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A modern healthcare marketing story, Learning From Leaders, Episode 2

When you think about healthcare, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn’t marketing. Yet as the digital age has unfolded, transforming every industry, unexpected configurations arise.  

On this episode of Microsoft’s Learning From Leaders, we meet Nick Ragone, EVP and Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Ascension, the nation’s leading Catholic & Non-Profit Health Care System. Ragone didn’t start out his career in marketing, but his personal story of change illustrates the way that skills flow across industries as people take new roles. Ragone shares how he charted a course from being a lawyer and telling stories in the courtroom to telling stories in the court of public opinion as Ascension’s Chief Marketing Officer.  

That personal journey is reflected in the way that Ascension itself changed in the years that Ragone has been with the company: a transformation that took it from being a holding company that encompassed twenty brands, to an operating company with a singular message about their role in the world. These changes have led Ragone to embrace and understand the principles of large scale change management, a position that so many business leaders are addressing. 

As the digital era has unfolded, healthcare companies like Ascension have found themselves facing newly empowered consumers. Even with a fundamental service like healthcare, digital has transformed what people expect from the user experience. The end result has seen marketing become a central tool in the transformation of healthcare, and that has put Ragone’s storytelling abilities to work. 

“Think about the simple shareable story,” says Ragone, “don’t overthink it. If you tell someone the story and they can’t tell it to someone else, it’s not a shareable story.” 

The modern CMO’s stories encompass data and analytics, people and big ideas, all while helping to define for consumers just what a great end-to-end experience should be. 

Visit to learn more about modern marketing at Microsoft. 

Learning From Leaders is a Microsoft thought leadership series of in-depth conversations with executives at firms who are facing the challenges of the digital age head-on. Each episode features insight from leaders whose clear vision of the future is guiding them to a path of embracing change, made possible by a mindset of continual learning. 

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Listen to all episodes of the Learning from Leaders podcast:

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