November 18, 2016 | by MediaAlpha

Winning Strategies for Medicare Marketers

Fall is the season of football, holidays, and for millions of Americans, it also represents Medicare insurance enrollment time.

Medicare insurance marketers have definitely taken notice. Their ad spend has been increasingly focused to attract, engage and acquire customers during Q4. And with the enrollment period limited to a narrow 7-week window, the market is fiercely competitive.

Yet despite the increased emphasis on the Annual Election Period, total ad spend has been declining over the last 2 years, creating pressure on marketers to achieve similar results with less budget. Medicare insurance marketers now more than ever, need to maximize ROI to meet enrollment targets.

Given the increased competitiveness and pressure, here are 3 tips to help a Medicare insurance provider stand out in a crowded market:

1) Ensure vertical search media is part of your marketing mix

When consumers search online for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement insurance, they will often visit Medicare plan comparison sites to review the benefits, details and costs of multiple plans. To obtain coverage and monthly premiums information, they will enter basic information about themselves and their policy needs. This is vertical search.

Vertical search marketing enables insurance carriers to deliver highly targeted and relevant ads to these active shoppers at the exact moment they are looking to make a purchase.

Several attributes make vertical search an essential component of the marketing mix for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement insurance marketers:

  • Vertical Specific. Consumers are actively shopping for Medicare supplement insurance on health insurance comparison websites.

  • High-Intent Consumers. By its nature, vertical search represents high-intent, bottom of the funnel consumers who are ready to make a purchase. These high value prospects are difficult to locate and engage through traditional Google PPC and display ads.

  • Data-driven. Consumers provide detailed data about themselves and the coverage they are seeking during this shopping process. This powerful data enables highly targeted advertising placements and bidding strategies.

  • Relevant. Vertical search ads are highly relevant to the consumer’s need in the moment. They are delivered within the context of the search and designed to provide the consumer relevant options aligned with their needs.

2) Utilize technology to manage how you buy

Buying media has always been an involved and broken process. The advertiser had to seek out and manage multiple media suppliers, negotiate pricing with each, and, track and analyze campaign performance per supplier. Programmatic technology has eliminated this headache and automated all these processes, allowing online advertisers to spend more time being creative and less time reading spreadsheets.

The MediaAlpha for Advertisers demand-side platform is the only programmatic platform for vertical search specifically built to help marketers efficiently buy vertical search media:

  • Transparency and Control. To buy efficiently and maximize returns, marketers need full transparency to see what they are buying and the control to buy only the inventory and audience they want.

  • Standardization and Efficiency. Programmatic technology moves buyers of vertical search media out of the dark ages of inefficient, fragmented buying and allows all vertical search buying to be managed in a single, integrated platform. Campaign strategies can be developed and refined, and easily deployed across all campaigns. This helps streamline administrative activities and frees up valuable time to work on more value–added endeavors.

  • Insights and Optimization. Without an integrated technology platform, most buyers rely on guess work and ad hoc modeling spreadsheets to infer market insights in an attempt to optimize bidding strategies. This antiquated process not only wastes time and resources, but more importantly, does not allow for real-time decisions to quickly capitalize on market insights. The power of programmatic advertising is found in the real-time insights provided for all your buying, enabling you to deploy better strategies faster.

  • Operational Alignment. Real-time buying controls allow advertisers to match spending to operational needs. If other channels underperform or perhaps call centers are not at capacity, programmatic technology allows you to instantly increase or decrease volume to match operational needs. Call center operations can be fine-tuned to address the most requested coverage, encouraging higher conversion rates.

  • Today’s consumers shop across a range of vertically focused websites. A robust demand side platform allows advertisers to find the right audiences across a plethora of sites with scale and efficiency.

3) Target the right audiences

All consumers are not the same. New consumers aging into Medicare are different from existing Medicare supplement insurance subscribers looking to switch coverage. These two audiences represent entirely different values to carriers and require very distinct messages.

Savvy Medicare marketers are increasingly turning to programmatic technology that gives them full control to construct highly granular and targeted campaigns. For the first time in vertical search marketing, marketers can reach the right audience with the right message at the right time and price.

The MediaAlpha for Advertisers demand side platform empowers advertisers to deploy very sophisticated customer acquisition strategies, including:

  • Demographics. Personalize campaigns and targeting by gender, age, marital status or other specific demographic attributes.

  • Geotargeting. Utilize geotargeting to target a specific state, county or ZIP code to align bidding strategies to each geographic market.

  • Dayparting. Increase the likelihood of conversion by choosing only to run ads at a time of day when the campaign is most likely to reach and engage the target By only delivering vertical search media at relevant times of the day, budget is maximized to deliver the greatest impact.

  • Cross-device. Consumers use multiple devices to make buying decisions. Tailor your campaigns to match to the device or channel being used.

  • Retargeting. As with other forms of online advertising, vertical search marketers can capitalize on retargeting capabilities to stay in front of consumers throughout their buying journey.

Get Better Results with MediaAlpha for Advertisers

Given the competitive market dynamics, Medicare insurance marketers need every advantage they can get to efficiently find the right consumers. Utilizing a programmatic technology platform to take full control of media buying and access vertical search media represents an easy and high value strategy that can provide quick lift and better results for marketers.