As the failures of Romney/ObamaCare mount, we TCTers should do what we can to remind people that a major part of the built-in disaster is the fact that selling health insurance remains a major aspect of the “reformed” set-up. Consider the interview in today’s Advertising Age with Darren Rodgers, chief marketing officer at Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Texas, Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Not only is Mr. Rodgers’ undoubtedly huge salary baked into the prices of the “new” plans being peddled under Romney/ObamaCare, but so, of course, is all the data-mining required to do modern corporate marketing. Under R-O-C, that expense will vastly expand, as Rodgers explains:
Ad Age: [A]s uninsured residents enter the market, companies must appeal to individual buyers, vs. relying solely on tried-and-true business-to-business marketing techniques….How have you changed your marketing to reach Obamacare consumers?
Mr. Rodgers: We’ve had to, first of all, figure out who those people are. We’ve been pretty good in the past about using business data, buying information from Dun & Bradstreet and others to profile corporate clients. But we have had to learn to delve into the individual-buyer marketplace, and a lot of these people today aren’t even buyers, they are uninsured.
Ad Age: What data sources have you tapped to find those people?
Mr. Rodgers: Because many of our new clients will be coming from the ranks of the uninsured, we couldn’t use the data that we have internally, but we had to go out and use external sources of data. … Some of that data is available publicly. … We also have used Acxiom data to build profiles of communities so that we could target our marketing message.
Meanwhile, the usual marketing ploys remain:
Ad Age: Describe your creative approach.
Mr. Rodgers: The Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand is so universally recognized and universally associated with health insurance. … We also know it’s an aspirational brand within the uninsured marketplace. … Because of those things, we felt that it was appropriate to continue our strategy of just general brand advertising, but to make sure that it’s in the places it needs to be to hit the [new] markets.