Digital Marketing in the Medicare Advantage World

“Internet shopping rates have surpassed the rates of all other shopping activities.” As marketers, we have heard for years now that omnichannel is the way to go and that baby boomers are online. But we still see a lack of focus on digital in many Medicare Advantage marketing strategies. Deft Research’s “2016 Age-in Study” shows for the first time that internet shopping is the highest utilized channel for researching products (the shopping part) among age-ins in 2016. Clearly, digital can no longer be considered an additional channel—it is the channel. And the best thing about digital marketing, it is data-driven. In nearly real time, you have the opportunity to understand what is working and what isn’t.

So, now that you are underway with pre-Annual Election Period (AEP) marketing and implementing your sales and marketing strategies, how does your digital marketing stack up? Consider the following…

  1. Be the local authority on Medicare Advantage: Not only ensure that you are the result in local website searches on Medicare Advantage but that your Medicare Advantage website includes educational information. Think easy-to-read visuals and 10-minute educational videos intended to provide common answers to Medicare Advantage questions and explain Medicare Advantage to those aging in. Consider making these videos searchable on video sharing sites like YouTube, then post your videos on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You want beneficiaries in your service area to go to you with their questions, not your competition.
  2. Internet shopping tool is a must! Internet shopping is the most widely used shopping channel by the Medicare Advantage age-in population. As more baby boomers age in to Medicare, this trend is expected to continue. If you don’t have an online shopping tool, make this a priority now. The shopping tool should support a potential member in clearly comparing plan options all the way through to completing an enrollment form.
  3. Current member email and cell phone communication programs (MA or other lines of business)Traditionally, email and cell phone communication programs have been rare in the Medicare Advantage world, but for the younger population, this method of communication is expected. It is what they are used to pre-Medicare Advantage. As we see more tech-savvy and internet-savvy beneficiaries, there is a huge opportunity to stay connected with your members, drive Star Ratings, and keep your members happy and healthy. You may want to consider care management text messages, reminding members of upcoming doctor appointments, seasonal at-home care tips (e.g., allergy season, flu season, etc.), and targeted medical tips and information for members with certain clinical conditions. And finally, when developing your mobile strategy, Gorman Health Group recommends considering a mobile application that allows members to access their personal, password-protected member portal. We recommend enhancing your member portal to include not only newsletters, member education videos (see #2) and plan information but also premium payment abilities, claims status checks, and doctor appointment tracking.

Interested in giving your marketing strategy a digital boost? We are here to help! Contact GHG today to see how we can partner with your Marketing team to develop a robust digital marketing strategy.

 

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Angela Fox
Angela Fox

Angela Fox is a Senior Consultant of Sales, Marketing & Strategy at Gorman Health Group (GHG). In this role, she provides critical support and consulting services to clients in their market, as well as competitive and product analyses.

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