Bolder Thinking Blog

Holistic Health: Insurers frame themselves as partners in wellness

October 15th, 2019 | Comperemedia News

Health and fitness marketing appeals to consumers’ desire to better manage their own wellness. In the health and fitness industry, ‘health’ and ‘fitness’ are literal. In other industries, they can be metaphorical. Although rooted in fitness, health and wellness metaphors are ubiquitous and apply not only to consumers’ minds and bodies but also to the rest of their lives. 

In our holistic health research, we look at how this is happening in insurance, financial services and telecom. These industries are using health-based themes in marketing, allowing consumers to track their progress, give personalized plans and encourage them to be proactive.

In the first of a three-part series, here we take a look at the insurance industry. Insurance companies are well aware that health and fitness marketing appeals to consumers’ desire to better manage their own wellness, so these companies are adopting notions of wellness to encourage members to track progress to achieve goals—and save money.

Theme 1 – Tracking

While consumers care about innovation, they care even more about cost. Insurance companies are addressing this in part through automation. For instance, State Farm and Liberty Mutual promote their driving-tracking programs as ways to get extra discounts. 

Progressive promotes its Snapshot tracking program as a way to get extra discounts. With the subject line “Well done! Your quote is eligible for Snapshot,” Progressive showed it’s looking out for the best interest of the consumer while also rewarding good behavior. Between June 2018 and June 2019, Progressive sent over 9 million emails with this message. 

Theme 2 – Personalization

Health insurers are also promoting their personalized approach. United Healthcare‘s Sync program gives participants a free FitBit watch with personalized fitness plans. To promote these programs, health insurers are borrowing language from sports and exercise industries to make goal-setting seem virtuous and attainable. 

Car insurance companies can also play to this theme. Allstate heavily markets Drivewise across email, TV and print as a way to reward consumers for driving safer. The company sent more than 4.6M emails with “Drivewise” in the subject line between June 2018 and June 2019. By doing this, Allstate is able to give personalized features to a large market

Theme 3 – Proactivity 

Insurers are encouraging users to get out and be active. Between June 2018 and June 2019, Humana sentalmost 4M emails with “Go365,” its rewards program, in the subject line. The company offered gift card incentives to members who accomplished health goals and “earn rewards.”

On Facebook, Aetna promotes its Attain by Aetna app, which combines Apple Watch tracking data with health history to create personalized goals and rewards for members. Aetna provides Apple Watches for its members, who can then pay it off with rewards or, if they don’t meet goals, with money.

What we think

If insurers show customers how much money they can save by participating in the aforementioned programs, along with their progress in healthy habits (including good driving), those customers will be more motivated to participate.

But for this to work, insurers must continue to use marketing to highlight specific and quantifiable benefits. And as insurers’ programs mature, companies can feature testimonials and other data that show how these programs have helped. That approach could play an important part in convincing consumers need to act.

Stay tuned for parts two and three later this month!

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