People are living longer, it’s certainly a fact. But how that’s affecting the landscape of healthcare and financial services is monumental. Health and wealth are merging; as people have begun to broaden their view of the retirement nest egg to cover health care expenses, medical expenses, long-term care, and others. Likewise, people are expecting more options, and a more holistic view, from the financial and health care organizations they are investing in and that serve them. Let’s explore what that means for you, the healthcare and financial services organizations, in particular, and how you can gain a competitive edge as you design, and market, wellness programs.
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) reports that in 2015 the global wellness economy was worth $3.72 trillion (that’s trillion with a T). It has become a known that organizations must expand from simply reacting, to proactively fostering health and health planning.
Smart doctors have always known that body, mind and emotions are linked, affecting one another in the present and long term, too. Forward-thinking organizations are tying that feeling of wellness beyond healthcare, understanding there is a point of intersection of health, wealth and well-being.
Being financially sound, meaning you feel positive about your financial future, does in fact intersect with how well you feel, and your general sense of well-being.
What does this mean for how companies are looking at the intersection of health and wealth? It starts with research devoted to understanding the motivating factors, or conversely, the limitations or hesitations people feel around planning for their future. When companies can contribute to bringing a sense of ease to their clients, through advances in planning tools, research and content to help them plan, plan well, and feel like they are on-path, that company earns an important badge of honor. They are entrusted as a partner for that client’s future, a true stakeholder in their life plan, path and goals. I don’t think there could be a higher regard a company can hold. To that end, it is the financial services, life, annuity, insurance and health care companies who stand to gain the most from a more altruistic and holistic approach to marketing to their clients.
Help your clients feel secure, and build a lifelong customer that will return for you ten times over.
Where are companies succeeding at this? What are they doing? How can you start, or how can you improve upon your current efforts?
Designing Wellness Plans
Financial wellness programs are gaining popularity. It was only a few years ago that these programs began to emerge, first designed to help employees struggling with aspects of managing household finances or on the health care side, helping employees stay healthy. As many employers begin to recognize that a healthy, financially secure workforce is both more productive and more motivated, they are increasingly looking to offer their employees additional support, and looking to you to provide it. The most common components of current wellness programs are online access and guidance on health savings accounts and providing tools to help stay well (as in fitness trackers).
For companies, a good plan design translates directly as caring for their employees.
Employees, when asked what offerings would be helpful, cite online tools and access to a holistic financial advisor or coach most often. Participants also prioritize help with the “here-and-now” household finances . Things like credit score guidance and discounted bank accounts score highly. Longer-term additional savings required to cover health costs during retirement are not always top-of-mind but do present a tremendous opportunity around education.
Providers have an opportunity to package deep financial planning experience for financial wellness programs to be truly successful. Well-designed offerings help alleviate anxiety caused by financial pressure and make for a happier workforce and employer. In turn, plan providers benefit from increased participant engagement and plan contributions as well as asset retention in an increasingly competitive market.
Adding Value Beyond the Plan Design
So let’s talk specifically about getting clear on how to market, and where to start; beyond plan design. It really comes down to the value you can add to clients/employees/participants lives. We just discussed how wellness and well-being is associated with happiness. Used wisely, digital tools offer people unprecedented insights into their future, hence a sense of reassurance. Financial calculators that help people understand the complete picture of their finances, rather than just their retirement planning, have become more popular (offered by Fidelity, Prudential, Voya, Empower). Take a look at the number of tools you are offering and look at ways you can streamline or connect them. Most companies are offering too many tools, and they can be disjointed, confusing, and actually decrease use and adoption.
Think beyond tools too. Survey current clients. See what they are struggling with in the present, and what keeps them up at night when they think about their future. Categorize your clients based on their concerns and research and develop content that directly addresses those concerns, putting them on a path to deliver content that directly addresses and helps. Add online interest groups, which create opportunities to build connections and communities that support the essential social dimension.
Develop everything with the core motivation of being altruistic, and truly helping.
People want the all-around body-mind experience and that means addressing not only how well they are (healthy, and without disease) but also how well they feel (a sense of vitality, flourishing). There are unlimited opportunities where you, as a provider, can address these concerns, and help alleviate them.
Wellness is a holistic understanding of health, where everybody needs to play a part: governments, healthcare professionals for sure, but also providers, employers, communities and individuals. TLF is a thought leader in the space of financial services, healthcare and insurance. It starts with a consumer-centric approach, layered with a deep understanding of the complicated selling and service systems at play when it comes to positioning your offerings; third-party, advisors, employers. We are skilled at research, positioning, designing and marketing offerings that help financial services and health care companies like you improve outcomes, and your bottom line. We love talking with companies like you, learning about your unique offerings and challenges, and of course we are always happy to chat with no obligation. Contact us to learn more.