Written by: Casey Floyd
Targeting New Medicare Patients Online Year-Round
The Open Enrollment period is a make-or-break time for any healthcare organization looking to grow its Medicare patient profile, but with the right digital strategy, it’s possible to grow patients year-round, if you know where to look and who to target. Outside of those key open enrollment months, those who are eligible to enroll include seniors aging-in (turning 65), those moving into the market, and those with chronic conditions who require a special needs plan. And while this audience still consumes traditional media such as print, radio, and TV (which is often the go-to for a marketing team), the more cost-effective approach may come through digital means. While young adults are the most likely to use the internet, seniors are showing faster adoption rates. According to a recent PEW study, 14 percent of seniors used the internet in 2000, while 58 percent do so today. Not until 2012 did more than half of all adults ages 65 and older report using the internet. This online presence of the target market should not be overlooked, but rather strategically exploited. As we align this senior demo with today’s online data and technology, here’s some food for thought:
Discovering Age-Ins in the Digital Age
Nationwide, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. Since birthdate is the primary parameter in narrowing the population for our marketing efforts, we tap into databases that carry that field, layered with address and email. Experian, the global information services group, is a data giant and valuable resource and a great foundation for this key information. Additionally, Facebook advertising can narrow on birthdate and determine the inventory in any market for those that are coming up on their 65th birthday. Today’s data can be carried over into many various advertising technology platforms to reach this pin-point audience. We also consider the many people in this age range that continue to work, and that they may not even be aware of the options available to them through Medicare. Since this advertising effort is about education, we have even gone so far as to target employers with educational materials for their aging staff. While the employer’s insurance may have its advantages, so does the Medicare option and putting out the information. We put ourselves in the shoes of this target market and outline all possible activity in their routine and employ multiple online touch points along the way.
Welcoming Move-Ins to the Neighborhood
When one moves into a new area, there are some universal to-dos: activate utilities, file change of address forms with the post office, and find a new physician. As they perform these errands, they leave digital fingerprints that allow us to pinpoint these new neighbors. Consider the first: Activating Utilities. With internet activation comes a new IP address and possibly a new email within a neighborhood. Specific technology platforms allow us to identify these addresses through location-based targeting (AKA geo-fencing). Keeping a narrow watch on senior communities for these triggers can certainly expedite the identification of the newly moved-in. Next: Filing Change of Address Forms. This is the primary trigger of “welcome home” direct mail efforts. It can also be a trigger for digital media advertising. Completing the errands: Finding a New Physician. If we haven’t already reached the prospect with the first two techniques, this effort should complete the circle. As seniors search online for a physician or healthcare plan in their area, your advertisement should dominate the results and lead the prospect appropriately. Over the past two years, there has been a significant rise in “near me” searches and health care has a real opportunity as patients seek convenience. As with age-ins, the best digital strategy will reach audiences in a targeted area across multiple channels: email, search, social media, and display at the very least. We consider ourselves a savvy digital partner that can identify move-ins and find you additional prospects in the process.
Meeting Special Needs with Special Techniques
Many insurers offer Special Needs Plans that allow patients with designated conditions (diabetes, chronic heart and lung diseases, etc.) to change their coverage outside of Open Enrollment. At the same time, many patients have these conditions and may or may not be on a plan tailored to their needs. Identifying these audiences requires a digital marketer to go beyond age- and location-based targeting and one of many avenues that is vital to this effort is Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Consider keyword search retargeting efforts based on those disease types, their afflictions, and their prescriptions. This is a strategy that uses search queries on these disease ailments, prescriptions, or even recipes that are associated. An example of this is the number of diabetic recipe searches that the ailed might make. Prime ad placement would be pre-roll video on YouTube (now considered the second largest search engine) as they find these recipe videos. Social media is another channel that has proven its worth in this effort based on interest and behavior on the network. As these disease types are on the rise, our marketing net has become larger in this arena. Maybe, just maybe, with our digital efforts in getting your quality care to this prospect, we can work together to reverse that process. We’d take great pride if that were the case.
Manage Your Message
As with most things, what you say is every bit as important as how and where you say it. Remember that nobody wants or needs to be told they are getting older. We live in an “age is only a number” world, and your audience needs your help in staying healthy so that they can continue to do the things that make them happy. For healthcare providers, think about the ways that your unique value proposition helps your patients accomplish that goal. Whether you take pride in creating relationships or provide best-in-class access to facilities and services, we can help you exceed your business goals throughout the year. Finally, consider where you are driving your leads to once they have taken action on your ads. Even as the senior audience becomes more digitally savvy, it is imperative to place the most valuable information no more than one click away from your ad. If you are promoting a workshop for diabetes patients, for example, a person who clicks on your ad should be directed straight to a short RSVP form with the name, date, and time of the event prominently available. Keep it simple and you will be rewarded.
Our Focus. Your Results.
Here at MassMedia, we specialize in healthcare marketing and we’re on the leading edge of digital techniques in reaching prospective patients. From social media, to display, to search, to email, our team of experts has a proven track record of success. We are also well aware of the obstacles to growth faced by health care providers, and we work in lockstep with insurers and brokers to ensure that they have the tools at their disposal necessary to help patients lead happier and healthier lives. Lastly, our chief concern is making sure that you get the most value for your budget. Targeting three distinct audiences makes it absolutely crucial that every dollar in each campaign counts. We cater your message to each audience and support it with impactful creative, ensuring we deliver on your goals. Interested in learning more? Let us prove our worth. CALL 702-433-4331.