Marketing Strategies

Improving health outcomes through a robust data strategy

Meet the Expert
Armando Luna, Vice President of Individual Medicare Sales & Distribution for CVS Health
Armando Luna
Vice President of Individual Medicare Sales & Distribution, CVS Health

Armando Luna is Vice President of Individual Medicare Sales & Distribution for CVS Health. He also serves as a Director in some of CVS subsidiaries and is an officer of CVS Health, Inc. An innovative health insurance sales and marketing professional, Armando has focused his career on driving consumer engagement and retention and building strong teams to execute profitable growth strategies. Notable accomplishments include implementing disruptive strategies, such as the introduction of the first retail stores in health care insurance in collaboration with Professor Clayton Christensen. Armando has been involved in the Medicare business since 1985 as a key contributor to the evolution of consumer-focused engagement and consultative selling.

We sat down to chat with Armando about the role of data in driving health outcomes for seniors throughout America and how CVS is trying to change the way we think about Medicare.

Armando is part of the team at CVS that is committed to improving the health of America, with a large passion and focus on solving the needs of seniors across the country. Armando leads his team with a people-first approach to make a valuable connection with current and future members.


You have a large mission of connecting with seniors at CVS, what are the first steps you take to make that connection?

It all starts with the people and thinking about how to make that connection. At the highest level, I like to start with the 5P framework. The 5 Ps are product, price, place, promotion and people. For us at CVS, we want to make sure we build a foundation of a spectacular product, one that fulfills the needs of the consumer. We also place high emphasis on the consumer experience — making sure that their buying journey with us is exceptional every step of the way.

And for that, you really need to focus on “Place” — where you connect with your prospects and members. This is all about meeting your prospects where they already are. Marketers should ask, “How do you want to connect with us?” We live in a digital age and you can use that to build unique experiences for your consumers. Videos, chat, social interactions and so much more should be pulled into the discussion when you are planning your channel strategy. Don’t forget to test — you need to learn what’s resonating with which audience in order to actually make a difference.

Once that groundwork is established, it can’t be applied to all of your consumers, because each person is different. To help implement this at scale, this is where building and leveraging segments can come into place to add that level of personalization.


What is the value of segmentation?

We have a very specific end goal — to improve the health outcomes of American seniors. To do that, I need to make sure that I’m able to sort through our vast data stores to find the right audience. If I can’t find the right audience, I’m not going to be able to improve their health outcomes.

Data Axle’s work with us has been very helpful in this arena. Enhanced data provides us with valuable insights into our consumers and target audience. These insights give us the option to segment the audiences into even more specific buckets — buckets that have a high-degree of complexity and speaks to what matters to them about their health goals. Some seniors are looking for protection, such as life insurance or Medicare supplements. Some are looking for help with specific ailments, such as mental health and memory loss. While others, like my mother, are more active and don’t have the same requirements as other seniors. We need to be prepared to speak to all of these different segments.

For example, we can speak directly to seniors with children in college or seniors who have an active outdoor lifestyle and may be interested in wellness and prevention. From there, we can layer in regional concerns to make sure we are addressing the right person in the right market.

I encourage marketers to think of their audiences as complex beings with rich personal lives and to leverage that at scale by designing segments to target. You can’t know everything about your audiences without help. It really takes a village to get to this level of granularity. Once you do, you can really personalize your creative to forge a connection with your audience and engage them.


How do you organize your “go to market” strategy?

We start with an in-depth market analysis — from an assessment of the state of the market to targeting and how we want to position ourselves. Then, we move on to our value proposition and what we want to convey to our audience. We want to convey that we are a health care organization with both insurance products and thousands of clinics and health care professionals on staff. We are here to address the evolving health needs of our senior population.

The senior population is very diverse — they are looking for different things, they live in different regions, have different insurance plans, and have different concerns. And in marketing, it’s our job to understand the striations in this population, and leverage that to make a deep and personal connection with them.

With that in mind, our first step is to define these segments and leverage data to make sure you can find and target this audience across all marketing channels. As I mentioned before, data is crucial to segmenting your audience. You need to know what your consumer looks like and where they want to interact with you.

The second step is to understand their unique needs and concerns. Again, this boils down to the data. You need to understand which of your products/services is most relevant to their needs. Our consumers all have different health concerns and we don’t want to serve them an ad that’s irrelevant to their lifestyle.

Next comes creative. We want our creative to be scalable, but also allow for making a personal connection. We use our data to design our creative to resonate with our target audience.


What are some of the outcomes you’ve seen from taking this data-driven approach?

We’ve seen a lot of engagement. We are learning continuously, and therefore, continuously evolving our messaging and tactics. In fact, we’ve been developing Medicare Support Centers, I believe we have about 125 throughout the country now, to provide seniors with free tools, education, and resources to help them manage their health care experience.

We also know more about our audience than ever before. The Medicare Support Center at CVS model is grounded in a meta-data approach that enables a ‘bottom-up data cubing approach.’ This technology allows us to tag attributes at the individual consumer level and allows for cross-tabbing of data to enable hyper-personalization and hyper-localization. This gives us the ability to improve the buying journey by allowing consumers to save where they are (shop, buy or enroll) at any stage and revisit at their convenience. We can also save members time through Smart Lead Management. We can cluster members and engagement at a moment that matters to help them procure the care they need.


Let’s talk a little bit about how CVS and Data Axle have worked together. How you leveraged the assets from Data Axle?

We’ve worked with Data Axle for years. They have been a true partner in everything from providing us valuable consumer data for prospecting to better enriching our consumer data. They have also been a strategic partner in helping us define and build the segments we leverage across our marketing. We also leverage Data Axle to execute our marketing at scale, everything from activating various marketing channels, to personalizing marketing to be customized down to the regional level where different offers can be automatically served to different regions.

Personalized marketing can be done at scale, but it needs the right data to support it. I’ve always been committed to creating a “person-first” approach to marketing. Having a partner like Data Axle allows us to center our marketing in a way that truly connects with our audience.

Want to learn more about how you can leverage data to execute a people-first marketing strategy at scale? Contact us.

Stay in touch! Subscribe to our newsletter.