Demand+Brand: The Priority Health Story

April 2, 2020  |  Paula Serios


Riding the Wave

Our digital world is transforming the very fabric of our lives, presenting digital solutions to analog problems at every turn. Its impact has profoundly and universally shifted consumer purchase behavior. Consumers now use technology to research products and services, crowdsource opinions and make purchase decisions, often buying faster than ever before. And, increasingly, without any human interaction.

Marketers have responded in kind with a digitally savvy approach becoming highly proficient in building awareness and generating business through integrated, multi-channel campaigns with optimized websites, overarching content strategies, best of breed search, digital advertising, and social media marketing.  If it doesn’t work, we optimize until we find the best solutions to efficiently, effectively deliver on our goals. And it is all measurable and attributable providing concrete evidence of marketing ROI.

We must acknowledge the highly transactional nature of digital marketing, in general, and demand generation, specifically. Some would say, all good — it is both strategically clean-cut and attributable. Increasingly, others would say there is a void in digital marketing due to its lack of humanity and emotional resonance. At BVK, we see an escalating imperative for demand generation to be coupled with a strong brand foundation that develops the soul of the brand and creates an inherent emotional connection both on and offline. Think about it as the humanization of digital, customized to your brand. BVK’s strategic platform is demand+brand and the impact of this duo creates a synergy that, generally, exceeds every goal.  Our Priority Health client is one such example.

The Priority Health Challenge

As a $4B Michigan health plan, Priority Health challenges national brands in a highly competitive marketplace. It offers healthcare insurance plans to Michigan employer groups and individuals as well as Medicare and Medicaid. As part of the Spectrum Health family of brands, Priority Health markets itself independently its parent company.

Unfortunately, the health insurance category is fraught with negative consumer experience. People find it expensive, needlessly confusing due to its complexity and lack of transparency, and likely to disappoint. So naturally, making the decision about choosing the right health insurance is a difficult one.  This is compounded by concerns about losing access to preferred doctors and hospitals and people’s natural resistance to change.

On the Basis of Brand

Start at the beginning is our mantra and so that is sourced with BVK’s brand discernment process. As we began to dive deeply into the Priority Health value proposition of the smart choice in health insurance, we sought to create an emotional connection with their current and potential members.

For Priority Health, amplifying the smart choice value proposition with the core human value of savvy created nuance and an emotional resonance of confidence in making the right choice that meets individual needs.

Armed with this strategic foothold, the BVK creative team was free to develop a range of brand campaign approaches from quirky humor to implied celebrity endorsement and everything in between. After a member panel and quantitative research, the Priority Team chose the All Smart Everything campaign. This campaign brought together very smart people doing very smart things, culminating in choosing Priority Health as their smart choice in health insurance.

Set with the right brand messages, BVK developed a strategic communications plan that would not only successfully revitalize the brand but would lay the foundation for the key selling season across all the Priority Health lines of business. The robust awareness-driving plan dominated the marketplace with a launch blitz of television, radio, print out of home and a deep digital expression of paid search, display, and social advertising.



The Demanding Nature

As with all health insurance companies, Priority Health’s open enrollment / annual enrollment period (OEP/AEP) during the 4th quarter determines the success and profitability for the entire next year. Importantly, OEP/AEP occurred several months after the launch of the All Smart Everything campaign, so the challenge was amplified by the need to maintain brand momentum while layering tactics that stimulate action.

Armed with a foundational brand halo in the marketplace, Priority Health and BVK partnered to determine precisely the right demand generation approach for each line of business. As the OEP/AEP period drew near, additional digital (social, SEM, display, connected TV) efforts were deployed to aggressively build a list of prospects to be remarketed to once the period was officially open. A heavy layer of Medicare DRTV was added to the mix on the eve of AEP, expanding reach and focused on driving quote completions. All of this was coupled with Priority Health’s broader marketing efforts including direct mail, public relations, experiential marketing and of course, agent and direct sales enablement.

Hefty lead generation goals and key performance metrics were tracked in real-time on a fully automated performance dashboard with daily and weekly insight discussions informing message and channel / tactic optimization. Dollars were shifted among all plans and channels, often on a daily basis, to grow each line of business. Cross-functional insights from the entire integrated plan were shared across lines of business to maximize learning and performance.

The messaging leveraged the All Smart Everything campaign aesthetics along with key brand cues that intrinsically linked the demand generation efforts with brand providing exponential impact.

The Punctuation Point

The results were nothing short of phenomenal!

After four short months in market, the Priority Health All Smart Everything campaign is delivering statistically significant awareness gains with less overall spend compared to market leaders. In our vast experience with challenger brands, we understand that this type of early movement is hard-earned through a strong, differentiated brand platform, well-crafted strategic plans and flawless delivery.

The integrated demand generation outcomes across the lines of business were even better:

Further speaking to the power of demand+brand, the brand campaign’s quote requests and enrollment peaked above the demand generation campaign’s consistently throughout the selling season with impressions, CTR and CPC all exceeding projections.

Through a deep strategic partnership steeped in mutual respect and trust, the Priority Health Marketing Team and BVK were able bring demand+brand to life delivering the Priority Health business a year to remember. We can’t wait to advance our learning and performance in 2020!


BVK is a premiere health and well-being advisory that artfully and intimately orchestrates the intersection between brands and individuals. We are happy to discuss your particular business challenge and share our approach with you. Just reach out. Paula Serios, Senior Vice President, BVK Health, [email protected].


is a Senior Vice President, BVK Health

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