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Why digital health engagement demands more than clicks

How can health insurers meet digital demands?

Healthcare consumers today are digital. But they are not all alike. They range from those who leave only digital traces to those who incorporate digital into all aspects of their lives. These consumers exhibit different degrees of digital intensity.

The importance of digital intensity

Digital intensity is the extent to which a customer uses or is impacted by online, mobile and social channels as part of all interactions along the customer journey. To effectively engage today’s healthcare consumers, health insurers must know their levels of digital intensity.

Accenture research shows that as digital intensity increases, so do healthcare consumers’ expectations. And the more digitally intense consumers are, the more likely they are to shop around for an insurer.

Think whole journeys, not single touchpoints

It is clear why digital engagement is more important than ever for health insurers. To differentiate themselves among digital health consumers—no matter how digitally intense they are—health insurers must change their approaches to digital engagement.

Change starts by redefining consumer journeys as part of an integrated consumer experience across channels. Just digitizing today’s experiences via digital touchpoints—click, tap, swipe—is not enough. The fundamentals of digital engagement include:

  1. Leading change from the top. Health insurers’ digital engagement strategy must have C-suite support and leadership. Integrating digital into the overall experience is not the responsibility of one functional group—marketing, service, clinical or technology. It is everyone’s responsibility. It must be championed at the highest levels, aligned with the business strategy, and contribute to a clear set of business outcomes. Some organizations have gone so far as to name a C-level executive specifically responsible for the integrated consumer experience across channels.

  2. Smashing the silos. The integration of digital engagement solutions must be done cross-functionally. After all, consumer interaction is comprehensive, not a reflection of the internal health insurer organization structure. Digital engagement must account for the continuity of experience with an outside-in approach focused on end-to-end consumer journey management.

  3. Blurring the lines. Health insurers need a cross-channel strategy with the appropriate mix of online and offline experiences that eliminates friction between them for consistent, connected experiences. This is critical to prioritize investments and serve consumers on their terms.

  4. Forgetting one size fits all. Health insurers should categorize current and targeted consumers by their level of digital intensity, rather than invest in broad solutions that assume every digital consumer is the same. Consumer experience strategies should continuously be adjusted to account for how consumers’ level of digital intensity evolves over time.

  5. Changing the culture. Digital is more than a technology. It is a new way of doing things. Beyond improving and digitizing the way consumers interact with the organization, digital also represents new ways of thinking, solving problems and delivering solutions to market—much faster and more agile than ever before.

To keep consumers and earn new ones, cultivate brand promoters, and grow the business, health insurers must improve digital engagement. They can no longer rely on siloed approaches in a seamless digital world.

Digitally intense consumers see less differentiation among insurers.


Jean-Pierre Stephan
Jean-Pierre Stephan
Managing Director of Health CRM Solutions

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Brian Kalis
Brian Kalis
Managing Director of Digital Health

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Loren McCaghy
Loren McCaghy
Director of Consumer Engagement and Product Insight

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