Recommendations for Group Health Insurance Marketing From Insights Award-Winning TMAIT Team


Each year, PIMA recognizes companies that have demonstrated outstanding achievements in marketing strategies for insurance products. The Gold Insights Award for lead generation went to Texas Medical Association Insurance Trust (TMAIT) in 2023 for its open-enrollment marketing expansion campaign. TMAIT was also awarded “Best of PIMA” for this same campaign. 

Beginning of the Group Health Insurance Marketing Strategy

If you’re not yet familiar with TMAIT, it’s a full-service insurance agency created by the Texas Medical Association to service the insurance needs of its members — something the organization still does to this day. However, the pandemic brought a series of changes that reduced the pool of marketable contacts. TMAIT had no choice but to look for new ways of engaging physicians who needed to purchase their own insurance. 

After an analysis of the business, the TMAIT marketing team discovered that a large subset of physicians was securing benefits outside of open enrollment. This presented two distinct opportunities, the first being to increase awareness among members of TMAIT’s group health services throughout the year. The second was to target underserved segments: small practice owners and independent physicians in particular. 

However, practicing physician marketing when group health is a commodity product can be difficult. Coverage is available from any number of agents and brokers. Open enrollment also brings strong competition. Plus, it’s often easier to just stick with a current policy. With no discount available to small groups, no individual PPO available in the state, and an email list reduced to just 8% of the total marketable contacts, taking advantage of the opportunities would be no small feat. 

TMAIT would need to find a way to offer value that wasn’t necessarily cost savings. With the industry becoming more competitive, it called for a multifaceted approach to group health insurance marketing to engage audiences. The goal was to get in front of physicians multiple times to get their attention, move them through the sales funnel, and eventually convince them to request a quote. 

Yet, as you know, the customer journey is rarely, if ever, a linear one. So, the marketing team decided to use multiple touchpoints across multiple channels to build impressions throughout the year. Email, print ads, online ads, direct mailers, landing pages, blog posts, retargeting, and event marketing were just a few of the channels and tactics used to reach as many members as possible to meet the overall objective — and deliver the marketing impressions metrics that TMAIT felt were necessary to drive enrollment.

Results of the Group Health Open Enrollment Marketing Campaign

With all the challenges TMAIT was facing in the group health arena, the marketing team was more than excited to learn that the multifaceted campaign paid off. The following are just a few of the results: 

• 35.5% of total leads were generated outside of open enrollment

• 25% of the total annual premiums were generated outside of open enrollment

• 12.3% YOY increase in the number of group sales

With a customer-centric focus on physician marketing and superior member services, TMAIT also enjoyed an added bonus: a 94.9% retention rate. 

While the approach to the open enrollment marketing campaign should earn most of the credit, the TMAIT marketing team sees it a different way. They feel the success had more to do with the organization's mission. Compared to other agents and brokers in the market who focus primarily on generating sales from large groups, TMAIT wanted to help small practice owners and independent physicians who needed coverage. 

After all, they were an underserved market but represented the members with the most affinity to the Texas Medical Association — or as members of the marketing team would tell you, “It was really all matter of helping physicians get the PPO coverage they wanted when they thought they had no access to it. In the process, we proved the association's value to these members.” 

Recommendations for Group Health Insurance Marketing From the TMAIT Team

When asked what advice they’d give to those developing similar group health insurance marketing campaigns, the team had two things to say: 

  1. Ensure your audience for the special options is large enough to provide a return on marketing investment. 
  2. Consider targeting underserved segments with the campaign. 

Targeting underserved segments of almost any population can help increase an organization’s market share. It also offers a competitive advantage, as you’re actively reaching out to individuals who don’t always receive messaging directed toward them. This can go a long way to establishing trust and building loyalty, ultimately leading to long-term relationships that greatly improve retention rates. These results can easily be seen in the results of TMAIT’s open enrollment marketing expansion campaign.

Published on January 4, 2024

PIMA® (Professional Insurance Marketing Association®) is a member-driven trade association focused exclusively on the affinity market.