"This study has shown that since the marketing material is not very explanatory, it may mean that many beneficiaries are still in the dark about TRICARE, therefore, they are still in the decision process."
One of the military’s greatest challenges is keeping its military members physically and emotionally fit to ensure the mission is accomplished.
Health care in the United States has seen a sweeping change recently in the way patients’ care is handled. The military, in turn, is responding to the national change with its own managed care system. The difficult part is selling this new type of managed care to its beneficiaries – active duty and retired family members and their dependents.
The innovation-decision period is the time required for individuals to decide whether to adopt or reject an innovation (Rogers, 1983). This study has shown that since the marketing material is not very explanatory, it may mean that many beneficiaries are still in the dark about TRICARE, therefore, they are still in the decision process.
At this point, it is important to note that more research is needed to come to the conclusion whether many of the beneficiaries actually think adversely about TRICARE. Future research can be done by giving a sample population a pretest and post test to analyze what people know about TRICARE and how much of their current ideologies are actually true. McCroskey, Larson, and Knapp argue that "the impact of the source tends to dominate the effects in communication" (1971, p. 78). This means that how the receiver of the message sees the source, or sender, determines the success or failure of the message, and ultimately the faith of the innovation.
As the paper’s solution shows, TRICARE must further explore the different possibilities of marketing their product to the beneficiaries. In this relatively early stage of TRICARE implementation, TRICARE marketing strategists must continually look at ways of improving their health care marketing process. One way of doing this is ensuring that the pamphlets used are informative and self-explanatory. Another way is to ensure that the organization disseminates any new information about the three various types of health care immediately. Any new information given on a personal level, whether it be through face-to-face or memo format, will reinforce the decision-making process of later adopters, since interpersonal channels are more important for later adopters and mass media channels are more important for early adopters (Rogers, 1983).