Kaycee, I may call you guys, but it’s been something where we’re just kind of taking flight on it and we’re excited about it.

Adam Turinas (46:37):

Michael, how about you guys? I think you’re a bit earlier, right?

Michael Mahoney (46:40): ABM Pilot Programs

Yeah. I would say we’re similar in that, we’ve tried Kaycee’s point.

It was not cheap. And so we’ve tried to pilot different things I’ve learned without I think going back to sort of the general theme of this panel, which is the requirements of being nimble and agile and moving quickly during this unprecedented time.

I think we want to make sure that when we make big bets where we are smart about them.

And so we’ve initiated a bunch of different sort of pilot programs to try to test and learn.

And I would say again to Royce’s, point I am oftentimes on the phone with peers and colleagues asking for their perspective and advice on how to be a success doing it because it’s the way the world is going.

You know, in that being closer to and connected to and super customer-centric in your approach is the only way you’re going to be successful going forward, but doing that poorly without being thoughtful and careful and having sort of some data to build on is not the right approach either.

I think we’re probably living someplace more in the early part of the adoption level.

Adam Turinas (48:12):

Lucy, I think somewhat similar. Right.

Lucy Railton (48:14): Pilot Program on Specific Target Audience

Very similar. Yeah. We have a pilot per program running to just one very specific target audience, one IDC, and testing it to see how it’s working for us.

So we can learn and figure out how we’re going to expand it next year.

We’ve already identified some issues with maybe getting data that’s going to help us analyze how it’s doing for us, right?

And buying role, for example, we work with that information.

Again, we have to rely on the sales team to maybe enter that information if they engage.

There are just some of those sales, and marketing collaboration that needs to be fine-tuned, just like Royce said, a hundred percent, the sales team needs to be ready for it as well.

So we’re piloting it right now.

Adam Turinas (48:55):

I think that a couple of you mentioned it’s expensive. It’s only going to get more expensive. I’ve seen the cost of intent data has increased in the last year.

And I’m sure that the platforms are going to start jacking up their license fees as well.

Okay. So what I want to do is now go over the attendee’s questions.

So got a couple of topic areas here that come up.

One around content, one around agile. We’ll start with agile.

Just a question, anybody watching you’re still there we’ve got about… Well over 50 people are still out there.

Now’s time to get your questions in. I’m not able to get too many as soon as you get them up there, the quicker I’m likely to get to it. Agile.

Everybody seems to be interested in agile. Kaycee, I got to come to you.

It’s how do you do it? Have you made it part of the way that premier works?

Answering Questions From Webinar Participants

Question 1. How Does Agile Work?

Kaycee Kalpin (50:00): How Do You Do Agile?

It’s different. It’s very different. You know, I will say in Adam, we covered this on our podcast.

So I’d say, definitely check out that podcast that I did with Adam a few weeks back, if you haven’t.

We were just slow to get to market I felt and it’s hard when you’re an executive because you’re somewhat removed from some of the details, but it just felt like it was slow.

And so agile is the same language that our tech team uses.

And it’s a way to break down the work maybe do a five effort instead of a 10 effort, get something in the market on digital, or try something out and get some feedback and refine it before you blow it out with scale.

It helps you do a lot with a few marketing resources.

And it also helps your team members I think marketers are kind of perfectionists. We all want to be really good designers or event planners or strategists.

And it helps you sort of look at the entire workload that you have and prioritize what level of effort you’re going to give to everything.

So lots of dual language households, I’m sure on the phone, it’s just basically like speaking the same language as your partners on the product side and breaking down the work into smaller chunks.

But it’s been success successful for us. Happy to share more if there are other questions.

Adam Turinas (51:33):

That’s Great.

Kaycee Kalpin (51:34): Is Agile an all-in approach? 

And I think Davis, in the chat, I see that he asked, is it an all-in approach? Yep. I will say we do sprints.

And so at that point, you need people all in.

But we also have centers of excellence for digital strategy and for content marketing that aren’t necessarily within an agile sprint.

And so it doesn’t have to be all in. You also need to learn about the principles of agile in order to adapt them to your work.

And I have teams doing different types of agile too. So one size doesn’t fit all.

Adam Turinas (52:11):

Yeah. It reminds me of when I was running my software company, our CTO used to say,

“Well, we’re agile like.”

So he is like, “We’re agile for a lot of stuff, and then other stuff’s … You can’t force it into anything.”

Kaycee Kalpin (52:23):

Sometimes you can. That’s right.

Adam Turinas (52:25):

Exactly. Yeah. So a lot of questions actually about content.

So there was one question which is about how do you structure and standardize your educational content videos to match what the customer need is?

One is about kind of like you putting together your content strategy and the other is about using it with an IBM strategy.

So who’d like to take the first one, which is about developing the content strategy?

Question 2: How to Develop Content Strategy

Royce Brunson (52:57): Developing the 1st & 2nd layer to the content

I’m happy to jump in with that. And because it’s so pointed in our world when we have clients that are utilizing our technology, which is about monitoring patients before or after an episode of care, there’s usually four or five major buckets that are going to come to mind in terms of use cases and operational deployment, hospital at home readmission avoidance, there there’s high-level buckets.

And so for us, what we’ve done is we do a first layer and the second layer of primary, and secondary layer approach to the content.

Royce Brunson (53:31): High Umbrella of Educational Content

We’re essentially we develop a higher umbrella of educational content around the topic.

And then we developed a secondary layer of content around how you would operationalize our software in that use case.

And so we have found that it’s working we have different levels of engagement, and I’ll tell you that throughout the pandemic pre-pandemic, Johns Hopkins was the only team doing hospital at home or hospital to home today.

Royce Brunson (53:56): Engagement With Other Content

There are dozens and dozens of health systems trying to do this. So we’ve seen kind of an ebb and flow of the engagement with the content.

One thing that we’ve tried to set as benchmarks is around engagement with the content before we go digital with them.

And what I mean is before we start, you know investing in podcasts and webinars and doing other types of tactics with that level of content, we tend to stay pretty light with it and just tend to monitor it.

Royce Brunson (54:25): SEO-focused Content

The other thing back to Lucy’s point is one thing we have found incredibly beneficial is SEO with the content.

So we have a whole team focused on our blog writing and backlinking across sites, which has proven to be beneficial. And so, yeah. That’s really what we’ve done to develop the top level.

Question 3: How Do You Refine Content For SEO?

Adam Turinas (54:47):

I love that. So actually there was a question in here, which I want to go to Lucy on, which is what has been the topmost effective path to refining content for SEO.

How granular is that for you?

So actually the questions are generally about what you guys do you… How do you make content and SEO work so well together? What’s the way of optimizing content so that your SEO works the way it does for you?

Lucy Railton (55:19): Fine-tuning Content To What Interests Customers

It goes back to everything. Everybody has already been saying, we focus on the customer’s needs and the customer and what their need and wants are.

So if we’ve done some market research to understand what the pain points are and what’s being searched, and that has gone into our content strategy.

Then the natural evolution is the optimization of it, incorporating not just keywords, but the intent for the content.

So really, I don’t necessarily see SEO content development as any different than understanding your audience.

If you understand your audience, you know what they’re going to want to read, you know what they’re going to search for, and you’re going to start developing content that fits that need.

So it naturally will become optimized because you know that specific customer is interested in learning about compliance for this issue that’s coming down from the CMS. Or your target customers are interested in intelligent health data, whatever it might be.

It’s not about anymore to me anymore. It’s not about going into the tools and seeing what keywords are being searched most, and trying to rank high for a specific keyword, it’s understanding your customer. So even that is all about [crosstalk 00:56:37]

Question 4:  How Do You Use Videos In Marketing

Adam Turinas (56:38):

So back to this theme about customer-centricity, one question that came up just now is actually about videos. Who here uses video quite extensively as part of what they do?

All right, Royce. So Royce, how are you using video?

Royce Brunson (56:54): Using Videos For The Brand

We use it more for the brand than anything. So for us, it’s, we don’t use it as like an educational tool for us. We’ve found that the written content works better for a lot of that for us.

It’s around our company. It’s around thought leadership videos tend to work well when targeting that type of theme.

We tend to stay away from videos for product-specific conversations and tend to use them in more of a thought leadership way.

Adam Turinas (57:20): Thank you note

Well. This is great. Well, I think we’ve come to the end of it. We’re at 1:29 P PM. So I’m going to wrap things up.

So folks can get back to whatever else the rest of the day has in store for you.

I want to give a huge thank you to all five of you for taking the time and for being so open and sharing your insights. It’s been terrific.


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Adam Turinas

Adam Turinas is a long-time technology marketing leader and entrepreneur. He is the co-author of the Total Customer Growth book and founder of Total Customer Growth LLC. Adam spent two decades marketing for Dell, IBM, Bank of America, and dozens of other major marketers. In 2012 he founded, grew, and eventually sold a healthcare technology software business and then created healthlaunchpad, a leading healthtech marketing firm that teaches clients how to use ABM.