In addition to the fact that the healthcare system is not yet equipped to meet the needs of the growing geriatric segment, marketers will need to adjust their Medicare campaign strategies to meet the needs of the boomer segment.
The following discussion outlines a few important factors that Medicare marketers should consider when reaching out to the boomer Age-in segment.
Boomers Will Want the Facts First
Unlike most Medicare Age-ins before them, boomers will likely turn first to the Internet to research their Medicare options and they will want the facts so they can make informed decisions. Online tools, like the one found at Medicare.gov providing comparisons of Medicare health plan prices and benefits, may have been used first by boomers who assisted their elderly parents.
Boomers are adept at using the Internet for shopping and researching and will want this type of transparency of information as well as convenience when shopping for Medicare products for themselves.
Because boomers basically created consumerism, they will demand to know where their money is going if they choose a Medicare Supplement or Advantage plan that requires they pay more than what Original Medicare provides.
Boomers will not want to be told that Medicare alone is not enough without the facts to back it up. They will want to review their options and determine for themselves the value of spending more. Marketers should provide resources that educate and tools that empower them to make the right choices for their specific health and financial needs.
Focus on Boomer Women
Women are the healthcare decision-makers in most male/female households. Boomer women often assist and influence their husbands as well as their elderly parents in making their Medicare healthcare decisions. Savvy healthcare marketers will target boomer women with information about Medicare products years before they turn 65.
But they must keep in mind that women think and shop differently than men. They should understand how women make healthcare purchasing decisions and be familiar with their healthcare concerns and needs in order to connect on a meaningful level. Addressing a woman's concerns makes her feel understood and valued, and this provides an emotional connection, which is important to most women.
With four times as many connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain than men, women are four times as likely to tap into the right hemisphere (the center of nonverbal, intuitive, holistic modes of thinking) when making decisions.
This means women are more likely to use both rational and emotional factors in the shopping process. So while they will certainly want the facts to make the important financial decisions, women will also want to feel intuitively good about their choices. Marketers who understand this know how important it is to appeal to women on both levels.
Boomers Spread the Word Fast
Word of mouth is an important component in selecting a health plan. With boomers all over social media, the "word" (good and bad) about a brand is spreading faster than ever. Currently, 16.5 million adults over the age of 55 engage in social media (comScore). And in just one year since AARP.org unveiled its social networking platform, about 350,000 users created 1,700 groups.
Medicare marketers who understand and leverage the unique behavior of boomer Age-ins will have great success!