News and views to improve the strength and vigor of all your direct response marketing activity.

Published in The RISE Newsletter, Winter, 2017.

As the health insurance industry continues to become more competitive and the consumer becomes more discerning, strong business analytics can be the key to both differentiating your plan, and making a positive impact to your bottom line. Today’s Medicare audience is evolving just like any other segment of the population and demanding a better consumer journey. This journey needs to be personalized both from a messaging and media standpoint. And it needs to be available to consumers when they’re ready to engage — whether it’s via traditional media such as Direct Mail and DRTV, or newer channels such as mobile Facebook ads, Over the Top streaming, or pay per click ads on Google or Bing.

With all of these mediums to communicate your message and the hyper growth of business analytics, it can be hard to focus on the data that truly matters. “Big Data” can translate into more data than a marketer needs and is able to synthesize and use. The crucial point is to identify “Actionable Data” and focus in on the KPI’s that will help improve your consumer’s journey and your bottom line.

I recommend that everyone take a fresh look at the data. As your first step, define your distant and near business goals:

  • Longer Term: identify the questions or problems that you want to answer/solve, which will help you define an analytics solution.
  • Shorter Term: ask yourself what decisions can be made off of the reports you want, and what analysis will have the highest impact at the lowest cost.

When asking myself these two questions, the following 5 proven uses for Actionable Data come to the top of the list:

1. Marketing & Reporting Towards The Goal:

With the vast sea of data available to gather and report, it can be resource intensive and hard to decipher what is truly meaningful and insightful, versus being served numbers that have minimal impact. Establishing meaningful KPI’s and goals prior to launching any campaign will allow you to effectively track and develop actionable reports in order to make decisions and improve bottom line results.

2. Segmentation:

Diving deep into your member files will allow you to develop insights beyond simple demographic clusters, and better understand actual customer behavior and preferences. This insight then drives development of meaningfully segmented creative, media plans, and improved direct mail scoring models. This increased understanding of your consumer can boost both lead and conversion percentages, while decreasing your overall cost and CPL.

3. Response Modeling:

Each individual Direct Mail touchpoint serves a unique purpose through the AEP timeframe. Instead of looking to a one-size fits-all model, leverage your data to tailor each individual touchpoint in order to maximize all relevant response rate metrics such as calls, kit requests, website visits, etc. Check out this blog post to see how different types of consumers respond at different points during the AEP timeframe.

4. Lapsed Member Predictive Modeling:

A multi-year review of the member data will help inform which members might be at risk of abandonment. This insight will allow you to proactively and appropriately communicate the benefits of staying with the current plan — reducing attrition.

5. Media Mix Optimization:

Ensure that the media channels and marketing budget are working as effectively as possible. Combining the marketing cost and campaign performance data allows for a set of marginal productivity curves to be developed for each channel. We are then able to identify the breakeven point at different budget levels (for example, forecast leads & sales production at multiple budget proposals). Finally, the linear programming then helps determine optimal allocations across channels for a given budget.

The Medicare landscape is changing just like any other industry and using the data effectively can be what separates you from your competition. Understanding who your audience is and what they respond to will allow you to successfully increase new members while retaining the base. Remember that in order to leverage analytics, you must think about the KPI’s ahead of time and ensure that the proper tracking is set up to monitor unique experiences through vanity URLs, tag management systems, source codes, and unique phone numbers. This will help ensure successful campaigns and key opportunities for future improvement.