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Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
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Position: Prod Devlpmt & Mkt Rsrch Analyst Job Code: 030504 Min Salary: 56800
Reports To: Date: 3/27/2013    
Division: Market/Product Research (0083) Company: ABCBS    

Position Specific Requirements: No position specific requirements


Job Summary
The position of Product Development/Market Research Analyst is primarily responsible for tracking a multitude of corporate membership initiatives as they pertain to the enhancement of existing products or the development of new products for the company. Such responsibilities will include a variety of activities as they relate to the enterprise in terms of (a) current market position/penetration for existing products, (b) competitor product activity in the market, (c) benefit benchmarking internal and/or competitor products, and (d) enterprise market forecasting and sales activity as they relate to specific products. This position will be called upon to direct product development work groups or task forces assigned to the Product Development area to address specific product needs within the enterprise. The incumbent will conduct market research and prepares evaluations, reports and recommendations for executive staff that are key to the ongoing development of new and existing products. The scope of products that may be developed by this position may encompass traditional health, dental, vision and/or life products as well as non-traditional products.

Nature & Scope
Environment

The position will report to the Manager of Internal Product Development, Sales Training and Compensation. This position is independent in structure and responsibility; however it is dependent on information provided by internal and external resources. As a member of the Marketing and Product Development team, the Product Development and Market Research Analyst is surrounded by other teams of professional and creative individuals that are committed to the success of the corporate goals and objectives. This position is essential to the attainment of regional and district office sales and marketing performance goals as it provides critical sales and marketing data to personnel located at those facilities. This position will necessitate the development of good working relationships with internal divisions such as Customer Accounts, Customer Service, Group Marketing, ABCBS regional offices, and Advertising and Communications, plus external product vendors with whom the company will enter into contractual relationships to provide products to our customers.

Workflow

Work assignments come primarily from the Manager of Internal Product Development, Sales Training and Compensation; however other assignments will come from executive leadership, managers within the division, and regional management staff. To some extent work assignments can flow from Corporate Finance, Sales Management, Advertising and Communications, Law and Governmental Relations and other internal divisions as well as external vendors in the way of surveys, RFPs, product evaluations, etc.

Work assignments will vary in nature and volume requiring the Market Research Analyst to possess an extensive knowledge of internal operations, to prioritize projects and manage accordingly, and to have the ability to research a topic to a desired level of competency for external issues. The incumbent must rely on their skills in research, data querying/manipulation, problem solving, statistical measurement, and reporting to meet the demand for information from their customers. A background in database management and programming software applications would be particularly helpful in the efficiency of report production. Routine work functions may include:

1) Data gathering, reporting and analysis functions associated with:

a. Forecasting annual product growth of existing products
b. Group Marketing Sales and production of new and/or existing products
c. Network accessibility and/or disruption analysis in the evaluation of new or existing products
d. The development and evaluation of new products
        e. Responding to ad hoc market report requests

2) Coordination of Competitive Intelligence activities as they pertain to the development of new products including:

a. Research, dissemination, and authorship of Competitive Intelligence to executive, regional, sales management and marketing staff, and other key leadership staff regarding competing products

b. Research, compile, and author white papers or summary findings to executive staff on key competitive players and/or products in the Arkansas market

c. Research other competitive intelligence requests as assigned by senior management and Product Development staff such as competitor product analysis, benefit comparisons, etc.

3) Market Segmentation, Intelligence / Consumer Research related to new and existing products such as:

a. Applying Market Segmentation analysis to assess the development of new products
b. Applying Market Segmentation analysis in assess the enhancement of existing products


4) Market Distribution analysis including:

a. Pro forma analysis and “what if” modeling of current and future product profitability
b. Pro forma analysis and “what if” modeling of agent/broker commission schedules
c. Evaluation and determination of efficient distribution channels for particular products or market segments

5) Support in the enhancement, development or marketing of products and services such as:

a. Serving as a project lead in activities involving and leading up to the launch of new products
b. Assist in the development of communications for new products and services.
c. On-boarding of external products and services

Guidance

The position of Product Development and Market Research Analyst is an independent function that requires the individual to perform position duties without benefit of direct supervision. The position will most often seek guidance and input from the Vice President of Product Development, Advertising & Marketing Support and the Division’s Product Managers, however, may also seek similar guidance from other senior level or regional management staff. Additionally, the need to consult with internal and external data resources will be necessary to ensure a quality end product.

This position's greatest challenges are:

1) The development of innovative products designed to expand the various profit centers of the company
2) The ability to develop and manage multiple product development initiatives at any given time
3) Successfully administering the process of collecting, querying, manipulating, interpreting and disseminating data into useful and meaningful information for individual or corporate use
4) Identifying, managing and maintaining effective relationships with internal and external data collection sources or vendors
5) Meeting the demands of users by providing valid and dependable marketing data that will ensure the corporation's success in the marketplace
6) Supporting regional office operations by continually striving to seek and evaluate all available market data that will result in the enhancement of the corporation’s position, particularly in the area of product development or expanded product offerings
7) Managing multiple priorities with competing deadlines from both corporate and regional Sr. Leadership


Interfaces

The Product Development and Market Research Analyst routinely interfaces with the Vice President of Product Development, Advertising and Market Support and Product Development staff. Other interfaces include Regional Executives, Sales Management and other executive leadership within the enterprise. External interfaces include information suppliers & vendors, consultants, survey companies, etc.


Authority

This position has the authority to interact, consult, respond, and make recommendations to all levels of staffing including executive leadership within the corporation. Additionally, the Product Development and Market Research Analyst has the authority to conduct feasibility studies to determine data collection product reliability and make purchasing decisions based on those findings with the guidance of the VP of Product Development.

The position requires abilities in the following areas:

1) Ability to address groups of all sizes
2) Effectively communicate information with varying degrees of complexity based on subject matter and/or audience composition
3) Ability to manipulate spreadsheet or database information to manage trends, cost, and outcomes related to all distribution channels pertaining to enterprise products and services
4) Ability to conduct Internet and literature research, formulate opinions, and report findings in the form of white papers, summary documents, etc.

The position requires proficiencies in the areas of:

1) Research and development skills
2) Analytical and forecasting skills
3) Organization, planning, and coordination skills based on multiple priorities
4) Decision-making skills based on research and evaluation
5) Problem-solving skills and the ability to develop and create innovative alternatives or solutions
5) Strong oral and written communication skills
6) Strong interpersonal skills that invites approachability and meaningful interaction/dialog





Minimum Job Requirements

This position requires the following education and experience:

1) College degree in business, marketing, health services administration, or related field. Masters degree in a business-related field is preferred and may be substituted with work experience (see #2 below) within the insurance or related industry specific to the research and development of new products.

2) Experience in the insurance or related industry as a mid-level to advanced analyst or market researcher. Insurance, marketing, benefits and membership knowledge and/or product knowledge is considered a plus, however, relevant experience in product development in other similar industries will be considered.

3) Experience in the application of data management and analysis tools such as MS Access, Excel, including a proficiency in presentation and reporting methodologies

4) Strong writing and verbal skills essential to producing and/or presenting high level white papers to senior leadership and management staff. (Documentation of this experience will be required during the interview process.)


Security Requirements
This position is identified as level three (3). This position must ensure the security and confidentiality of records and information to prevent substantial harm, embarrassment, inconvenience, or unfairness to any individual on whom information is maintained. The integrity of information must be maintained as outlined in the company Administrative Manual.

Segregation of Duties
Segregation of duties will be used to ensure that errors or irregularities are prevented or detected on a timely basis by employees in the normal course of business. This position must adhere to the segregation of duties guidelines in the Administrative Manual.

PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES OR ACCOUNTABILITIES (Essential Functions of Job)
A self-starter capable of organizing and coordinating workloads for maximum efficiency

Exceptional analytical and reasoning skills that work to develop creative business solutions

Superior spreadsheet, database, graphics and word-processing skills

Strong working knowledge of various product offerings and financing mechanisms related to each line of business

Develop consistent and systematic research activities as they relate to group marketing products and services

Conduct product/market research to develop proposals for new group products or determine effectiveness of existing and potential new products

Conduct market research to determine potential for new affinity or non-traditional products.

Support existing and future products and relationships with internal and external customers, vendors, etc.

Consult and interact with internal marketing staff, regional offices, actuarial, and other customers for fact-finding, interpretation, and dissemination of market information.

Utilize a consistent product evaluation and reporting function

Maintain and support databases for market intelligence functions

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Employee Benefits

Our very competitive package of Employee Benefits includes everything from tuition reimbursement to 401(k) savings plans.