Independent Marketing Researchers

Highlights of recent market research projects in the health care and health insurance sectors

Primary research

Expansion efforts by a regional health insurance carrier were lagging projected sales. We interviewed key brokers and large employers in the expansion territories to understand their perceptions of our client's strengths and weaknesses in specific areas such as CDHPs, networks and wellness programs. This effort helped the client improve its products and services as well as broker training and advertising.

A global private medical insurance carrier wanted to understand the buying motivations and preferences of internationally mobile consumers and insurance brokers in the U.S. We conducted in-depth interviews to understand this specialized market segment.

An international expatriate benefits company wanted to understand the motivations and preferences of Canadian global companies who purchase international health plans for expatriate employees. We conducted in-depth telephone interviews with Canadian brokers and consultants regarding this specialized market segment.

A national health insurance carrier wanted to understand where seniors obtain information about their Medicare options and which factors most influenced their purchase decision. Consumers aged 63 through 68 provided detailed information about their understanding of coverage options, purchasing criteria, preferences, information sources and satisfaction with their current coverage and carrier. Our client’s goal was to identify gaps in knowledge and concepts perceived as difficult to improve their products, marketing materials and sales strategies in order to increase market penetration.

A provider of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) services wanted to poll insurance plan executives to see what they viewed as challenges facing the Medicare Advantage industry, concerns about administration of their Medicare Advantage programs and their views of the pros and cons of BPO and Component Outsourcing. Interviews were conducted with CFOs and COOs of the client's customers and non-customers. Results fed into the client's product development activities as well as marketing materials and sales person training.

An urban hospital planned to expand into a suburban community. We interviewed board members and residents in three potential locations asking about preferred hospitals, features that made some hospitals more attractive than others and perceptions of the hospital in question. The research contributed to a site selection and the decision to not use the urban hospital's name since it was associated with a distressed area and perceived as focused on emergency room treatment.

A health insurance program for low income residents reported significant under-utilization of preventative tests by women. We interviewed patients to understand their reasons for avoiding the tests. Based on the results, our client addressed issues such as a lack of transportation, inconvenient hours, a need for child care and a fear of the tests themselves.

A consumer medical devices manufacturer wanted to understand the issues seniors face who are at risk for falls and to discuss safety precautions and daily activities around mobility impairment and dealing with varied health conditions. We conducted focus groups with seniors to learn about their experiences and problems. Additional focus groups were conducted with seniors to assess product concept for fall detection inside and outside the home.

An eldercare services company wanted to learn about motivations and preferences for referring their services to patients. We conducted telephone in-depth interviews with medical professionals to obtain their opinions.

A manufacturer of an inhaled health product wanted to understand the motivations and satisfaction level of current users of this product in order to improve their communications strategy to doctors and consumers. We conducted in-depth interviews with users of the product about their experiences and also got their reactions to promotional literature.

Secondary research

An insurance carrier wanted to evaluate the potential of cross-selling ancillary products to its health insurance customers. When the cost of polling each customer by phone exceeded the available budget, we suggested using 5500 data from Judy Diamond to identify the carriers offering Life and Disability coverages to the client's customers along with the total lives and premium by line for each company. Cross-selling lists were then developed for each of the current customers. An unplanned benefit was identification of non-customers and their benefits managers' contact information as new sales opportunities.

The Life Insurance unit of a Health-Life carrier wanted to develop comprehensive territorial analyses for the sales force. We were able to obtain data from disparate sources including the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and LIMRA which was matched up to the characteristics of the carrier's sales force and market share by SIC and county. Reports were used to identify pockets of opportunity for the sales force.