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3 LTC marketing lessons you can swipe

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One of the groups behind the Long-Term Care Awareness campaign — the 3in4 Association — asked for LIMRA to help it find out how to do a better job of spreading its message — that three in four Americans ought to be doing a better job of planning for long-term care (LTC) needs.

The 3in4 group will be using the survey results to pump up the upcoming awareness month — which starts Nov. 1.

Life Happens (the group formerly known as the LIFE Foundation) is encouraging agents and brokers to look at the many LTC education resources on its site, such as its collection of videos about LTC needs. If you want to watch a video about how an empty nester views LTC needs, or now someone in the middle market views LTC needs, Life Happens has it.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) is returning to the campaign effort by running another in its series of LTC awareness inserts in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

The 3in4 group is organizing several advertising and outreach efforts of its own. One way it’s trying to help is by sharing its own market research data with LifeHealthPro, in the hope that LTC agents — and life agents, and benefits brokers, and any other people who recognize how much pain a failure to plan for LTC expenses can cause — will use the results in to strengthen their own efforts to get consumers to think about LTC needs.

Here are three lessons drawn from Cherie Mosley’s analysis of the awareness survey data.


1. Clarity matters.

For many consumers, even thinking seriously about the possibility that the consumer, or the consumers’ loved ones, will grow old and need long-term care is almost as difficult as thinking about the possibility that they will get Ebola.

Some groups have tried to promote LTC planning by using messages that get at the idea of the need for LTC planning indirectly.

LIMRA told 3in4 that only about one-half of the consumers who remembered learning about the “Three in four need more” message knew it was about LTC planning.

One-quarter thought the message was about retirement income planning, and one-fifth admitted that they had no idea what it was about.

LIMRA found results for LTC messages used by two other groups were even more poorly understood. Only one-fifth of the consumers who remembered learning about the message understand that it was about the need for long-term care. The others either had no idea what the messages were about, or thought they were about retirement income planning or estate planning.

See also: Elder care planning: An important part of the long-term care message.

TV watchers

2. Television is still powerful.

Social media has the buzz, and mail seems like it would work for something like LTC awareness — but 64 percent of the consumers who remembered learning about the 3in4 campaign remembered finding out about it through television.

Just 13 percent remembered learning about it online, and 10 percent remembered seeing something in the mail about it.

See also: 4 ways to promote visibility-building online LTCI videos


3. Some people say they would welcome attending a seminar on LTC planning.

Regulators, consumer groups and even some producers have come to make fun of seminars — but about 54 percent of the consumers LIMRA surveyed for the 3in4 group said they would be interested in attending a free seminar on LTC planning.

The level of interest was strongest in the south. Consumers ages 40 to 54 — in what is now what insurers think of as being the prime LTC planning market — were more interested in attending a seminar than consumers ages 50 to 70 were.

See also: 5 ideas for selling long-term care insurance to Gen X