For those who didn’t catch the interviews on Jimmy Kimmel a few weeks back, take a couple minutes to watch this video. While admittedly conducting interviews on the streets of Hollywood is hardly the best way to conduct market research, Jimmy Kimmel has pointed out something out that all marketers should take note of: All of your marketing efforts (to the tune of $700 million in the case of the ACA) may go for naught if your customers do not understand your product! Obamacare has some “brand recognition” issues; people don’t know what it is but they sure don’t like it.

Where are your customers learning about your brand?
They used the lingo indicating that they had been hearing about the healthcare debate, but clearly this info wasn’t coming from “brand approved” sources. For something as wide-reaching as healthcare reform, infomation sources could be anything from discussions with colleagues over a water cooler, random news articles, or even advertisements from supporters or detractors of the healthcare law. Doing ample market research will indicate whether or not your brand has a similar issues among your consumers and could point to the sources that your customers go to to learn about your brand.

Why so quick to render a judgment?
While a small portion of the interviewees expressed some reticence about being asked to offer a “yes or no” answer to Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act, most were quickly willing to give their opinions. As a marketer, you want to avoid pushing customers to this “purchasing point” before your brand has provided them the accurate information to make an informed decision. You will either end up with a dissatisfied customer because they bought something they were not intending to or you will miss out on a sale that could have closed because they didn’t know enough about your product.

Whats in a name?
Regardless of your opinion of our current President, it’s undeniable that his name isn’t polling so well right now. The “vibe” that a name gives off will do so much to change the opinion of uninformed consumers. On the other hand, things with “affordable” and “care” in the title are probably going to generate a much more positive feel. While the informed consumer isn’t going to make a decision based on feeling alone, those who might not know as much will be forced to rely on (often erroneous) gut instincts. Make sure the branding and messaging that you do control offers a positive feel for your brand and work with field influencers to ensure the branding and messaging you don’t have direct control over is positive.

  • Get to know your customers and potential customers through market research and keep up to date with influencers in your market.
  • Make sure your brand’s purchase point is at a place that most leads will be capable of making informed decisions.
  • Be aware of the influence that branding and messaging tone tone has on your leads.

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