In Part 1 of our Profitable Growth Strategies for Insurance blog series, we discussed the importance of defining target audiences, how defining these personas is a foundational step in your marketing. Once you have a handle on the profile and size of your audiences, it’s time to explore the execution process. In this week’s blog, we outline everything you need to consider when building your marketing campaigns and the role that modern marketing platforms play in their success.
Lead Generation or Customer Marketing?
Growth can come from 2 different sources – new business or existing customers. For most Insurance providers both represent good opportunities, but it’s important to prioritize and start with one or the other. Some factors to consider as you make the decision:
- Does your current book align with target growth personas or will new customers be required to fill that target?
- Is there an opportunity to sell in the featured products or programs to your existing customers?
- If so, will that drive enough revenue?
Most of the customers we work with will have a mix of both lead generation and customer marketing. But, they will typically start with a single product and campaign type and then roll out additional ones. This allows them to focus on launching, optimizing and measuring on one trajectory and then using insights gained through the process to determine the cadence and focus of the next.
Engaging Existing Customers
The advantage of communicating with customers is the availability of direct channels including email, mail and text. Based on the target audience, consider which channels to use and what messages will resonate. Strategies which deliver relevant and value add communications have greater opportunities to succeed:
- Segment campaigns to align messaging and creative with customer location, demographics and pain points/benefits
- Personalize messages with customer name, policy number, images aligned with the product and signed by producer, CSR or RSM
- Facilitate responses with clickable contact links to connect with a specific person or to book a meeting when using digital channels
- Track engagement across all other digital platforms including corporate social pages, newsletters and website
Managing customer marketing through a Marketing Automation Platform provides the flexibility and tools to manage all of these steps. These platforms also afford visibility into how customers engage with your digital communications, from total engagement, to calls to action. Removing some of the manual effort of engaging with customers frees up time to focus on the situations where only a one to one conversation will suffice; both of which are necessary for growing profitably.
Engaging New Business
Finding and attracting new customers has become increasingly competitive in the insurance industry, and often requires a multi-channel and multi-step process. Many prospective customers may still turn to Google as a first step, but most will require additional information and follow ups before converting. Others may be more inclined to research in social platforms where friends and peer groups are valued for advice. And others will leverage multiple channels in their decision making process. Platforms which enable Insurance providers to be visibly present wherever prospects are and engage them with content in various formats (think video, white papers) have become essential for so many reasons:
- Paid ads (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn) hyper targeted based on geography, interest, industry and job title
- Customized landing pages capture key data, assess buying intent and help qualify leads
- Data driven nurture campaigns deliver personalized and right timed communications and increase quote rate
- Automated journeys facilitate the path from interest through to quote and bind
Driving positive ROI from a lead generation campaign requires maximizing the efforts to convert qualified leads, and optimizing your investments. Capturing key data, communicating with leads with the right message and at the right time are core functionalities of marketing automation platforms and will enable you drive the quality that this industry is looking for.
Testing, Learning & Measuring
Intrinsic to success, is the ability to test marketing initiatives, learn what is most effective, make changes and then measure performance. This ranges from A/B testing email subject lines to assessing conversion rates of short vs long landing pages, and even determining which images get clicked on most often in social media ads. When this all gets lined up, it can feel overwhelming. Digital platforms facilitate these efforts and can surface results; but having the right expertise and experience to know how to build, launch and measure the kind of marketing campaigns needed to succeed in today’s Insurance industry can often best be handled working with a partner. Look for one who understands both the industry and marketing platforms that can support the type of growth you are aiming to achieve.
Making the decision to invest in a modern marketing plan, with a strategy led and technology enabled approach is the first step. It’s often challenging to get other members of your team on board when these technologies are not as well understood. In our next insurance blog, we will share some of the common challenges in getting buy-in that we hear, and some suggestions on how to overcome them.
Want to discuss your own insurance marketing challenges with us? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.