Stride Health names Lee Hurley as CMO

Hurley is a veteran of Northwestern Mutual and WW.

Hurley has worked at WW.

SAN FRANCISCO: Stride Health, a benefits platform, has hired a chief marketing officer who spent almost two decades in marketing for large corporations. 

Lee Hurley worked for 13 years at WW, formerly known as Weight Watchers, and for more than five years at Northwestern Mutual, a financial services company.

Hurley is joining Stride Health, which was founded in 2013, one year after the startup said that it had raised an additional $47 million. Its workforce has doubled in the last nine months, according to the company, and more than 3 million Americans use the service, which helps independent workers sign up for health insurance through Healthcare.gov.

The platform also partners with companies such as Uber, Amazon and GrubHub that use gig workers.

“Stride is creating a category, so building Stride into a trusted household name will be really critical,” said Hurley, who is based in New Jersey.

At WW, Hurley helped build its digital subscription business, which grew from $30 million to $500 million in revenue during her tenure, Hurley said. 

“I oversaw pretty much every aspect of marketing,” including its digital performance channel, social media and influencers as well as its expansion into the men's market, she said. “My experience is both broad and deep across every facet of marketing.”

At Northwestern Mutual, Hurley built its consumer marketing capabilities and helped lead a digital transformation to reposition the brand and made “marketing a strategic growth asset versus a support function,” she said.

Hurley said she planned to focus initially on brand strategy and brand positioning. She will also work on social media and finding influencers.

“When you tap into your current community, those are the best influencers, in terms of being able to speak about the benefits [of Stride],” she said. “A lot of full-time creators are independent workers, so having them share their experience of how Stride has helped” would also be effective.

She will work on developing micro-segments and “delivering really authentic storytelling,” Hurley said. 

Challenges in her new role include media fragmentation, she said. 

“People's attention span is eight seconds; you really have to cut through, so making sure that your communications do break through and provide value is definitely a focus,” she said. “Testing and learning is really critical in being able to drive really great optimization of your channel mix, your media mix and your messaging.”

That means “not only how we bring people in,” she said, “but then, how we communicate all the way through to make sure that we are providing people with things as they need them, in a personalized way.”


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