In the first three parts of our blog series, we discussed how marketing automation helps brokers build awareness with websites, landing pages and targeted content strategies and how when strategy-led, is a valuable tool to help move leads through the consideration phase leveraging the power of email.

This week, in our fourth blog we dive further into the consideration phase and turn the focus on the role of personalization and automated programs for both leads and existing customers and the importance of having a 360° digital view of all your marketing efforts.

The Changed Customer Expectation

Every one of us can relate to being at the consumer end of a marketing campaign. We have come to expect that when companies communicate with us, when they try to engage with us – at any stage within the purchase cycle -that this experience is personalized to us. This expectation is no different in the insurance space. Brokers are being challenged with delivering personalized and relevant marketing messages which take into account who they are engaging with, where they are within their buying journey, what value they can add to the conversation to move it forward and when is the right time to have the conversation. The complexities of executing a personalized, multi-faceted and multi-step marketing initiative are high, but the risks of not being able to do so successfully are even greater.

The Changing Broker Expectation

Investing resources – both human and financial- in marketing without measurement is inconceivable for most industries. The insurance industry has lagged slightly behind but is arriving at the same conclusion. More brokers are now willing to invest in digital marketing to drive qualified leads and reinforce customer value, but with the expectation that their investment be measured. While digital data is relatively easy to obtain, collating data across multiple sources and deriving insights is significantly more challenging. But, the benefits of having this full digital view far outweigh the cost of implementing the right technology platform that can deliver on this.

Leveraging data to personalize creative and content, executing drip campaigns to bring customer journeys to life with automated programs and building a cross channel full digital view of how leads and customers engage are just a few of the aspects of a best of breed marketing automation platform. Successful brokers – meaning those that get the correct who/what/where/when pieces in place gain on many levels:

1.) Increased audience engagement: Personalization has been shown to increase click-through rates by 14% and conversion by 10%. (Aberdeen Group) In addition, a recent study showed that 72% of consumers have said that they will only engage with marketing that is personalized and tailored to them (Smarterhq). And using just first name no longer qualifies as real personalization – audiences expect marketing messages to feature insurance products relevant to them and reflect where they are in the buying cycle. This includes adding both policy and quote details as well as content and creative that speak to the individual.

2.) Operational Efficiencies: Some leads might not be ready to buy right away but may convert if nurtured or reminded closer to the expiry date of an existing policy. Certain customers prefer to engage digitally at renewal time but want options for direct contact for policy details. For most brokers, regardless of stage in the sales cycle or customer preference, all are being treated in the same way. By not providing contact option which leverages both online and offline channels, brokers are defaulting to methods that are largely resource intensive and inefficient, and often ignore what customers actually want. The results sometimes result in lost opportunity and frustrated customers. Automated programs can alleviate some of these challenges by allowing customers to decide on how and where (ie which channel) they engage, enable sales to stay on top of leads with automated and timely quote reminders and digitize aspects of the renewal process. With companies reporting significant increases in sales productivity and decreases in marketing overhead (cmo.com) these programs deliver on customer value and sales efficiencies without adding to broker overhead.

3.) Digital measurability: Long gone are the days when the impact of a marketing initiative was guesswork. Most brokers today track many metrics religiously, including GWP, number of policies and renewal rate but what’s often missing is visibility into their efforts to grow their business through sales and marketing. There are many tech platforms that can measure different digital touches such as paid advertising, website visits, social engagement or email open rates but the value of a marketing automation platform is the ability to monitor and measure all of these within a single system. Having a 360° digital view stemming from investment through to engagement and conversion (we’ll address ROI reporting in our next blog) is critical for brokers as it provides insight into understanding where you are driving the greatest value and where other opportunities may lie.

Addressing the insurance customer demands for personalized and relevant communications while improving operational efficiencies, and measuring marketing investment is a growing challenge for brokers. Building a strategy and bringing it to life with a marketing automation platform is a scalable solution which enables brokers to succeed and grow.

Stay tuned for the fifth blog in our series, where we will dive deeper into how Marketing Automation can fuel your sales and service productivity, including lead management and closed loop reporting.

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