Health @ GKV | Time to Zag
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Time to Zag

Time to Zag

Consider this: Ten health care organizations now hold 67% of individual Medicare Advantage market share, including HMO, PPO and HMO-SNP products. And that doesn’t include Blue Cross Blue Shield plans with another 3.2 million Medicare Advantage members, another 19%. Most of these organizations have deep pockets and aren’t shy about spending money on marketing and advertising. Many have high brand awareness and provide group or individual insurance to those aging into Medicare.

How can local and regional health plans compete with these behemoths?

You certainly can’t outspend them. During Q4 2017, the top five health care organizations spent nearly $83,000,000 on Medicare-related advertising.

And you can’t make the rational reasons for selecting a plan, e.g. biggest network, best benefits, etc., the centerpiece of your advertising. That territory is already taken by the giant plans. Thus, if your communications simply attempt to mirror them, you’re just more noise. You’ve already lost.

So, it’s time to zag. 

Don’t play by big dog rules. You are a Challenger Brand. And your strategic imperative should be to encourage your prospects to evaluate you, not as a smaller version of the category leaders, but as a true alternative. Make an emotional case for why you’re a better choice. Speak to the advantages of being a smaller, local plan. Like customer service provided by local people. Values and beliefs your company shares with your communities. A knowledge of and a history with local markets that the national players could never have.

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