Aetna is using mobile apps, print ads and its new "Diversity & Inclusion" website to help current and prospective lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) customers find insurance products and healthcare providers that fit their needs, according to the Associated Press.
The effort is an exercise in both targeted marketing and in promoting Aetna's history of supporting diversity, the article said.
The LGBT community tends to support organizations that favor inclusion. Knowing that, Aetna President Karen Rohan said the insurer decided to try the targeted marketing effort as a way to learn about selling to specific demographic groups.
"This is a pilot for us to really understand how people are making choices and how people are thinking about purchasing healthcare," Rohan told the AP.
Aetna and other large payers see an increasing number of consumers purchasing individual coverage as opposed to employer-based health plans. In this wave of consumerism, customers research several options before purchasing a plan.
This makes for a competitive market, so targeted marketing aimed at small segments of the general population with a common interest makes sense, the AP said. About 9 million Americans identify as members of the LGBT community, according to the article.
"The days of one message and one story for everybody are dwindling," Allen Adamson, chairman of North American business for the branding firm Landor Associates, told the AP.
Technology such as mobile apps, targeted Internet advertisements and Aetna's diversity and inclusion website--which includes a message from CEO Mark Bertolini--makes targeted marketing easier in today's market, branding experts told the AP. Aetna's push to integrate marketing technology into the enterprise should further improve this effort, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.
It's entirely possibly that openly supporting the LGBT community could result in a backlash against Aetna, but Rohan told the AP she isn't worried: "I think people generally are supportive of diversity and inclusion."
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