Last Tuesday, the University of St. Thomas hosted the Minnesota Chapter of the American Marketing Association’s final Health Care Special Interest Group event of the program year. Bart Reed of UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement and Michael Brousseau of OptumHealth shared how their segmentation work is driving business growth throughout their organizations.
The UHC Medicare & Retirement Group wanted to create a shared perspective on consumers over age 65 that would provide a common language in how they talk about consumers; a common approach to targeting; a clearly defined customer value proposition; a clear understanding on where growth opportunities lie; and a focus for messaging, innovation, product development, etc. They developed a methodology to answer the following questions:
- Which consumers and segments present the most attractive opportunities for growth?
- What are the current, latent, and emerging needs of attractive consumers and segments?
- What is the total value proposition – benefits, services, pricing, communications – they should deliver to drive differentiation and growth?
They worked with the Cambridge Group to create and execute their segmentation methodologies. Using a survey of more than 150 questions sent to over 3000 customers, the UHC Medicare & Retirement Group identified seven consumer segments, defined by their attitudes, motivations, behaviors, health care preferences and needs, and demographics. These segments include: “Minimizer,” “Protector,” “Preventer,” “Manager,” “Loyalist,” “Struggler,” and “Worrier.”
OptumHealth typically deals with members aged 21-65 and are charged with helping them be healthier. OptumHealth also used Cambridge Group to develop their segmentation methodology, which incorporated numerous segmenting dimensions, including perceived health status, healthy lifestyle orientation, health care system usage, financial well-being, need for convenience, and more. They also landed on seven segments, ranging from the healthiest, “Assured Actives,” to the least healthy, “Overwhelmed.”
Moving away from “one-size fits all” to tailored programs and messaging has results. Knowing what to offer to whom, and the messaging they will respond to, is powerful. Segmentation activation drives profitable growth & creates the path to a lifetime relationship with the customer.
- Better understanding of needs leads to a better product, clearer path to innovation and differentiation
- More relevant marketing support leads to better leads
- More relevant consumer experience leads to better retention
This creative approach to market segmentation can also be used in the delivery of health care services by providers. It is very likely that each segment will be amenable to different approaches to increase patient engagement and compliance. This can lead to much improved patient outcomes.
This is one example of how the health care community is finally beginning to use the powerful tools of market research and segmentation that retailers have used for many years.