Why does Kela advertise?

Kela is required by law to communicate information about the benefits and services it provides. As part of our customer communications, we also use visibility that we have to pay for, i.e. advertising. This way, information about changes concerning benefits and new service channels will reach our customers as effectively as possible. 

In order to fulfil the obligation, laid down in law, to communicate information to its customers, Kela responds to changes in the media field and communication channels. Traditional ways of communicating, such as news bulletins and brochures, are in this day and age no longer enough, if you want the information to reach a broader public.

Advertising has been used by Kela for many years already.

Based on the response we have received, the customers expect us to communicate actively. Advertising is one way of responding to these expectations. By means of advertising, we ensure that our messages are seen and heard and that the information is visible in the channels used by our customers. 

By using social media and state-of-the-art digital advertising, we can, for example, reach customers and partners that we would not otherwise be able to reach through other channels.

As regards visibility, the rules are the same for all. We are competing for the same space in the media as commercial organisations.

If we want to make sure that our messages reach the targeted public, we must be willing to pay for visibility. Catching the attention of users of social media, for instance, comes at a cost. Without an advertising budget, our Facebook ads will not reach our customers.

It is no use producing contents, if you cannot get your message across to the target group. Each year, we produce a significant amount of media contents, targeted at different groups of customers, with information and guidance concerning the services Kela provides. Are you already acquainted with the customer stories published in our customer magazine ‘Elämässä.fi’ (in Finnish) and ‘Mittiallt.fi’ (in Swedish)? And have you heard about the short and easy-to-read tips, ’Kela-tärpit’ (in Finnish) and ‘FPA tipsar’ (in Swedish)? They were awarded the 2018 Award for promoting plain language in Finland. On the ‘Kysy Kelasta’ discussion forum, you can ask our benefit specialists for advice without having to wait in a call queue. You can ask questions in Finnish and English. There is a separate discussion forum for questions in Swedish, ‘Fråga FPA’.

All these are marketed through online advertising in order to inform our customers about the helpful contents on these forums and about our services. 

We do, of course, also communicate using other means of communication than the internet. We, for example, publish 8 brochures in easy-to-read Finnish and Swedish every year. Once a year, we publish the guides ‘Elämässä-opas’ (in Finnish) and ‘Guiden Mitt i allt’ (in Swedish). The guides give a brief overview of the support and services provided by Kela and they are distributed through Kela’s customer service points and also, for example, through health centres, pharmacies and newspaper kiosks.

What does Kela advertise?

By advertising, we above all strive to direct our customers towards using our online services and to offer them guidance and advice on how to use these services. In 2018, as much as 69% of the claims and applications to Kela were made online. And of the over 20.5 million enclosures and supporting documents that were sent to Kela, 60% were sent online.

The online customer service is one of Kela’s most cost efficient forms of service. It saves Kela money and thus also saves public expenditure. When customers contact Kela in the traditional manner by visiting one of our service points in person, the cost of one visit is about 10 euros. When customers contact Kela online, the cost is only a few tens of cents.

When more customers are able to handle their contacts with Kela online, we can concentrate on serving the customers that need personal guidance even better.

In addition to online marketing, we use advertising to support communication about the benefits we provide. We also market the Kanta services and the online publication and magazine ‘Sosiaalivakuutus.fi’ (in Finnish and partly in Swedish) , which are targeted at our partners. By advertising, we also make sure that the information published in Kela’s research blog ‘Tutkimusblogi’ reaches the targeted partners and that the information it contains is available when discussing and making decisions concerning the development of social security.     

Because it is very cost-effective, we use digital marketing for advertising. The efficiency of digital advertising is based on specific and close targeting; the information about service channels and available benefits reaches the targeted groups at the right time. Depending on the targeted groups, ads may appear on Facebook, Twitter or on the websites of different media.

One day, if and when we are able to offer citizens and decision makers information about current Kela-related matters automatically, advertising may no longer be needed. But, as long as our customers and partners have to look up information themselves, we will continue to convey information using all available means of communication – including advertising.