Marketing & Sales

Finding the right cure for a market condition

ViaHealth Plan

Where traditional approaches had failed to break through in a commoditized and ultracompetitive insurance market, we discovered a formula for growth with a marketing plan founded in strategic research and built on consumer trust in their care providers.

Challenge

The ViaHealth Plan, a regional health insurance brand, was experiencing a steady decline in market share while its primary commercial product was losing sales volume. Two major insurance companies dominated the highly competitive marketplace. The primary customer for the commercial insurance product was small to medium-size regional companies. The primary decision factors were price leading to a commoditization of the product in the market place. Qualitative and quantitative research revealed that less than 10% of customers said they trusted insurance providers. The administrative support for the commercial plan was under contract with one of the regional competition, a unique business arrangement.

Thinking

Prior strategies and campaigns focus on the general public, so shift the focus and engage the primary purchasers and key influencers – employers and brokers. The consumer research revealed that consumers had a high level of trust in primary care and health care service providers; so leverage this insight to promote the value of the provider-sponsored insurance product. With a $500,000 budget, the marketing mix needed to be revised, delivering the majority of the messages to the primary purchaser and key influencers versus the general public. To ensure the greatest impact, the marketing, sales, and communication strategies and tactics were integrated with the new brand assets, positioning, messages and execution schedules.

Solution

After extensive research and analysis, a long-term plans to revise the product portfolio to align with market trends and a short-term to re-energize the brand in the marketplace. To connect with consumer trust in the health care providers, the brand was re-positioned to highlight the network of health care providers that sponsored the commercial product, a key differentiator. The marketing and communications campaigns featured the health care providers and their commitment to quality of care and access to services. An employer-centric sales campaign was developed in collaboration with the marketing and sales teams to energize the sales force with effective rewards and respond the employer needs for easy to product administration with an enrollment toolkit.

Impact

  • Reversed market share decline with a year-one increase of 158% in product selection.
  • Developed a database of employer groups for an ongoing engagement campaign.
  • Established a system to evaluate sales promotions effectiveness based on response rates and sell-thru.
  • Created personalized URLs to test responses to various messages, tactics, and media channels. Collected consumer data to drive a market segmentation strategy.
  • Identified future business partner to support launch of new product portfolio.
  • Improved the moral of the product management team with increased autonomy, active team-building, shared sense of purpose and a celebration of success after an amazing turn-a-round in one year.