In conversation with: Anne Denato, MOBE’s Chief Marketing Officer
Anne Denato is MOBE’s Chief Marketing Officer. Before joining MOBE (then as Vice President of Marketing), she held senior-level positions at RedBrick Health and Life Time Fitness.
In this article, Anne talks about her career, being part of a purpose-driven organization, and how MOBE is changing the game for health engagement programs.
How did you find MOBE, and what attracted you to the organization?
Anne Denato: I was not looking for a new opportunity. I was with RedBrick Health, and I was really excited about what was going on there at the time. But MOBE was intriguing. I relish a good startup challenge, and MOBE was just getting off the ground. I enjoy building solutions, figuring out what works and how to make it scale. You get to build a lot of things together. It's a fun stage when you have a team of talented people, and everyone is all in it together. The combination of that stage of growth and helping people be healthy was an enticing combination.
How did you become passionate about health and wellness?
AD: I was lucky enough to get into the health space early in my career. It’s a lot of fun to be able to do work and see people who are affected positively. I enjoy being in this space because I know I'm helping people live healthier and happier lives. And when we get positive feedback from people who have experienced our product or service, it’s really, really uplifting.
The other thing that I’ve always enjoyed is being part of a team of people who have expertise across a whole variety of areas—from data science or finance to accounting or marketing. Teams focused on health and well-being tend to draw people who have a personal passion for health, wellness, or fitness in addition to their professional area of expertise. So you wind up with a group of people who are uniquely purpose-driven and passionate about their product.
How does being a very purpose-driven team impact the business?
AD: Being purpose-driven makes it easier to approach extraordinarily complex problems. The MOBE team is a talented, brilliant, and passionate group. When we put all those brains together from different areas of expertise, it makes solving problems easier.
We know every single person MOBE helps is a unique human being. They’re not defined by a common condition or any one aspect of their health. They’re all individuals. So when we focus on an end outcome, there's a commitment that it has to be a good solution. It can’t just be good enough. It has to be the right solution.
Businesses often measure outcomes by groups of people, but MOBE’s services are for individuals. That makes our business extremely complex. Working with an individual and delivering business outcomes for our client organizations are two very different things. Yet, it’s a true win-win situation. Everybody wins by helping each individual get healthy.
There are a lot of health and well-being programs out there. What makes MOBE unique in the market?
AD: We’re in a space that’s pretty crowded. There are a lot of vendors doing interesting things. Everybody is trying to help people be healthier, and companies are doing some good work. However, most organizations focus on one area of strength—whether it’s their app, ability to mine data for population insights, or how they foster engagement. But they focus on building that one muscle, and everything else becomes secondary.
My observation is that you can’t focus on a single area of strength and have outstanding outcomes. What’s unique about MOBE is that we’ve cultivated multiple areas of great strength. We focus on how they work together to ultimately get the outcomes for our clients and participants.
How did you help clients—such as health plans and employers—understand a different kind of business model?
AD: We started with the idea of being hyper-focused on outcomes and providing our clients with a contractual guarantee of success. Then we worked back from there. We work with a number of clients that tend to be more innovative in their thinking. They tend to gravitate more toward solutions that are a bit unfamiliar and exciting.
For others, we help them understand our offerings by using familiar language in new ways. We’re not asking organizations to conduct business differently or to implement new systems or new services to implement MOBE. And the things that we specialize in aren’t unfamiliar to the market. We have just taken them to the next level, and by doing so, have addressed some well-recognized gaps in the industry.
Participant engagement is important to any health-related program. Does MOBE think about engagement differently?
AD: When most vendors talk about driving engagement with their marketing communications efforts, they just look at total numbers—how much of the population is engaging. They’re not focused on maximizing engagement where it can make the biggest difference.
MOBE’s engagement strategies are informed by a more nuanced understanding of the overall population. Typically, people who are on the healthier side of the spectrum are the ones who engage more frequently in health programs. It’s a lower hurdle to get over because they’re already engaging in healthy lifestyle activities. The challenge is to find the areas of the population where you get to make the biggest difference. It’s not about engagement for the sake of engagement anymore.
Over the last 5–10 years, data science has become wholesale different. The way we’re able to leverage data to personalize experiences is night and day. As a result, our clients benefit from having a richer understanding of their population. It’s a more intelligent engagement engine.
Since you’ve been at MOBE, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud of how we’ve grown our participant engagement over the last three or four years. Several years ago, we generated 18% engagement with our program, which is a good number for one-to-one health coaching programs. We challenged ourselves to reach 30% engagement.
To tackle that challenge, we resolved to be a welcome presence in participants’ inboxes and mailboxes. That means providing information the recipient wants. We shifted our communications from being solely promotional to more content focused and inherently valuable. Because if the recipient doesn’t want to hear what you’re talking about, they’re not going to engage with you.
We want to create a situation where participants are open to hearing what we have to say or maybe use some of the information we provided. Then, ultimately, we hope participants recognize that they can make time in their lives to take part in MOBE’s program. It’s a significant investment, but this approach has proven to be much more successful.
Find out more about MOBE, including how we’re increasing innovation, engagement, and outcomes for our clients and participants.