A Marketing Success Story: From Startup to $25M Series A and Beyond

 Krista Moon  0 Comments

Rob Wilson, VP of Marketing at VivoSense, describes how Ascend Business Growth was instrumental in helping the early-stage company achieve the next level of growth.

A Marketing Success Story: From Startup to $25M Series A and Beyond

VivoSense hired Ascend Business Growth in 2019 to create the sales and marketing system, build an online presence, increase engagement with the target audience, and establish a strong foundation for the next phase of growth in a challenging market.

Here’s an interview with Rob Wilson, their VP of Marketing Strategy, describing his experience working with Krista Moon and her team and the positive impact they have had on the organization.

(Please note that Rob refers a lot to Krista Moon, his point person. The Ascend Business Growth team was working in the background!)

Table of Contents

  1. What problems were you trying to solve as the VP of Marketing Strategy?
  2. What outcomes have you been able to achieve using Ascend Business Growth?
  3. Are there any surprises in working with Ascend Business Growth?
  4. Are there any projects that stand out?
  5. Would you recommend Ascend Business Growth to other companies?

For even more information, check out the project PowerPoint. 

Download Project PPT

1. What problems were you trying to solve as the VP of Marketing Strategy?

VivoSense develops digital endpoints from wearable sensors for use in clinical trials.

It's at the very early stages of development. So, like with most businesses at an early stage, part of the business enterprise objective is to educate the market and educate the ecosystem and the constituents that have to adopt the new method of doing that.

In our instance, this happens to be pharmaceutical companies, clinical research organizations, patient groups, the FDA, regulatory people at the pharma-sponsor side, and a host of technical people like software developers and hardware developers.

The messaging is very complicated. So, the goal is to educate people about how VivoSense can help improve the clinical trial process by making better measurements of patient conditions from wearable sensors.

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2. What outcomes have you been able to achieve using Ascend Business Growth?

Let me even back up before I came because I've just been there two years, and Krista worked with our company for five years.

She was integral to building both pieces of the client relationship management software in HubSpot and the website in HubSpot. And that skill was instrumental in terms of marrying if you will, the website, which is the marketing messaging, and also the client relationship management, which is our sales process.

And that is very difficult in a market, I just explained. It was quite complicated. Our company about a year and a half ago raised a $25 million series A round to finance the next stage of the company's growth.

Krista was instrumental in that early stage when we were just getting started: she did an excellent job on both the CRM and the website and getting us to this point.

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3. Are there any surprises in working with Ascend Business Growth?

There are always surprises for me because I've never worked with a firm like that. I'm usually at a level removed from kind of the detail of doing that.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

If I was surprised, I was surprised on the upside because it's very complicated to actually run a CRM through HubSpot and also do the website. It was done better than I thought it could have ever been done.

Simplified Messaging

Her level of attention to detail and the ability to communicate many different types of complicated information in a straightforward manner is a real gift that she has.

I've worked with hundreds of companies at all stages of development, small companies and big companies, and I've worked in health care my entire career. That includes 20 years in investment banking at the two major global investment banking, running their health care group with very highly technical and difficult messaging situations.

VivoSense is a small company, but it's very much as complicated. And to have somebody be able to pick that up quickly, understand it, and then be effective on the marketing and the sales side—that's pretty impressive.

Strategic Partner

She is pleasant, easy to work with and very understated. But also equally thoughtful and not afraid to stand up. You know, you don't want people who just do whatever you tell them to do. And she's been valuable to me as a sounding board saying, “You know, you might not want to do that that way. Let's think about this particular approach.” And she's usually right!

So, you know, having both of those skills—being easy to work with, adaptable, but also being able to be additive and not afraid to stand up and say, “Let's try something different,”—that's a real skill.

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4. Are there any projects that stand out?

Maximize HubSpot Investment

She was very intentional about trying to encourage people to use the full capability of HubSpot to track how many impressions you got with the companies that you were going after, how the pieces of marketing linked to what they were doing, etc.—very good with that piece of the equation.

On the other side, just the level and the breadth of the blog articles that we have to do. We really have three major things that we have to communicate to people:

  1. The content that our scientists do when they're involved in the project.
  2. We're involved with six or seven organizations and coalitions like the Digital Medicine Society or the Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative. These types of organizations are passionate, like we are, about changing clinical trials. So she had to learn the coalitions and the science content.
  3. We present at a number of conferences. And when you do that, you have a slide presentation, you have a video presentation, you have all kinds of different webinars. And she's really been the anchor for being able to do all that on the marketing side for five years for our company.

Improve Content Quality

And the level of the quality of our content in the last two years that I've been there has increased every year. It would not be uncommon two years ago that if we drafted a blog post, we might have 100 people look at it. Krista did one a couple of months ago in conjunction with our team; it's already had 500 people access it.

And it's and it's run pretty seamlessly.

Keeps Projects Flowing

She has really excellent organizational skills. You know, she's very detail-oriented in terms of making sure all of the right messaging is done correctly because it's not just the website now.

It's also LinkedIn. And we're sending newsletters, and we're at conferences, and we have a team of eight science people that are generating content. And you know, those content pieces have to be repurposed and reformatted into a marketing blog post, basically, which is not the gift of a detailed scientist. And so Krista has been my right arm, you know, right-hand person.

And being able to do that with me over the last two years as we try to refine our messaging and really educate the market and explain to people how VivoSense is a little bit differentiated from some of the other competitors out there.

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5. Would you recommend Ascend Business Growth to other companies?

Ascend is a very quality organization, and it's driven by the person at the top, and that's Krista. And the skills that she has, we've been very satisfied with.

Our business is probably one of the more complicated that I've seen—and I've been in health care for 30 years.

I would recommend Ascend Business Growth highly to any company at our stage of development because they have a very strong full Suite of capabilities.

She's done a good job with us, so yeah, she's very highly thought of by our entire organization, and me particularly.

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About VivoSense

Better Outcomes. Better Trials.

VivoSense is committed to better patient outcomes. They advance digital endpoints in clinical trials by combining science and technology to clean, process, and report meaningful data from wearable sensors. Their experts and proprietary VivoSense Platform deliver value to any clinical trial, at any or all phases. They streamline sensor-driven endpoints, from design to operationalization to analysis and reporting, capturing cleaned and regulatory-ready insights and overcoming barriers.


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