Follow The Agency Inside at SXSW

Every year innovative designers, technologists and marketers migrate to Austin, TX for South by Southwest (SXSW). This year, we’re sending a team to learn about cutting edge technology, share innovative ideas and be inspired. You can follow them on Twitter to hear about what they are learning and seeing as it’s happening. SXSW Interactive is taking place from March 6-11. #TAISXSW

The SXSW team and Twitter handles

 

 

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Next Year’s Profitablity Comes Down to 3 Months

Check ListWhen ACA open enrollment closes on March 31st, health plans will need to kick it into high gear.

What does that mean for a healthcare marketer? There are only 3 short months to analyze what happened in open enrollment this year in order to make adjustments for the next round. Everything needs to be looked at from who was targeted, to the messaging, to the channels. It’s a HUGE undertaking and the sooner you get started, the better off you will be.

Our healthcare team identified a check list of business critical actions you need to take to come out ahead in 2015. Yes, you may have to make some tough choices, and yes, you may need to bring in outside help to get it all done. Doing only parts and pieces will not give you the complete picture you need to make the right choices for your business. But, the health plans that do this early and vigorously will be the ones to capture the desirable customer segments and have the best chance of being sustainably profitable.

Get your copy of the checklist

Survival Guide for ACA Open Enrollment

Need a survival guide now that open enrollment for the ACA individual mandate is in full swing? Scott Overholt, Vice President & Group Account Director for Health Insurance Markets, recently shared some lessons learned from the Massachusetts healthcare reform experience and strategies for retail health plan marketers in Managed Healthcare Executive. His advice:

  • Monitor activity.
  • Develop contingency plans.
  • Camp out at your contact center.
  • Forget everything you think you know about the value of a brand.
  • Put in place an analytics plan now

Read the full article on Managed Healthcare Executive.

Engaging the Digitally Connected Consumer

Today’s world is loaded with digital footprints – data, profiles, behaviors and actions. When combined, these footprints create a window into the mind of the consumer. They can tell us where they are going, what they like and what they want. However, these footprints create overlapping paths – many of them incomplete. How does your brand engage the digitally connected consumer? Not sure?

Jeannette Koscis, Executive Vice President of Digital Engagement, recently presented a webinar on the topic. She shared:

  • Our vision for customer engagement and why mobile is the key
  • How the Digitally Connected Consumer concept works
  • Perspective on how to approach customer engagement through customer profiles

View a recording of the complimentary presentation

We Need You — Vote for Hot Models Wrapped in Bacon at SXSW!!!

Get excited. The 21st annual South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival is ramping up. The Panel Picker has officially opened and we need you to help get Dan Rubin on the agenda. Vote for our session:

Hot Models Wrapped in Bacon

Rethink everything you know about data modeling. Everything. Stop using buzzwords like regression. Stop assuming basic segmentation is modeling. Stop faking it. Stop pretending like you know how the heck linear models differ from mixed ones. Just stop it already! What you need: Hot Models Wrapped in Bacon. In this interactive experience, your host will introduce you to what he calls the Human Data Model. Yep, Human Data Model. This new perspective will change your life. Okay, maybe not, but you’re guaranteed to stop pretending, and start modeling. For real. You’ll uncover how to make the right audiences take the actions you want. You’ll be scored as part of the Human Data Model. You’ll get to eat bacon – all types, some you’ve likely never heard of before. You’ll go back to work looking like a superhero. You’ll leave saying #dangcrazybacon. And some of you will even take home a few prizes. We’re talking serious electronic swag here. Hot Models Wrapped in Bacon. Experience it.

Sound interesting? Then VOTE for it!
Vote_My_Session

The host, Dan Rubin, eats, breathes, and sleeps modeling. You name it, he’s done it. You ask it, he’ll answer it. He’s done it all throughout his award-winning career. Propensity to act: check. Regression analysis: yep. Data-mining: uh huh. Dan’s done big things over the years. He’s even been quoted as saying he can model the universe. No, really. And he just might be able to do it.

In Dan’s current role at The Agency Inside, Dan is responsible for developing and implementing analytics-based solutions to support our clients’ CRM and marketing objectives. These programs include marketing support, modeling and segmentation, reporting, web analysis, and general data mining methodologies. And in his spare time, Dan is also dreaming up ways to deliver his signature recipe known as Hot Models Wrapped in Bacon.

Seriously. Don’t let this one slip through the cracks. Make sure it is shared with the world – or at least SXSW!

Go VOTE for our session!

Voting is open August 19 – September 6. Hurry!

Finding the Right Message for Health Insurance Marketers & the ACA

There is a lot of talk in the press, in the industry and probably in households across the country about the Affordable Care Act and what it all means. In just a few short weeks, millions of Americans will be heading to health care exchanges to select a health insurance plan through the program. Yet, many health care insurers have had no direct experience marketing to the eligible segment of the population before now.

While the non-elderly uninsured market appears to be the single-largest growth opportunity present in some time, this “opportunity” could prove to be the single-largest threat to insurer’s market share and profitability — if not approached with a thoughtfully planned strategy. What was learned from Massachusetts’ entrance into healthcare reform is that a broad-brush “come one, come all” brand advertising approach served only to sweep everyone in, hurting an insurer’s bottom line.

What should insurers know about consumers and their attitudes towards health care as they craft their messages?

What most people know about the ACA is what they’ve heard in the news and most of that is politically skewed. There are many unknowns and fears regarding what specific plan offerings will be, how accessible they are and what they will cost. Bottom line: the market is uncertain.

With all this uncertainty, however, comes a huge opportunity for health plans. This is the opportunity to establish and nurture relationships with desirable insureds. The way to do this is through a series of educational and benefit-oriented messaging, communicated early and often. Right now is time to leverage one-to-one marketing to reeducate healthy consumers about the personal benefits of owning health insurance (“what’s in it for you, the consumer”), as well as the unique selling proposition the company brings to the table. There also exists an opportunity for insurers to learn as they go and build a foundation of success in this previously unexplored marketplace.

We recently conducted a survey of this eligible market to see what they think about the ACA and where they go for information. We also identified some characteristics within the desirable insureds, the “young invincibles” and the “healthy”, that marketers can leverage in their messaging.

Download the Health Care Market Report

I discussed the findings of the report in a recent webinar “Are They Buying What You’re Selling?” The webinar is now available for viewing on-demand.

Watch the recoring

Hermes Creative Awards Bring a Little Bling to the Office

Hermes Creative Award Trophies

Platinum & Gold Hermes Creative Award Trophies

Attempting to follow up a record three MarketingSherpa Email Awards is no easy task, but the 2013 Hermes Creative Awards were the source of another impressive feat for our creative teams as a result of their work with clients Sony and Horizon. At this year’s competition, which included over 5,600 entries, they were awarded a whopping eleven of the well-respected awards as well as honorable mentions for their work on numerous campaigns for both clients. These honors included:

  • Four Platinum Hermes Creative Awards
  • Seven Gold Hermes Creative Awards
  • Six Honorable Mentions

The awards were given across a range of different mediums including catalogs, direct mail, videos and video newsletters, email, fulfillment kits, and cyber campaigns, and were within both the healthcare and consumer brands industries. The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials and programs, and emerging technologies, and is judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. They award creative entries on concept, copy, and design, judging each entry individually, and rewarding winners for their high standards of excellence.

Read the full press release here.

5 Best Practices to Make Loyalty More Meaningful

What’s the formula for success for marketers seeking to facilitate loyalty? I recently shared best practices with 1to1 Media on building loyalty. Here are five winning moves for bringing this formula to fruition:

1. Eliminate the Word “Channel” and Replace with “Customer”: Customers don’t think in terms of channel, so brands shouldn’t see them that way either. Strive to recognize customer activity across multiple channels so that most valued customers feel valued.

2. Smartly Move Beyond a Strictly Transactional Relationship: Make the customer experience more robust by facilitating engagement with touches outside the transaction. These types of interactions enable brands to reach out to the audience with meaningful content and collect valuable data in the process.

3. Understand What Data Is Important: Each data source is individually identifiable, but which data points are relevant? Which are not? The new sweet spot of marketing lies where relevant value, authentic dialogue and ubiquitous experience converge.

4. Demand and Facilitate Partner Alignment: A strong alignment among partners is a critical ingredient for a brand’s success. The brand brings a clear definition of roles and responsibilities and the partners must embrace their roles and foster strong ties across the network to ensure success. Together they create the loyalty ecosystem, which is the result of establishing and maintaining one version of the customer.

5. Commit to the Importance of the Customer Experience: Brands today not only live in the merchandise and the shopping experience, but also in what happens after the customer leaves the retail store or website. Use known data to be relevant, timely and appropriate and customers will become and stay more loyal.

Brands that seek to integrate these steps into their strategies are more likely to find and maintain loyalty among valued customers.

Read the entire article in 1to1 Media

Making History in Email Marketing

Email MarketingWe all know that engaged customers buy, so it is critical to keep the consumer in a dialog before, during and after a purchase is made. Email connects customers with a brand, inspiring and motivating action. And because the channel is constantly evolving and our team works diligently to stay ahead of trends and create engaging campaigns that also drive business impact. That is evident in this year’s unprecedented win of three MarketingSherpa Email Awards with Sony Electronics. The honor includes:

  • A Gold Award in Email Innovation for a campaign that integrated the email strategy with Sony’s social strategy,
  • A Silver Award in Best Promotional Email or Campaign for a Black Friday/Cyber Monday email program that generated a 53-percent increase in revenue for the holiday shopping period, and
  • An Honorable Mention in Best Triggered Email for a new customer triggered email campaign that streamlined more than 70 email versions into three dynamic email templates, enabling both better brand interaction and relevancy in messaging.

We couldn’t be more proud of our team or happier to be working in collaboration with such an innovative brand.
Read the press release announcing the win
Read the report from MarketingSherpa on all the winners.