By Rakesh Kaul
While the world is settling into the ‘New Normal’, one thing that has changed for the better is digital adoption. Covid has ushered in an era of digital transformation. The acceptability for digital is growing and is quite evident from the fast-changing customer preferences, expectations, and requirements.
The Insurance industry too has been experiencing this shift. Like other industries, Insurance too is embracing digital transformation in various ways to keep up pace with consumers’ changing behaviour. Consumers are demanding fast, on the go, easy solutions. For insurers, digital innovation has become critical for acquiring new customers, retaining existing ones, and launching innovative products and services. Having a robust digital marketing framework will help address and capture customer mindshare and transform the perception of insurance as a category – from transactional, boring, non-engaging to friendly and fun. Being mindful of evolving customer changes and accordingly designing your marketing strategy, keeping in mind your business goals, will be the game changer.
Let us deep dive into some of the key areas that insurance marketers should focus on to build an
effective digital marketing framework
1. The evolving digital customer
Digital is the new market force that is driving a massive change in consumer expectations. Therefore, understanding, analysing, and monitoring consumer behaviour is critical for businesses. It will help marketers understand factors that influence consumers’ buying decisions and then come up with solutions that will help reach and engage with them and ultimately convert them to purchasing from you. Observe their behaviour, listen to them, and creatively engage with them on digital platforms that they consume. This will help in building a loyal customer base.
There are financial, emotional, and psychological factors that encourage the new age customer to buy insurance and there are also barriers that stop them from buying. Such research-based consumer insights will help marketers to come up with creative solutions that will address the insurance protection gap and encourage more people to buy and stay invested in insurance as a category.
2. The age of hyper-personalisation
Creating personalised offerings helps marketers engage better with their customers leading to great customer experience and positive business outcomes. In today’s time, real time customer data and analytics is smartly used to deliver products and services to customers through the channel of their choice and at an appropriate time.
Insurers can drive customer engagement and growth in an increasingly digital-oriented world by
reorienting their organization toward customers, not just products. It is imperative to understand that the shift from a product-centric approach to a data-driven, customer-centric approach can ultimately drive long-term value. The future of personalization will revolve around making better use of existing technologies to provide customers with the right offers, through the right channels, at the right time.
3. Analytics is critical to digital success
The New Normal is data driven. It has completely changed the way customers behave, search, and consume insurance. Building customized insurance products created from consumer data will be key to catering to the need of millennials. Using data and analytics to understand customer dynamics and accordingly deploying a marketing strategy is what is the need of the hour. This is one of the crucial areas that should not be ignored. Technology can be used to integrate data at multiple points of a customer’s journey.
Big data techniques can now be used to collect, process, and analyse huge amounts of behavioural data like search logs, email clicks etc. Artificial Intelligence practitioners can leverage many variables which reveal how, when, and what customers do. Behavioural insights and individual user history are all extracted and collated through advanced data analytics to anticipate needs and tailor services accordingly.
Data and analytics are no longer just a facilitator; it has become part and parcel of an organisation’s outlook.
4. Using an omni channel approach to deliver content
The millennial customer, though value conscious, also loves to have customised products and services delivered in real time. They are willing to research to find a brand that combines benefits of price, performance, value, etc. It is therefore imperative for marketers to understand the nuances of customer preferences and create an approach that best addresses these preferences. An omni channel marketing strategy will be important to reach out and engage with a larger pool of customers who have varied preferences of channels that they use to engage with brands. An omni channel strategy also helps in creating more personalised interactions with the customers, leading to superior customer experience and therefore longevity of relationships. It will be equally important to ensure that the strategy is driven by the power of technology in order to deliver the ‘wow’ experience to millennials that will help convert them into advocates for your brand in the long run.
The pivot of an effective digital strategy lies in the ability of the insurer to provide the customer with content that is simple and easy to comprehend. Simple content plays a key role in making your customer want to engage with an otherwise transactional category. A strong content marketing strategy will be key to deliver such simple content that aims to capture customer attention. Unlike the traditional medium where only hoardings, pamphlets, etc. were used for marketing, the digital age offers a plethora of interactive formats like emails, Videos, Banners, Infographics, Text ads, podcasts etc.
Digital marketers need to be extremely cautious and careful to ensure that content delivered across different digital formats is in sync so as to deliver a consistent message. Staying relevant throughout the customer journey is equally important. Remember, the right content for the right format and delivered through the right channel (paid, owned, and earned digital channels), while maintaining uniformity in messaging.
The demand for digital is growing. Customers are becoming more sophisticated and demanding by the day. The need for digital marketing is far more prominent now. It can help insurers connect, engage and correct gaps in real time. Along with digital engagement, ensuring that your product and content is simple and easy to understand, and your processes and services are convenient and transparent, will be the big differentiators in this complex industry.
The author is chief distribution officer, Edelweiss General Insurance