Q&A with Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD

Q&A with Andrea Lechner-Becker
Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD is an experienced Marketing and Sales Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry.

Skilled in Business Process, Marketo, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and IT Service Management, Andrea is also a strong business development professional and a storyteller.

MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing?
ANDREA LECHNER: 
Frankly, not having better options. I originally attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse thinking I’d major in Archaeology. I wanted to be Indiana Jones! But, after visiting the archaeology building – i.e. the cold, dark basement of the science building – where a girl sat to piece together pieces of an old Native American vase, I knew archaeology was not going to be the right path for me. And so, without being good at science and a major in art or art history was unlikely to pay my bills, I decided to go into “business”. I originally registered as a management major, but took my first marketing class and thought it was more interesting and switched my sophomore year. That was pretty much it. I’d never been involved in business classes or DECA in high school – I didn’t really know what to do or what jobs in marketing were even possible. I dumb lucked myself into it really.

M7: As a storyteller, do you relate the brand to a story or story to the brand?
AL:
Both? Neither? I think there are stories in every brand, because there are people working on the brand and people engaging with the brand and people using what the brand creates. People, most often a single person, are at the heart of great stories.
You can start with the “point” of the story you’re trying to tell. Say you have a software that help accountants better create reports for board meetings. It’s likely you’ll want to tell a success story about an accountant getting promoted to CFO in part because your software helped better communicate their work product to the board. You could have the idea for that and go looking for that story in your customers. OR, you could hear that story, and say, “That’s amazing!” and share it with customers, partners and internal people. Stories are all around us – the most important thing is to keep your ears and eyes open for finding them.


"People, most often a single person, are at the heart of great stories. Stories are all around us – the most important thing is to keep your ears and eyes open for finding them."

M7: LeadMD has been named as Marketo’s platinum service partner. What are the core values that drive the company to be a leading marketing firm?
AL: 
About two years ago, we got to the size where we had to really dedicate some time to defining our core values. We got into a room with everyone in the company and talked about what it feels like to work at LeadMD. We decided on the following values, which all start with “We” because we’re a tribe and succeed together with our clients:

1. We over me. Our people will drop almost anything to help another member of the tribe and our clients. We are a performance organization and aim to ease the lives of those around us with valuable contribution.
2. We stand in your shoes. Empathy is so critical to our success internally and externally.
3. We are better than yesterday. Marketing is a discipline that must be creative and iterative. We don’t know everything, but we strategize, plan, do, review and optimize constantly. Together, we figure out what will garner the best results.
4. We believe in transparency. Transparency is function of trust. Trust is a function of reliability, competency, communication, authority and predictability. Our clients trust us with their vision and that's an honor we take seriously.
5. We have fun in everything we do. We like our tribe and our clients and we do cool sh*t together. It’s fun work.




"Until you execute learnings, test them and see if and how they work, none of it means anything. If in doubt, do something."

M7: What distinguishes LeadMD from the rest in creating predictable and sustainable revenue operations for enterprise brands?
AL:
 Our value to our clients is our ability to integrate strategic objectives with all the day-to-day actions of teams of people. We are great at rolling our sleeves up and truly creating scale around these elements that ultimately impact the organization as a whole. The results our clients see are things like, a technology company generating a $15 million lift in pipeline within 90 days and a medical device company generating $5 million in revenue in six months (which is like one month in healthcare timelines) in a typically down quarter. Ultimately, the work we collaborate with clients on, impacts the business in more revenue, faster.


M7: How does LeadMD’s methodology facilitate organizations in delivering exceptional outcomes that they desire?
AL: 
This may fall more under philosophy than methodology, but we work with leaders unwilling to maintain the status quo. We call them Catalysts. We work with people eager and willing to act to change a current poor performing outcome in their organization. We can help, but we are never going to be able to impact the types of outcomes we’re used to without internal champions and rainmakers. Our outcomes are in large part due to the fearless nature of our clients.


"Learning is about connective tissue and being able to connect new things to things that already make sense to you. Just do it. It’ll not only make you a better employee or entrepreneur, it’ll also make you a better person."

M7: You have co-founded an e-learning firm, Six Bricks. What was the learning experience from it and how has this accelerated your career journey?
AL: 
The learning experiences from that piece of my career are far too numerous to name in this QA. The best way I could sum them up is to say that doing something new will always hold value. As a long-time consultant, I’ve had lots of ideas about what professionals in sales and marketing could or should do. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts, attended SaaStr’s annual conference and brought ideas back. But, until you execute on them, test them and see if and how they work, none of it means anything. If in doubt, do something.


M7: Going with the story of your book ‘Sixty Days Left’, how does exploring new marketing trends and making informed decisions create a fortune for any enterprise?
AL:
��I’m a big advocate for everyone, even executives, to explore trends and the news of their discipline at a fairly deep level. Just knowing artificial intelligence as a thing is “good” but not great. Lean in. Read opinions from people who have worked in artificial intelligence for years, who study it in a university setting, who can really break it down. The first AI article I read was really technical and I barely understood it, but I kept doing it and kept learning. Learning is about connective tissue and being able to connect new things to things that already make sense to you. Just do it. It’ll not only make you a better employee or entrepreneur, it’ll also make you a better person. Follow leaders like Bill Gates with book recommendations and actually read those things – again, it’ll just make you a better, more well-rounded and ultimately happier human.


M7: What is your superpower?
AL:
 Curiosity. I am interested in everything. And everyone. Everyone has a story and I love hearing them. I learn a lot from that and have more stories to tell and more knowledge to connect new knowledge to.

ABOUT LEADMD

LeadMD is the #1 performance marketing consultancy that leverages best-in-class technology to make your vision actionable and your outcomes measurable. Breaking down the typical siloes of technology and strategy, LeadMD collaborates with clients to increase revenues, align teams and engage ideal customers. We’ve helped more than 3,500 high-growth companies succeed by building revenue engines that scale on top of marketing and sales platforms like Marketo, Adobe, Salesforce.com and dozens of others. For more information, visit www.leadmd.com or email us at go@leadmd.com

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Bridge2Rwanda Extends Partnership with IXL to Support Students Developing English Language Skills

PR Newswire | January 30, 2024

IXL, the personalized learning platform used by 15 million students worldwide, has announced an extension of its partnership with Bridge2Rwanda (B2R), a nonprofit dedicated to creating global education opportunities for high-achieving African students. B2R educators will continue leveraging IXL's award-winning platform to deliver targeted English language arts (ELA) instruction, helping learners build and master literacy skills essential for securing university scholarships. In total, B2R has used IXL to support 500 students across eight different training programs since the partnership began. Despite encouraging improvements in literacy rates, limited access to resources and a nascent reading culture pose significant challenges to educational achievement in Rwanda. Recognizing the pivotal role education plays in enhancing socioeconomic outcomes, Bridge2Rwanda was established in 2007 to empower Rwandan high school students with high-quality reading and writing opportunities. B2R's ultimate goal is to build a thriving community of well-educated African leaders who will accelerate their nations' growth and improve the lives of others. B2R began using IXL Language Arts in 2019 to support the English language development of 30 high-achieving scholars from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Burundi. In 2020, the nonprofit relied on IXL's all-inclusive platform to ensure that its English language learners (ELLs) developed essential ELA skills during distance learning. After two years of an impactful partnership, B2R made IXL an integral component of its new intensive English training and college preparatory program, Isomo Academy. The inaugural class of 120 Isomo Academy scholars quickly embraced IXL's tailored support, built-in instructional resources, and engaging learning opportunities. During the first week of Isomo Academy's eight-week training program, educators use IXL's adaptive assessment, the Real-Time Diagnostic, to pinpoint each student's English proficiency level, helping them understand individual strengths and areas for improvement. Based on these insights, the diagnostic then generates personalized skill recommendations to challenge and support learners at the right level. Additionally, B2R educators use the diagnostic to track student growth each week to ensure that students are progressing and mastering essential ELA concepts. Bridge2Rwanda educators also rely on IXL's comprehensive curriculum to help students build the skills that they need to become strong communicators. Each day at Isomo Academy, students take writing and reading classes that are paired with intensive language and communication seminars. Additionally, students work on IXL skills that align with their classroom lessons. The combined approach allows educators to engage students at their individual levels, assign homework, and differentiate learning beyond the school day. "IXL bursts bottlenecks for Bridge2Rwanda scholars by eliminating language barriers," said Luke Dreiling, Lead English Teacher, Bridge2Rwanda. "This enables them to excel in their studies, advance their careers, and contribute significantly to the growth of African communities." "Bridge2Rwanda's dedication to expanding educational opportunities for young African students is commendable. We are excited to continue equipping even more bright and ambitious learners with the tools they need to confidently pursue their dreams on a global scale," said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. "At IXL, we are committed to leveraging education as an instrument of empowerment to break down language barriers and ensure all students have the opportunity to thrive." IXL's impact on English language learners IXL Language Arts gives teachers a systematic way to troubleshoot each student's unique reading and writing roadblocks, and put them on the path to success: Among schools with a high percentage of ELLs, research demonstrates that those using IXL outperformed non-IXL schools on Smarter Balanced Assessments in ELA by as much as seven percentile points. IXL's comprehensive curriculum provides more than 2,400 adaptive skills that span early literacy, reading comprehension, grammar, vocabulary, and advanced concepts, such as persuasive writing. Each IXL skill is adaptive, ensuring that ELLs feel confident that they are perfectly challenged and supported at the right level when developing fluency. IXL's adaptive assessment, the Real-Time Diagnostic, pinpoints students' grade-level proficiency in key ELA strands, and generates targeted next steps to help students grow from where they are. As English language learners progress, these personalized recommendations stay up-to-date, ensuring that they always have a clear path toward mastering ELA concepts. As students learn and practice, IXL provides in-the-moment support and resources for self-remediation. For example, video tutorials guide learners through the building blocks of reading, writing, and grammar to provide additional support during learning and independent practice. If a student answers a problem incorrectly, IXL provides a step-by-step explanation of the right answer so that students can learn from their mistake and solidify their knowledge of that skill. Educators also rely on insights from IXL Analytics to track student progress, monitor readiness for exams, and differentiate instruction to fill knowledge gaps. Up-to-date reports help teachers uncover areas of challenge for each student and identify patterns in mistakes in order to provide targeted reteaching.

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