January has always been a big month for solidifying strategies for the upcoming year. This year, despite the tumultuous last 10 months, shouldn’t be any different.  We’ve all spent most of last year learning how to manage our businesses in a more agile way than we had ever thought possible. Along with that came learnings of what worked and how to pivot when needed.

Here are 5 key points that should be considered as you build out your 2021 plan as you focus on growth and profitability.

1. Are your Marketing Initiatives Aligned with your Target Market?

Most insurance providers know who their optimal customer is and strive to grow their business based on this target persona. Sometimes knowing doesn’t translate into effective marketing strategies that are aligned with sales and data. All businesses need to grow to survive and you’ve likely experienced many scenarios where you are writing business that doesn’t exactly fall into this optimal category in order to bring in revenue. The incredible thing about digital marketing in today’s landscape is that when your programs are built and performing correctly it absolutely enables you to focus on your most ideal target business. Take the time to step back, define/refine your target market(s) and then develop your digital initiatives and marketing campaigns around these targeted personas and business classes. It’s time well spent and will have a direct impact on your level of success.

“Let your target market inform the strategy and the execution. Make the commitment to push past roadblocks that prevent you from really resonating. Lastly, take this beyond the more obvious things like the right channels and make it principal to everything – including data initiatives.
– Jennifer Pugsley, VP, Customer Success

2. Look Outside the Insurance Industry for Digital Best Practices

As consumers shifted so much of their lives onto digital platforms last year – from groceries to work to school- there has been a significant increase in both acceptance of and expectation from digital. And consumers don’t separate their expectations based on which company they are engaging with. It can be frustrating to hear about comparisons with Amazon, but the reality is – that is how customers are thinking. While Insurance is often a more complex or considered purchase, look at emails, websites, product pages, ads or social posts across retail, financial services or real estate firms. How does the website convey brand value and engage the viewer? Are emails personalized and relevant? Do landing pages help with product or service knowledge? Do ads respond to your searches? Think about how and why that improves the customer experience and consider how that could impact your own customers and create a digital experience that is right for your company.

3. Be Strategic About Retention & Growth of Existing Customers

There is a tremendous cost/benefit of cross/up selling existing customers. With no ad spend, an existing relationship and knowledge about current coverages, a recent article stated that it costs 6X less to retain an existing customer, versus finding a new one. So why aren’t Insurance providers realizing more growth from their existing book? The number one reason: lack of strategic focus. Many providers say they are actioning cross sell opportunities every time they speak with a customer. Not only does that require a conversation with every insured, but if that call is about a claim or renewing an existing policy, the cross/up sell message will be secondary – or may just not happen. Developing a targeted strategy, segmented and personalized based on customer profile and existing coverages, with a clear and uncluttered objective is critical. A successful cross sell campaign will result in an increased coverage portfolio, greater likeliness of retention and incremental revenue. And don’t forget recently non renewals; a highly targeted Win-Back strategy with relevant supporting campaigns can enable re-acquiring those customers.

4. Data, Data, Data

I’ve said this in past articles: Insurance providers are in an envious position compared with many other industries given the level of data they have about their clients – whether the client is a Broker or an Insured. Data has gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a tablestake as any engagement with a prospective or existing customer relies on data for personalization and relevance. But actioning data can be challenging for any organization. Barriers to data success include access to data, missing or poor quality data, but the most common reason data is not leveraged is not having a strategy in place. Customer data can be used to develop insights around value and growth, measure campaign effectiveness, drive “always on” flows, and build personalized communication streams. A data strategy should align with your overall marketing strategy, target market and work to support or even augment its success. Beginning with a data assessment enables you to understand how ready your data is to be put into action and will provide direction on how to prioritize your strategic initiatives and areas of improvement.

5. Partner With Experts

Realizing the success of any of the points I’ve mentioned above rely on both having a strategy in place aligned with your business and growth goals and being able to execute on these plans. These require industry knowledge and expertise with digital platforms to deliver at scale, including Marketing Automation and CRM/BMS. Insurance providers with marketing teams, who have the right knowledge and bandwidth may be able to take this on themselves or with minimal support while others may benefit from team augmentation from an agency that already has the experience and expertise to set your success in motion. Look at your internal resources, talk to agencies and find one with the right fit.

2021 is set to be an exciting year for the Insurance industry. If you’ve been sitting back and waiting for things to go back to how they were before – DON’T! Customer expectations as well as Insurance provider capabilities have forever changed.  Digital and supporting technologies are the way forward and Insurance providers who are poised and ready will be able to take advantage of the growth opportunities in the year ahead.

Looking for a way to get started on any of these initiatives? We would love to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization.

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