Content marketing strategies - Q&A with Kim Pierce of ACS from Aetna

By Allyson Wright on August 14th, 2014

Kim Pierce, director of marketing for Accountable Care Solutions from Aetna, shares content marketing challenges her organization faces and strategies to overcome these challenges as well as tips for new or existing organizations to increase their content marketing presence.

Kim headshot

Dodge: What challenges has Accountable Care Solutions (ACS) from Aetna faced from a content marketing perspective?

Pierce: The accountable care industry is still very much forming today. Most of the content we’re creating is new; there is no standard to reach or information to recreate with our perspective on it. We’ve had to take a step back and define what it is we are doing when we say we are “collaborating with providers on accountable care.” This phrase has different meanings to different audiences, so it’s important to clearly define our mission and vision.

Dodge: How has the organization overcome these challenges?

Pierce: We’re very focused on building relationships with providers. Collaboration is key for us because we don’t have all the answers now - that’s the nature of working in an industry that is still developing. We focus our content on painting the vision of our collaborations and how we will work together for providers.

Proof points are important to any content marketing strategy, whether it be through comparing data from one year to the next, case studies, white papers, etc. While we have some assets like these, we’ve also looked to more qualitative proof points, collected by speaking with subject matter experts in the industry. We’ve gleaned insight into what’s working, what’s not working and leveraged this great data.

Dodge: What are some lessons learned?

Pierce: We’ve always focused on the advantages gained by payers working with providers (our clients). We both bring unique strengths to the table and help us advance in accountable care more than we could have done independently. With this knowledge, we’ve developed a model for our collaborations with providers and clearly articulated our vision. This model includes specific steps to achieve economic sustainability in accountable care, and it is based on the experience we have. This allows providers to see what to expect from a financial and operational perspective. Another lesson learned is having a clear messaging and vision. This vision has brought a center of gravity we haven’t had before. Now we can point to something that tells us how we get you there.

Dodge: Do you have any tips to share for new or existing organizations to increase their content marketing presence?

Pierce: I’m a true believer in staying simple with messaging. Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be from a content and language perspective. Simple sentences and simple wording is more digestible to your audience. I’m also fond of telling stories and trying to fit the content into a story wherever possible. One way to tell a story in messaging is to set the stage by stating the current industry issue and introducing the product or solution that will help address this issue. Another way to tell a story to get firsthand accounts from customers or subject matter experts about how things are working and how an ACO has impacted their organizations.

Another tip is to create an organizational structure of your business that shows how all of your capabilities complement each other and fit together. It needs to be tailored to how your audience views the world, and it may even slightly vary from how you’re organized internally. Beginning with how the underlying organizational structures work together is so critical to lay the product marketing on.

Get to know your customer. What is their view of the world? What are their pain points? What industry sources are they looking to for their expertise? Devise a content marketing plan to address how you can build your expertise for the customer to look to you.

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