"We just had a board meeting where we reviewed the Chief Outsiders engagement and they couldn’t have been happier. We achieved everything that we set out to achieve and our PE sponsors were thrilled."
Dominick DeRosa, Chief Client Officer, PELITAS
PELITAS has been named Best in KLAS Patient Access Solution for the second year in a row. Reaching a point where leadership sought to capitalize, the company turned to Chief Outsiders Fractional CMO, Andrea Overman to accelerate growth. Working closely with leadership, Overman quickly developed the insight, strategy and tactics to elevate PELITAS’ marketing to a new level. A smooth handoff to a new VP of Marketing enabled the company to continue in its modern approach and higher growth trajectory.
PELITAS uniquely offers a fully integrated, wholistic patient access platform (iPAS) that is relevant across both the acute and ambulatory spaces. The growing healthcare software company serves a range of customers from small physician clinics to large integrated delivery networks.
“One of the powers of our software platform is it enables us to service the rural community segment of the market as well as the large, metropolitan urban health systems,” related Steven Huddleston, Chief Executive Officer, PELITAS.
Need for Growth
With an infusion of PE capital and a new name, PELITAS launched into an interesting phase of its growth, but had some significant concerns about its rebranding effort. Furthermore, a redesigned website failed to deliver the anticipated growth.
Fortunately, Dominick DeRosa, Chief Client Officer, knew Paul Sparrow, Area Managing Partner & CMO at Chief Outsiders. “We were at a point where we were not making progress and so Chief Outsiders came forward,” stated DeRosa.
“I was a little skeptical when the proposal was sent across my desk,” added Donald McClure, CFO. “But the pitch spoke to Dom and to Steven and we went forward with it.” Hence, PELITAS’ leadership engaged Chief Outsiders to deliver a quick shot in the arm to accelerate growth.
To get things rolling, Chief Outsider Fractional CMOs, Andrea Overman and Rob Talbot performed a deep-dive assessment of PELITAS’ digital footprint and website. They found that the website was not optimized for SEO and lead generation. Several other challenges were also identified.
Overman found that while PELITAS was positioned for significant growth, there were specific challenges that needed to be addressed, including:
- Brand awareness and market perception as a small player
- A need to clearly differentiate PELITAS from competitors
- A lack of sales qualified leads at the top of the funnel
- A need for demand generation and thought leadership strategies
- Insufficient marketing bandwidth and expertise to build a cohesive marketing strategy
PELITAS’ leadership had prepared a prioritized list of business objectives and requirements that summarize as follows:
- Develop a broad-based, cohesive marketing strategy
- Grow revenue by 300% in 36 months
- Increase awareness and number of leads
Overman worked with leadership to gain perspective on current strengths and opportunities. Leveraging existing research and company information to determine what was needed, she performed a comprehensive Go-to-Market Gap Analysis with the input from several key team members.
External interviews provided insights to refine positioning and gain competitive intelligence. An external analysis of competitors’ messaging uncovered opportunities for differentiation advantage with some and parity with others. First phase deliverables included a go-to-market gap analysis, a competitive messaging matrix and a competitive digital assessment.
Marketing Strategy Development
In the second phase, Overman conducted a Chief Outsiders growth exercise to align leadership focus to the best growth strategies. She also developed brand positioning through a Brand House exercise and conducted company SWOT, activated SWOT and competitive strengths/ weaknesses analyses.
Her efforts generated a comprehensive marketing strategy leveraging company, customer, and competitive insights. It called for four to five priority strategies and high-level tactics designed to meet growth goals. Key segments, key targets, competitive differentiation recommendations and prioritized content development requirements were included.
“Andrea gave us a great roadmap so that when we got our VP of Marketing on full-time, she had a list of things to immediately start tackling,” related Huddleston.
Marketing Plan Implementation
Phase three of the engagement put the marketing plan into effect, including asset development and the transition to a new VP of Marketing. Timing depended on the resources needed and the VP’s start date.
Working with leadership, Overman prepared a complete tactical marketing plan to generate leads. A budget, timelines, process and resource recommendations, and a comprehensive marketing calendar came with recommended metrics for assessing results.
Together, they developed brand awareness initiatives within budgetary allowances and prioritized key content with an editorial calendar. A comprehensive trade show and conference strategy included effective sponsorships and a lead capture and nurture process.
With the strategy developed, Overman assisted the PELITAS executive hiring team by conducting interviews and recommending the most qualified candidate, Jenifer Bush, for the VP of Marketing, a new position at the company.
Working with Bush, Overman initiated the implementation and measurement of the chosen marketing programs and tactics. She worked to measure and connect marketing results to company goals (e.g. revenue, # of new sales by month).
“Andrea built a strong plan and budget to get me started when I joined,” stated Jenifer Bush, VP of Marketing. “She set us up on the right path. She and Rob refined our strategy and introduced us to several great resources, including SEO and content development.”
“Jenifer is a seasoned marketing executive who absorbed a great deal of information and quickly turned it into action,” related Overman. “My role at that point was to share everything I had learned about the company, the strategy and the recommended tactics to ensure a smooth transition.”
Blown Away by Deliverables
In about two months, Overman delivered a comprehensive, market-focused strategy and tactical marketing plan that set PELITAS up to quickly accelerate growth. With a smooth handoff to a talented VP of Marketing, the company had everything needed to capitalize on market opportunities and the Best in KLAS award.
“I was blown away by the deliverables that we got from Chief Outsiders,” stated McClure. “Primarily, they took us to the next step by creating a repeatable demand generation engine,” added DeRosa.
“Working with Andrea was a great experience!” offered Bush. “I can’t say enough. Her depth of experience, connections and energy quickly boosted our marketing to a whole new level.”
Within the first month following implementation, PELITAS saw a 133% increase in the number of targeted keywords that rank on page one of Google. “That resulted from addressing the issues discovered in the technical SEO audit as well as the launch of a focused content program,” related Talbot.
Talent Generates Results
Recently, the PELITAS board met to review the Chief Outsiders engagement. “They couldn’t have been happier,” reported DeRosa. “We achieved everything that we set out to achieve and our PE sponsors were thrilled.”
“The advice I would give to another CEO considering Chief Outsiders would be to fully understand the scope of the talent and the breadth of the resource capabilities they offer,” concluded Huddleston. “Once you meet the talent inside the organization and understand how you’re able to leverage that as a complete network—that was the compelling event for us.”
“I was extremely impressed with the leadership team,” responded Overman. “With deep industry experience and qualifications, each one is a star. Steven’s high intelligence, creativity and people skills make him a unique CEO and an excellent leader.”