Great Ad Campaigns Aren’t Enough

from my old blog: Saturday, April 5, 2008

I just read that Kaiser, the behemoth healthcare association in California, only signed up 100,000 new members last year. And that despite their fabulous ad campaign about ‘thriving’ using Allison Janney to voice over clever scripts about how eating blueberries and staying healthy is Kaiser’s mission. Well, of course it is. If you stay healthy, Kaiser saves money. Still, it was such a nice campaign, don’t you think?

It seems to me that Kaiser must have one awful sales force of brokers (or they’re not incentivized enough to sell Kaiser) if they can only find 100K new members.

As a small business owner, I can authoritatively comment on the awful selection of health coverage today–insane prices for awful coverage. Or programs that are so confusing to understand you can’t possibly get your value from the coverage. Or insurance providers like Aetna who loses every claim one submits, has the absolute worst customer service and earns their money apparently by ripping off customers.

Sure, this is a rant, but there’s a marketing lesson here. Advertising alone just doesn’t work. A successful company in today’s world needs a great product with decent customer service, great marketing and a solid sales force.

If Kaiser can’t even get it right in this aging baby boomer society of ours, who can? I think it’s the small businesses who are filling these needed niches. What do you think?

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