Aetna aims for LGBT community with targeted marketing test

Aetna-LGBT-Marketing-_Nati

Aetna-LGBT-Marketing-_Nati

Aetna is urging LGBT customers to “be proud” – and consider buying its coverage – as part of a new, narrow focus to selling health insurance in a business where the individual’s buying decision matters more than it used to.

The nation’s third-largest health insurer is using mobile phone apps, print ads and a recently launched website to appeal to the estimated 9 million members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the United States.

Its website features a video of a gay woman and man talking about love and relationships. It also helps visitors find LGBT-friendly doctors and promises coverage “with features that fit you, your partner and your family.”

Experts say changes in technology and how insurance is sold, plus a more fickle customer who wants to know where companies stand on certain issues, all create fertile ground for such a targeted approach. But this push comes with the risk of turning off customers who don’t agree with a company’s stance.

“You have to differentiate on who you are and what you stand for, and that’s trickier,” said Allen Adamson, chairman of North American business for the branding firm Landor Associates. “Not everyone’s going to like you.”

Aetna has offered help finding LGBT-friendly providers for years, and it has long backed issues like domestic partner coverage, all of which it details on its new website. The insurer decided to package this into a marketing push after talking to its employees, who pointed out that the LGBT community shows loyalty to companies that favor its inclusion.

The company decided to test market to that community as a way to learn more about selling to specific demographic groups, President Karen Rohan said.

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