Market segmentation is the process of identifying customer or potential customer subgroups that respond or are expected to respond differently to marketing variables including product, price, place (distribution) and promotion. The term market segmentation has been closely linked with the term “target marketing.” However, there are important differences between the two. While market segmentation involves dividing the market into subgroups as noted above, target marketing is the process of identifying the most attractive market segmentations and designing marketing strategies to reach them. DSS has probably done more market segmentation work in the health care space, particularly health insurance, than any other research firm.
- Attitudes, Behaviors and Product Preferences. Using utilities from conjoint surveys as basis variables is a natural choice for segmenting a population on product preferences. However, we find it necessary to include attitudes or behaviors along with utilities in order to produce meaningful segmentation solutions that are both identifiable and actionable. The inclusion of attitudes and behaviors as basis variables insures that a clear communication message is present for each segment and typically maximizes differences in demographics / firmagraphics across segments.
- Health Risks. DSS was one of the first companies to program a health risk assessment survey for the Internet. We have created many different risk assessment tools and validated our tools against medical claims data. We use this extensive experience to design segmentation studies that clearly delineate employees and members on current and future health risks. These studies can be tied to claims data to further prioritize segments based on medical costs and effectiveness of intervention strategies.
- Behavioral Change or Level Of Engagement. DSS has conducted numerous segmentation studies measuring and tracking health care-related behaviors, health status and level of engagement and providing insights on how to promote healthy behaviors and attract healthy individuals. We created the DSS Health Care Engagement Index (HCEI) in 2009, providing benchmark results for the US population each quarter and embedding the HCEI in client surveys. The HCEI is highly correlated with medical claims, health status, member satisfaction, education level, ability to understand medical information and make informed decisions.
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