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Bringing Your Benefits Marketing Out of the Dark Ages

By Eric Mann | January 10, 2019 | Rally Health

We have a saying in marketing: When you confuse, you lose.

We know the growing complexity of workplace benefits packages confuses many consumers. When your employees don’t know or fully understand their options, what you lose is engagement. This has real implications for their health and your bottom line. With the release of the new Rally experience, we thought it made sense to talk more about what Rally® is doing to modernize promotion efforts.

In recent years, benefits programs have become more and more comprehensive to address cost drivers and to stay competitive on the hiring front. While offering everything from on-site gyms and prescription drug rebates to 24-hour access and telemedicine services is important, the unintended consequence is increased complexity.

An overly complicated benefits program makes it harder for employees to find and choose the right care. The best solution goes back to another idea from Marketing 101: Employ a wide “top of the funnel” strategy. With top-of-funnel marketing, you’re casting a wide net to raise awareness and bring as many people into the fold as possible. The goal is to get all of your employees to come to the same place to learn about your programs. It’s one solution with one entry point, which reduces confusion and improves participation.

At Rally Health, we’re making important improvements to our platform so this funnel works better for our customers. Employers shouldn’t have to do all the work when it comes to marketing their programs. We want to partner with employers, helping them to leverage our platform to better educate and engage their workforce.

But the reality is that many companies have limited staff with broad responsibilities, so they need help promoting the programs that they’ve worked so hard to offer their employees. And the marketing tools that they’re using aren’t always state of the art.

In general, the benefits world hasn’t kept up with innovations in consumer marketing. Many employers are too reliant on traditional marketing methods like print brochures, in-office posters, and dense open-enrollment packets to get the message out. While still important for the overall “marketing mix,” these are expensive and difficult-to-measure methods.

A digital-first approach is going to be most effective in building that awareness (the top of the funnel), and then further engaging people once you’ve made them aware of their options. That’s why, at Rally, we are continually creating digital marketing tools for our customers so they can cast as wide a net as possible.

These tools are designed to reach employees where they already are — on their mobile phones, on social media, and elsewhere online. We provide digital materials like made-for-you email campaigns, banners, and social media posts. We also develop and distribute online content and infographics. All of this eases the marketing load for employers and supports them in building awareness of important health benefits for employees.

We also know that the more we can promote the overall Rally brand, the easier it will be for you to market our platform to your population. Here are some of the key ways that we’re elevating the Rally brand:

Make investments in branding: We’ve poured resources into making the Rally brand highly visible to all consumers. We’ve boosted our brand awareness through hefty initiatives like our nationwide health festivals, celebrity health ambassadors, the Rally on the Road tour bus and our Rally Cycling team.

By growing our brand visibility, we increase the chance that your employees will engage with our platform when they get an email from HR. This simplifies your marketing because Rally offers a central place for your population to learn about its well-being programs.

Produce regular content that engages: Our team creates original content on a consistent basis that appears in our weekly member emails and on various social channels. We also curate content from top-tier publications like The New York Times, Eating Well, and Shape, which you can find on our Resources page.

We recently launched a new resource called Conditions centers, aimed at educating consumers about the most prevalent chronic diseases facing people in the workplace today. We started with Type 2 diabetes, and plan to add more conditions this year.

All of this content attracts a regular audience across our websites and social channels, and engages employees around important health topics — and your specific programs as they flow down the funnel.

Leverage every channel: To create a funnel large enough to capture your intended audience, you need to go where they’re gathering. Increasingly, this means not just on your website but social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as text messaging.

Employers sometimes, understandably, shy away from these platforms because of privacy concerns. We’ve made substantial investments and worked carefully with legal and compliance teams to understand what can and cannot be done, as well as how to go about it safely. For starters, consider reading our blog post on innovative ways to use social media for health engagement.

Leverage the Rally platform: Once we get members signed up, we can highlight programs that are relevant to them.

Again, this makes it easier for employers because they don’t necessarily need to individually promote each program as long as they’re promoting the one-stop shop that Rally provides.

Additionally, we’re making important improvements to our core platform to make it a much more integrated, seamless health experience that closes the loop from wellness to actual care. In this way, we’re making it that much more effective, in terms of cutting costs and getting more results, for employers to drive their employees to our platform.

Keep re-engaging your audience: Even after we get members to engage with our platform, our work doesn’t stop there. We are continually marketing to them through Facebook and Google search campaigns, for example, aiming to get them back to Rally.

The top-of-funnel strategy works only if you keep giving your target audience reasons to return.

Once you get everyone to the same place, then you can start to “funnel” them down with increasingly relevant, personalized messaging, hopefully informed by good data. The result is that employees feel empowered to make better decisions about their health, and employers see higher participation in the programs they offer.

Simplification is the new personalization. Engagement comes when you make it as simple as possible for employees to take the right action to get the care they need.

Whether you use an engagement platform like Rally or not, it starts with delivering the most relevant information in a way that cuts through the confusion for your employees while making it easier for you to market to them.  

Eric Mann heads up marketing efforts for our key partners. He has more than 20 years of technology and health care marketing experience, leading browser marketing for Netscape and product marketing for Oracle Health Science.

Eric Mann
Rally Health