Obamacare from a marketing perspective

minimalwall-10-52-1-minimal-wallpaper-keep-it-simple-We have all heard the phrase “Keep it simple stupid”.  A similar phrase I use when developing marketing messages for clients is:  “take it to a Disney Level”.  In other words – be clear; keep it simple and have key points that are easy to understand.  Another litmus test of mine is:  would my 12-year-old get it?

Marketing 101 stuff:  develop a clear and consistent value proposition.  In order to develop the value proposition you need to know your target audience.  Then any offerings/products that you bring to market fit within your overall value proposition,  with each product filling a role (a benefit) in meeting your audiences’ needs.  It can be challenging to break down a complex product into clear and concise benefits, but fundamentally that is what good marketers do.

Developing an elevator pitch is an important marketing element.  Many clients struggle with how to present their business and services in a clear and compelling way.  They get too technical, too long, and too jargon-filled.  With the help of marketers, clients grow to appreciate the  power of a clear, simple message that others will understand and be able to repeat.  Clear and simple works.

Fundamentally that is where Obamacare derailed.  Granted, improving our health care system is a complex problem.  From a marketer’s perspective they tried to solve complexity with complexity (perhaps purposefully?) and lost sight of core simple messages that would define the solution.  What we are now learning is that a key talking point of guaranteeing any American who liked their health plan and doctor would be able to keep it now appears untrue.  Gone is a key tenet that people had become used to hearing. Now we are left with one negative message: a very expensive, non functioning website.

Let’s treat Obamacare as a product line, with multiple products (aka health plans) within it.  Product development including marketing first defines the product family – its key benefits and features; THEN logically each product is defined to fit within the  product line (health care options).  Each product has its own unique features and benefits aligned to the target audience it is intended to serve.  From this product definition,  business requirements are then defined and documented including the desired customer experience via the website and the customer support centers.  Then technical requirements are defined, developed and tested within components of the system and across the entire system.  Yes, I realize am simplifying the process.  It is at the 30,000 foot level that the approach to bringing this product offering to market should be simple and clear.  I can’t help but wonder if our government has the ability to keep anything simple and clear.

Keep it simple.  Start at a 30,000 foot level to define the product and the message.  Then drill down into a plan to bring a product to market with clear timelines, milestones, and accountability.  Obamacare is a cluster.  It is faulty at all levels – from its name (Affordable Care Act – seems like an oxymoron) to core messaging, product development, project management and implementation.

From the perspective of a marketer, this product rollout is a disaster.  And the sad part is that we the American Public will pay the price.



One Response to “Obamacare from a marketing perspective”

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