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Many of our customers in the employee benefits arena have been asking for research to better understand how customer needs have changed over the past year and how product trends will shift over the next six months.

Research requests are focusing on a few key areas:

  • Will our customers still love us? Several customers whose products did really well during the remote-work reality of the pandemic need to understand how the objectives of customers and prospects will change as we head back to offices, even part-time.
  • Help us define key customer segments. With targeting even more important to marketers post-pandemic, we’ve seen a number of our customers looking for crucial data points to help define fast-changing trends in key segments of their businesses.
  • Find data to make the case for a new product. New entrants to markets are even more interested in finding compelling data points to help them drive awareness and pull mindshare away from incumbents.
  • I need to make a splash with data. With lots of market upheaval and change, there is a big appetite for vertical market data to make sense of it all. As a result, companies are looking for data to make news and get attention.

If any of these needs seem familiar, I’d welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how BenefitsPRO can tailor a custom research program to help guide and drive marketing programs as we move forward in the second half of the year. For more information on our custom research offerings, click here.

Trends Employee Benefits Marketers Need to Know

  • Post-COVID realities. How will benefits and health care look in a post-COVID world, especially the growing impact that voluntary products offer to employees in need of flexibility and how benefits advisors should prepare for a strong wave of change fatigue from employers and employees who may not be willing to consider new and potentially disruptive benefits strategies anytime soon.
  • Rising importance of cyber. In the retirement advisor/plan sponsor area, the Department of Labor (DOL), after a bit of “report shaming” from the General Accountability Office, finally provided some guidelines on cybersecurity for retirement plans. The DOL says cybersecurity is a fiduciary duty — and recent litigation against 401(k) plans that were breached should make employers sit up and take notice.
  • ACA reinvented. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) enters yet another reincarnation under the Biden Administration. Highlights include the announcement of an expected $2 billion plus in MLR rebates paid to consumers by private insurance companies under the ACA this fall; more than half a million new ACA signups during this year’s special enrollment period; the ACA’s role as “an imperfect, and often inconsistent, safety net” when it comes to uncompensated care; and how out-of-pocket spending for nearly all health care services has increased at a slower rate since the passage of the ACA in 2010.
  • The evolving role of HR. As businesses prepare to reopen, HR professionals are seeing opportunities to not only rewrite best practices and policies, but also redefine their own roles. The word “strategy” is coming up more and more in the context of HR’s role within the company. No doubt, as they’re at the helm in designing back-to-work protocols and updated employee benefit strategies while preparing for the oncoming mental health crisis and tackling an endless list of new compliance concerns, HR leaders will be looking to solidify a bigger seat at the corporate table as we put the pandemic behind us.



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