Many of the inbound marketing success stories we’ve heard come from companies that got into it for very similar reasons: They wanted their voice to be heard above the clamorous din emitting from others in their industry. For many of these companies, they had to figure out a way to carve themselves a slice of the existing marketplace, and they used the principles of inbound marketing to do it.
Health Catalyst is a unique case study in that they came into an industry that was still in its infancy. Started in 2010, Health Catalyst is a data warehousing, analytics, and outcomes improvement company that provides infrastructure that healthcare organizations can use to identify waste in their practices allowing them to improve patient care and lower overall costs.
In their new space they quickly found that nobody was answering industry questions online. The industry was so new that no real information existed online for interested searchers. Health Catalyst recognized a huge informational void in their industry, and set out to fill it. Unlike with other businesses, Health Catalyst didn’t have to fight to get their voice heard, as there were no other voices. Rather than push their way onto the stage, Health Catalyst was able to build the stage.
Paul Horstmeier, Health Catalyst SVP and former Hewlett-Packard VP, was brought on board in 2012 when the company was ready to scale its sales and marketing efforts. Most of Health Catalyst’s marketing up until that point had been through word-of-mouth referrals and press releases. Horstmeier was asked to start a marketing campaign from nearly scratch. Being a little rusty in heading a marketing department, Horstmeier started researching how companies were doing quality marketing.
“I decided I needed to get up to speed with what was the latest and greatest in marketing,’ says Horstmeier, “I started reading and looking at the concept of content marketing. I don’t remember how, but I came across Marcus Sheridan’s book, Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy, and his philosophy fit with what I already believed, so we had him come out for a workshop a few months later.”
The base principles of inbound marketing harmonized with Horstmeier’s own philosophy of wanting to create a culture in his industry based on educating the marketplace, rather than build a brand that simply sold a product and services.