Health Insurance brands have for many decades been focused on wooing employers, however, many are now promoting their services to a new target market. Now, particularly in the US (due to the passing of the Affordable Care Act) there's an influx of consumers who are now shopping for health insurance for the first time, insurance outside of their employers & government plans, refocusing insurance companies marketing efforts.
For example, Minneapolis-based United Healthcare. They've taken an unconventional approach to direct marketing. Their new campaign "Ways In" is aimed directly at consumers using humour to poke fun at the state of the US Healthcare Industry.
"This is the first time people on the exchanges as consumers make a decision about
“This is the first time people on the exchanges as consumers make a decision about what health insurance they’re going to buy directly. I think UnitedHealthcare was the first large insurance company to wake up and go, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We’ve got to talk to people.’”
Jeanie Caggiano, Executive Vice President
The campaign highlights the ease of which people can enter the healthcare system such as falling into a drain and failed attempts at crowd surfing. The campaign's most popular TV spot called "Our Song" is a couple's disastrous attempt to recreating the epic dance lift in the late '80's romantic drama Dirty Dancing. The couple later connects with a doctor through United Healthcare's virtual clinic. Each ad the code of the International Classification of Diseases (E005.9 for "rhythmic movements" in the Dirty Dancing as) that providers use to classify patient diagnoses with their healthcare insurance providers.
According to Caggiano, the goal was to help United Healthcare stand out in a crowded marketplace and build trust with consumers.
“Everybody was talking about wellness and living life to the fullest, and you could not tell Cigna from Aetna from Humana from UnitedHealthcare. But UnitedHealthcare realized, ‘We’re wasting our money. We don’t stand out. We need to do advertising that stands out and reaches people.’”
The campaign launched in Spring, including TV commercials, radio spots and digital ads with a social media push for #CodeOfTheDay. So far they've achieved 1.67 billion impressions according to Caggiano. Aaron Kwittken, co-founder of New York-based healthcare marketing agency Antidote 360, taking a humorous approach is the right change for United Healthcare. The brand could've gone even further according to Kwittken and promoted #HealthCareFails.
“Sketch comedy approaches like these could go a long way to re-engage consumers in a more authentic manner, and position UnitedHealthcare as a more accessible, approachable, and ‘human’ company. This is probably the start of insurers and hospital systems alike doubling down efforts to advertise more like consumer packaged goods and lifestyle brands, and less like institutions.”
Aaron Kwittken, Co-Founder of Antidote 360, Healthcare Marketing Agency
So what does this all mean when marketing in the Insurance Industry? As a marketing agency with a few insurance brokers on our books here's a few take away points with what we find works too:
- Try different forms of modern advertisements – Rather than advertising through the TV or the newspapers, try out different other forms of advertisements too. You can start offering affiliate marketing programs with regards to the online advertisements, these are a great way to advertise. You can try the door knob advertisements. You can advertise through the mails and the newsletters. You can try promoting your website through the different social marketing websites. That is a subtle way of advertising your products.
- Try to include an email signature related to insurance – As a business person, you are supposed to have some official emails. So, with regards to those, include a signature based on health insurance. This too is a great way of advertising. Through the signature, you may be able to announce the message that you would like to convey to the others.
- Create your own website – Create and maintain your own website so that you can include the details of the insurance products within the website. If you include articles and messages based on the policies you offer, people coming to your website may get more interested in buying a policy. So, this too is a form of advertisement.
- Participate in Local Networking Events – There are many professional organizations which host the networking events. This helps the businesspeople to meet other business personalities. Try to go to such events as this is great place for advertisement, to catch others attention.
- Check YellowPages for increased leads – The consumers use YellowPages other than other websites to find the merchants they need. So, get yourself listed in this website and any other such websites too.
- Work on search engine optimization or SEO– Work on search engine optimizations oat ht you can better your ranking in the different search engines. This helps you with getting more consumers to your website.
- In addition to the above, try to offer unique health insurance policies, a bit different than others. This is important because, just like you there must be thousands of other health insurance companies trying to catch up with the consumers. Thus, it is obvious that you will have to be different than others even if it’s a tough thing to achieve. Only then may the customers get interested in buying the heath policy offered by you.