Obamacare Insurance Sell: Get Back To Marketing Basics

Speaking at MediaPost’s Marketing Health conference, Adam Stalker, national digital director of Enroll America, says the group --- which markets Americans to sign up for health insurance -- used the lessons from gathering Big Data for the Obama presidential advertising campaigns.

But it wasn’t enough.

Stalker says the goal in targeting the 41 million Americans came down to 12 states where two-thirds of people were not insured. More specifically, it focused on 10 states and started sending people knocking on doors, supplemented by a paid-media campaign.

But the results were difficult to obtain -- almost at the outset.

“The problem was -- we didn’t prioritize the most basic parts of a direct-mail campaign,” says Stalker. “We needed to go back to the basics. The things that work are: display and lead-generation tactics. We simply targeted the ZIP codes for the high uninsured.”

It wasn’t that Big Data didn’t work, says Stalker, but that some of supplemental efforts failed. For example, Stalker also said it was difficult to find the uninsured online -- even millennials.

In addition, he said, “admittedly, our budget is small. We have to be very, very efficient. Volume was the key. We needed to have as many conversations as possible.  We weren’t able to reach influencers with a one-on-one approach.”

Now, he says, the health care campaign has improved greatly, reaching 1 million people in 10 states. “The rate of adoption has skyrocketed now as the deadline has neared.”

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