Marty McKenna, dbMotion, discusses the importance of strategic business partnerships

Marty McKenna, dbMotion, discusses the importance of strategic business partnerships

By Brad Dodge on October 4th, 2011

Marty McKenna headshotIn the latest installment of our 10th anniversary blog series, a Dodge Communications client is interviewed to discuss his experience with Dodge over the years. To view earlier installments please click here.

Marty McKenna leads marketing and commercial operations at dbMotion and joined the company three years ago. dbMotion has been a Dodge client for six years. 

Dodge: How has Dodge helped with your communications needs since you started working with them?

McKenna: There are a couple of angles to that. The obvious one of course is that you guys are connected. We’re relatively small, and your connections have helped us place articles and things we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. That might be the easiest thing—helping us get speaking spots at events like World Health Congress and HIMSS, and article placements for the UPMC folks. I think that all works, and along the way, you guys have had a professionalism that is important. You’ve made us look like we know what we we’re doing when we probably didn’t. That’s really helpful. One of the things I remember from when I first joined was I saw an article that Elizabeth [Glaser] had written, and I thought it was one of my team members who is close to the industry who wrote it. I responded really quickly about how amazed I was at how deep it was it terms of understanding the domain, and everything was well-written and well-connected to what was happening in the industry. I responded to my team member, and she said that it was something we got from Dodge. This gave me a little more insight into what the group there brings to the table. I think the understanding and focus that we’ve seen from everyone at Dodge is really important to me. We need to come across like we know what we’re talking about and that we’ve been in the industry. Everything Dodge has ever written has come across that way.

Dodge: What are some of the major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve through your partnership with Dodge, and how have these accomplishments impacted your overall business?

McKenna: Probably the biggest one has been that we had two or three presentations at HIMSS last year, and basically from soup to nuts, Elizabeth and the team took it over and took on the challenge. They worked with our clients, such as UMass, and were able to prepare them for the presentation. I think almost everything she [Glaser] has presented to HIMSS has been accepted, that’s probably not quite true, but it’s a very, very high hit rate. From a business impact of course what happens is that we’ll be exhibiting at a tradeshow, or even World Health Conference where Bill Fera was speaking, and we don’t have much activity. As soon as one of our clients speaks, then we’re able to chat with some people, develop leads and opportunities and get the chance to position our product the right way. In that way, it’s been integral to our strategy of really trying to get out in front and get our clients out in front, which is our overall business strategy.

Dodge: Where is the field of healthcare communication headed, and why do you think Dodge is positioned to succeed?

McKenna: I think it all comes down to domain, so I think the advantage of Dodge is that we look at Elizabeth as a business partner for us. One of the projects we’re taking on right now is revamping our website. I can be confident that someone like Elizabeth along with my team will be able to help those folks make sure they don’t go down an alley we don’t want to go down or take us down a place that isn’t right for positioning. It’s a tricky place, so you want to be sophisticated and interesting. Somewhere right on that fine line is where you want to be, and I think Elizabeth does a nice job of walking that line. In terms of where communications are heading, it’s changing very rapidly; there’s all sorts of things we’re questioning. We’re questioning a lot of the publications, frankly, and how much value we get from them and trying to figure out how to spend our money appropriately. As a relatively small company, we don’t have endless budget, and we don’t have the ability to do everything so we have to be very selective. In that way, it helps to have someone that when we select something, we knock the cover off the ball because we need to do something well when we do it. The people that we work with there [at Dodge] are our trusted advisers that can help us do that.

Dodge: That’s all of the questions that we have for you. Is there anything else you might like to add or a memory of Dodge you’d like to share?

McKenna: I think for us, it really does come down to that business partnership. We don’t work with any companies, whether it’s marketing or professional services or otherwise, that can’t sit at the table with us and help us explore. It’s never a “here’s the textbook way to do it,” it’s actually a dialog, and that’s what we enjoy about Dodge. I think the other piece, possibly, is the global understanding. The people working with us have done a nice job bridging the gap originally because we’ve gone through a lot of changes. Dodge has been able to roll with those changes. They’ve been significant even in terms of our market positioning.