Case Study | Amplifon Hearing Health Care

Disrupting the Hearing Health Care Landscape to Connect Directly with Patients

Brand Positioning • Responsive Site Design • In-Market Concept Validation • Content Strategy • Digital Sales Enablement

Helping a Hearing Health Care Company

Global hearing health care company, Amplifon SpA, is a house of hearing aid and audio-related brands who believes hearing is a human right.

Their U.S. subsidiary, Amplifon Hearing Health Care, is a hearing benefits provider. They offer consumers both hearing aid discount programs as well as hearing aid benefits through insurance providers, employers, and national membership organizations.

Step 1: The Problem

As a business with ambitious growth goals, Amplifon Hearing Health Care plotted a course to achieve two important metrics:

  • Increase the number of B2B clients who offer discounts while also increasing
 the number of paid benefits providers to widen the base of consumers under their
  • Convert more covered consumers into hearing aid purchasers.

In late 2015, Amplifon Hearing Health Care asked us to help redesign their digital experiences to support these growth goals. But this wasn’t as easy as modernizing a design or updating a site structure. As a business, Amplifon Hearing Health Care first had to overcome some key challenges.

1) Plan administrators aren’t thinking about hearing health benefits.

The first obstacle to signing more paid benefits providers was that hearing aids and hearing-related expenses are a fraction of the costs that plan administrators manage. In order to break through, we believed that Amplifon had to convince paid benefits providers that hearing health was an urgent and important consideration when managing health plan costs and member satisfaction.

2) People experiencing hearing loss are reluctant to get help.

Admitting there’s a problem is often the most challenging part of any non-life threatening health issue. And when it comes to hearing loss, this is certainly the case, as most people consider hearing aids a sign of aging and obsolescence. The stigma isn’t just about shame; people’s denial delays action, which often results in declining personal relationships, depression, anxiety, and other health problems. In fact, third party research indicates that untreated hearing loss may increase total health care expenses by 20%.

The opportunity for Amplifon Hearing Health Care was to help those impacted by hearing loss understand its effect, but in a way that helped, not shamed, and made taking the first step to hearing health simple.

3) Amplifon Hearing Health Care relies on employers and insurance providers to communicate on their behalf.

Because hearing aid benefits are serviced through insurance providers, employers and big membership organizations, Amplifon Hearing Health Care relies on benefits managers and HR professionals to provide the right information at the right time to their members. If those intermediaries don’t do a good job of inspiring and making the path clear, those suffering from hearing loss won’t get the help they need.

Step 2: Where We Began

GoKart saw an opportunity to solve all three problems with one digital marketing strategy.

To begin, we created Amplifon Hearing Health Care’s first direct-to-consumer marketing campaign that asked Americans over 55 to take a hearing quiz and review their results. A simple, three-page digital experience called the Hearing Age Quiz asked visitors a handful of questions and then explained the possible impact hearing loss may have on their lives.

Through our iterative creative process, we tested our way into the right mix of language and features to inspire instead of shame, optimizing for engagement and quiz completion via a targeted social media campaign. The result was time with consumers that Amplifon Hearing Health Care had never seen before. Armed with a better understanding of the state of their hearing, each Hearing Age Quiz participant was driven to an educational experience demystifying hearing aid options and making it easy to contact an audiologist.

We then used the insights we uncovered in the Hearing Age Quiz to quantify the problem of hearing loss with plan administrators. After analyzing the first wave of responses, we learned that 58% of quiz takers suffered above average or severe hearing loss. These learnings equipped the Amplifon Hearing Health Care sales team with more relevant messaging, tailored specifically to the over 55 segment of their membership.

Lastly, we had to identify a path to scale this activity in front of consumers. For Amplifon Hearing Health Care, going direct-to-consumer is a challenging strategy. It’s expensive to target consumers by employer or organization affiliation in social media, and few platforms are effective at that type of audience segmentation. The real path to scale had to be through providers and employers.

With the knowledge we gained in a limited direct-to-consumer marketing effort, we were able to create and merchandise a digital marketing toolkit, including the Hearing Age Quiz, to Amplifon Hearing Health Care’s provider and employer partners’ digital channels. Because it had already proven effective with consumers, partners had little pushback.

Step 3: Where it Led

Innovation at Scale.

The path to building relationships directly with consumers proved to make a significant impact to Amplifon Hearing Health Care’s business. First, we utilized the communications in the new marketing toolkit with a single partner.

Based on the enormous success of this one partnership, we quickly proposed a similar strategy to seven additional Amplifon Hearing Health Care partners. Today, we’re preparing to scale the communications to all 100 Amplifon Hearing Health Care partners.