Embrace the New: Utilizing Non-Traditional Methods to Drive Your Message

Reaching consumers about a new product is challenging. Reaching members to let them know about a new health care shopping feature is even tougher. People avoid using health care until they need it, making it all that much harder to grab their attention. What can you do? Maybe turning to new and non-traditional mediums is the answer.

Here’s a few things we suggest:

  • Engage allies. Breaking your member base into smaller groups – segmenting – makes them easier to reach. Sometimes you want to do it by demographic or psychographic attributes in order to customize your message. Sometimes you need to do it because you want them to receive a message by a source who may carry more influence. Identify partners you can leverage as allies, such as employers and providers. Give them communication tools rather than expecting them to create their own.
  • Develop a theme. A campaign theme and consistent call to action, particularly for a wide-reaching effort, ties it all together. Consider developing a landing page to house everything you want to share. You can control the message and maybe even push the envelope of creativity.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. Rising above the noise may require tactics not traditionally used for health plan marketing. A digital ad campaign costs money but unexpected messaging is effective. To ensure it’s a good use of budget, however, make sure your buy will reach your members.
  • Utilize your own channels. Using digital doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use traditional mediums, including your website, email, publications, social media and more. It’s cost cost-effective and probably easier to manage.

A client recently developed a quality score which allows members to more easily compare and select providers. They wanted to get the word out broadly about this and their health care shopping tools in general. While they ran a traditional multi-channel campaign, stepping outside the norm meant also utilizing digital ads. Their three-month campaign included paid advertising, PR, social media and existing member-facing communications.

Their approach paid off. They significantly boosted portal registrations and activity from first-time visitors. Research shows that providing information to members about ways to save money on health care drives increased trust and loyalty – reaching new eyes can help with retention. They also saw a 25% increase in YOY cost searches—those that help members save money on their health care costs. It was especially significant in that the services people searched were ones with a large cost disparity—providing huge savings opportunities for members and the health plan. Boosting awareness and use of health plan tools is not easy and they proved that adopting a well-rounded, unique approach pays off.

Have any stories of things you’ve done that drove great results? I’d love to hear them. Let’s chat.