Anna is looking for home owners’ policy in the state of Florida. The next question that arises is can she find you online and will she buy from you?
Her friend Joey is your customer. Are you sure you'll get recommended by him ?
Thinking of Another Scenario : Your customer John’s auto policy is due for renewal in few weeks. Are you sure he would stay with you?
Reaching your customer when a purchase need has arisen is no longer fitting. You need to be constantly in touch to know what he wants, when he wants and build your business around customer loyalty for long term benefits. Especially in the insurance industry where you don’t sell a tangible product but sell confidence to support in case of an adverse incidence.
So when you know that, what are the challenges in your way to building a sustainable business? Commoditized personal lines products and aggressive competition. So your journey is not just a marathon but one with interesting hurdles, don’t you think?
Here’s what you can do to successfully run and jump the hurdles in your way
We know it’s cliché but we couldn’t emphasize more on this point.
Today’s customer won’t walk into your office to buy your product. They research online and offline. They browse in different websites and draw comparisions, because of the digital evolution. Unless you are sure of who you is your target market, you are hitting in the dark. Have a clear marketing strategy and that starts with knowing your customer. Not just their basic demographic information but delving deeper into the context of purchase, their channel of choice and social profile. Marketing to today’s customer be it Gen X or Y, comes with understanding their complex profile information from proliferating sources and the information he divulges on social media. Every aspect of your marketing strategy from product design to choosing a channel will depend on this data.
If you provide similar offerings as your competitor, you don’t give a reason for your customers to choose you. Pick a unique strength of yours and base your marketing strategy on it. The coverages needed by the personal lines market can be similar. But you have a chance to stand out on selling and servicing those coverages. Your unique point of differentiation can be faster issuance, easier procedures, lesser paper work, personal attention and assistance to choose a product or higher settlement ratio for claims. It can even be technology driven processes and customer journey or sharing profits for social cause like Lemonade. Pick one and make sure your web pages, sales emails and other marketing materials are promoting this point, over and over again in all your stories.
The insurance industry is traditionally rooted with rules, regulations and complicated systems that it’s hard to see how critical it is to modernize its enabling functions, especially marketing. When other industries use high tech analytics and automation in marketing, the results of such digitization of marketing was seriously under-valued by insurers. Insurer’s technology spend in terms of marketing is gaining rapid momentum which forms at least 2 – 4% of their total IT budgets. Usage of end to end marketing tools like Hubspot can increase your efficiency and visibility to the ROI on marketing investments.This considerably improves the quality of the incoming leads and when you hit with right products, improves your lead conversion ratio too. The critical step to improve is measure and technology makes metrics easier than ever.
Across the world, Facebook has 1.49 billion monthly active users and 968 million daily active users. Have you ever thought of Facebook and Instagram as a channel to customers?
What could be a better place to tell your brand story than a place where customers come in seeking story and variety? You somehow need to convert the serious and seemingly dull insurance message to get across to your target as stories and emotions and what is better than Social media. You can educate the customers and provide them with free tools/tips for their insurance needs and social media could be a great carrier for the same. Liberty Mutual, State farm Group and Zurich stand proof for tapping social media for deeper consumer engagement, more directed content creation and identification of consumer habits and desires. Especially Zurich has an interesting way of building its brand network through encouraging employees and growing through networking. Social media also enables peer to peer models where you can influence the customer’s buying decision and retention through trusted peer network.
It’s important to translate your marketing message as experiences across the journey at all customer touch points. Go on and create customer value across the value chain. Customer centricity is not just a sales goal but the goal around operations of your business. Your products need to be customizable and match up to the expected need of a customer. The service turnaround time during servicing and claims need to meet or go beyond customer expectations. Actuaries to Underwriters, let everyone in your organization focus on customer centricity. Only then, the marketing investments can be translated to ROI. Seemingly simple things like a smiling front office to use of intelligent conversational solutions that support customers 24*7 can go a long way in enhancing customer experience and this in turn will go a big way in organic word of mouth marketing.
As an insurer, you have innumerable channels to be where customers are waiting to hear your story, what’s limiting your marketing strategies is your own imaginations than regulation!
Author: Papitha Mohan, Head of Consulting and Creatives