1/16/2012 8:04 AM
Peter Drucker writes, "Strategy is about the futurity of current decisions. It does not deal with future decisions, rather it deals with what we have to do today is to be ready for an uncertain tomorrow."
For health plans, health reform’s Accountable Care Act means an uncertain tomorrow. In order to design a roadmap for the future, Plans need to create “manageable uncertainty”—anticipate change, evaluate long-term business implications, and determine competitive differentiation. To achieve this, Plans must draw on customer insights, interpret marketplace realities, and redefine their core value chain.
Focusing a health plan on where it wants to be in the future and figuring out how to get there takes answers to some tough questions by health care marketers:
How does your Plan differentiate and articulate its brand in a marketplace likely to see increased competition, especially with the migration of individuals and small groups to public/private Exchanges?
Has your Plan quantified demographic composition, value attitudes, and profitability of existing customers (by employer group, customer segment and distribution outlet)? Prospective members?
Are marketing and sales aligned as multi-channel lead generation tactics take hold and the mix of direct-to-consumer selling outlets evolve (e.g., field sales, call center, online, mobile, retail)?
Is member retention getting its fair-share of resources in order to enhance the customer experience and drive consumer engagement and loyalty?
Given the rapid pace of change along the marketing continuum, is your Plan behind, even or ahead of the curve in areas such as moving from: mass marketing to segmentation to micro-segmentation, or mail/broadcast/print to email/search/banner to social/mobile/video?
This self-assessment provides a starting point to help identify success/failure factors, validate marketing assumptions, and create a framework for evaluating the future. It allows management to make informed decisions about strategic options, market positioning and tactical investment.
That’s what it’s going to take, an ability to see what your enterprise is going to be like tomorrow. It’s not about predicting the future, but rather the futurity of current decisions.
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