While the insurance industry has traditionally relied on call centers and agents to sell products, but it has never been easy. People rarely willing purchase insurance policies—be it health, life, or other—like other retail products—and overcoming the reluctance has always been a challenge, even with perks.
The good news is that the general awareness of the value of insurance and related investments has grown considerably across age groups. Moreover, the channels with which people purchase insurance products have expanded as well. Of particular note is the rising prominence of comparison sites that allow consumers to easily explore and compare competing policy offers.
The technology used by insurance companies to manage customer information has evolved too. In the past, only one core system was in place. It served as the reservoir of all information, where siloed, and often limited, information of customers could be kept. Many of such systems were policy-centric. This meant it was impossible to retrieve data on a customer who had ten different policies with a provider by searching their name or some other identifiable information. Instead, the data had to be retrieved by searching specific plans—resulting multiple identities for one customer in the system and clearly impeding the timely delivery of relevant interactions.
Technology today has made it possible to externalize crucial elements from those core systems—including customer and product information. The key difference here is that the options available to insurance marketer has grown exponentially. They can now interact with consumers through not only traditional channels but a diverse array of digital touch points. There are more opportunities—and solutions—than ever that can allow more personalized, continuous engagement with insurance consumers.
The new marketing solutions achieve this by, for instance, deriving insights into the individual consumer via interactions across channels. The insights can be anything from lifecycle stage and persona to preferences and propensities. Originally scattered across tools and channels, this critical customer information is consolidated, cleansed, enriched, and made actionable by the new marketing automation solutions—especially those with a robust customer data platform as the foundation.
Instead of relying on surveys, such valuable information is gathered automatically and at scale—constantly updating each customer’s profile to optimize how to engage the individual and what offers to sell to them next. Detecting a change in a customer’s marital status can, for example, trigger the solution to recommend them family insurance policies—delivered as part of a tailored, ever-evolving digital journey.
Such capabilities enable the insurance marketer to move away from a policy-centric approach towards customer engagement. They now have at their disposal a much ricer assortment of customer information that can automatically translates to more contextual, and thus effective, interactions, across all stages of the customer lifecycle. With features like look-alike targeting, the marketer can further expand their reach, as the models available in the marketing automation solution analyze their existing audience segments to identify similar prospects.
The goal, of course, is to motivate all these potential customers to stay engaged and loyal by providing them with a continuous stream of offers, communications, resources, and recommendations. Here the customer is actually at the center of everything, not a demographic or part of some broad target.
And instead of wasting time on siloed tools and a core system hostile to more individualized engagement, insurance marketers can now adopt integrated solutions facilitate holistic marketing efforts. They will be empowered to centralize the management of key customer data, automate omnichannel journeys, optimize every step of those journeys for each individual, and, perhaps most importantly, measure the impact of it all via rich analytics.
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