CMO Impact
Achieving Personal & Career Success

CMO Club Spotlight: Chris Edwards of Conversa Health

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Chris Edwards, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, Conversa Health.

This week, we’re turning our CMO Spotlight onto Chris Edwards, Chief Marketing & Experience Officer of Conversa Health.

What was your first (or favorite) job and why? 

Working at Nordstrom selling women’s shoes to raise money to pay for college. I learned two lessons:

  • It really focused me on truly understanding the customer behavior and purchase decisions. The mindset at that job was, “It’s all about the customer.” I even spent time tracking down shoes from other stores and making deliveries before special occasions because the customer just had to have them.
  • The second thing I learned is that women really like their shoes!

What are the 3 most important components for your personal and professional success?

  1. Integrity
  2. Servant Leadership
  3. Customer Experience Mindset

Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current position.

The intersection of technology into the healthcare industry has been fascinating. Here you have an industry that has been slow to adopt technology and not very consumer-centric. Now we are at a point where technology is helping fuel the consumerization of care, and it has been exciting to be in the middle of it.

What characteristics do you value most when hiring new marketing talent for your team?

I have found that successful marketing teammates have been a) curious people and b) athletes.

I find that people who have been athletes – whether high school, college or even just for fun – translate well into being team players in business. They know the discipline and hard work it takes to set and achieve goals and have that selfless, ‘for the greater good’ mentality. It doesn’t just take drive and perseverance on an individual level to win; Each person also needs to know the plays and understand that sometimes you have to pass the ball and not take the shot for the team to win.  I have found that this is so significant when you are trying to bring your whole organization and team together for quick success.

What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing for your brand in the next six months?

More customer relationship chat and conversation tools to fuel our CRM and to leverage continuous, meaningful relationships. Chatbots, AI – these are the things that are helping CRM systems thrive right now. These types of technology can help marketers go beyond tactical campaigns and drive to more longitudinal customer relationships.

How has technology transformed the customer experience in healthcare and what does it mean for marketers?

There are so many great ways we are utilizing technology and data right now – both on the user side and internally. We are helping healthcare providers access real-time, real-world and actionable data, so they can monitor patients more closely and provide early intervention that improves the quality of care.  Let’s face it, no one really wants to think about healthcare until they really need it. Yet, we are helping create better conversations between care teams and the patient. This is giving people more control and insight for their own well-being.

Technology is fueling real-time engagement so that providers and patients can both participate in a collaborative way, unlike the sterile way of the past.

As marketers, this gives us a great platform for more meaningful messages, insights from data and conversations that improve people’s lives…literally helping change a person’s life situation if they are dealing with a chronic condition.  What better “customer experience” can you supply than enabling someone a better, healthier, long-lasting life?

Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote?

“Be curious always, for knowledge will not acquire you, but you must acquire it.”

I think curiosity fuels creativity, strategic thinking and the impact that a CMO can make for a company.

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