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Company: Optum, Eden Prairie, MN USA
Company Description: Optum is an information and technology-enabled health services company serving the broad health care marketplace, including care providers, health plans, life sciences companies and consumers and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Innovator of the Year

Nomination Title: Brenda Hodge, CMO

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated woman since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

Brenda Hodge, chief marketing officer for provider markets at Optum, took a team of marketers separated by geography, unaligned priorities and conflicting perspective and developed them to become a high-performing, unified team. In 12 months, Brenda changed the established culture of marketing and the direction of Optum’s provider market business. She did this through rallying Optum’s provider group around a common message and creating a customer-centric marketing structure. Her leadership helped lead to generate $418 Million in sales in 2012, including $52 million for a newly established business unit.

Before Brenda stepped into the role of chief marketing officer, Optum’s provider marketers, while hard-working and versatile, focused their efforts only on the narrow lines of business they supported. Since Optum had acquired more than 100 companies in its 17-year history, they were doing just the marketing basics of small companies, mostly collateral and events. When Brenda took over as CMO in May 2012, she found that her team’s efforts to create a broad, cohesive message had suffered from fits and starts. How does one message summarize a company that provides such a variety of products and services?

Brenda flipped the question on its head: How does Optum apply all its resources to solve industry problems?

Health care providers are undergoing a fundamental change today in the way they approach—and get paid for—patient care. Rather than being rewarded for the volume of patients they see and the number procedures they perform, health care payers are pushing a value-based payment system, one that rewards providers for keeping patients healthy.

To meet this industry need, Brenda’s team wanted to position Optum as the premier solution provider for health care organizations working to implement the change from volume to value. In the eyes of health care C-level executives, Optum would be all about “navigating the journey from providing care to managing health.” The team developed and launched an internal messaging campaign in just eight weeks, complete with infographics, presentation decks, and talking points. The sales and consulting teams were fully trained on the new messaging in only six weeks. Furthermore, the entire provider group, from executive leaders to human resources to product development, unified around this common message. Now, everything Optum does for the provider market is informed by the “provider journey” theme.

Prior to Brenda’s tenure, the provider marketing team was organized around products or solutions that needed to be supported by marketing and sales. Brenda reorganized marketing by executive personas. As a unified team with a unified message, the provider marketers were able to develop six integrated, multi-touch campaigns. These campaigns have won numerous industry awards, including:

• 2013 Killer Content Award Winner
• 2013 Content Marketing Gold Award Winner
• 2013 Content Marketing Bronze Award Winner
• MM&M Award 2013 Finalist (to be announced October 2013)

Thanks to Brenda’s leadership and innovation, Optum has transitioned from a holding company to a truly integrated, customer-centric organization.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated woman (up to 125 words):

As chief marketing officer for Optum’s provider market in May 2012, Brenda Hodge oversees the company’s go-to-market approach for the provider market. She builds the Optum brand to generate client growth, expand client relationships and drive client loyalty.

Hodge delivers sustainable revenue and profit growth as she leads multinational sales and marketing organizations. Prior to joining Optum, Hodge directed gloStream’s sales and marketing organization, along with 150 channel partners, as the company’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. She has also served as VP of sales operations for Allscripts/Misys, VP of marketing and sales operations for Peopleclick, and senior marketing director for SAS Institute.

Hodge graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with additional study at the Center for Creative Leadership and Krauthammer International.