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Grow Business with a Strategic Communications Plan

HealthHelp

Based in Houston, Texas, HealthHelp pioneered a collaborative approach to radiology benefit management based on physician consultation. Since 1997, FrogDog has provided HealthHelp with full-service corporate communications services including branding, public relations, investor relations, employee relations, and sales support.

The Challenge

  • As is often the case with fast-growing, venture-capital-backed companies, immediate needs and urgent opportunities often drove HealthHelp’s marketing and communication tactics.
  • After a substantial new investment from a venture capital firm, HealthHelp set ambitious new business goals. It also now had the time and resources to undertake a comprehensive strategic communications planning process.
  • HealthHelp’s founders and executives came from backgrounds in radiology and diagnostic imaging management. They are comfortable with and well-respected by radiologists, but payer executives generally make purchase decisions for radiology benefit management services.
  • Business goals for the year included winning a new account from a regional division of one of the four largest health care payers—Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealthcare, CIGNA, or Aetna—and increasing market share by winning additional competitive contracts.
  • Also, as FrogDog was developing the strategic communications plan, HealthHelp prepared to launch new radiation oncology management capabilities to augment its well-established diagnostic imaging services.

The FrogDog Solution

  • FrogDog’s strategic planning process began with an analysis of HealthHelp’s existing messaging and in-depth research of its market, audiences, and competitors.
  • With an even deeper understanding of HealthHelp’s marketplace, FrogDog developed a strategic communication plan aimed at refocusing marketing efforts more clearly on payers.
  • New messaging emphasized reducing costs and improving quality by enhancing physician knowledge, which changes long-term radiology use patterns.
  • The strategic plan called for a customized mix of direct mail, media relations, advertising, and Web tactics. Tradeshow emphasis was shifted to events that more closely target payers, and FrogDog developed an electronic newsletter for HealthHelp.
  • In conjunction with development of the strategic marketing plan, FrogDog finalized revisions to HealthHelp’s brand manual to help standardize visual representations of the company and its services.
  • Even before FrogDog finalized the strategic marketing plan, it incorporated revised messaging into the launch of HealthHelp’s radiation oncology services and into materials used at a couple of key tradeshows, including a Blue Cross Blue Shield conference.

The Results

  • Early results are encouraging, even as implementation of the strategic plan continues.
  • The first quarter after FrogDog implemented the new strategy, HealthHelp received ten requests for proposals (RFPs) from payers, including three Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. This compares to a total of six RFPs received over the previous twelve months.
  • As a result of its RFP responses, which FrogDog helped draft and edit, HealthHelp had been awarded two new contracts four months after strategy implementation, was at that time a finalist for at least two others, and was making presentations to Blue Cross Blue Shield and CIGNA plans.
  • Integration of new strategic messaging and search engine optimization features moved HealthHelp’s Web site to or near the top of Internet search rankings for key phrases.
  • These efforts have clearly put HealthHelp on more health plans’ radar screens and leave it well positioned to achieve its business goals.

 

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