036 | The Role Missing from Your Healthtech Marketing Team with Justin Steinman, CMO Definitive Healthcare | Studio CMO

Podcast by | January 7, 2021 HealthTech, Interviews, Positioning and Messaging

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The Episode in 60 Seconds

How do you lead marketing for an organization and keep all of the trains running on schedule? Over the course of an illustrious career, Definitive Healthcare CMO Justin Steinman has developed one role, the Campaign Planning Manager, that oversees his seven categories of marketing.

Our Guest

Justin Steinman CUJustin Steinman hails from GE Healthcare Digital and Aetna (a CVS company), where he respectively served as Chief Marketing Officer and VP and Head of Product and Solutions for nine years. As CMO of Definitive Healthcare, he is responsible for the strategy, development, and execution of all aspects of marketing for the company including product marketing, demand generation, corporate marketing, public relations, and corporate communications. Steinman possesses 25 years of deep expertise in healthcare and enterprise software where he led global, multi-level teams. He holds an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management in Technology Marketing and Entrepreneurship.

(Check out what the wayback machine discovered: Justin’s work at The Daily Dartmouth.)

Show Notes

Definitive Healthcare has aligned their sales, marketing, and customer service teams according to their verticals.


Campaign Planning Manager

For Definitive Healthcare, the most critical role is the Campaign Planning Manager. According to Justin, “A good campaign planning manager is worth his or her weight in gold because that’s the person who is the connective tissue across the company. And this role owns absolutely everything and absolutely nothing at the same time. We give our campaign planning managers responsibility for seven categories of marketing.”

The campaign planning manager is the captain of the spiritual team. He or she sits in the center of the organization and watches and encourages the relationship among sales, marketing, and product.

There can’t be a marketing event without content coming from marketing, information coming from product, and sales must be aware.

The campaign product manager sees the holes, such as: There is an advertising campaign happening, but it doesn’t have a custom landing page or the best followup emails.


Justin Steinman’s Seven Categories of Marketing

  1. Market Research
  2. Content
  3. Awareness
  4. Demand Generation
  5. Enablement
  6. Partners
  7. Customer Marketing


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John Farkas (00:00):

Payers providers, patients, regulations, transitions, legislation, mix that all together and throw a pandemic on top of it and try to go to market. That is the challenge that we face in the context of health technology marketing. And today we’r’ going to be talking with somebody who not only is dealing in that ecosystem all day, every day, but is bringing multi-vertical, complicated product, a complicated offering set to that market and working really hard to make it happen. And it’s’a brand new gig for our guest. So we’r’ going to be learning a little bit more about what it means to be the new CMO of Definitive Healthcare.

Mark Whitlock (01:01):

Welcome to Studio CMO. My name is Mark Whitlock and you are at the place where we talk about the real-life issues facing health tech marketers in this day and age, John Farkas, the CEO and chief storyteller for Golden Spiral, the agency that brings you Studio CMO, is our host. John, happy new year!

John Farkas (01:19):

Happy new year to you, Mark. Glad to be on the other side of 2020.

Mark Whitlock (01:25):

Yeah. So little ways though, it feels like same song, second verse, but we’l’, uh, may or may not be, maybe we, maybe you continue to grow out of this. And as you mentioned in the opening to our episode today, we are honored to have Justin Steinman on board with us today. He is the CMO of definitive healthcare and he brings a boatload of multiple truckloads of experience as a senior marketer in healthcare and enterprise software. Uh, he’s’had stents at GE healthcare, digital and Aetna, where he’s’been the senior marketing executive. He also brings a great deal of head knowledge to the ballpark as well, uh, with degrees from Dartmouth and MIT, Justin Steinman. We’r’ so grateful to have you on Studio CMO today.

Justin Steinman (02:12):

Great. Thanks for having me and happy new year, everybody.

John Farkas (02:17):

Justin, give us some of the backdrop, tell us how you got to where you are now and why marketing and all of that.

Justin Steinman (02:23):

Yeah. Uh, so I like to tell people I’m’a little bit of a mutt. I graduated from college way back when with a degree in English and history. And I love to tell stories. I love to write. I was the editor-in-chief of the Daily Dartmouth, and I thought for the longest time I was going to be a journalist. And then, you know, this will date myself a little bit. This was at the height of the Clinton/Lewinsky thing. And I realized that journalists at that point in time were building people up to rip them down. And I didn’t’want to do that with a career. So what did I do then with every other 22-year-old kid would do. I went through corporate recruiting and took a job with then Anderson ConsultingNow Accenture and I took my English

Justin Steinman (03:00):

Degree and I promptly went to go program SAP. Uh, all I knew was that SAP was three letters in the alphabet that kind of really introduced me to my love of technology. And after doing it for about four years ago, I don’t’want to be an it guy. I didn’t’want it to be implementing software. It was great. I realize it’s’important, but it’s’not for me. So I took my experience doing supply chain, software and SAP and pivoted to my very first marketing job. Uh, and that was at a startup, a venture backed startup called Tilion and where I was the solutions marketing manager, that first marketing employee hired. You know, from there, I went to go to business school after B school, I wound up taking a job in sales. Uh, I was carrying a bag helping to sell, uh, Linux and data center virtualization software for Novell.

Justin Steinman (03:47):

So again, I’m’a little bit of a mutt as you kind of go across here, uh, after doing that for about a year, I realized I like this marketing. I’m’a story guy. I love to write. I’v’ always loved to read and write. And I started saying, what if I transitioned? So I moved into a product marketing job and we can talk about my deep and abiding love for product marketing. And I did that for a number of years, ultimately rising up to lead all solution and product marketing at Novell. Uh, after, you know, we sold all to private equity. I got a call from a head Hunter about GE healthcare. I knew nothing about healthcare, nothing at all. I knew I had health insurance. I was it literally. And you know, they said, “H“y, look, we bought all these software companies. Well we know healthcare come out on over years. We’r’ GE healthcare. Totally. Right. We need somebody who’s’built software and a software marketing. So I went and I pivoted to healthcare software and I just fell in love with the space of healthcare because to me, healthcare was making the world a better place. And I wasn’t’a doctor. I wasn’t’saving lives, but maybe I was making a doctor’s’life just a little bit easier. Maybe I was making it a little bit easier for a patient to get care or to be able to afford care. And I had a tremendous six year run at GE Healthcare eventually, where I was the chief marketing officer for GE Healthcare’s’digital business, which was electronic medical records, revenue cycle management, visual imaging software. For those of you familiar with the centricity brand, that was our brand and our product line. But after about six years, I got really frustrated working in healthcare.

Justin Steinman (05:20):

It, so I would come home every night and I would tell my wife, we were done and how frustrated it was working at GE healthcare. Not because of the company. I love the company. I love the people, but working in healthcare, it you’r’ at the mercy of your customers. So I can talk all day long about the importance of value-based healthcare. But if my customers still wanted to do pay per play or fee for service, we had to deliver the software that enabled them to do that. Otherwise they weren’t’going to buy. And so I was contacted again by a head hunter about this job of product management at Aetna running product management for their commercial business. And that was really intriguing for two reasons. Number one, as my wife, so eloquently put it, okay, hot shot. Put your money where your mouth is. Don’t’work at Aetna.

Justin Steinman (06:06):

See if you can fix healthcare. They’r’ the third largest payer on the country. Wow. And the second thing was at that point in my career, I was really worried about being boxed in as a CMO for the rest of my career. Then, you know, well, 15 years of marketing and I said, I love marketing, but I want to see what something else is like. And I talked to you about my love of product marketing or product marketing and product management are like the heads and tails of a quarter. And so I took the opportunity to go pivot and do something different and go lead product management, retina as commercial business for four years. And what a ride that was halfway through, we got bought by CVS and it was really a unique opportunity to bring all the goodness of CVS to Aetna’s’customers and really build a differentiated health plan offering.

Justin Steinman (06:49):

Uh, we did a lot of really cool things like, you know, no cost, minute clinics, retina members, access to CVS, you know, new disease management programs designed to keep people healthier. But, you know, I had an interesting experience in the spring of this year, uh, as we are going through COVID I got airlifted out of my job and asked to go build a as part of a really core team. CVS is business to business COVID testing solution. And it was a 15 week sprint from about March 4th to when we went live on Memorial day at our first customer, this by, you know, 12 to 14 weeks, we got a COVID testing solution out the door. It was a target team about 1520 of us. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. And then I went back to my job on, you know, the following Tuesday on Memorial day.

Justin Steinman (07:36):

And it was for lack of a better word, clinically depressed, uh, because I just done this amazing job and this amazing program. And I was going back to the same old, same old. And again, I lovely wife said, you know, why don’t’you, if you don’t’want to do this, don’t’do it. You could die of COVID tomorrow, you know, she’s’right. Like you gotta take your chances. And so I started off and I started doing a job search and I realized what I really wanted to go do was be a chief marketing officer at a healthcare it company that love of healthcare that love of marketing the “d“ what you love.” ”hat was really why I went to go take this job at definitive healthcare, took me a long time to find this job and got it through a really interesting networking connection. Uh, but I, I couldn’t’be happier to be here.

John Farkas (08:25):

It’s’a great journey. And I don’t’know. I think that you, you say a mutt, I think that there’s’a lot of great qualifications that you’v’ pulled together because you know, we talk all the time about how product is inextricably linked to, uh, what has to happen in marketing in today’s’world. Especially when we’r’ talking about a software as a service and the ability to really look at product, how you’r’ meeting the needs of customers is super critical. And you’v’ got to be creating the elements that people need and that change, you know, healthcare is all change and the ability for product to move at the speed of change and need to be able to work at coming out the marketing lens and understanding what the product people are doing. Seems like a really good opportunity, especially with definitive and what definitive has in front of it now. So give us the, maybe a little bit longer than elevator speech on Definitive. What is Definitive doing?

Justin Steinman (09:25):

So Definitive is an amazing place. Uh, it’s’an overnight success story, 10 years in the making as they all seem to be right. So our CEO, Jason Krantz was the founder is the founder and is the CEOs. We have a founder CEO still at the company. He started it in 2010 with a very simple idea. Healthcare is complex. Wouldn’t’it be great if we could help people make sense out of it? What the team at Definitive has done over the past 10 years is collect the single largest database of healthcare information in the United States, and then put it in an extensible database that you can then manipulate to generate all sorts of actionable data around go-to market strategy, product development, market intelligence, and corporate developed. So we have databases of hospitals, accountable care organizations, integrated delivery networks, physicians, physician groups, medical claims, data, pharmacy claims data, all sorts of data about the healthcare system.

Justin Steinman (10:32):

And then we have linked it all together in an affiliation manner. And then we validate this data with 10,000 outbound calls every single week. Wow. To make sure that there’s’a level of intelligence, and this is a software as a service business. And essentially what you can do is you can take this, go into our SaaS platform and you can query the data and get real-time insight and intelligence to inform your go-to-market strategy. So let me give you an example, right? Let’s’say you are a CT manufacturer, all right. GE, Siemens, Phillips, pick your favorite CT manufacturer, right? You want to know when you’r’, you’r’ the VP of sales operations, right? So you’r’ setting quotas. You’r’ trying to figure out what’s’our sales forecast for the year. You want to know which hospitals are doing CTs, how many they are doing at which location. Right.

Justin Steinman (11:25):

We have all that information at our fingertips. So you can go in there and you can say that, you know, Mass General Hospital did X, Y, Z number of CT scans last year at these seven locations. And that had a radiology is Dr. Smith. And here’s’Dr. Smith’s’contact information. And the average age of their CT machine is Y. So if your VP of sales at one of these companies, you’r’ going, wow, all right, “H“, Mark. You are the, you know, sales rep covering master in the hospital. Here’s’your quota for next year set in real data,” ”ight? That’s’immensely valuable. We help people get to revenue a lot more quickly. Uh, we do this for software companies. We’r’ selling into the space, healthcare IT. We sell this for, I said, medical devices. Similarly, we work with a lot of biopharma customers who are using our product to help gain insights into the, uh, you know, drug development process and not so much that we don’t’help development drug software.

Justin Steinman (12:28):

We don’t’build a software for drug development. We give you the insight about the market needs. So let’s’say you have a bunch of scientists. Who’v’ come up with a molecule that will help address bladder cancer. Is this a good market for you to go into? Where is this? Well, you could go into our database and you could find out where the highest prevalence of bladder cancer is across the United States. You know where these people live, obviously de-identified patient data. So we’r’ not violating any HIPAA laws are very, very HIPAA compliant. Privacy is like tier 1 million A, a priority for us. But with de-identified data, you’r’ trying to figure out is the market for bladder cancer, a market of 25 million people or a market of a million people. That’s’pretty important data for you. We can tell you where the different urologists who are treating that are and where they’r’ located, what is their propensity to prescribe medicine versus surgery or other information.

Justin Steinman (13:21):

And then we can connect you with key opinion leaders around the world who may have expertise on bladder cancer, who may have insights as you’r’ doing your product development. And so we really can help you commercialize and take that product to market so we can help you on the product dev side there. And then when it comes time for quota setting, you do the same exercise. I was just telling you about CTs. And so ultimately we have value across the entire go-to-market chain with our real time insights, data also has applicability to consulting vendors. So, you know, all your favorite, big consulting firms are producing these, you know, thick 400 page PowerPoint decks. They’r’ using our data about the healthcare system. You’v’ got real private equity shops. So they’r’ doing deal due diligence and deals or healthcare data flows right into that. So it’s’because it’s’unique data set that we put together. That’s’the start, but it’s’really insights in the intelligence that we’v’ built on top of it that really has the value of it

John Farkas (14:18):

And worth mentioning that Justin has been there all of 10 weeks, just reiterating that a lot of stuff to absorb. So Justin, I’m’super interested. I mean, you guys are staring at pharma and biotech. You’r’ looking at tech companies, you’r’ looking at facilities, construction, medical devices, financial services. I mean, you mentioned funders. Uh, you got verticals all over the place and none of them are easy right now. I I’d’love, I’d’love for you to talk about how you take a core set. I mean, you’v’ got this core resource that you are parsing out and dealing out in different ways to very different need sets, peel back the hood a little bit on that from a marketing leaders perspective, how do you begin? How do you look at that?

Justin Steinman (15:06):

I’v’ recently reorganized our marketing team here. And so let me talk a little bit about how we’r’ organized and then that will integrate how we go to market vertically, because we do go to market vertically and we are aligned with our sales team. Also has a vertical orientation and our customer service, which has their vertical orientation. So our whole team, anybody facing the market from a product through marketing, through sales, through customer services, we’r’ all aligned on verticals. And I’d’say, you know, about a good 60, 70% of our business sits within those verticals, but then we’v’ got a huge chunk of business that comes from horizontal use cases. Funny story, true story. One of our big customers is a peanut butter manufactured. Huh? Why do you think a peanut butter manufacturer would want to buy our data?

John Farkas (15:52):

Allergies are a big market problem for them.

Justin Steinman (15:54):

Close, but no, what’s’on the tray of every hospital bed. When they serve breakfast every morning and lunch and dinner, I knew little peanut powder cup, so I knew little jelly cup, right? So if you were trying to, again, figure out your sales quota, and you’r’ the healthcare guy selling into hospitals. You want to know how many people spent, you know, overnight at Mass General versus Brigham & Women’s’versus, you know, Our Sisters of Mercy Hospital, right? So you want that data. So we have a whole bunch of people who are selling into the healthcare space, who don’t’fit into our vertical approach. And we have to make sure that we have a story that’s’appropriate for them as well. Just add another level of complexity to what we’r’ trying to do, right. And I can tell you stories. We have paint manufacturers who sell like the white paint that you see on the hospital walls and the yellow paint. Like all these people are coming in and buying, or did it cause we’r’ giving them that go to market insight. They want to know, right. Which hospitals are being built. When are they last minute? And who’s’the in charge of facilities. So that a little bit of a tangent, let me come back to kind of the core question that you asked John, which is a good one.

John Farkas (17:01):

And while you’r’ doing your job and selling a little bit while you’r’ at it, so that’s’good.

Justin Steinman (17:05):

Amen. He’s’not gonna lie to ya. All right. Uh, sales guys don’t’sell, I don’t’eat dinner. Uh, and I, and you know, we’l’ joke for a second. But, uh, one of our sales guys introduced me to his team recently and said, this is our new CMO he’s’revenue minded. And I took that as a super high compliment, right? Because I don’t’think every CMO is revenue-driven. Some are more interested in brands, which is important. But again, I remind my team every single day, if sales doesn’t’sell, you don’t’get paid because there’s’no revenue coming in the door. And so we align our bonus structure up to, uh, sales targets. And so if you are aligned to a particular vertical, then your bonus is tied to the performance in that vertical, right. Or you’r’ like my case, I’m’a tied directly to the overall company revenue. And I wouldn’t’have it any other way. Right? I want to make sure that there’s’a hundred percent alignment between my team and the sale.

John Farkas (18:09):

If you’r’ a CMO and you’r’ not revenue minded, you’r’ in trouble in some form or fashion, if you’r’ a CMO and you’r’ not revenue minded, you’r’ an interior decorator. Yes. That’s’a problem.

Justin Steinman (18:19):

While fonts and colors are fun. And I do have appreciation for that. And that’s’a part of the job, right? That’s’what I love about, Oh, you know, I can do in one meeting fonts and color and website design, and the next I’m’looking at a demand forecast and joining into a funnel and figuring out how many marketing qualified leads to help hit the funnel. And then, then my next meeting, I’m’thinking about, all right, let’s’review a value prop. And so I’v’ gone from PowerPoint to Excel, to Microsoft Word on the course of an hour and a half. And I love that diversity of my job absolutely love it because it gets me out of bed and keeps things going.

John Farkas (18:53):

I would love for you to keep going down that how you have the team structured around verticals. Because I think that that’s’that’s’important, right? Because you don’t’have simple verticals. Every one of them has a nuance. They’r’ all very different. You’r’ going to have to create different strategies to meet different objectives with that. So talk about how you structured the teams and how you’v’ segmented that to optimize effectiveness.

Justin Steinman (19:18):

I got to give credit where credit is due and tell you that I’m’running a playbook taught to me by my old Novell CMO, John Dragoon, who I like to joke taught me everything I ever needed to know about marketing. John’s’a great guy. And I literally looked at the structure he had in place at Novell all so many years ago. And I put that same structure in place here. So I have got a product marketing team. I have got a centralized demand generation team, and I’v’ got a corporate marketer. And each one of those is led by a VP. And the corporate marketing team really thinks about the brand store. What are the attributes of a brand, the top level corporate story? You know, it does cover a fonts and colors and websites, uh, visual identity, tone of voice website, multimedia, digital, all that stuff that you really need to have in service of establishing the company, social media fits in there, PR AR.

Justin Steinman (20:11):

Then we have got our product marketing team. And those are the folks who do the go-to-market strategy. They do the product positioning, they write product positioning document. They write all the sales collateral or the presentations, the case studies, the ROI calculators. They also own the responsibility for the market requirements documents. We’r’ going out understanding the marketplace, understanding the unmet customer needs, and then bringing that insight to product management. So the saying, “H“y, we’v’ identified a problem in the market that no one else is addressing product. Guys, go put your big brain hats on and figure this one out for us and builds a new product. And then by the way, we’l’ take the positioning and right. Yes, we know that you’r’ going to come up with 19 different, amazing things that this product can do. Market can really only take about three of them. So we’r’ going to pick the top three and figure out, you know, what our story’s’going to be.”

”Justin Steinman (21:00):*

And then the team that sits in the middle between product marketing and corporate marketing is our demand generation team. And those are the folks who are doing, Hey interface, primarily into sales. And one of the problems was critical is marketing operations sits in that team, obviously. And that’s’where you’r’ measuring all of your lead flow and everything there. But the most critical role is my long about way roundabout way of answering your question. John is the campaign planning manager, a good campaign planning manager is worth his or her weight in gold and density because that’s’the person who does the connective tissue across the company. And you own absolutely everything and absolutely nothing at the same time as a campaign planning manager. And so we give our campaign planning managers responsibility for seven categories of marketing, and I’v’ been preaching the same seven categories of marketing for years, right?

Justin Steinman (21:52):

You got market research, content awareness, demand, generation enablement partners, and then you’v’ got customer marketing or after you become the customer, would, how do we market to you get those seven categories of marketing? And then you’v’ got activities by quarter. You got a grid and that’s’what you’r’ doing. But the key of the campaign planning manager is you have to go around the organization, start with sales and go, okay, great. What is our revenue target? How many deals, let me back that up to sales qualified leads, backed it up to marketing, qualified leads back, back up to prospects, brought back that out through the number of people. I need to contact us with the general email and maybe get their attention. Now I got my numbers. Okay, great. Now I got to go to product marketing and I got to say, okay, what’s’our value proposition.

Justin Steinman (22:36):

What’s’the product that goes in here. What’s’the price? How do we want to talk about it? What collateral is coming out of the pipeline, right? Then you got to go to the corporate marketing team and say, okay, I need a new webpage focused on a new landing page focused on this particular vertical. And I need some new creative from our advertising agency because I want to do an integrated advertising on specific sites. If I’m’the, you know, biopharma campaign planning manager, I want to go to specific places where my customers go. I want to buy some ads. I want to buy pay-per-click and I’m’going to drive them to a targeted landing page. Roughly we’r’ going to try to get them to convert. You’r’ going to be doing work with the other folks on the demand generation team, email marketers. I want to do a lead nurture campaign.

Justin Steinman (23:19):

I want to have a event, you know, eventually we’l’ be back in person. Again, we, you know, maybe for a higher value biopharma event, biopharma segment, you’d’have a breakfast event at a, at a nice hot hotel where you network with your peers or a more of a flow business. And you are maybe the software, uh, campaign value manager. Maybe you’d’have an online session, or maybe you need to go to a trade show and get more people there because you don’t’can’t’afford to do the high-end events. But what we have is we have our campaign planning managers lined up by vertical, and that person is the captain of the spiritual team. And they bring in all right, there’s’the IFR, I’m’a product marketing manager. There’s’a head of sales for biopharma. There is a biopharma product manager and that campaign planning manager kind of brings everybody together.

Justin Steinman (24:10):

It’s’all their content and all the different parts of the job and make sure that it hangs because otherwise you’r’ going to have, you know, a marketing event taking place, but anybody in position on sales to follow up on the leads generated from that event, or you’r’ going to have an event and you’r’ not going to have the content coming from product marketing, or you’r’ going to have an event you’r’ going to have the content and sales is ready, but they haven’t’been trained, right. Or you’r’ going to have all of that, but they’r’ not going to be any additional follow-up immature on the website and your follow up email.

John Farkas (24:41):

So the campaign planning manager is really the conductor. At the end of the day, they have the Baton, they understand every piece of the orchestra it’s’and it’s’their job to make sure they’r’ all in sync that they, and what they end up delivering is a, is according to the score that has been set up as far as what specifically needs to get connected and communicated to the market in a way that makes sense. Um, what, uh, so really great insight. What, in, in the context of that position, um, well, let me ask this as you have encountered this, uh, and, and seen the need for it, because I will tell you that not everybody has that I can’t’think of an interview we’v’ had with the marketing leader. Who’s’kind of jumped up and down on the importance of that position. And it makes great sense because what we often see is terrific line loss between elements of the organization, when you’r’ trying to put these campaigns together, and what ends up coming out is a disjointed or fragmented, uh, set of information that doesn’t’ that’s’ that’s’limited in its effectiveness because of that.

John Farkas (25:54):

Are there situations where you haven’t’had that in place or scenarios where that has not gone the way it’s’needed to, like, what’s’proven the need for that in your experience?

Justin Steinman (26:04):

Uh, so I’v’ never not had it, right. It’s’how I learned it at all. But I’l’ tell you, I walked in the door here at definitive and there was no campaign planning manager with an entirely new concept here. And so I looked around the organization and said, all right, we’r’ going to start this right now. And I were looking for a specific attributes. And so I identified this woman, Sarah, who’s’been here for four years, which is definitive.

John Farkas (26:31):

You’r’ an old timer place.

Justin Steinman (26:35):

And what I liked about Sarah was a, she was whip smart, but B she’s’a connector. And so she knows everybody. And you’r’ going to, as you said, at the conductor, John, and so you find somebody who knows where all the people work knows how the company works is in marketing as a connector. And then we said, okay, congratulations. You’r’ going to be our new campaign planning manager. Here’s’some templates that I’v’ worked in the past, good luck and Godspeed. And that was a little bit of an unfair assignment. She’s’doing great pulling together. All of these campaigns, what was interesting is she said, literally in a medium, you had early this week, “y“u know, Justin people in our reaching out to me and they want to be like in these biopharma campaign meetings. And this is kind of interesting. They’r’ starting to get momentum.”

”Justin Steinman (27:17):*

And everybody’s’realizing that if we can create these like smaller empowered frontline teams around each of our verticals, then they are enabled to move fast and respond to the market and the customer needs. Wow. And then, you know, the closer you can get to the customer, the closer you get to the market, the better you have. And that’s’how you address the fact, John, the question you asked me like 15 minutes ago, how are you going to market and biopharma medical device consulting and you know, software at the same time I put putting together these small empowered cross-functional teams, and there’s’a really important word, small empowered, cross functional. That’s’how you win

John Farkas (27:55):

The terrible cliche that exists out there is how COVID is transforming everything. What I know is it is definitely transforming how companies like yours are going to market, because the way that sales has happened traditionally is, well, it’s’been changing. It’s’accelerated the pace of change. I’m’really curious to see how the last year has, how, how you would say it’s’affected. And I know you haven’t’been at definitive for a year, but I’m’sure that you’r’ right now at the cusp of realizing some of the changes that have started to take place. How have you seen that move and transform

Justin Steinman (28:38):

People here are attracted to the campaigns because it’s’relatively something new. So definitive has been a hyper-growth company. And one of the reasons that I was recruited in was a very real understanding by Jason and the board that, you know, what got us here, isn’t’going to get us to the next level of where the company wants to be and how to operate it. And so, you know, Jason, as the founder CEO, literally joked to me, it was Justin. At one point I was a chief product marketer because I could go around. And when it was just, you know, 50 people, I could sit down and have lunch with all the salespeople and tell them about the product. And now the value prop, you know, now we’v’ got over 500 people and Jason’s’a full-time CEO. He can’t’be the chief product marketer anymore. We’v’ got to have a product marketing team. And so we’r’ putting some of this structure in place. And that’s’why I think people are gravitating because they’r’ realizing as we enter our next phase of growth, these cross-functional empowered into how we’r’ going to keep people close and agile. Definitive as a place of one of our core values is scrappiness. And as you get bigger, it’s’hard to remain scrappy. You create these small empowered teams, you’r’ scrappy again. And so it’s’culturally with how people feel at the company and how they were

John Farkas (29:50):

Justin. Clearly, agility is critical right now. I know you haven’t’been at definitive forever, but I also am guessing you’v’ seen some really good success in doing this in some other venues, give us a couple of examples of some teams you’v’ put together to meet a, a critical need in a short amount of time, you know, an agile team, you, you, you put together to make things happen.

Justin Steinman (30:17):

Yeah, sure. So this campaign planning manager model that, you know, I’m’jumping up and down and, you know, telling all your listeners, I got tons of proof points that it works. So let’s’go back to my days at GE healthcare digital world, when I was CMO there, you know, and our last year, uh, we generated $170 million of the new sales funnel, which was 44% of the total net new funnel and was a 21% year over year increase when we had this thing fully operational, let’s’take it down though, to a couple of, you know, more detailed levels. So we put this model together for two different products, right? One was centricity practice solution, which was call it a one 51 $75 million product line ambulatory electronic medical records, targeting independent physician practices. And so you got to go back in time here, where you’v’ had not as much consolidation of the healthcare industry, or, you know, IPA’s’have been acquired at quite a rapid rate over the past five years back then we had a lot of things we had to get to, right?

Justin Steinman (31:18):

And so we needed to figure out how do we do this? We had got some product ambulatory experts. We had a campaign planning manager. I still remember her name is Emily. They’l’ talk to Emily has been number of years, right. But she owned this right. Should give you an idea of where this starts to fit in and how important these roles are, uh, for that product, which is a major new launch, right? Uh, candidly marketing, before we had taken over that, hadn’t’been driving a ton of pipeline or even driving about 4% of the overall sales pipeline. When we implemented this process, we jumped from 4% to 24% in the space of a year for that, right. And opportunity value doubled in six months as marketing the value of the marketing opportunities in the pipeline, doubling it in six months, wow. Centricity business, which was a, still is our revenue cycle management product.

Justin Steinman (32:08):

We had a major upgrade, you know, from my four [inaudible]. And every time we go to the rep, before that, to the left of the decibel, it’s’a big lift, right? Um, with this campaign, we got 60% of people to upgrade in year one. Most people need to have software left, do not upgrade in your one that generally can do weekly. Right? Historically, I’v’ seen that it’d’be about 35 to 38% upgrade. We’v’ got 60% in year one, again, just targeted campaign. You know, and I remember the big thing, Jesus, big, complicated place, right? Way more complicated than place like definitive, you know, we’r’ 500 GS, thousands of thousands of people. And you need the ability to get everybody moving in the same direction. Uh, you know, and many times all the way around the country, different offices, different locations, we’r’ pretty much located definitive, you know, 90 plus percent of it. They’r’ out here in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Mark Whitlock (32:58):

What does it look like for these teams to communicate with each other? What, uh, what type of meeting structure, what type of MarTech tools are you using? How do they stay connected?

Justin Steinman (33:09):

That’s’a great question. And, uh, it’s’different in COVID that’s’for sure. Now they connect over, uh, you know, doom, uh, MarTech tools. Uh, today at definitive, we are using HubSpot and Salesforce and we use HubSpot as our CMS, uh, and our email nurturing campaign. And then we transitioned into Salesforce when we do SQLs. Uh, we actually believe it or not use the Microsoft project and Microsoft planning tools that are part of office to keep an integrated project plan. And everybody has a, uh, every campaign has a SharePoint home where you are all the information and you see the work and who it’s’been assigned to a campaign plans when I’v’ seen them work generally. And many times you kind of have a core team that has a standup meeting, frankly, every day, uh, started the day taking a page out of agile product development.

Justin Steinman (34:04):

You do agile marketing, all right, what do need to do today? 15 minutes, that’s’really the small 14. Cause I’m’going to be honest. I don’t’want to take all the sales folks off the floor to go to a marketing meeting. Right. But you know, generally on like Friday afternoons, maybe you’r’ not taking as many sales calls. We do have a campaign planning meeting where we get the broader extended campaign team, come in and say, what do we get done this week? What w what’s’coming up next week? Uh, because when you look at a marketing calendar, you need to look at it from two vectors. You need to look at it from, Hey, what’s’happening over the next, you know, seven, 12, 15 days across all campaigns. So a date day by date, and they need to look at it horizontally, but what’s’happening over each individual campaign. So if you want it to what’s’going on in biopharma the next six months, I can slice it that way. Uh, and so we just use basic, you know, standard office collaboration tools, uh, with a back office MarTech stack.

John Farkas (34:57):

So Justin, you, you came in with a fire under you. There was a lot to do. And you’v’ been about it. Talk about how you’v’ approached your first 90 days when you took this opportunity, really something that you took time to intentionally seek out. This is a position that in some sense is tailor made for your backdrop and your passion. Um, as you have looked at, um, this beginning window, which is a critical time, how have you approached it? What, what did you do in that first coming in segment?

Justin Steinman (35:32):

I hope Jason’s’listening to this because I can tell you with a straight face. This is right. Uh, it’s’unbelievable for a guy who loves healthcare, software and marketing. I’m’working at a company that sells software for healthcare, marketers. I mean, my guy, it’s’the home run of jobs for me. Right. Uh, and I get out of bed every morning, hired up to come up to my attic and go to work. Uh, true story. As I said, I’v’ never met anybody at definitive. In-person the entire company. I’v’ never seen the legs of a single person. Uh, I went through probably 14 hours of zoom interviews to get this job and never met a single Patrick and a hand. I couldn’t’tell you how tall my bosses, uh, kind of funny to think about, right. It’s’definitely getting to be a normal thing. It is, you know, that being said, like any good leader when I came in the door first and foremost, I’m’listening, right?

Justin Steinman (36:31):

You’r’ getting a lot of passion and energy for me today on this podcast, because you asked me to talk, right. And I can talk all you want me to talk it marketer, right? We all taught. Uh, but you know, there’s’a lot of people here who’v’ been doing this a lot longer than me, and they’v’ got a lot of knowledge. And so I need to, to understand a good marketer, a good leader, always seeks to understand before you seek to be understood. And so I’v’ come in really to kind of listen and understand where we are and what we need to do after doing that listening. And I’m’honestly, I’v’ listened to everybody from the most junior marketer up to the CEO and my fellow members on the executive leadership team. I’v’ talked to the salespeople since I’v’ been here to understand their needs. I’v’ talked to finance, the whole organization.

Justin Steinman (37:22):

Everybody’s’got a perspective. The good market is synthesized. Uh, and there are a couple of things that we needed to do. First and foremost, we needed to strengthen sales and marketing alignment. Sales and marketing had gotten into a little bit of their individual silos. And so one of the things that I’v’ partnered with our chief revenue officer on it’s’ we are joined at the hip and we are driving super tight sales, marketing alignment. Uh, that’s’been really critically important. The second thing is we need to do some work on our brand, right? We haven’t’really thought about where our brand is, what our attributes want to be. Uh, I think our marketing needs to be a little bit more aspirational than it has been. It needs to have similar emotional connection. Okay. Let’s’be honest. This is a killer product. We’v’ got a killer sales team.

Justin Steinman (38:11):

And as a result of that, we’v’ just had crazy growth. Uh, and as a result, marketing may not have been as critical as it potentially needed to be as we enter this next phase of growth. And so establishing the more aspirational, the more emotional nature of our brand, that’s’going to be a priority for me as I go into 2021 tied into that, I want to elevate the, of the company. I tell people where the quietest success story that no one’s’ever heard of. I got friends who, you know, are CMOs of all sorts of healthcare companies and their general reaction is when I put this whole, you know what? You got that job, that’s’killer Justin. That’s’amazing. I tell pretty much anybody else. Who’s’not like a CMO or user of definitive health care. And they’r’ like, you went to go work where that’s’not acceptable.

Justin Steinman (39:03):

Right. We got to get this out there. I say all the time, we’r’ sitting on a treasure trove of healthcare information. It’s’a marketer’s’dream, those marketers, what can I say to the market? That’s’interesting. I got data coming out of my years of things. That should be interesting. So, you know, one of the things that we want to do is we want to start being a service to, you know, journalists. Every time we read an article and pick your favorite newspaper about healthcare, there should be somewhere coordinated, definitive healthcare, comma, insert, cool healthcare stat here, IDC crush. When it comes to it in the software industry, nobody’s’doing that for healthcare. We have the right to do that because we have the most objective data set in there. And so that kind of comes with raising the profile. And then finally, just to kind of put a bow on this whole conversation, uh, I really want to implement and make success. This campaign planning approach as the company goes vertical, this is a big year of verticalization for the company. We need to put that really tight alignment into drive. That demand generation success. And the CPM role is really critical to doing

Mark Whitlock (40:08):

You’v’ come in in just a short number of weeks and, and brought about some change. And you’r’ starting to see some traction there. Has there been any resistance to the changes you’v’ brought into place and how, how are you managing that as the senior marketing team?

Justin Steinman (40:24):

I’m’happy to report that there really is no resistance or at least under my face, right? And again, I’m’the senior marketing guy, this resistance, no, one’s’going to March into my virtual office and be like, Hey, you got to be careful about that as an executive, right? Because you know, it’s’a pretty loud echo chamber. If you’r’ not with the ground, uh, you know, that being said, I’m’my channel checks as they speak. And I’v’ actually had my HR partner go around to make sure that everything is okay, cause they’r’ going to tell it. They may or may not tell them, but they’r’ hiring confirmed and they’l’ tell me. And everybody seems pretty happy. Uh, you know, I just got through the board reading boards. I’m’pretty happy with what we’r’ doing. That’s’always a good sign. Uh, no, I like to joke that my batch continues to work, but true story.

Justin Steinman (41:11):

I don’t’have a badge X I’v’ never been really off. Uh, you know, I think as you come along, as you come in humble and you listen and realize that there’s’a lot of good work that was done before you, and if you were to step off a cliff and not come to work tomorrow, there would still be a lot of good work done without you the next day. Uh, I think that’s’really the path success. A good leader does this a couple of things, right? My job is to set direction, get resources and eliminate obstacles. I know we’r’ here. I know we want to be over there. I don’t’have it. You know, what clue, how to get over there, right? That’s’what the team to do. I’m’going to set this big, hairy goal over there. Go get it. And you’v’ got to tell me how you’r’ on the ground.

Justin Steinman (41:57):

You’re close. Are you doing the work? You need to come to me and say, I need this resource. I’ll read it a four. You need to come to me and say, I got this obstacle. I’ll get it out of the way for you. I think that’s, that’s all I really do. Just those two things. Um, and I think as long as you kind of keep yourself focused on that and realize that, you know, as a marketing leader, your biggest gift is to ask the right question, not to provide great answer. That’s a big thing. Um, you know, you’ll be fortunate or hopefully not enough to happen resistance along the way. So, you know, be humble and listen.

John Farkas (42:30):

That’s a great word.

Mark Whitlock (42:32):

There was a lot of wisdom in that 75 seconds. That’s for sure. Justin Steinman, CMO of Definitive Healthcare. Thank you for being on studio CMO

Justin Steinman (42:39):

Today. Thanks for having me guys. This was fun.

John Farkas (42:42):

And Justin, I can tell you, uh, you know, you’ve already wet my whistle. I’m super interested to follow this up because what you guys do is inherently give people insights into their market, uh, would love to talk about how that can be directly pertinent to our listeners because there’s some super good opportunities here. So I’m going to invite you back actively and we’ll give people more information about when that’ll happen, but, uh, would like to talk about, okay, let’s, let’s jump the fence and talk about how you can accelerate the go-to market for, uh, for the companies that we are talking to right now. Um, because there’s some, you know, data’s data is gold and the ability to get insights on what needs are and what the opportunities look like is something that I know a lot of our listeners are always into learning how to do better. So let’s have that conversation. I’ll look forward to it.

Justin Steinman (43:35):

I’d love to, that’d be fun.

Mark Whitlock (43:37):

Come on over to Studiocmo.com and click on the Justin Steinman interview. Scroll down to the bottom and go ahead and subscribe. Now, if you’re not a subscriber to studio CMO hop on board today, and you’ll be one of the first to know when Justin is back with us on studio com and while you’re there, we’ve got information about the campaign planning manager. We’ve got information about the seven categories of marketing that Justin talked about, and I’ve even gone into the Wayback machine and pulled out some of the articles he edited when he was the editor at the Daily Dartmouth. So come on, you got to check out some of his, uh, editorial and journalism skills as well. We’re grateful for you to be a part of Studio CMO. Studio CMO is brought to you by Golden Spiral. And, uh, we want you to know that our number one focus is to help you understand your customer’s needs and then to lead them out of that empathetic understanding.

John Farkas (44:27):

and to always make your buyer the hero.

Mark Whitlock (44:30):

We’ll see you next time on Studio CMO.

Mark Whitlock (44:46):

Studio CMO is shaped by Golden Spiral where we help healthcare technology companies establish and communicate their unique message to the right decision-makers, realize your market potential. Contact Golden Spiral today. Our music was created by some of Nashville’s hottest studio musicians and Human Music.


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