Dan Godla knew he was onto something. As a veteran of the healthcare industry, he had grown frustrated by unintuitive, unreliable platforms that were holding back caregivers.
“I worked very closely with doctors and nurses in my department who wrote good clinical data, and we had to put it in really bad software,” he says, looking back.
To counter this, he built a patient assessment tool back in 2013. This was the first iteration of what would become ThoroughCare, a fast-growing healthcare startup in Pittsburgh. The tool was well received, but Dan and his team were unable to find adequate demand to fully monetize it.
As luck would have it, new Medicare programs were starting to roll out, and healthcare offices needed ways to manage patients with multiple conditions. With a few slight pivots, Dan’s tool could do that — helping doctors and patients at the same time.
“As a growing startup, we could move pretty fast,” says Dan. “Our core product did a lot of what these new programs were asking to do, and we added the missing features until we had the solution doctors needed.”
And with that, ThoroughCare was born.
Even with a good product, growth was slow in such a crowded industry. But the venture gathered some steam.
Dan and his team needed to do something to break through.
As it turns out, 2019 was that pivotal year. The business was growing, but slowly. Dan and COO Earl Hutz attended IMPACT’s marketing and sales event that year, and they were taken by the message of They Ask, You Answer.
Rather than investing in a marketing agency that would be expensive and slow-moving, Dan went in the other direction. He planned to hire a content marketer to write answers to every question he and his team had heard from prospects.
In order to progress quickly, ThoroughCare hired IMPACT to train this soon-to-exist content marketing team.
IMPACT set up training sessions to help Dan’s team build internal expertise. But it wasn’t just marketing tactics and CRM lessons.
Dan and his leadership team worked with an executive coach from IMPACT. Suddenly, he had an external expert to help set goals, determine priorities, and plan steps to move forward.
Everyone was pulling in the same direction, and things were poised to take off.
At first, growth was modest. So much so that Earl was skeptical. He looked around at other businesses doing They Ask, You Answer and none seemed to look exactly like ThoroughCare.
Looking back, Earl says “It wasn’t apparent how the IMPACT B2C use-case would apply to our health tech model” But, as he says with a laugh, “I love being wrong!”
Under IMPACT’s guidance, ThoroughCare’s content manager started publishing helpful, trust-building content to the company blog.
Soon after, they brought on a videographer to do the same.
The results were hard to deny.
ThoroughCare’s software platform started gaining traction with primary care staff frustrated by the same concerns Dan had identified years before.
Clinics across the country were finding ThoroughCare’s helpful content and entering the sales process. By the time they reached out to the team, they were so far down the funnel that the sales process was relatively seamless.
The key was sticking to the They Ask, You Answer framework. If one customer had a question, the marketing team would answer it, whether in a blog article or video. That way, the next customer with the same question would have a thorough, vetted answer. And the sales process would become that much shorter.
“The more we leveraged the feedback from IMPACT,” Earl says, “the more we saw noticeable returns on our investment.”
Today, just a few years later, ThoroughCare’s platform is used by more than 600 clinics, including its most recent customer: a 100-doctor primary care group in Florida.
ThoroughCare recently made Inc.’s list of the 5,000 fastest growing companies (for the second year in a row), and revenue has exploded.
Earl looks back on the numbers with pride. “Since 2019 we’ve grown at a rate of approximately 100% year over year.”
Most companies with only a few dozen employees balk at the idea of building an internal marketing team. They think it will be too expensive, and worry that in-house marketers might not be on the cutting edge of new trends.
The team at ThoroughCare are adamant that an internal team has been critical to their meteoric success.
Having marketers in-house, says Dan, means more collaboration and quicker response time. All of which adds up to extreme efficiency.
“Our marketing team works closely with other departments, especially with sales,” he says. “Sales will go to our marketing team and say, ‘we keep getting this question during our demos — can you make a video that answers it?’”
Rather than a week of back and forth with an agency, the team can get started on that video right away, often having it turned around and in the hands of the sales reps before an agency could add it to the backlog.
Gone are silos. Gone is bureaucracy.
For recently hired VP of Marketing Vivek Subramany, the approach was novel — and he was excited to be a part of it. As a 20-year health tech marketing veteran, Vivek was fascinated by what IMPACT and ThoroughCare were doing together:
“When Dan and Earl told me that ThoroughCare was growing year over year at this incredible rate and all their leads were from organic search, to say I was intrigued would be an incredible understatement.”
Like every other ThoroughCare employee, Vivek signed on knowing that customer education was a core value, and this is the mantra the company will carry into the future.
Just like with all IMPACT’s clients, the engagement with ThoroughCare was finite. The goal was always for ThoroughCare to “graduate” from IMPACT’s coaching services with a framework for long-term success — and an internal team to carry it out.
To Dan, the CEO, the whole idea is slightly surreal.
“We never thought we’d graduate from needing an agency, but IMPACT took us to the point where we’re completely self-sufficient.”
Considering his company has doubled its revenue in each of the past four years, he sure seems to be right.