New Employee Benefits Communications Campaign

Drive employee benefits awareness, value perception, enrollment, and activation.


In an effort to continue to lead innovation in healthcare, Cambia made a strategic investment into a leading-edge start-up company, SpendWell. SpendWell is an e-commerce-powered marketplace designed to transform the way people shop and pay for healthcare, specifically for routine services at competitive prices. To drive adoption and use of SpendWell’s benefits program, Cambia and SpendWell turned to us, to create awareness, drive enrollment and activate Cambia employees to use their new benefit. Using targeted multi-channel employee engagement strategies, behavioral science and compelling creative we achieved all enrollment and activation goals; and did so in less time than SpendWell and Cambia expected.


Rapid Insights & Planning

The essence of our assignment was to introduce SpendWell to Cambia employees who were eligible; inspire those employees to enroll and then activate them to participate in using the benefits marketplace within three months of enrollment. To do so we collaborated with Cambia HR and SpendWell executives to craft precisely the right enrollment and activation programs. In order to achieve our collective goal, we had to overcome several challenges. The first challenge was to introduce a totally new benefits service which possessed an unfamiliar service model. Then we had to craft a positioning that would resonate with employees and their families, and clearly express SpendWell’s unique value. Finally, we had to educate employees as to how to use this new service and, as soon as possible, activate them in order to create new benefits-related behaviors. SpendWell’s leadership team had been working on the launch of their product for months but realized that they weren’t going to achieve their goals without the support of a partner. To get Cambia and SpendWell on track as quickly as possible we engaged our proprietary approach called Rapid Insights & Planning (RIP). Designed to accommodate both immediate and long-term planning, the RIP quickly aligned both the SpendWell and Cambia HR teams and enabled us to rapidly gain vital insights. Insights included the target employee audience, their communications preferences; a deep understanding of the Cambia culture, and lastly operational capabilities and capacities. Using these insights, we generated the following:

  • Audience & Segmentation: Of the 5,500 Cambia employees, we identified 3,500 that were eligible for SpendWell’s benefits offering based on the type of medical insurance plan they had. From there we identified three sub-segments based on role, generation, and communications preferences so we could deliver highly targeted content and personalize the messaging. The more personal the communications, the more relevant to the employee and the higher the enrollment and activation rates.
  • Messaging: We guided SpendWell and Cambia HR through an exercise to define key message points, hierarchy, and timing. Using segmentation, we customized messaging by segment to ensure message relevance as this increases activation.
  • Style Guide: We developed a new style guide that shared the visual essence of SpendWell’s brand with Cambia’s employer brand; bringing balance and cohesion to the creative executions through expanded color palettes, engaging typography, and photography; plus infographic styles that enabled employees to quickly scan our content and know what actions to take.
  • A Phased Approach: With two core objectives, enroll and activate, it was optimal to take a phased approach to achieve the desired results. We took this approach in order to balance expeditiously moving employees toward activation with their need to not feel rushed in making important benefits decisions. This approach also enabled us to put employees on a progressive path from awareness, to education, to consideration, to decision to activation. This approach built a new relationship with employees, opened them up to an entirely new concept regarding their medical benefits and convinced them to take a more active role in their well-being.
  • Communications Tactical Plan: We audited Cambia’s internal communication channels and developed a plan inclusive of digital, print, and in-person meetings. We developed specific tactics designed to create the retail-like behaviors we needed and deployed specific channels in order to target motivational triggers within each of the audience segments. One of strongest activators was the use of an incentive —an Amazon gift card. We used this tactic because, in analyzing employee behaviors and motivations, we knew that they would need a material reason to take post-enrollment action and that instant gratification would have the greatest impact. We included the gift card in a welcome kit that was mailed to the employee’s home immediately after they enrolled, helping them and their families to better understand SpendWell’s value. This was done in recognition that families play an important role in an employee’s choice of benefits.
  • Calendar and Cadence: Because of the unique nature of SpendWell’s benefits offering and the behaviors we had to trigger, we crafted a retail marketing-like cadence of communications to drive activation. This approach enabled us to move employees through a well defined “purchase process” similar to the purchase funnel used in retail marketing.

From Planning to Creative Execution

With planning complete and all three teams completely aligned it was time to execute our plan. Over the course of several weeks, we transformed message points and style guides into copy and creative; tailored to each segment of the Cambia employee audience. The campaign was comprised of:

  • Messaging: To move employees smoothly through the enrollment/purchase funnel we established a phased messaging structure that mapped directly to the employee audience segments and campaign phases. Each phase of messaging encouraged movement to the next phase; ending with the employee using SpendWell’s marketplace.
  • Channels: We leveraged email, Cambia’s intranet, printed materials, the SpendWell website and landing pages, and leadership-driven events at each office to drive enrollment and activation.
  • Vehicles: Upon launch of the campaign we executed daily events where Cambia leadership presented the SpendWell benefits to groups of employees along with sign up stations with SpendWell reps. This tactic was one of the strongest drivers of hitting our first phase enrollment goals. Additionally, we placed promotional ad units on the intranet homepage, deployed our newly designed email templates, sent out welcome kits, and placed workplace disruptions (branded clings) placed on office walls, stairs, and cafeteria floors.
  • Campaign Management and Optimization: As campaign elements were activated, we monitored and measured activity and optimized the benefits communication on a real time basis. We also generated regular reports, accompanied by recommended actions plans, throughout the campaign; plus a final report detailing insights, lessons learned and recommendations for upcoming campaigns.

A Proven Success

Our retail marketing-like strategy expeditiously achieved the SpendWell’s business KPIs and helped Cambia HR take more progressive steps towards engaging their employees. Because we successfully enrolled and activated the majority of the targeted Cambia employees, we were able to validate SpendWell’s business model which helped SpewndWell acquire new customers and Cambia HR to recognize new beneficial; ways to engage and activate employees around new benefits and programs.  

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