Connect Hearing is one of the most sophisticated companies we've worked with. We were approached by their agency, who managed their North American portfolio of over 400 offices, quarterbacking mail distribution to over 2,000,000 people and an amazing depth of analytics that power it all. They were looking for ways they could improve response rates and wanted us to research and propose a solution that would spell out how programmatic media would help them achieve their goals.

A moment of brilliance unleashed a world of possibility

The client requested a digital media solution they could execute from. This meant we would research and put together a plan that specified how we would reach the exact customer segments they wanted us to reach, what channels to use, and the mechanics behind it all, such as the volume of impressions and costs. The problem we immediately identified was that the expectations of this very large company far exceeded what was being asked of us. So, we did what any boutique in their right mind would, we went the extra mile and gave them everything they asked for and that much more. We began by seeking a deeper understanding of their customers. Then out of nowhere came an insight that promised to change everything. It became clear to us that while they weren’t necessarily targeting the wrong people, they were focusing on the 20% of people that had either already entered the market or were very close to doing so. We found that the remaining 80% of the market offered a far bigger opportunity if they approached it correctly. In addition the 20% they were currently focusing on didn’t include many repeat customers – 67% never renewed, 23% never wore their hearing aids, and the average customer took years to renew after making a purchase. On top of all of this were competition pressures from low-budget giants like Costco that just entered the market. No wonder they were experiencing a lower volume of appointments in spite of an increase in marketing spend. Often we think we have a marketing performance problem when what we may be experiencing is a lack of insight in our strategy. Our solution wasn’t naïve. We understood there was a reason such a large percentage of the market was sitting on the fence. Basically, the average person waits between seven and 10 years to seek help after first experiencing hearing loss. They simply learn to adapt their lifestyle, turn up the volume on their TV set, etc. Only 45% ever get their hearing checked. More than half go to their grave with hearing loss. We dug deep to understand why this aversion to treatment. We uncovered several studies that spelled it all out — essentially it all boils down to denial and the stigma that surrounds wearing hearing aids. So instead of proposing a media plan, we proposed an entire market penetration strategy that detailed how we would move people from various stages of lack of acceptance and lack of motivation to act, to step up and embrace change. Our work completely changed the direction of the agency and of their program.