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Wow, it’s sure been a busy March! This past week, I had the pleasure of hearing our own Justin Stauffer speak at the RISE Medicare Marketing, Sales & Product Summit in Nashville. The week before, I also had the privilege of attending and speaking at the World Congress Medicare Marketing & Sales Innovation Summit in Orlando.

These were both wonderful events full of great speakers, attendees, and industry relevant information. For those who weren’t able to attend the event in Orlando, I wanted to summarize and share the innovative and creative thinking workshop that I helped lead via our blog.

Innovating Thinking

I had the honor of speaking during the “Think Differently to Break Barriers in Creative Marketing” workshop. My focus was on how we can learn from other industries to help us innovate and think differently in order to gain and retain new members. Thanks to CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), the health insurance and Medicare markets have many nuances and specifications. However, it’s also similar to a number of other industries. Take for instance the restaurant industry, which is highly competitive and risky with low margins. They also need to think creatively, but execute flawlessly while balancing innovation with consistency.

What can we learn from this? Believe it or not, some of the most successful restaurants in the world have a very rigid and formalized R&D process to develop new menus and dishes. This provides a great example for others from which to learn. Their process for innovation and change includes:

  • Leadership meetings and agreement on core concepts strategies for each of its business units
  • Brainstorming and generating loose ideas
  • Dividing ideas into buckets
    • Giving the “go forward” ideas to the R&D team for development
    • Logging the “no go” ideas into a database for future consideration
  • Prototyping, testing, and improving

Why must we start to think innovatively?

Medicare is at a strong point, both from a government support and eligibility standpoint, which means there are more new plans entering the market and while existing plans expand. Marketing saturation is high, there is a limited enrollment time frame, and there are fewer switchers each year. It’s become more important than ever to entice eligible consumers to enroll in your program, give shoppers a reason to switch, and retain your members.

How do we innovate and think differently at DMW?

We have a saying that we like to “think inside the rules and outside the box.” We let our data do the navigating and our people due to the creating. With the market being so crowded, it’s important to connect with your prospects in order to stand out from the crowd. We have found success in:

  • Being big, bold, and different to establish a connection with the prospect pool
  • Creating and leveraging an omni-channel experience
  • Persuading prospects to take an action
  • Leveraging data to make informed decisions

How do we measure innovation?

The term innovation can mean a number of different things to different people. At DMW, we measure it like we measure anything – with KPIs.

  • Define the problem you’re looking to solve
  • Develop objectives and goals
  • Predetermine the success metrics
  • Track EVERYTHING through website pixels as well as unique landing pages, phone numbers, codes, and SKUs.

While this doesn’t sum up all the excitement of the past two weeks, hopefully it gives you some insights into how to start thinking differently about your Medicare marketing. As always, we are here to help with any of your strategic thinking, planning, and analyzing for your upcoming campaigns.