DMS Live

Health Insurance Customer Acquisition: Prepping for AEP/OEP

September 06, 2022 Digital Media Solutions Season 1 Episode 5
Health Insurance Customer Acquisition: Prepping for AEP/OEP
DMS Live
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DMS Live
Health Insurance Customer Acquisition: Prepping for AEP/OEP
Sep 06, 2022 Season 1 Episode 5
Digital Media Solutions

Open enrollment is just around the corner. Are you prepared to maximize your marketing results? Make sure your team is connecting with the right people and following the best practices to boost enrollment volume and LTV while standing out in a crowded marketplace.

Show Notes Transcript

Open enrollment is just around the corner. Are you prepared to maximize your marketing results? Make sure your team is connecting with the right people and following the best practices to boost enrollment volume and LTV while standing out in a crowded marketplace.

0:00:03.2 MODERATOR: Hello, and welcome to another exciting episode of DMS Live. Of course, DMS Live is a webinar series, led by Digital Media Solutions that is packed with incredible information, tips, insights, best practices from performance marketing and performance advertising experts from across a number of industry verticals. This is where you come to help learn how you will scale your short and long-term wins. My name is Melissa Ledesma. I am your host and Moderator. I'm the VP of communications and head of communications for Digital Media Solutions, and I am so excited that you are joining us today because this topic could not be presented at a better time, open enrollment OEP represents peak season for health insurance, advertisers and marketers. Right now, you are focused on generating those inquiries and those inbound calls from consumers, there's a limited window, it is six weeks where you can reach the peak of OEP health insurance shoppers with the right information at the right time, and insurance advertisers need to make sure that they are getting their messages in front of the right consumers when they are ready to take action so that you can scale your success, drive revenue and turn this peak season into a profitable, profitable opportunity.

0:01:32.1 MODERATOR: I am joined by a set of incredible speakers today, Scott Vogel, DMS, VP of Health Insurance, Chris Pink, DMS SVP of Sales, and Mike Semira, DMS VP of Strategic Initiatives. So before we dive in to today's episode, Health Insurance, Consumer Acquisition, Prepping for AEP-OEP, I want to tell you a little bit more about our incredible panelists. So Chris Pink our SVP of sales, he is highly regarded in the industry as a creative self-starter, who is an innovative leader with nearly two decades of industry experience between sales and business development. Chris is known for always being inspired and leading others to discover new opportunities that really help brands to grow, as SVP of sales at DMS, Chris directs the sales team to uncover new business opportunities and also fosters lasting relationships within the current DMS client base.

0:02:32.3 MODERATOR: We have like Mike Semira, VP of strategic initiatives, now with more than 15 years of experience, Mike is a depth at leaning into his past experiences and accomplishment, really he is Mr. Worldwide, he is known across the affiliate industry as an innovator and trailblazer and leverages his global relationships with publishers around the world. As a leader on the DMS performance ad market team, Mike works with key distribution partners across a variety of channels to leverage DMS L and O products and direct advertiser campaigns to maximize ROI. And last but certainly not least, Scott Vogel, our VP of health insurance, with more than a decade of experience in business development, ad technology, lead generation across a number of verticals, Scott knows what it takes to drive business growth and to scale client successful on the agency and on the publisher side, as VP of health insurance here at DMS, Scott oversees all aspects of the insurance business unit, from sales to search, social marketing operations, you name it, Scott and his team touch it. Scott works with DMS to deliver customers and near customers to our nation's largest insurers and their respective agent pools.

0:03:48.1 MODERATOR: So I am super excited because as you heard me talking about... We have something like 35 plus years of experience joining us on today's call, so you are absolutely in for a treat and you're going to be getting some expert insights and tips that are really going to help you elevate and maximize your efforts this AEP-OEP season. Now, open enrollment is just around the corner. Are you prepared to maximize your marketing and digital advertising results? Well, if you're joining us today, that means you surely want to, and hopefully we can get you ready to do that, you need to make sure that your team is connecting with the right people and following the best practices that will help you to boost enrollment volume and LTV while standing out in a super, super crowded marketplace.

0:04:36.6 MODERATOR: So with that, before we get started, I wanted to drop in a quick reminder that this is going to be interactive, so we have an incredible presentation lined up for you, I'm going to be leading some Q and A with our experts, but as we chat, if there are questions that you have, that you really need answered today, please be sure to drop them in the questions feature of your Go-To Webinar module. And toward the end of our presentation, I will be reviewing those questions. And hopefully, we will have time to answer as many of them live as we can, but if we don't get to one of your questions, we will be reaching out to you directly. And of course, if you have some friends, industry partners, colleagues who weren't able to join us today, we will be making this session available on demand and you can catch it on the DMS Live podcast channel. So let's dive on in and get started here. I am going to stop sharing my screen so that we can just focus on chatting with our awesome panelists today.

0:05:40.0 MODERATOR: Hi guys, welcome. Thank you for joining me. I just wanna dive right in to the very first question, because I know everyone is waiting for these answers, before you can be successful in any AEP-OEP campaign, you really have to focus on the preparation, so we are at that stage right now where everyone's like, what exactly do I have to do to make this work? Scott, I wanna move the question over to you first, what type of preparation should be done before launching an effective AEP-OEP campaign?

0:06:13.4 Scott Vogel: Yeah. Thank you. I think in my opinion, especially now being August and we're not quite at the beginning of open enrollment, I'll focus just on three things. First, and this will probably sound very obvious, but focusing on your operations and what it takes to have a successful open enrollment, some things like do my telephones work in the way that I'd intend them to work during open enrollment with all those calls, my dialers, my CRMs, are my agents entering information properly? Can I track? Am I tracking?

0:06:51.9 SV: Operationally, I've seen pitfalls without a good understanding of infrastructure like that, and so the first thing underneath the umbrella of just operations would be, do my systems work? Next is just getting an understanding of my sales team's overall bandwidth and capacity to handle volume. Things that'll end up costing you money as opposed to making you money, would be stuff like unnecessary hold times, the wrong agents, getting telephone calls at the wrong times. A consumer is stuck on a hold for eight minutes because my team is overwhelmed, and I keep getting calls. So again, now would be the time to understand just what your sales team can handle, and how equipped you are to ensure that they can actually handle it.

0:07:43.2 SV: Last, and just quickly, it's compliance with health insurance, and Medicare. Compliance is everything. So some things to consider, it's just how compliant forward are you. How compliant forward are your partners. How far do you really need them to be? That last part, I think, is important, because now is the time to figure out what you need, and what you think you might need. My assumption is assume that you're gonna need heavy compliance. And again, there are always bumps in the road, and being able to depend on a partner will obviously go a long way in resolving any of these issues. Yeah, those would be the three that I'd touch on.

0:08:22.0 MODERATOR: Scott, thank you so much. I love that instead of jumping right into audience demographics, or targeting, or you're choosing the right channels, you really focused on the importance of infrastructure. And part of that, and I hope that everyone really heard this, is making sure that your human capital, your teams have the bandwidth to handle the volume of inquiries that will be coming in, because you can have the hottest pipeline in the world, but if you really can't handle it, ultimately that's gonna be money left on the table, so now is the time to analyze. Do you have the infrastructure in place? Chris, I want to change over to you now. I know that you tend to look at preparation a little bit differently, and you have such an amazing understanding of the creative element that needs to go in to an AEP-OEP campaign. So tell me a little bit more about that creative preparation.

0:09:13.3 Chris Pink: Alright. Yeah, when it comes to a distribution, you really have to have your marketing collateral dialed in. And there's a couple of different reasons why. First of all, with especially Medicare, you have CMS in play, where they may take up to 30 days to approve a creative, so you need to start acting on and building up your creative assets right now if you haven't already. And one other thing that would really help speed up the approval process of the CMS is having a really good, solid, clear view of your copy and creative guidelines that follow the compliance side, just to make sure that your distribution partners know what they're allowed to say and what they're not allowed to say.

0:10:00.4 CP: I guess one of the nuances with this is, how are you gonna make it compelling enough to drive an interest to the site while still following under the compliance? And that's sometimes you are... It's a lot easier to get people to a site with un-compliant things. But here, the way someone is going to really thrive in the OEP-AEP is getting those two working hand in hand. How are you gonna make it compelling and still make it under compliance? So really put some thought into that. There's interesting trends that we've seen that can be used, different nuances to work with those marketing collateral, such as, don't say free, say $0. There's little things. To most people, free and $0 seem the same thing, but free has a negative connotation as kinda cheap, and $0 is more sort of in line, do you have other things like up to and as low as? Don't go and say, "Guaranteed, that's great," all this sort of stuff, because you may or may not be able to guarantee the best rate.

0:11:09.8 CP: So essentially, you're throwing out there something that you can't follow-up on. So having the up to, as well as, and then having great, versus best. Little things like that are gonna keep it compliant. It's going to have a better interaction with your customer base, and you're not gonna be selling things that you're not gonna be able to fulfill. And one more thing is, the more you can get your copy guidelines in place and deliver them to your publisher base, the faster you will be able to get things approved without the little back and forths. And also this is gonna help your KPI, and your KPIs from leads of sales. If you're selling something that you're not able to fulfill, you're not gonna get someone to your site who's not aware of what you actually do offer. And all of a sudden you're not gonna get that sale, so just keeping all those things in mind, really focusing on the compliance end of that compelling aspect of your marketing collateral.

0:12:17.3 MODERATOR: So Chris, I'm a big fan of alliteration. I don't even know if you intended on doing this, but as you were talking, I couldn't help but hear, you kind of defined the four Cs that must be reviewed and prioritized when it comes to creative for an effective AEP-OEP campaign. It must be clear. It must be compliant. It must be compelling, and then it really must convey what you do. You don't want to mislead your audiences, you don't want to misrepresent your services, because ultimately that's just going to deter you from getting that effective conversion rate and getting those KPIs that you need when you're looking from lead to sale in order to really measure strong results. Now, I'm gonna get into one more C as we transition over to Mike. Mike, you are the publisher whisperer, so what about concerns or objections that the publishers may have? Now, let's talk about the publisher side of preparing for an awesome AEP-OEP campaign.

0:13:13.9 Mike Semira: Sure thing. I'm glad to actually follow up on Chris on this, because we do work fairly closely, our teams, in terms of trying to align advertiser guidelines and expectations with publisher needs.

0:13:30.0 Mike Semira: I mean, I'd like to just kind of start from ground zero and kind of treat this whole AEP-OEP season as almost like a continuing education type of session for... I know for myself, being part of this type of seasonality of Medicare and health insurance since 2019, I'm constantly learning about the nuances of what the different... And when I say different, I'm talking about dozens of different advertisers and what their guidelines are, and really trying to take those and sharing them with our distribution team to be dispersed across our variety of publisher partners that kinda specialize in a vast different types of channels. So understanding that it is a grind, it is a learning process, but really doubling down and understanding that you're not gonna learn everything in day one, and having those open lines of communication with your affiliate manager, with your rep, just understanding what is not only approved messaging, but what does that approved messaging... What's the expectation in terms of LTV, and what does that user kind of net out to? Luckily, we work super closely with a lot of our advertisers, and we do have access to some of that data that we're able to share. So I think with... As a publisher, knowing that it is a bit of a grind, it is a fairly complex learning process, and just treat it like school, because that's what I do.

0:15:23.6 MODERATOR: [laughter] That's a great recommendation, Mike, and you know, I love that you're really, really reinforcing the importance of you reap what you sow, so you have to put in that groundwork upfront; that's how you are going to avoid the delays when the demand kicks in. You know, talking about delays, let's transition over right now to talk a little bit about timeline. So this question I'm gonna let Scott and Mike start with it, but when should the preparation for AEP-OEP campaigns begin? I feel like right now, I'm kind of walking into a Target and I'm looking around, I'm like, "Oh my god, Halloween decorations, Christmas decorations, it's still summer, I'm still beaching it up." Like, you know, it seems like every year, things are happening more and more quickly, but when exactly should the preparation for these AEP-OEP campaigns begin?

0:16:12.1 SV: Oh yeah, I'll go first. And then it's... That's a nice segue, Melissa, talking about delays. I think there should be no delays, honestly. Latest for at least for health insurance, by the end of August. If you truly wanna maximize revenue potential, if you wanna maximize agent commission potential, any delays might hamper it; likely could hamper it. I think that this is the latest you probably should think to start about planning if you don't wanna be left out come November 1st, and I say that only because routinely, believe it or not, I see carriers and agencies that'll start the process at the end of October or early November, and there, time and time again, will be issues, and issues that I can't solve as a partner because they've dropped the ball, in that sense.

0:17:06.1 MODERATOR: Well, Mike, Scott is telling people that they should start yesterday. Is that different on the publisher side? When do publishers really need to get started and focused on AEP-OEP?

0:17:15.4 MS: I really appreciate this question, because we actually sent out a callout to our publishers to submit their AEP and OEP creative, I believe, three weeks ago.

0:17:26.1 MODERATOR: Wow.

0:17:27.5 MS: You know, when you have an external organization like the CMS involved in the approval process, there's really... It's difficult to budget, but you really wanna plan that it is gonna be a longer turnaround, so fortunately, that callout that we sent out did net us in a variety of submissions and really just put everyone on notice that, hey, DMS is looking to be ahead of the curve when it comes to gathering the creative, submitting it, getting the feedback, because a lot of people do forget that it's not a one-and-done type of process. There is a back-and-forth feedback loop that we have to deal with, so, I'm glad that we got the messaging out three weeks ago. I've heard of people getting it out a little bit earlier; some people haven't sent it out yet. So it's almost like you... Going back to the whole school aspect is, are you a procrastinator, or are you someone that does the due diligence and put in the... Your hours of study going into the final exam, because that's kind of where we're at.

0:18:42.1 MODERATOR: That's awesome. So I mean, it's clear that you have to start now. Start testing your funnels, get your infrastructure in place, figure out your creative, invest that time to make sure it is compelling, it is compliant, it does convey what you're doing, you understand your timeline, have an approval process... Guys, the time is now. I mean, I think that's what's really clear, so let's switch gears a little bit and just talk more about what's going on in the industry. So I think it's no secret to anyone that there's definitely been some volatility and some unparalleled circumstances that have definitely affected the insurance space recently, including health insurance, but let's give it a more macro view. Let's talk about what has gone on over the last two and a half years.

0:19:24.4 MODERATOR: I think we can all recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic definitely was a major catalyst that shifted the way many demographics, from Boomers, Gen X-ers, and then even into your younger segments, your Millennials and your Gen Z-ers; the way that consumers understand, prioritize, and look at health insurance. And I think when you take the pandemic and some of the very digital-forward, tech-forward behaviors that so many demographics embraced as a result of pandemic life, you couple that now with the great resignation that we've really been looking at for at least eight months now or more, where traditionally, for so many years, you had consumers who kind of relied on their health insurance as this thing that came with working a full-time job, and it was kind of like the part that you expect to have, but also just this expected thing that existed, and now, with the great resignation and the rise of the gig economy and just this shift in consumer expectations when it comes around the workforce, there is not necessarily this joint union between looking at the optionality of what you want and need for your health and your wellness, and the way that it translates to your professional life and your professional goal, so that's an entirely new mix.

0:20:44.3 MODERATOR: Now you add into it, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, definitely has a number of consumers who identify as female, really evaluating what they need in their own health and wellness and the types of coverage that needs to be aligned with that.

0:21:01.5 MODERATOR: So this is a really interesting time for the health insurance market. Now with that, Scott, I wanna start with you, because I know that you are so intimately connected to a lot of these decisions and a lot of this thought process on the advertiser's side. What are we seeing? Are carriers experiencing that period of contracting their budgets? Is everyone gonna start to kinda tread the waters lightly and wait until a little bit later in the season to start working with call vendors and carriers, or are people going to be hyper-aggressive and start to really spend and scale their spend early on? What are the trends that you're seeing now? Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

0:21:42.0 SV: Yeah, sure, and I like this question a lot. I think that as we've been talking about the entire theme for advertisers, publishers, vendors, whoever, is to start preparing now for open enrollment, regardless of at what level. Here we've been seeing regional carriers, softer brands, they're actually starting to spend aggressively now. They're testing their capabilities so they can hit the ground running come November first. What we've also seen is, even if you're just a big brand where consumers can go to you directly, either be it Google, or they know your name, the idea is... And what we've been saying is, just to get the SOWs taken care of, get your IOs taken care of, MSAs, anything else you might need contractually, so you can spend at some level now. The idea is you're gonna need a trusted vendor, or a partner, or a marketer who can help you hit and exceed goals. And so to answer your question, just succinctly, yeah, we've been seeing a lot of, spend, some aggression, some just crossing their Ts and dotting their I’s, but yeah, it's definitely been happening.

0:22:45.1 MODERATOR: Wow, so bigger brands are getting a little bit more conservative, because they can rely on their brand equity and their brand awareness in a different way than some of the smaller carriers can, but those smaller brands, many of which that are not public, they're starting to get a little bit more aggressive in their style. I think that's so interesting. Chris, I wanna take this over to you now. Tell me a little bit about what you're seeing in terms of trends in the market and any recommendations on how publishers and advertisers really need to be navigating this unique market.

0:23:14.6 CP: Yeah. For sure. So it's interesting. With reference to what Scott has said, getting prepared in the beginning is going to really help you spend aggressively at the beginning. If you can't spend aggressively, if you spend aggressively at the beginning and you're not really set up, then you're kinda losing money. But as far as people, and seeing people start aggressively spending, that happens right away. And the key is, to make sure everything's kind of all your Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.

0:23:50.7 CP: And one other thing is, especially for a publishing partner like us, or our posting clients, is to have a regular, or a full-on understanding of how your traffic is doing. I don't know, because that not only helps you, it helps me how to spend more aggressively, because if you're getting stuff that isn't working, then they're not getting it out of you. So making sure you have regular feedback loops in place with your advertising partners, make sure that you're able to dial up as needed. Many times we have... Or even when AEP in particular is happening, I'm talking to my advertising partners twice, three times a day. It's not like a weekly... I think it's a daily thing. So just to make sure that you're delivering on what needs to happen. So in order to get those budgets that people are spending. And it's also good to really have a full understanding of the sales process, the KPIs. The advertiser partner needs to know, the turnaround time of the KPIs, just in order to be able to give feedback faster. 

0:24:57.4 CP: So all in all, if you have everything together, you could start spending aggressively, and as long as you have clear ideas and feedback from a two-year publishing partners, maybe aggressive spending could be happening pretty much the whole open enrollment, and any enrollment.

0:25:20.8 MODERATOR: Yeah. Thank you for that. That was really clear. So I think right now, what's super evident, is that if you are a health insurance marketer on any front, you're... You really focused on your ability to fully optimize and monetize and lead in a super competitive landscape. I think we can all agree that this market is incredibly competitive, so this question is for all three of you. I would like the order to go, Chris, Mike, and then Scott, in your responses, but what do you think it takes to stand out in this crowded market of the current AEP-OEP advertiser environment?

0:26:00.3 CP: My response is somewhat general, but somewhat specific at the same time. I think a clear understanding of not only your business, but also the competitive landscape is needed in order to set yourself apart for the competition.

0:26:14.7 MODERATOR: Mike, what about you?

0:26:17.8 MS: It's tricky, but I'd like to hop on that whole four Cs you got stuff, you guys discussed earlier, but I would like to add three more. That would be communication, creative flexibility, and understanding what that nets out LTD-wise, but also the capacity to spend. And I think that's definitely going to set, as an advertiser, it's gonna set you apart when publishers are kind of shopping around to see what type of campaigns are gonna work best with their traffic.

0:26:50.4 MODERATOR: Scott, what about you? I feel like you could also align with the recommendation for the capacity to spend.

0:26:55.5 SV: I can, and I can also align with some of the stings you said before the previous question, and there's just so much going on in the world, society right now, and simply put, some things you can do to stand out as personalization and consultation. I think consumers are looking for health insurance, and nobody has standardized needs. Everybody's a little bit different, and so I think the idea is just to be prepared to consult and figure out what their needs are, so you can find the plan that actually fits them personally, versus pigeon-holing them into this specific subset that you're trying to sell.

0:27:31.9 SV: I think also, and I'll dovetail off of what Mike said there, but believe it or not, that it's not always common knowledge to have the capacity and willingness to spend during the open enrollment, before open enrollment, whenever you can. because numbers aren't just gonna come to you. And if you're not gonna spend likely, somebody else is, and so like what Mike said, just have a willingness and a capacity to spend during this season.

0:27:57.5 MODERATOR: Well, Scott, I'm happy that you said that. You made it clear. Consumers at this point are not just gonna be banging down your door, there's definitely competition in the marketplace. Optionality is at an all-time high. So let's talk a little bit about the effective channels that should be used and leveraged, and really, might be better suited to connect with the AEP-OEP audience. Scott, any recommendations for you on where campaigns should be prioritized when you're looking at it from a channel perspective?

0:28:28.9 MODERATOR: Yeah, yeah. I think everybody's got their bread and butter what their campaigns that perform year-round, they know how to hit their goals, and spend efficiently. My opinion, open enrollment's the time to just expand, and utilize what you think you might... Your ideal consumer profile might look like. Health insurance specifically, I know during the regular portion of the year, so the Julys, the Augusts, the Septembers, there's a real common misconception, and I'll use this example that if somebody has a higher income, then they're the ideal candidate to try and sell insurance to, or they're likely gonna sign up for a policy. Unfortunately, I just don't think that's true. Just because you have a high income and you make however much money, that doesn't necessarily mean you can afford an insurance policy, or whatever the sales person is offering you. In turn, if someone has lower income and it's open enrollment, and they're coming for a quote, information, a pamphlet, they're requesting to be contacted, I think there's a pretty good likelihood that they have high intent to accomplish something that fits their needs, and so my advice would be Just don't dismiss. Expand your targets, rely on what's work during the year, but don't rule anything out here, in terms of consumer profile, or how to bring somebody into your funnel.

0:29:49.6 MODERATOR: Scott, I love that you're actually encouraging the AEP-OEP prep season as an opportunity to try something new and not necessarily stay so rigid in your plans and guess while you can rely on the tried and true, also take an opportunity to venture something new. I think many of us in the digital marketing space recognize there have been some unique email challenges this year, as a result of a variety of updates that some platforms have seen. So maybe this year, if you're concerned with in-boxing deliverability, maybe you try a more social-centric approach. Maybe you have seen success in Facebook, and you're ready to leverage the power of video, and you want to go into TikTok and talk to a slightly younger demographic in your marketing and be a little bit more OMNI Channel. Now, Mike, I think video, and I immediately think of you. So talk to me a little bit about what the pan would recommend when it comes to the right type of campaigns and where are the investments should be made for an effective AEP-OEP season?

0:30:53.7 MS: Sure. And I love the fact that you did mention video, and what we've noticed, especially over the past, let's call it eight months or so, is a real pivot into video-based creative, and we've discussed this internally before, but it's really about delivering high intent users. And video just with, I guess, the best variety of resources people have in terms of who our publisher partner is, to create compelling engaging video, and really re-qualifying these users before sending them over to our advertisers, has been really great. It's really netted out some solid LTDs, and I don't see any kind of difference when it comes to the AEP-OEP season coming up, I just see it being amplified. But that being said, there are more of what's called the more traditional tried and true channels that do deliver great quality as well. I know, given the audience, native platforms are really strong. We've touched upon email really driving high intent users as well. And that's a good thing about the middle of October onwards during this season is, we see every channel pop off, and it's really about having that creative dialed in with almost that pre-season part that we're in now, that we really see those things really take off.

0:32:26.5 MODERATOR: Awesome. And Chris, I know you're a really big fan of diversification when it comes to analyzing channel potential, so what are your thoughts?

0:32:36.5 CP: Yeah, and it kinda goes along with what Scott and Mike have said, expanding your reach. The reason I say that, is because you never know what sort of traffic channel may or may not go down. If you are able to take in all types of traffic, whether it'd be Facebook, whether it'd be native, video, email, I would recommend doing that. Figure out where the KPIs are and how much it's worth to you and then go from there. Just x-ing out a particular traffic source because you think it might not be viable, what happens if you have all of your eggs in one basket and then all of a sudden that traffic channel goes down, the publishers you're working with go down? Then you're kinda left holding the bag. So if you're widely diversified when it comes to being able to accept and understand the intent of the traffic channels, you're gonna be a lot better set up for success.

0:33:32.3 MODERATOR: And I think that perfectly leads us into a conversation about fine-tuning that audience targeting. At DMS, we are constantly finding the right consumer and positioning them with the right message at the right time and they're ready to take the right action and we really hone in on the emphasis on relevancy. So how can you make sure that you are connecting with the right consumers? Chris, I'm gonna let you start with this one. What do you recommend for advertisers to make sure that they are connecting exactly with the audience that they need to reach at the pivotal time?

0:34:08.2 CP: Know their audience. What's interesting about that is when we are promoting a campaign for AEP-OEP, any P you can think of, we always take the advertiser's direction when it comes to the type of traffic they want, the type of demo they want, whether it be the geo, the demo, the age. Basically what we can do is follow the customer profile where they've had success. And that is able to happen with, say, Facebook, where you have a lot of targeting. You have a lot of targeting and various native channels. If you're doing email, you have publishers who may have lists that could satisfy that demo as well. So I really kind of lean on the advertising direction when it comes to letting us know the ideal consumer and then we can go from there. But a general understanding of what you expect is what we need in order to deliver the traffic that you want.

0:35:12.7 MODERATOR: So Scott, what about you? I know that you also touch a lot on the importance of knowing your audience and having that relevancy be a priority.

0:35:22.9 SV: Yeah. And I'm going to, I guess, just agree with some things that Mike and Chris have said. A few times now, especially for the advertiser, it's, yes, know your audience, but also know your goals or your KPIs or whatever performance metrics you might be held to or ultimately you're gonna need to exceed during open enrollment. And then also, again, know who your consumer is or could be. I think for... In my opinion, one of the key responsibilities for the marketer, so us, is to find someone with high intent who is looking for something specific that maybe you can offer, get them into your funnel at an efficient cost. If the advertiser has been real clear about all of the aforementioned and is prepared operationally and logistically to sell something during open enrollment, then in terms of just refining and hitting any targets, if all of that is true, then you're gonna have an effective open enrollment and likely you're gonna spend efficiently.

0:36:24.6 MODERATOR: So do you have that sophisticated understanding of really who you're trying to reach going beyond just surface level and really getting a better understanding of behaviors and motivations and what's going to really trigger them to move down the funnel? Creative should be easy. Mike, what are your thoughts on that?

0:36:44.5 MS: Yeah. One thing that I can't stress enough, and one thing that we definitely like to promote on the PAN side, is really transparency. Transparency when it comes to the channels that you're using, the creatives that you're using. Essentially what that allows us to do is have everyone on the same page and have a unified kind of understanding of what the expectations are. So whether you're targeting on Facebook or if it's native or if it's email, at least we have an understanding of the messaging that's going out, what the intent potentially of these users that would be coming through is gonna be. And having the advertisers, agents operationally on the other side be on the same page and understand what the messaging that has been promoted is gonna be and how to convert those users into those policies that they want.

0:37:46.4 MODERATOR: Mike, I really appreciate that you continue to emphasize the importance of testing and optimizing your creative and not just allowing one thing that worked once to be your go-to again and again and always expecting new or elevated results. So let's now talk a little bit about enrollment volume, because I think that that's a really big concern for everyone. It starts with customer acquisition. So Scott, what are some of your strategies that you recommend for boosting enrollment volume?

0:38:20.0 SV: Thank you. I'll say it a little bit in a different way. I know we've all been kind of saying the same thing here, but it's true. I think that for an advertiser, for whomever, you gotta widen your lens a little bit of who you think your consumer is, have an understanding of the products you sell, what you can sell, what you think somebody might buy. Performance in June with any sort of campaign or targeting, it's not gonna be the same as performance in November or December, or in some states, January, because your potential client base is now immense versus whomever might be able to qualify for something in that given month. So I think that simply you should just be prepared to take advantage of the immensity of the potential client base. How can you be prepared to take advantage of that? One way that I know is just to have a trusted partner, like us, who you know to be compliant-forward and just to help guide you through the process of a really and busy... Pardon... In the really busy and likely crazy season.

0:39:22.1 MODERATOR: Great, great tips. Chris, I know you get to touch on a little bit of both advertiser and publisher needs, and you have a background that has touched on the unique motivations of both of those groups. So what are your strategies for boosting enrollment volume?

0:39:36.4 SV: Sure. It really kinda goes along with the customer/consumer profile, but again, quite simply it's basically the combination of compelling creatives in order to get the user engaged and pair that with an understanding of how to sell the consumer based on the way traffic is generated. You need to have your market on collateral, really in tune with your agents and how they solve them. So make sure everything is in line.

0:40:08.1 MODERATOR: So I wanna take this opportunity to segway into three questions that have already been submitted. I'm keeping an eye on the time and I don't want us to totally run out. So let's take this first question. Mike, I'm gonna have you answer this first. We just talked about boosting enrollment volume, but the next major concern becomes retention. So a question that came in is, what do you recommend for boosting LTV in this competitive season?

0:40:39.3 MS: That's a great question and it's something that as third-party marketers and affiliates, what we need to do is really... Going back to my first point of the session was really doing your research and understanding different nuances of the different Medicare plans available, the different health insurance plans available, honing in on the specific benefits that you can potentially provide some of these users that are enrolling in these policies, and using that as the one leveling point that everyone can follow in terms of the user journey, from the front-end creative all the way to the back end to the advertiser, and ultimately the plan that many of these users are enrolling into is just, if everything is all aligned, then that LTV is really gonna shoot up because there's not gonna be any miscommunication, there's not gonna be... Or there will be a super limited drop-off just as long as the unified message is the same from front to backend.

0:41:44.5 MODERATOR: Yeah, I love it because you're already empowering your core audiences that you have relationships with to make those informed decisions because you have provided those touch points early and often in the channels where they're spending their time and you're making it relevant. So Scott, I know that you tend to look at this a little bit from a different perspective and you're really in tune also with what the agents and the brokers need to do. So I feel like for you to answer this, for our advertisers and brands that are leveraging a very call-centric strategy, what do you recommend for boosting LTV?

0:42:22.8 SV: Yeah, and this is the million dollar question. Everybody's trying to figure out how to... All the time. How do we do that? Simply, in my opinion, and I'll never tell anybody how to sell, I can only make recommendations, but I think you really go to try and make it a qualitative sale. You have somebody on the phone that's really high-intent because they've decided to spend their time talking to you. Ensure it's a personalized approach for that consumer. You’ve got to make sure you understand what they're saying on the phone. Open enrollment, yes, there are limitless possibilities in theory about how many sales you could have, but now is probably not the best time to just grind through consumers and get them off the phone quickly because it's gonna lead to, probably, no sale, first of all. And then second of all, that person might not be getting what they want. And so, short but sweet, just make it a qualitative sale and try and have a real personalized approach on each and everybody you're talking to.

0:43:20.9 MODERATOR: I can't agree with you more. I think personalization in all aspects of digital marketing continues to become a greater and greater priority. And quite frankly for the brands that can't leverage that, are going to ultimately position themselves to limit their success. So two other questions that came in. Mike, I'm gonna pass this one over to you. For Medicare, does a publisher sending email traffic have to have an SMID or an MMID? I know that you work really closely with compliance on this.

0:43:53.8 MS: Yes. So if the publisher sending email is using one of the pre-approved or stock creatives that come directly from one of our advertising partners or through the PMS-ONO team, they will not need an SMID. Now, we do have partners that like to use or submit custom creative and that's where we would have to submit that creative for further approval and have a new ID assigned to it.

0:44:27.8 MODERATOR: Perfect. Super helpful... Clean straight-forward answer. You can't go wrong. Scott, I'm gonna kick this one over to you. And Chris, if you want to jump in, please do. This is going back to, I think, a little bit of what we were taking about earlier. What are some of the more unique challenges and obstacles that advertisers should be expecting this year? I feel like this is a tough question because no one really knows what to expect as we continue to use that word unprecedented in the industry, but Scott, if you could describe a little bit about what you're seeing in those unique challenges and obstacles and what advertisers and brands should just prepare for now and acknowledge might be something that could hinder them if they don't recognize it early on.

0:45:15.8 SV: Yeah, increased focus on compliance. And I know for Medicare, there's a lot of focus for health. There's a lot of focus. But from the conversations I have with agencies, there's more coming. Some of it might be really strict. And so, have an understanding that there's gonna be an increased and maybe aggressively increased focus on compliance. And what goes hand-in-hand with that is choosing the right partner. It's crucial. Something Chris said I really liked is, "What are you gonna do if the partner you chose goes dark and you've thrown all of your eggs into one basket?" You’ve got to be prepared for any and all possibilities. So it's choosing the right partners who are compliant, focused, and have a willingness and the ability to try and stay ahead of it with you and if not, you trust them that they're gonna be able to pick up the slack if someone else fails.

0:46:09.7 MODERATOR: Well said, well said. And Chris, any additional thoughts from you on that?

0:46:14.1 CP: It's basically the same thing. Over the past couple of years you've seen, especially in Medicare, the CMS coming in and having more of a finger on the pulse of what's happening and making sure things are running smoothly. So, yeah, it's the making sure that you're kinda prepared for that, but it is, as Scott said, going to keep getting harder and harder.

0:46:47.6 MODERATOR: Well said. So thank you guys so much for joining us. I mean, you've touched on so much. Definitely, everyone should be leaving here knowing that [chuckle] there are a number of Cs to focus on during AEP-OEP. You want to be clear, you want to be compliant, you want to be compelling, you want to convey what you actually do in your marketing, but also you need to focus on your capacity and willingness to spend and an understanding of the preparations that need to be put in place that will align you right now to be successful. And yes, it will take some legwork and it does take commitment, but if you do that and you align yourself with the right partners that are experts in the field and do understand the evolving changes and regulations in the compliance space, you really are setting yourself up for success.

0:47:39.3 MODERATOR: And when you think of DMS, you need to be thinking about that technology-enabled, data-driven approach to performance advertising and performance marketing. DMS insurance... Insurance division alone connects many of the nation's leading health insurance providers and agents with customers and near customers. Our health insurance campaigns, they're designed to maximize results by matching those high-intent health insurance shoppers with the insurance providers and agents that meet their needs. And the way that we do that is by leveraging the power of the DMS toolset. And, of course, the DMS toolset is inclusive of our first-party data asset, the proprietary technology that DMS has absolute access to and our expansive digital media reach. This is how we help insurance advertisers to de-risk their media spend while still scaling their opportunity to connect and convert to those high-intent consumer bases.

0:48:36.9 MODERATOR: I truly hope that all of you who have joined us and got some great information today. I am so thankful that you were here. Put it on your calendar, our next DMS Live is coming up on Wednesday, September 7, How To Source, Vet And Grow Quality Publisher Partnerships For Pay Per Call, and that is going to be led by Adam Sthay, our DMS SVP of Pay Per Call. Mike, Chris, Scott, you guys have been absolutely incredible. Thank you so much of your time. If we didn't get a chance to answer your questions today, please reach out to marketing at the or connect at and we look forward to seeing you on the next DMS Live. Have a great day.











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