Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be part of a non-Marketing Technology company — Grand Rounds?
Grand Rounds is a new kind of healthcare company; we create products and services that give people the best possible healthcare experience. The opportunity appealed to me on both a personal and professional level. Personally, I have had healthcare experiences that were far more complicated and confusing than they needed to be.
Grand Rounds’ mission to raise the standard of healthcare for everyone, everywhere, really speaks to me. Professionally, I am excited about the next phase of the company. We have expanded our product portfolio this year, and brand, revenue growth and a growing user base are essential to keep our great momentum. It’s a great time to be in marketing at Grand Rounds.
As a woman in a tech-heavy ecosystem, what message would you give to other women, especially those in the Marketing and Sales functions?
I have two areas that I think are important. First, speak up when you have something to contribute to a conversation. A lot of women who have tremendous expertise in an area can be intimidated in a room that is often full of men in our industry. They often lack the confidence to break into a conversation to be heard. They think they are being rude, or that their opinion doesn’t matter, after all.
You don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room but be sure your voice is heard. As a leader, I try to actively invite people into debates and conversations, to help build that confidence. Second, Sales and Marketing require excellent communications skills. As a life-long learner, we all can always be improving our written and spoken communications. This also helps with my first point.
How is your role at Grand Rounds different from the one you had as CMO/CRO at Intel and Globality, Inc.?
All the three roles had two big things in common — scaling a business and effective leadership. The difference was about scale. Intel is a multi-national, multi-industry, established company. But Intel still had to deal with growth and scale; it was through new products, geographic expansion, appealing to the new generation of customers. I led a large, complex, global organization, which required building a strong leadership team.
The other extreme was Globality, a very early-stage company, that was still “stealth” when I joined. We launched the company, hired marketers and started to build it by getting our first customers and learning if our product fit what the market needed. At Grand Rounds, we have hundreds of customers with millions of people under our care. Scale for us is moving to thousands of customers and tens of million members. Effective leadership requires building an agile team. It’s exciting to be at this stage where we are building out our team with people who bring a balance of experience, expertise and energy.
How do you see the evolution of Marketing Technologies impacting the healthcare ecosystem? What role does Grand Rounds play in this ecosystem?
Marketing Technologies help us be precise and targeted with our efforts, so we can reach decision makers in a highly targeted way. This allows us to be more effective in getting our key messages to the right person, which makes it easier for them to find us. Healthcare marketing is highly personal, so being at the right place when people are looking for solutions is really critical.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a mentor/marketing leader?
It’s an exciting time to think about how AI is changing the marketing world from a platform and channel perspective, such as smart speakers. It’s also going to be really interesting how AI can improve analytics and predictability. I think the best way to prepare is to start experimenting with creatives, as well as with data and learn.
One word that best describes how you work.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Email, Slack, my portable WiFi hub (I have a commute) and my trusty pen and notebook.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
Having a WiFi connection during my commute has been really awesome. But I also am an avid list maker, so my pen and notebook are always a great way for me to stay organized and productive by planning ahead.
What are you currently reading?
“Fiction: Circe by Madeline Miller.” Next up is non-fiction — “The Library Book” by Susan Orlean. I am a huge magazine consumer. I read on my iPad but always buy the hardcover book too.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Kelly Watkins, Head of Global Marketing at Slack
Thank you, Deborah! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
As the Chief Marketing Officer of Grand Rounds, Deborah oversees the corporate, consumer, enterprise and product marketing teams, and leads brand strategy and integrated marketing programs. She’s a highly creative and impactful leader—her superpowers are designing actionable strategies with big outcomes, and creating teams that do their best work and thrive. Deborah was previously a senior executive at Intel Corporation for 25+ years, where she held various global marketing and general management roles, including CMO.
Grand Rounds is a new kind of healthcare company. Founded in 2011, the company is on a mission to raise the standard of healthcare for everyone, everywhere. The Grand Rounds team goes above and beyond to connect and guide people to the highest quality healthcare available for themselves and their loved ones. Grand Rounds creates products and services that give people the best possible healthcare experience.
The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.