Why do they see it that way?

A federal agency sought a deeper understanding of insurance decision-making among target Health Insurance Marketplace consumers. When options are available, why do some elect to buy coverage, while others decline?

We found commonalities among the groups — frustration with a complex system and feelings of dread about shopping and paying for health insurance. Those who were uninsured shared a sense of shame about not having coverage. In an unexpected finding, we learned that while many lacked insurance due to cost. Others had clear rationales for remaining uninsured, even when they could afford premiums.

Using our proprietary Discovery Group™ methodology, we conducted focus groups and online bulletin boards with insurance consumers segmented by age and income.

Will they watch and learn?

A national media company produces Bible story videos. They wanted to see how children in Sunday school would respond to the stories. The ANR field services team set out to create a realistic setting where children and the client could interact and get a firsthand look at the videos in action.

We created a classroom complete with faith leaders, crafts, singing, and of course, the videos. Our client acted as a co-moderator — leading the children through Bible stories, making craft bracelets, singing songs, and watching videos with corresponding lessons. ANR researchers guided the discussion, gauging the children’s reactions and asking probative questions to gather more details.

Spoiler alert: they loved them. They enjoyed the characters. They understood the relationship between what they saw and the other classroom activities. And they weren’t shy about offering their opinions and suggestions on how to make the videos even better.

Where are they headed?

A well-known tourism destination was developing a new logo, tagline, and collateral material. It was a big change, and they wanted to be certain they were choosing the right approach. ANR partnered with their advertising agency to deliver key insights and ensure the results were on-point and resonated with the target audience.

Participants weighed in on visual identities, colors, fonts, taglines, T-shirts, and more. They discussed the emotional effects of the brand — what made an impact and what fell flat. Guided by our experienced facilitators, the groups dissected the details and offered their unvarnished views. The brand concepts were further tested through an online quantitative study.

What kind of a place is this?

A nationally-recognized hospital was studying the concept of combining orthopedic and neurological rehabilitation services in one community clinic — and coordinating the care associated with both. Working with a healthcare communications firm, they turned to ANR to uncover perceptions of the combined services, clinic location, naming options, and value to the community.

The results were positive. Many people were already patients at more than one rehabilitation clinic, so the idea of a “one-stop shop” was appealing. It offered coordinated care for different services and the convenience of pre-authorization and insurance verification. Affiliation with our well-recognized client was also seen as appealing and relevant. When it came to naming options, the participants offered clear opinions as to what worked and what didn’t.

What are their needs?

The federal government, working with private insurers and state governments, has an ongoing commitment to understanding the issues facing people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid — also known as “dual eligible” beneficiaries. Often, they are in poor health, have limited education, and struggle in many ways. State and federal healthcare programs can be a challenge for them to navigate.

Recruiting dual-eligible participants, and making sure we reach them, is a challenge to which we’ve adapted. If leaving home for an interview isn’t an option, we can interview in home or over the phone. We accommodate needs for translators, transportation over long distances, proxies or partners to assist, and other special services. We understand and respect this vulnerable population, and as a result, our government client and its state partners trust us to get the information they need and do no harm in the process.

How real can we make it?

As video games become more and more complex, gamers have come to expect extraordinary levels of believability and realism. So how do you ensure a mobile game is believable to even its toughest critics? One app developer turned to ANR.

We talked to professionals from premier bass fishing competitions like Major League Fishing, Bassmasters, and the FLW series. These are anglers who take competition seriously, and many have corporate sponsorships. They understand the ins and outs of bass fishing better than anyone.

We gathered information on nearly every aspect of their decision-making as they fish. The developer was able to use these exhaustive details to program a play-worthy game that incorporates multiple environmental factors, personal choices, and skill levels.

How can we learn more?

The nonprofit organization America Saves wanted to better understand the financial attitudes and habits of teenagers from low-income households as part of its program development. America Saves, a research-based campaign managed by the Consumer Federation of America, helps low- to moderate-income households save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

Our experienced researchers were able to draw out their stories. They talked about the pride they took in having a job —and how it felt to buy new clothes. They told us about helping to pay for the family’s rent. We asked about their spending habits, borrowing money, having credit, mobile banking, when to start saving, and how to manage finances. We learned about their barriers to saving, daily temptations, and who they really trust with their money.

What’s most important?

A federally-funded healthcare program serves medical professionals throughout the country and needed to prioritize its many features. The trouble is, a single practitioner in rural Kentucky needs something very different than a large clinic in St. Louis, and a new physician’s office has different needs than an established practice. How can the government communicate the best program features for each kind of doctor?

It gets even more complicated than that. The features being offered to providers are all essential and desirable. More income? Better practice hours? Greater independence? They’re all important. The trick is discovering which are most important to each different kind of practice.

Our research revealed different physicians’ underlying preferences, which helped our client understand the most important characteristics to communicate about their program.

How should we talk to them?

A health system with more than 10,000 employees wanted to improve internal communications. From doctors to administrators to truck drivers, the organization had a wide range of employees spread across multiple locations. They wanted to know how to talk to the right people at the right time in the right place.

The need to prioritize, filter for importance, and consolidate employee communication channels was a clear finding from the research. Employees told us they were frustrated and overwhelmed by their employer’s use of multiple communication platforms, which included email, texts, pagers, and posters. They were also dissatisfied with the timeliness and relevance of the information they received.

What guidance can we provide?

New technology is good. But for medical practices and hospitals, the shift to electronic health records posed more than a few challenges.

Working with a global public relations firm, ANR used qualitative and quantitative studies to look at the challenges firsthand. We discovered how crucial practice managers would become to the successful implementation of EHR systems. We learned how quickly physicians, administrators, and managers moved from one task to another. We uncovered the hidden schedules of doctors and nurses.

Since our early studies, Electronic Health Records have become the norm in today’s medical community. As the focus of EHR research has switched from adoption to implementation and refinement, ANR continues to work with federal agencies and media partners to understand the most effective ways to speak to healthcare professionals about this technology.

Contact us for more information on customizing research to suit your needs.

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