Why Obamacare Girl Disappeared


There’s been a little buzz about a sudden change to the Obamacare website (formally known as Healthcare.gov). Before, visitors to the website were greeted with the face of a smiling young lady.

Today, after the publicized disasters on the site’s functionality, the girl’s face is no longer there. What replaced her were four icons representing the different ways one could get coverage under the new Affordable Care Act.

This move didn’t go unnoticed (as evidenced by this Buzzfeed article) and many are still speculating as to what provoked the change (other than perhaps the site’s terrible performance during its rollout).

Make no mistake. This isn’t about whether Obamacare sucks or if Republicans should be blamed for the site crashes. This is simply about one more possible reason for Obamacare Girl’s sudden ‘disappearance.’

Utility.

What if they simply changed because the icons relayed slightly more information? Rude as this may sound, it does sound like a smarter move compared to just using someone’s face.

See, it’s no question that many people don’t know about insurance to spend money on it. But if you’re going to market something like it (and coincidentally, this includes a lot of B2B services), you’d do your customers a better favor if you just teach them more about it.

It’s one of the basic goals of content marketing. Graphics and good design are important but they can do nothing in the face of the following:

  • Pricing needs – If you think consumers are picky about pricing, you’re not prepared to face the pickiness of B2B prospects. Unfortunately, if they can’t find anything on your site that will even hint to that information, there’s a good chance they’re not going to bother and find another site that does.
  • Lack of testimony  – Case studies and other forms of testimony add credibility to your service. A stock photo of smiling business professionals hardly suffices as proof that your service merely says it is. Show some hard data about what you’ve actually done. Use photographs of real customers who benefited from your product.
  • Buyer education – The B2B sales process is arguably the one that emphasizes more on prospect education. A prospect who just buys without knowing much about what they’re purchasing always lead to wasted money in the end. Everything from ROI to overhead ties to how much a prospect knows of their purchase and how they can maximize your product’s value.

This may be just more speculation but it can make sense from a marketing perspective. There’s plenty of misinformation on Obamacare outside the site. Giving readers just a little more means to understand what it’s about is worth replacing someone’s face.