Marketing and Communications Services for Valley Health Plan

2020-08-24 by EPR Staff

The County of Santa Clara (hereafter, “County”), dba Valley Health Plan (hereafter, “VHP”) is requesting proposals from qualified vendors that offer creative strategies and innovative approaches to provide overall communications consulting and marketing services for VHP, the County of Santa Clara’s Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), within budget and time constraints.


County of Santa Clara 

Santa Clara County is the fifth most populous County in California, with a population of nearly 2 million people. The County contains fifteen cities, encompassing approximately 1,300 square miles, which have large concentrations of electronics, research and manufacturing firms. Santa Clara County if the fifth-largest County government in the State and has an estimated workforce of 22,000. The County organizational structure includes a decentralized mix of approximately fifty (50) semiautonomous County Agencies and Departments. The County provides services such as public safety and justice, road construction and maintenance, parks and recreation, libraries, and environmental resource management. IT also operates “enterprise” programs, which charge fees to users for services. Two examples are the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the county airports. The County acts as an agent of the State in administering health, social services, and criminal justice programs that are of statewide concern. The County is governed by a five members Board of Supervisors elected by district to serve four-year terms. The County Executive administers the day-to-day affairs of the County and is appointed by the Board of Supervisors.

Valley Health Plan 

Valley Health Plan (VHP) is a Knox-Keene licensed health maintenance organization (HMO) owned and operated by The County of Santa Clara. VHP is committed to improving the overall health and well-being of its members and the health of the residents of Santa Clara County. The health plan is committed to promoting managed care principals such as paneled physician practices, health education, disease management, preventative care, utilization management, and community outreach. VHP was originally created to meet the needs of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s hospital staff for affordable, quality healthcare. Initially established in 1985, VHP’s Commercial membership has grown from 4,500 in 1995 to over 30,000 at present. VHP also acts as a Management Services Organization (MSO) for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where current enrollment is approximately 131,000 members. VHP is comprised of essential departments to ensure regulations required by the Department of Managed Health Care are upheld so the plan can maintain its Knox-Keene license. VHP has received Accreditation from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and is a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) for the California Health Benefit Exchange. VHP has plans for continued expansion of membership bringing about a need for strategizing, planning, and implementing a new marketing and communication plan. The strategic plan will need to encompass both an increased focus on consumers and individuals, including VHP’s Individual & Family Plan and Medi-Cal, while also considering Medicare, small, and additional large group marketing in the future. Expansion strategies include creating new products, and developing additional lines of business as noted above.

VHP Commercial HMO Commercial membership is comprised of employees of Santa Clara County (both active and retiree), InHome Supportive Services Workers, and Valley Medical Center (VMC) Foundation, as well as Covered California and Individual & Family Plan members. Covered California membership is approximately 24,000 and Individual & Family Plan membership is approximately 500. The VHP Commercial Provider Network currently includes local community clinics, independent practices, and provider groups such as but not limited to: Northern Cal Advantage Medical Group (NCA), Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF), Cal IPA, Santa Clara County Individual Practice Association, and Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, which includes Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Hospital. Within the network, services include nationwide pharmacy locations as well as other health care providers for mental health, substance abuse, chiropractic, acupuncture, and related services.

Scope of Work:

This RFP is designed to provide interested bidders with sufficient basic information to submit proposals meeting minimum requirements but is not intended to limit a proposal’s content or exclude any relevant or essential data. Bidders are at liberty and are encouraged to expand upon the specificationsto evidence service capability under any agreement. The vendor selected under this RFP must develop, coordinate, implement, and evaluate marketing and communications campaigns (annually or possibly multi-year). The goal of the campaigns are to retain current memberships and increase market share by broadening the reach of the Plan’s product messaging as well as increasing brand awareness. In addition, vendor will create campaigns to promote and differentiate the Plan Network and benefit information to targeted specific groups and populations. The vendor may also participate in strategizing campaigns to launch and promote new lines of business or reach newly identified target markets. The scope of work to be considered for the RFP shall include but not be limited to the items listed below. If the organization believes additional tasks are warranted, those tasks must be clearly identified in the vendors proposal. Responses must include an implementation timeline for areas listed in the Scope of Work.

Services to be provided by the Vendor on the behalf of VHP are outlined below and broadly include:

− Overall communication and marketing strategies including both brand awareness and acquisition strategies

− Brand management and implementation. 

− Brand guidelines development 

− Message development 

− Collateral development 

− Special projects including Website and Social Media strategy review and analysis, as requested.

Overall Communication Strategy 

Services to be provided by the Contractor(s) broadly include the following activities:

• Proposed initial and ongoing communication strategy, including market segmentation and targeted marketing strategies, media strategy and package marketing VHP to each of the following: individuals, small employer groups, large employer groups, brokers, providers, stakeholders, community/social service organizations, and acquiring new member populations/demographics other than currently existing. Strategies to include both brand awareness and acquisition strategies.

• Proposed aligned communication strategies to position the VHP Network in the market concurrently with VHP coverage products.

• Evaluation strategy and implementation to assess effectiveness of campaigns and communications, including Return on Investment (ROI) reporting and marketing analytics performance reviews to inform real-time shifts in strategy as needed.

• Plan, conduct, evaluate market research, including but not limited to, focus groups and surveys for the purpose of product testing, message testing and brand awareness across various targeted markets.

Brand Management and Implementation 

Services to be provided by the Contractor(s) broadly include the following activities:

• Oversee and assist in management, updates and implementation of current and future VHP brand and graphic identities for multiple lines of business/products.

• Expand and update brand guidelines and policy, as warranted with consideration of multicultural targets

• Review and provide guidance/feedback in the development of various materials using brand guidelines and graphic identity.

• Develop writing guidelines, style guide, and key word development and implementation, as warranted.

Message Development

Services to be provided by the Contractor(s) broadly include the following activities:

• Oversee and assist in creative development, management, and implementation of VHP key messaging.

• Development and implementation of new communication and media strategies to acquire new commercial employer groups, individual VHP members, retain current membership, and advertise focusing on acquiring and recruiting entirely new member populations and expanding VHP brand awareness to provider groups and other stakeholders.

• Develop additional key messages, tools, and strategies for VHP’s various marketing and messaging campaigns, member acquisition drives, member retention efforts, stakeholder engagement initiatives, events, and activities; new group acquisition or line of business expansion materials; and advertising opportunities. 

• Review and provide guidance/feedback to incorporate tag line, mission statement, vision and values and/or key messages during the development of various materials and advertisements.

• Develop, implement, and enhance current/future social, digital, non-traditional and out-of-home tactics via media messaging and outreach to potential, new, and existing membership and provider populations.

• Propose use of any new technologies and platforms to enhance outreach and media campaigns. Collateral Development Services to be provided by the Contractor(s) broadly include the following activities:

• Apply existing/new VHP Brand Guidelines to all newly developed projects and materials.

• Potentially conduct photo and/or video shoots, editing and production of photo or video collateral for identified target group(s).

• Identify third party image licensing supplier(s) that provide inventory to support approved brand/creative approaches.

• Translation and readability (inhouse or subcontracted) for projects as appropriate.

• Subcontract photographer and crew for directed photo and video shoots, acquire voice-over and model talent, ensure licensing and usage rights, perform or subcontract for postproduction work

Special Projects 

Services may be provided by the Contractor(s) broadly include the following activities:

• Conduct media negotiations and buys on behalf of VHP. 

• Participate in overall communication planning meetings and other activities.

• Suggest enhancements and/or marketing and communication plan focusing on acquiring and recruiting new employer groups, individuals, and Health Benefit Exchange enrollees, and other VHP products and lines of business, including market segmentation and targeted marketing strategies. 

• Develop in-language marketing and communication plans for in-language media to include, but not limited to: Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Asian Indian, and Korean communities in Plan Service Area that is community and regionally appropriate.

• Strategize a marketing, media, and communication plan for potential new products, lines of business, and benefit plans.

• Support Plan partnership marketing opportunities such as community health promotion (immunizations, prenatal, COVID, etc.) in which Plan may be a collaborator or lead agency, upon requested.

• Regular presentations to VHP Marketing and Executive teams during plan development for buy-in and sign-off, including initial strategy discussion, marketing plan proposal, media planning, and collateral showcase.

• Competitive Intelligence: Maintain awareness of, and provide insights to, the marketing/advertising/communication programs of current competitors and market entrants.

• Website review, redesign, SEO and other web-based projects, upon request.

• Social Media strategy review, redesign and expansion, upon request.

• Application development or other digital platform projects such as interactive experiences or game development, upon request.

• Sponsorship and Event participation, planning and contracting, upon request.

• Mascot redesign, upon request. 

• Other special projects, as requested.

Due Date:

Friday, August 28, 2020 by 12:00 PM PACIFIC TIME


County of Santa Clara dba Valley Health Plan 2480 North First St., Suite 160 San Jose, CA 95131-9932 Point of Contact: Gina Costa Contracts Analyst Email: Gina

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