Kaiser Permanente provide health care coverage, serving over 12.6 million members across nine states in the US. Kaiser Permanente is well recognized in some of the markets it does business – but not all.
Consumers of Kaiser Permanente in California understand the system being offered and how it differs from that of other health care providers. However, for regions such as the Mid-Atlantic, which comprises Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, whose residents are on the whole not currently customers, there is a lack of familiarity and confusion about Kaiser Permanente’s offering.
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic has only 9% market share in its market. With a huge audience of potential customers who lack familiarity of the unique health care coverage model Kaiser Permanente provide, improving the awareness, comprehension, willingness to consider is a core priority for market share growth.
Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic recognized the role personalization would play in improving preference towards their brand with potential audience members. By segmenting their target audience for the mid-Atlantic based on the 12 Jungian archetypes and mapping these archetypes to customer data, Kaiser Permanente could deliver a personalized customer journey and build up a series of messaging for segment to a distinct landing page on a freshly developed microsite. Audience perception improved as a result. In a survey from June 2022:
- Of the 29% of individuals who recall Kaiser Permanente messaging on the website, 65% were left with a more positive impression of Kaiser Permanente.
- Of the 30% of individuals who recall hearing about Kaiser Permanente via social media, 76% were left with a more positive impression.
- 66% had heard something positive about Kaiser Permanente from someone that they know in the last six months.
- 71% believed that Kaiser Permanente’s care model was designed to creative positive patient experiences.
- Willingness to consider Kaiser Permanente for health coverage increased from 52% to 62%.
- 73% had confidence in the medical professionals at Kaiser Permanente.
We spoke with Franklin Parrish, Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Kaiser Permanente, to explore how they were able to develop and deliver such an impactful personalization strategy for over two million prospective health care customers.
Understanding your audience
As mentioned earlier, growth is top of mind for Kaiser Permanente in the Mid-Atlantic region and unlike in California, it is a challenger brand.
In an era of limited budgets and resources, Kaiser Permanente couldn’t approach all four to five million individuals in the DC and Baltimore markets. Instead, they wanted to target the people who would be more likely to appreciate Kaiser Permanente and its model of care. This focus would allow them to target the people for whom their distinct value propositions would resonate.
To break down this audience into further distinct segments for personalization, Kaiser Permanente adopted for a psychographic segmentation based on the twelve Jungian archetypes. Each of the twelve Jungian Archetypes represent a distinct character typified by core motivations. The ‘Lover,’ for example, seeks intimacy; the ‘Ruler’ seeks control. Parrish explains why Kaiser Permanente adopted for this method of segmentation:
“The Jungian archetypes are well established in the marketing world. ‘The Hero and the Outlaw,’ by Margaret Marks, outlines the personality archetypes that brands can use. It’s, extremely accessible. We could have done an extensive consumer profile, but that takes time and money. Instead, with tighter budgets, we wanted to develop an easy approach that aligned our brand attributes with the needs of each individual personality segment.”
Kaiser Permanente’s personalization strategy begun with developing a two-step survey with their media partner, Baltimore Sun media group. They put the survey out to the Mid-Atlantic market to identify the psychographic makeup and to understand which archetypes were prevalent in that region. It revealed clear insights about the psychographic make-up of their audience and gave clarity on what would trigger an individual to begin their journey with Kaiser Permanente.
Firstly, Kaiser Permanente identified the respondent’s psychographic archetype. They found there were five archetypes that rose to the top: The Explorer, the Lover, the Caregiver, the Sage, and the creator. These archetypes scored the highest percentages or respondents, which aligned very well with their brand competencies. Parrish talks through the segments and their value drivers.
“Based on our brand attributes we were able to develop value propositions for each one of those segments. We had to keep in mind that health care is a utility, which everybody needs and uses to varying degrees. We needed to understand the psychographic motivators that pique the interest of the individual – in other words, what are the primary value drivers that health care can deliver to a given individual?”
The segments and value drivers are as follows:
- The Explorer: This archetype values freedom, so Kaiser Permanente planned to communicate the flexible options to accessing care
- The Caregiver and Lover: These were collapsed into one segment as these archetypes value relationships and connections. Kaiser Permanente planned to communicate family and dependent support, for example.
- The Sage: This archetype is motivated by knowledge, so Kaiser Permanente planned to talk about clinical outcomes and the quality of care
- The Creator: This archetype cares about innovation, so Kaiser Permanente planned to talk about the uniqueness of their model.
By using this comparatively simple psychographic segmentation, Kaiser Permanente could understand the emotional hooks that would bring each audience member into their messaging ecosystem to learn more.
Positioning for personalization
Secondly, Kaiser Permanente went back to the same respondents and gave them positioning statements to measure their level of agreement. The positioning statements corresponded with the archetype.
“The value propositions were an expression of quality of care – i.e., what does quality of care mean to a particular individual or audience segment? For example, someone’s definition of quality care is a positive relationship with their physician; for others it would be data that shows the quality of care is superior to all others. These are simple messages that can easily be executed on. We could easily convert them into the benefits our offering provides.”
“Not only did we have the psychographic composition of the market, but also the positioning that would propel someone to, to start a journey with us. This set us on the journey to move from the conceptual segmentation to meaningful actions.”
From theoretical segments to practical personalization
Knowing how your audience thinks and feels is imperative. But, if you can’t move the needle through to practical actions, it’s meaningless. From beginning to end, Kaiser Permanente was able to map survey data on their audience to specific touchpoints where they could build up the appropriate message for each segment across a number of channels. Parrish explains:
“The survey identified Kaiser Permanente’s high-value audience, comprised of roughly 2.3 million people in their market. A deeper dive into the segmentation data produced roughly 500,000 street addresses, 275,000 email addresses, and 237,000 IP and social media addresses. Using media consumption data from this audience, Kaiser Permanente was able to build a media strategy designed to make it as visible as possible to this audience.”
“Consistently across all four archetypes, we would communicate with them across digital display and social media. We also leveraged prospects emails since we had email addresses for our population. As we had IP addresses, we also leveraged connected screens. Connected TV screens were the most influential channel that we have. We’ve found for the average consumer, if it’s on the wall, it’s (considered) TV, and it is high impact. This medium worked for sharing the voice of the patient to help us leverage social proof and get people talking about their patient experience with Kaiser Permanente.”
This laid the groundwork for Kaiser Permanente to deliver the subsequent series of communication as they built up personalized value offerings for each segment.
Building a custom microsite for personalization
The end destination for each user would be a page on a microsite crafted for their specific value driver. Parrish describes this journey:
“We aligned our information architecture on the microsite to the value propositions that we were sharing with the market. For example, someone under the ‘Explorer’ archetype who clicked on a digital display ad that spoke to freedom of choice would move through to the corresponding landing page within the website. Initially, we pique their curiosity with an emotional hook, then we enlighten the individual with a deeper story within the microsite.”
“From there you can of course see all the other value propositions that we’re offering to the market, as they’re not mutually exclusive; no-one necessarily fits neatly into one Jungian archetype, so we needed to give people the opportunity for people to explore, to start to shop our plans or watch a video and ultimately to take make a high value action on the site.”
“All roads lead to the microsite. We leveraged retargeting and remarketing to make sure they were coming back to the website. When we could collect an email match or an IP match, we could then activate across different channels.”
This video features on the ‘care built around you’ microsite page personalized for the ‘Explorer’
The microsite was built from scratch for the purposes of the campaign. The arrangement of their information architecture and its alignment to the relevant value propositions of the individual segments made it a satisfying audience journey and a hugely successful example of personalization. The most recent data shows a 29% recall of messaging on their website from respondents. 65% of those left with a more positive perception of Kaiser Permanente.
Why comprehension and perception matter
Kaiser Permanente looked deeper than tactics like click through rates or cost per click as the nature of the health care space means it’s not simple for someone to sign up. Instead, they focused on improving preference and perceptions, and achieved remarkable success. From a survey conducted in June 2022:
- 30% of respondents recalled messaging from social media. 76% of those had a more positive perception of Kaiser Permanente as a result.
- 41% of respondents recalled the message ‘Kaiser Permanente is a health system designed to create better health outcomes for people like me’. 73% of those had a more positive perception of Kaiser Permanente as a result.
- 73% of respondents have confidence in the medical professionals at Kaiser Permanente.
- 66% had heard something positive about Kaiser Permanente from someone that they know in the last six months.
Parrish elaborates on the importance of tracking these metrics.
“Most people get their coverage through their employer, so they first must be offered Kaiser Permanente by the employer for a consumer to even choose them. This means we look to generate and measure comprehension, preference, and positive perceptions”
“These are the leading indicators of whether Kaiser Permanente will grow, and whether their audience would choose us as their provider when they get the opportunity.”
“Not only are we generating positive perceptions through direct touch channels, but we’re also affecting the conversations within the prospect’s social network. This word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful influencers on the choice of health care provider.”
Personalization lessons and looking forward
Delivering a personalized journey to millions of potential customers is a huge challenge. However, this campaign has proved to Kaiser Permanente that it can be a hugely worthwhile endeavour.
“There’s a lot of talk about the about personalization and individualization of content, and I don’t see that the juice is always worth the squeeze. But when we’re talking about the upper to mid funnel, campaigns that centre on mass personalization can absolutely work.
“As logical as we like to think we are, all purchases are emotional – even health care. When you’re able to wrap an attribute or functional benefit in an emotional satisfier, these tend to be much more impactful. People are interested in what their personal experience going to be with Kaiser Permanente, so making your prospect the hero of the story is always an effective way to go.”
Looking forward, it is also a strategy that offers long-term sustainability. There will always be new people funnelling themselves into these segments that which can keep Kaiser Permanente’s messaging evergreen. Because they are developing multiple propositions, there is a large amount of flexibility for expression. Kaiser Permanente can continue to develop messaging that targets the emotional hooks of new audience members and take them on a journey that builds comprehension and perception of their health care offering.
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