Marathon Health’s Marketing Was ‘Lonely With No Insights.’ Now They Have Millions in Pipeline.

Marathon Health’s previous tech stack provided a limited view of first-party data. It couldn’t deliver the crucial insights a sales team needs to reach companies that are actually looking for a solution. Deficiencies in the middle of the funnel meant Marathon Health lacked the resources to contact and nurture thousands of leads. They needed 6sense to scale the business and make a bigger impact.

 

For years, Marathon Health, a nationwide network healthcare solution, risked missing out on millions of dollars of pipeline due to an overworked and understaffed go-to-market team. Capacity issues plagued their marketing and sales teams, resulting in too many unaddressed inbound requests, ignored accounts, and gaps in their marketing-to-sales qualification process. 

But that’s not the case these days. 

“When we implemented 6sense, we found higher quality leads, and drove net-new sales,” explains Troy Purdue, the company’s Director of Growth Marketing. ”Ultimately, it opened the door for us to engage with more members and change more people’s lives through the healthcare services we provide.” 

Here’s how Marathon Health harnessed 6sense’s capabilities to streamline their sales process and attach millions of pipeline to marketing campaigns. 

The Challenge: Marketing or ‘Arts and Crafts’?

Back in 2020, Marathon Health’s tech stack was  “lonely with no insights,” Troy confesses. Worse still, the marketing team fulfilled creative requests but had no demand-generation capabilities.

“The marketing team was what I would call an ‘arts and crafts’’ department,” Troy says. “We were putting flyers together, PowerPoint presentations, and all the standard type stuff that marketing would do. But marketing was not responsible for pipeline.” 

While marketing was busy decorating posters, Marathon Health’s sales team purchased lists of contacts and made cold calls. This was a lengthy and oftentimes wasteful sales cycle because they were calling customers who had no intent to purchase. 

Marathon Health’s previous tech stack provided a limited view of first-party data. It couldn’t deliver the crucial insights a sales team needs to reach companies that are actually looking for a solution. Deficiencies in the middle of the funnel meant Marathon Health lacked the resources to contact and nurture thousands of leads. 

To scale the business and make a bigger impact, Marathon Health needed a solution to: 

  • Empower their small marketing team to expand capabilities 
  • Get better account insights, and 
  • Own a pipeline number

To meet this need, Marathon Health added 6sense to their toolkit in 2021. They adopted an omnichannel approach to their outreach, uniting all aspects of the buyer journey across all channels. They then later joined 6sense’s Conversational Email beta in 2022 to help the sales team engage more efficiently with prospects. 

Building a Unique Playbook with an Omnichannel Approach 

Marathon Health first used 6sense in 2021 to build a unique omnichannel playbook that empowered them to monitor the impact of their engagement on the city level. 

Geography is important in Marathon Health’s go-to-market strategy as the company is expanding their health center locations nationwide. The 6sense approach divided customers into segments based on zip codes and then AI-based scoring to view the marketing funnel at a granular level.

Next, 6sense’s orchestrations and Salesforce integrations equipped Marathon Health’s revenue team with access to data-complete accounts ready for engagement across multiple platforms. 

Marathon Health’s omnichannel marketing playbook included: 

  • Targeted ads customized for each market and stage
  • Direct mail delivered to all companies meeting in the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) 
  • AI-driven email journeys customized by buyer personas and market

After initial targeting, sales development representatives (SDRs) handled the accounts that signaled a high intent to purchase. SDRs would engage these accounts with customized outreach on LinkedIn or phone calls.

Troy says 6sense makes it easy to monitor the impact of engagement levels per city and adjust the strategy or budget to yield better results more quickly. This omnichannel approach made the Marathon Health team more nimble and dramatically increased in-market buying growth. 

However, they still had one gap to fill: contacting people via email at scale. That’s where 6sense’s Conversational Email came into play. 

Leveling up with Conversational Email

6sense introduced a beta program for its Conversational Email capability in the summer of 2022, and Marathon Health participated. 

Conversational Email is an AI-powered personalization tool that streamlines conversations by writing emails and responding to replies at scale. Conversational Email treats every opportunity with high-quality engagement by replying to emails at any time, looping in necessary people, and understanding out-of-office messaging. 

Since Marathon Health didn’t have the resources to contact thousands of people and nurture them through the marketing funnel, Conversational Email gave Troy’s small team the capacity to contact more people and customize messaging based on geography, the industry, and the number of employees. 

As a solution that offers in-person health networks based on geography, Marathon Health used Conversational Email to create a targeted email journey personalized by city.  Within the first two months of using Conversational Email, Marathon Health sent more than 22,000 emails with open rates reaching 38%, resulting in $4.5M in net-new pipeline. This percentage is a 55% increase over average email open rates from other health companies. 

“If you can create a highly relevant email stream speaking specifically to the problems of your prospects, you can generate really, really high open rates, engagement rates, and ultimately closed-won deals,” Troy says. 

Conversational Email enables Marathon Health’s sales team members to engage more effectively with contacts and drive them further down the funnel. 

 

Now our sales teams are confident when calling on a prospect who knows who Marathon Health is. They understand the services that we provide, and they’re actually ready to have a conversation and talk about how our services can help the employee population.

Troy PurdueDirector of Growth Marketing, Marathon Health

 

This confidence extends to the marketing team, too. 

“The marketing team owns a pipeline number now,” Troy says. “Talk about confidence when we didn’t have that before! We’re confident that not only can we meet that pipeline number, but exceed it.” 

The Results

Marathon Health introduced the 6sense Core Platform in 2021 and generated astounding results after launching their first set of ad campaigns. Before using 6sense, Marathon Health’s pipeline and in-market buying growth were close to zero. 

The results since July 2021: 

  • $66M in net-new pipeline
  • 211% in-market buying growth 

In 2022, Marathon Health added Conversational Email to close the conversation gap. Over the course of eight weeks and 22,000+ emails sent, Conversational Email delivered: 

  • 11 qualified leads
  • 908 accounts
  • $4.5M net-new pipeline generated 

In using the 6sense Core Platform and now Conversational Email, Troy’s team can reach more people — and impact more lives — with Marathon Health’s services. 

“We’re really just scratching the surface,” he says “If we can continue to invest in tools like 6sense and Conversational Email and integrate other partners and platforms with 6sense, look at how much more we can generate and grow. That has instilled a level of confidence in me to be able to go to leadership and say, ‘let’s continue to do these wonderful things.”