When people talk about Lyndi Thompson they talk about her infectious enthusiasm, her ability to inspire her peers and leadership to deliver their best, and her amazing knack for turning problems on their side. She’s brought all of those attributes with her to Accolade, where she’s responsible for promoting the company’s high-touch, high-tech healthcare advocacy to employers, health plans and health systems.
Lyndi got into the start-up world at a young age to generate content, re-energize web sites, and build brands. She found her place in a swirl of networking groups, in the buzz of new-technology talk, in the night classes she took to feed her curiosity about marketing, data analytics, and psychology. She consulted for years. She also took on full-time jobs. She did all she could to keep learning.
She’s keen on scrappy marketing—of making the most of whatever budget she has in a high-stakes environment. Lyndi reminds herself that you won’t get far in today’s marketing environment if you don’t roll up your sleeves, dig in, and persevere. She has made it her mission to find and build the channels through which Accolade might most effectively speak to those who would prosper from the company’s ability to vastly improve individual employee lives while also delivering healthcare cost savings to the employer.
Lyndi is Accolade’s Senior Demand Marketing Manager because, as she puts it, “she is all in” when it comes to the company’s business model. That buy-in was hard won by the company as they tried to recruit her.
“I was pushing back,” Lyndi remembers now. “But they kept telling me how Accolade is different, sharing the impact the company has made. I thought about losing my dad to brain cancer, about losing my Uncle and my grandmother, about the accident that put me in a wheelchair. I thought about how lonely, stressful, and life-changing it can be when caught in a health crisis, about all the ways my life would have been different if I had had Accolade on my side. After I understood what Accolade really does, I left my current job and walked through this door. Today there is just no way that anyone could convince me to leave.”
At Accolade, Lyndi’s work places her within an interconnected community of individuals and teams whose goal is to share Accolade’s messages with HR benefit leaders, CFOs, chief strategy officers, and others at organizations across the country. Product Marketing shapes the Accolade products and solutions. Corporate Marketing crafts the messages. Demand Generation—Lyndi’s team’s domain—ushers the messages into the world through vehicles ranging from digital advertising, promoting content like white papers, driving registrations for events, and engaging the greater community through social media.
“We’re reaching out to those individuals who are looking at the big picture in their respective organizations,” Lyndi explains. “We’re talking to people who are searching for ways to create value both for their employees and for their cost centers. Normally, in other companies, you are pitching something that either saves time or money. Here, we are spreading the word about something that can profoundly change or save lives. Who wouldn’t want to do this kind of work?”
Who wouldn’t want to be part of a company, Lyndi asks rhetorically, that answers the call for people in need, that solves problems that had not seemed to have a fix? Lyndi cites, as one of many examples, a couple that had been spending thousands of dollars each month on the wife’s diabetes medicine. “I was there, listening, as one of our Health Assistants was on the phone with this couple,” Lyndi recalls. “Within the space of that phone call, the Health Assistant had found a way to cut that monthly bill from thousands of dollars to $150. Can you imagine the impact on their lives? Can you imagine how it felt to hear that news?”
To build bridges to those who are in a position to place Accolade at the heart of their own organizations, Lyndi relies, she says, on the knowledge of what has worked in the past and on a desire to create and test new possibilities.
To be good in this job, she says, one must be collaborative in approach, intent on building consensus, and willing to ask for help. At the same time, she says, it’s enormously important to focus on the minimum viable product—not to do too much, nor too little. Finally, she says, determination is essential, not just because Accolade partnerships are built over the course of a long sales cycle but because sometimes that great new webinar or new email push does not result, at first, in the desired outcome.
“You have to give these things time,” she says. “Six months later, the audience might be warmed-up and ready for to engage in a program or respond for that request for an appointment.”
At the end of the day, Lyndi says, her job is to help convince a small number of people that Accolade can help literally hundreds thousands of people. “I love what I do,” she says. “I know what the challenge is. I know that when our team succeeds in bringing a new Accolade customer on board, countless people will no longer be alone in a transition or stressful health situation.”
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