In the age of the empowered consumer, it’s no surprise that organizations with vast amounts of consumer data are also the most successful at influencing purchasing decisions. Data holds the key to anticipating, and subsequently delivering, what consumers are most likely to want or need — often before he/she even realizes that they want or need it.
This is where retailers excel – health plans on the other hand, still have some work to do.
Health plans have access to more personal data than retail sites, yet the consumer experience couldn’t be more different between the two. Your favorite retail site is leveraging the data it has on you — past purchases, items you’ve looked at but didn’t purchase, what consumers similar to you are purchasing — to provide an experience that leaves you feeling like the retailer really “gets you,” so that hopefully, you’ll purchase more.
Health plans on the other hand, tend to operate with a “one size fits all” mentality, treating their members like a disease or condition rather than as individuals with unique wants and needs.
Make sense of the data you have.
The data you have on your members — health, lifestyle and consumer — is more understandable when you utilize algorithms to create segments of similarly situated individuals. After segmentation analysis has been performed, the next step is to develop in-depth profiles for each segment.
These profiles should include communication preferences, health status, purchasing habits, most prevalent conditions, family/life data, etc.
Personalized communications say so much.
Personalized communications should be part of your outreach, which is why segmentation is so critical to driving member engagement. Remember, you’re connecting with individuals, and what they respond to is as unique as they are.
Let’s say you are launching an email campaign about your wellness programs. Any email you send to a member should include personalized language — name, gender- and age-specific images, plan type, program participation deadline and any tasks already completed.
You’ll also want to take it a step further and incorporate your segmentation and profiling into your overall messaging strategy. For example, members who are actively employed and/or have families may respond to options that are more convenient to their schedules, such as providing an at-home screening test kit. Members who are price-sensitive may participate in the program if there are incentives.
Another key to creating personalized communications is to tailor your subject lines. Emails don’t work if they are not opened, so look for alternatives to the cookie-cutter greeting.
Learn how a commercial plan increased engagement in just six months by downloading our white paper, “Getting to know the consumer: Leveraging data to better connect members.”
About the author
Whitney Haggerson is the Director of Consumer Engagement Consulting. She specializes in engagement strategy development, customer journey mapping, consumer segmentation modeling, development and deployment of choice architecture strategies and integrated communication infrastructures. Whitney has experience with the research and implementation of an onsite clinics strategy with both payers and multi-national employers.