With the big health reform, came the transition from the defined benefit insurance model to the defined contribution model. For those that are not familiar with this, the defined benefit model was pretty much a one-size-fits all model. An employee basically bought a single insurance plan and distributed it to its employees. The problem with this model is that each individual has different needs and so this model did not allow for choice and personalization. The reform has allowed the transformation of this model into that of a retail industry paradigm. People can now have more choice and flexibility in what they want out of a certain insurance plan. This is where Array Health comes in. Jonathan Rickert has developed a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing interface that serves as a platform for consumers to “shop” options within an insurance plan. The platform allows the insurer to communicate better with the company itself and its consumers. With this in mind, it relieves the burden of administration costs on both sides by streamlining the workflow. In more Layman’s terms, the company sells its software to insurers (brokers) to allow their insurance plans to utilize the defined contribution model though an easy-to-use platform. This then makes that specific insurance plan more appealing to businesses looking for benefit plans to distribute to its employees.
It is interesting to note that when you view the website and read about its product and solutions, it seems as if their target market would be the consumer, businesses buying insurance, and the insurer. I personally thought the company would be monetizing on those transactions between employers and insurance companies. Its position according to Jonathan however is in fact focused on B2B selling with insurance companies, and licensing its software to these insurance companies for use.
Health reform in 2010 caused an increase demand for health insurance in the United States and thus sped up the transitional step from the defined benefit model to the defined contribution model. Back in 2006, this model was just coming out and Jonathan Rickert saw the opportunity to take advantage of it. At the time Array Health was one of the first to enter this market, and so one could say they created a market for software platforms that allow this model of insurance distribution to be viable and flourish. Since then, the competitive market space has somewhat saturated.
According to Jonathan, Array Health’s position in the market is to create a platform for insurers to help manage and distribute its products to businesses and its employees. The generation of the idea actually came when he was working in consulting and found that employers were really unhappy with the defined benefits model. He also got some inspiration by studying what happened in pension space. Finding a problem in both areas motivated him to find a way to help empower and help people make better health care decisions. So he first started validating his idea by just asking employers if they would use his product. He achieved this by utilizing his own network that he created through his consulting job as a channel.
Jonathan and the team at Array Health have done a great job of finding an opportunity and building around it. The team just had success by closing out 2014 with $13 million in venture funds, and hopes to continue to improve health care through the future.
I am an avid user of Facebook, and have received the occasional targeted ad on Facebook that is relevant to my recent browser history. I was not not able to reproduce this for this assignment however. I had been looking at apple products recently, and shop a lot on jack threads, but the recent ads I get in the side bar of Facebook have not been even remotely relevant to my browsing behaviors. The ones shown below are the first two ads I see when I open Facebook. They unfortunately have no relevance to me. Facebook ads in general have become invisible to me recently. It seems like my brain has learned to zone out ads, and so I do not even notice them anymore. I cannot remember the last time, an ad has caught my attention on Facebook as of recent. The off chance that the ad does come up, I rarely click on them. Maybe it has something to do with my personality, in terms of myself not being so much of an impulse buyer, but rather shopping only if I’m in need, and buying only for that need. Considering the effectiveness of these ads, I do believe they are efficient. More so especially, than random advertisements such as the lawn service and insurance ads below.
Cruisewise is a travel agency specifically tailored to those looking to go on a cruise. The business helps simplify the online cruise booking process. It does so by helping compare prices, routes, and cabin choices such as any other online travel agency such as orbitz. The overall experience for looking for a cruise vacation is simplified and clean, and can help the vacation cruise enthusiast’s life simpler.
With this, I would choose these three people to reach out to.
Christopher Parr @christopherparr – CEO and founder of Pursuitist, a luxury vacation journal
Ana Silva O’Reilly @mrsoaroundworld – travel blogger, and market & social media strategic consultant
Carol Perehudoff @wandering carol – luxury travel blogger
SanTasti is an interesting product that let’s one cleanse their pallet when wine tasting. It is an aid that helps the consumer taste better when moving between different wines. This product seems to be in our company’s (AlControl) space, and has a similar value proposition that allows for one to have the a complete experience with wine tasting. Their value proposition seems to focus on providing a pallet cleanser for all types of tasting e.g. wine, chocolate, beer.
The online channels they have chosen to focus on are twitter. They have a website, but the website seems to focus on another product called EVO. They do not have a facebook presence, but they do have some content on youtube, that demonstrates customer validation towards the product. With the youtube content, it does seem like they are able to reach their target customer, but without a facebook presence, and a website that advertises a completely different product, it is really hard to tell.
The potential market for Navigating Cancer, Inc, is defined but complex in my opinion. Cancer is a complex disease and care for it is equally complex. Management of care which includes, tracking of doctor appointments, side effects, and medications are the things that the company is trying to promote to patients, and so it seems like cancer patients are a target market for the company when looked at initially, but believe this isn’t the population they are targeting. Sure, the website has information resources and an open chat network among cancer patients, but there are already established bases for this, such as the NCCN. If anything the target market for this company are health care providers specialized in oncology. Online health portals are I think the biggest product they are trying to sell. While I am not very familiar with online patient portals, they seem both convenient and not convenient at the same time. For general health care, such as primary care, I see it as in inconvenience if the patient uses multiple organizations for health care. The problem here is that systems like this are not universal, nor does primary care does require as much organization as tracking as those with chronic or more serious conditions i.e. cancer. In this respect, Navigating Cancer has found good niche for their product/service. Cancer patients have a lot to keep track of, and this type of system I believe would work well in this population of patients. But again, I think it is important to note that the buying power lies in the hands of the health care providers and not the patients for this product, since: 1. Doctors hold the most influence in what support and tool a patient uses during their treatment; and 2. This product seems almost useless if your doctor does not utilize it, as the features tailored toward the patient, such as the information resources are readily available in better formats elsewhere. In conclusion, I think Navigating Cancer is a resource for that essentially creates a better channel of communication between health providers and patient to help manage patient cases more. Marketing on this idea should therefore be customized for a health care professional target market. With that being said, I’m really interested as to what type of incentive the company has created other than convenience, and whether there is data to backup improved patient outcomes and quality of living.