Cossette Communications-Marketing

Medical insurance perk adds valueThe client's challenge is clear - reverse the decline in business.This decline must be attacked on two fronts - the retention of current clients, and the attraction of new clients.Who is the target?Current clients are primarily retired,...

Medical insurance perk adds value

The client’s challenge is clear – reverse the decline in business.

This decline must be attacked on two fronts – the retention of current clients, and the attraction of new clients.

Who is the target?

Current clients are primarily retired, with an average estate value of $750,000.

The highest potential for new clients exists among people in the ‘young family’ lifestage.

Judgmentally, the logical entry into the market occurs when dependents arrive.

The strong correlation of parents with young children and buying insurance was corroborated with PMB Print Measurement Bureau research.

What would the consumer think?

After a full review of business objectives and corresponding target groups, we would recommend not proceeding with this specific product for the following reasons:

1. Detailed travel advice is not related to its core business, which would result in a huge administrative undertaking. This situation is compounded by the risk of doing it badly.

2. The focus of the product is negative, and the company may be regarded as capitalizing on consumer paranoia.

There is no direct call to action for new customers and the proposal would, therefore, only fulfil 50% of the objectives.

The proposition, which is based on travel, is strong for both targets. However, the benefit is primarily for travellers to Florida, where fewer than 8% of the target have visited over the past year.

The older current clients may not be responsive to a product which must be reached through technology rather than human interaction.

Alternative value-added product idea

We do, however, see an alternative value-added product in offering free out-of-country vacation medical insurance to all clients.

This product appeals to both targets, and, furthermore, represents a tangible benefit for a greater cross-section of clients.

It also represents a marketing opportunity, given its relatively low cost but high perceived value.

How to break through

Two key strategies are fundamental in breaking through to our targets.

The first is to appeal to customers when they are more likely to be in the travel/insurance mind-set, for example, when they are planning vacations or buying a home for their expanding family.

The second is to offer innovative media solutions responsibly, by limiting production costs to maximize presence against the consumer.

Communication ideas

Recognizing the differences between the two target groups, each will be attacked with a targetted approach and relevant ideas.

Current clients will be communicated with by using one-to-one marketing.

The start of the program will be a direct correspondence with personal follow-up.

The personal interaction is key and will become part of an ongoing retention program.

Growth will also be realized by using this ongoing communication to encourage current clients to refer friends and family.

Potential clients – young families – will be targetted using two components, the first a two-minute infomercial which would be selectively placed in three main areas to accommodate their lifestyles:

1) At the beginning of the movie rentals, with an offer on the cover for $2 off their next movie rental if they watch and call the 1-800 number provided in the infomercial.

2) The offer of a chance to watch a pay-per-view movie for free if they watch the preceding infomercial and again call the 1-800 number. May be advertised/ promoted on the movie channel.

Base all remuneration on the number of calls or the percentage of sales.

3a) The buying of programming in Toronto which performs strongly against parents with young children. Excellent cost-efficiency can be generated in the Toronto market, which also offers broad coverage.

b) Develop a contest in conjunction with tour operator/tv station for added-value exposure.

The second component is an insert used for targetted media opportunities such as in magazines and newspapers – when the subscriber moves – in parenting magazines, travel brochures and with traveller’s cheques.

The insert would be used in a variety of ways, including as a direct mail piece to agents of change (real estate agents and travel agents) and as the response vehicle to the 1-800 inquiries.


This proposal is a first step in order for media to provide the leadership in the communication process as per the client directive.

However, media does not work in isolation.

Naturally, an enriched product will result once the team, including creative, account service and the client, works together.

Lauren Richards is vice-president and media director, and Cathy Collier is associate media director at Cossette Communication-Marketing in Toronto.