Aetna is a diversified benefits company whose mission is to make health care easy, affordable, and personal. Aetna serves an estimated 46.7 million people with information and resources to help make better decisions about their health care. Wendy Wahl, Head of Enterprise Marketing, helped to spearhead a restructure of the marketing division to drive strategic growth.
“When I arrived at Aetna, marketing was decentralized, but after three months, we went through a huge restructuring effort to centralize the marketing division and better align marketing, communications and sales,” she says. “I became that leader to pull all of the different segments and channels together.” Wahl notes that strategy is defined by a membership-based growth metric. Since membership growth is easy to quantify, it helps enable each function to align their activities to a singular growth strategy.
In addition, the company ties revenue goals to the membership growth metric and has recently evolved to look at deeper metrics. “When I first arrived at Aetna, the company was not looking into metrics like consideration, yet consideration was falling year-over-year and, unsurprisingly, so was membership,” she says. “I took my data to the leadership team and highlighted that, in order to make someone’s shortlist—which is vital to winning a contract—we needed to focus on top-of-the-funnel metrics. Now, our focus has changed; we no longer look at the end sale; we look at the funnel that leads up to the end sale, with particular focus on the top of the funnel.” By putting more money into filling the top of the funnel, she says the marketing function is able to focus on building more awareness and favorability to drive trust and consideration.
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