In a world without marketing, businesses would have no idea what their customers want, and customers would have no idea what companies carry the products they need. But unlike in old times, marketing no more deals only with the communication of the product to the consumers. Modern marketing makes customers aware of your products or services, engages them, and helps them make buying decisions. Needless to say, marketing forms a crucial link between a consumer and a company.
Nicole R. Braley, Chief Marketing Officer at Inception Fertility, an experienced business leader sought after for speaking, writing, and coaching is a passionate marketer advocating the importance of delivering positive business outcomes. With a focus on building exceptional customer experiences, Nicole leads numerous commercial pursuits and is known for her innovative style.
A seasoned marketer, Nicole believes that it is important for leaders to “lead with introspection” and lean into transferrable skills to successfully manage disruption and change. She states, “The more prepared your leaders are to lead through change, the better the experiences your employees, customers, and patients will have.”
Built by patients for patients, Inception Fertility is a collection of top-tier fertility brands working together, committed to helping patients build their own families. Inception’s purpose is to achieve the highest bar in experience, science, and medicine to enhance each patient’s experience and achieve better outcomes.
The organization was an outcome of the hardships faced by its owners. Inception founder TJ Farnsworth and his wife wanted to start a family as soon as they got married. However, when they couldn’t conceive, they found themselves on a frustrating and overwhelming fertility journey that spanned years. Upon their son Wyatt’s birth, TJ reflected on his family’s experience as patients and realized that many aspiring parents were carrying the same emotional burden that he and his wife did.
He soon founded Inception Fertility, a network of holistic fertility treatment brands that run on compassion, patient focus, and the latest technology. Based out of its headquarters in Houston, Texas, Inception is recognized as the fastest-growing network of fertility clinics in North America.
As CMO, Nicole leads the organization’s marketing and communications initiatives, highlighting its commitment to providing each patient with an individualized and specialized approach to fertility care. She understands that fertility treatment can be a scary idea for some and goes out of her way to make customers comfortable throughout their journey with Inception.
Apart from her role of overseeing client experiences, she is also responsible for the outreach of the commercial efforts of the brand. In a field driven by cutting-edge scientific advancements, and an undeterred focus on patient outcomes, Nicole leads her team with a deep sense of confidence, empathy, and strategic vision.
One of her first goals at Inception was establishing a standardized lead generation process for all the family brands and incorporating it into the company’s ERP to nurture leads, measure defined objectives, and track ROI. On achieving this, she created a process that not only integrated the various verticals of Inception under one umbrella but also allowed the organization to serve its customers more meticulously.
Before joining Inception, Braley was the Vice President of Marketing Americas for Wood Mackenzie, a global energy, chemicals, renewables, metals, and mining research and consultancy group. Nicole’s healthcare marketing experience includes serving as a Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at Vision Source, of Essilor International, a global ophthalmic optics company that designs, manufactures, and markets lenses to correct or protect eyesight. Through her leadership, she led double-digit revenue growth and shifted market share from key competitors.
Braley is also a member of the Forbes Communication Council and a frequent guest on business podcasts and event panels. She is a graduate of Texas A&M, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications. She also holds a Master of Liberal Studies from Rice University in Houston. Nicole has been awarded 10 Best CMOs of 2021 by the Industry Era Magazine.
A Unification of Brands
The innovative use of technology has a transformative effect in any industry, and Inception Fertility is no exception. A network of brands that touches every stage of the fertility life cycle, Inception is working to deliver on its promise, pushing the envelope of what is possible, and exceeding patient expectations.
Apart from leading Inception’s marketing and communication efforts, Nicole works closely with Inception’s growing portfolio of companies. This includes – The Prelude Network®, the fastest-growing network of fertility clinics and largest provider of comprehensive fertility services in the U.S. as well as Pathways Fertility™, which are clinics that provide affordable, individualized, and high-quality care.
While partner brand, MyEggBank®, is recognized as one of the largest frozen donor egg banks in North America; Bundl Fertility™ is a multi-cycle fertility service bundling program. HavenCryo™ offers long-term reproductive preservation, and storage solutions, along with NutraBloom™, a premium lifestyle brand that creates expertly formulated supplements to support individuals’ health and wellness goals for preconception.
Keeping the Customer at the Center
For the past few decades, marketers have been beating the drum about user experience. A trend that Nicole is well aware of, she feels that simplifying a user experience on a digital platform is one thing, but a carefully curated personalized customer experience is another. The most important factor, in fact! “As we continue to evolve in the marketing world, it’s also becoming clear that all that digital noise can create a less-than-great customer experience,” states Braley.
When she joined Inception as CMO, not only was Nicole facing an industry change but also a shift to managing a family of brands and business lines that were disparate. Already providing top-tier care to patients, Braley took an overarching view to see where she could strengthen the entire Inception structure. The answer – A stronger patient-centered approach.
This was evident in the action taken by Inception when winter storm Uri hit Texas, impacting communication, transportation, and medical facilities. When Inception’s clinics and labs lost power and water, seven patients from the Houston area received their pre-planned procedures at other network affiliates.
Since fertility care is a careful time-bound process, clinicians went above and beyond, often at the expense of being with their own families, to preserve patient embryos, and ensure fertility treatments went ahead as planned. “No other network could have cared for patients like this,” states Nicole.
Advocating Workplace Diversity
With a decade and a half worth of experience under her belt, Nicole Braley is known to her peers as a thoroughbred professional dedicated to diving into a project and committing to its success from start to end. Having functioned in various industries over her career, she has often witnessed the negative effects of gender parity in the workplace.
Being a woman in a male-dominated industry can be hard and discouraging. To overcome this prevalent issue, Nicole feels that it is important for companies to first identify their strengths and then expand on them. She states, “Leveraging positive constructs and processes already in place is a much healthier starting place for identifying opportunities to achieve greater parity.”
Another factor that Nicole feels can extinguish gender disparity is by having a diverse working environment. A more diverse working environment includes much more than gender balance. People’s ethnic backgrounds, gender affiliations, ages, and many other factors go into diversifying an organization’s talent pool. “If you build a culture of inclusion, diversity is the natural result,” concludes Nicole Braley.