In the insurance sector, companies are now aware of the absolute central position assumed by the insured in their relationship with the insurer: this is one of the most macroscopic effects produced by digital transformation.
While customer abandonment was once accepted as a recurring and physiological eventuality, today’s trends are increasingly toward investing in retention. For this reason, companies in the industry are shifting their focus from product to relationship building focused on transparent communication, timely service, effective solutions, and personalized content and products, redefining the quality standards needed to make the customer experience live up to higher expectations.
If acquiring new customers in the insurance industry costs nine times more than retaining existing customers, developing proposals that meet the demands of policyholders is no longer a secondary objective but an integral part of any insurance company’s value proposition. Insurance digital marketing deals precisely with this: creating a simple and fluid path for the target audience (or rather, for the different targets, which are increasingly profiled) that is articulated on several online channels. It is these channels where the target audience can nimbly retrieve all the useful information to proceed, through successive conversions, to the subscription or renewal of the policy.
The stakes are high: the customer—whether acquired or potential—when confronted with an experience that is not in line with what he or she has become accustomed to in other everyday contexts will move to choose other brands that can guarantee the expected (and “demanded”) level of listening and care.
In this post, we will look at 4 insurance digital marketing best practices that succeed more than others in minimizing customer churn rates, improving engagement, and increasing retention. First, however, let’s shed some light on the definition of insurance digital marketing and try to understand why it has become essential.
What is insurance digital marketing?
“Insurance digital marketing” refers to all the marketing actions that occur online by exploiting digital channels (social media, search engines, email, sites, apps) with the goal of reaching current customers and winning new ones. We also refer to the various technologies that have changed the way insurers work and companies operate as a whole and the actual management of insurance policies: from the dematerialization and digitization of products and processes, to the use of online touchpoints to communicate and carry out operations and transactions.
In general, those who provide digital insurance services exhibit some distinctive characteristics:
- an innovative customer-centric approach
- an omnichannel presence
- an insurtech ecosystem where pricing, risk assessment, and claims handling are made through open, connected software platforms (sometimes data-driven platforms form the core of a connected insurance system)
The contribution of new technologies is crucial, but insurance digital marketing is effective only if companies that decide to adopt it have also faced a change in mindset, at every level of the organization: whether they have developed an internal data culture and a corporate philosophy that is devoted to customer centricity.
What functions does insurance digital marketing fulfill?
Insurance digital marketing has both a creative function and an interface function. It produces valuable content and facilitates communications:
- generates and qualifies leads
- optimizes budgets and resources
- progressively refines the segmentation of target audiences
- collects, manages, organizes, and interprets data to build customer profiles
- develops content strategies that incorporate advanced elements of personalization
- guides creativity in a way that makes messages relevant and effective
What goals does insurance digital marketing enable?
Ultimately, with insurance digital marketing, insurers are able to digitally transform their business so that interactions with customers are no longer slow and redundant, but simple and intuitive. Within an insurance digital marketing strategy, every single interaction—which should never be perceived as exhausting or frustrating—is designed to achieve a number of important goals:
- promote brand awareness
- generate quality leads
- provide a better customer experience
- increase customer engagement
- protect data privacy
- establish a relationship of trust
The 4 best practices that are redefining the dynamics of the insurance industry
If 41% of policyholders say they would change companies in the face of poor digitization and 88% expect more personalized insurance products, we can easily guess how customers now accustomed to receiving excellent digital experiences from brands in other areas may come to view a lack of digital capabilities as so critical that it jeopardizes the success not only of a single exchange on a given touchpoint, but also of the entire communication.
The 4 insurance digital marketing best practices we will discuss address this need, translating some of the trends that are redefining the dynamics of the entire insurance industry into practice.
1) Modernizing communication
Even in the case of insurance, digitization is now a compulsory choice for all companies that want to modernize their processes in order to intercept the different and changing needs of customers. The reality is consumers now expect relevant, personalized and effective communications when interacting with companies.
Every interaction produces data that is useful in order to learn more about customers and to offer them the product they want, in the right place, and at the right time. Interactions, with the information they generate, are therefore an invaluable source of value. Doxee’s document experience solutions (dx) are created to help companies extract this value and transform corporate information assets into communications and relationships.
By integrating Doxee dx products within a coherent insurance digital marketing strategy, a company will be able to quickly and easily:
- dematerialize processes related to billing and retention,
- process company data to optimize its document production and distribution processes
- create and distribute paginated documents, starting with the processing and enrichment of complex data to increase their quality and level of personalization
- administer articulated workflows to generate documents and distribute them to recipients through digital and paper channels
- to optimally manage the entire lifecycle of consumer-facing communications by taking full advantage of multichannel
In addition to creating, distributing, and archiving communications, Doxee provides insurance companies with all the tools they need to implement a Customer Communications Management (CCM) strategy with which to introduce advanced personalization, interactivity, and multichannel capabilities. Doxee transforms every transactional document into a formidable tool for developing relationships with customers, laying the groundwork for radically changing the way the company communicates and achieving lasting business growth.
2) Building a hybrid customer experience
Industry players are increasingly moving toward a hybrid customer experience model, a model where opportunities for contact that happen offline and in-person alternate with online opportunities at different stages of the funnel. In this scenario, insurance digital marketing is effective both at the top end of the funnel to drive lead generation and qualification, and once the deal has closed, to help agents nurture the relationship over time. Traditional face-to-face modes of communication (including by telephone) are synergistically complemented by digital channels and interactive formats, such as personalized videos and responsive microsites, which in the case of more advanced product lines, such as Doxee’s, are built using automated platforms and employ data about each user’s situation to open up a real dialog space.
In this hybrid approach, a traditional agency concept—where referral activity is still, very often, based on informal, personal relationships (family and friends)—is combined with digital marketing initiatives, through which it is possible to reach wider audiences, circumscribe specific segments of potential customers, and interact in real time with customers, both existing and potential.
Similarly to banking, the purpose of insurance digital marketing is not to convey a description of product features (which would serve, at best, to build generic propositions to attract unqualified demand) but to help create more feature-rich experiences by tapping into online and mobile platforms.
3) Focus on omnichannel and personalization
A hybrid customer experience is even more effective if the company adheres to an omnichannel approach. By promoting the message on the channels most frequented by customers, insurance companies can tailor it according to the strengths and characteristics of each platform, and thus offer seamless connectivity.
In practice, every agent or operator involved in different capacities of contact management can interact through multiple touchpoints, remotely or in-person. In this sense, omnichannel is the inevitable evolution of insurance digital marketing.
The repercussions on work routines are immediate. Overcrowded branches, customer care services that are overburdened by constant inquiries, negotiations that are broken off because communication is perceived as ambiguous and uncaring, inordinate amounts of documents—still often in paper form—that overwhelm the insured or potential customer, are all aspects that digital marketing can improve.
However, the processes that need to be simplified and the activities that need to be performed to realize faster, more agile, accessible, and intuitive services are so numerous and sometimes complex that more and more organizations are choosing to work with an authoritative partner who can provide specialized expertise in managing the various aspects of insurance digital marketing.
Through digital marketing tactics and tools, the insurer can concretely demonstrate that it has listened to and understood customers’ individual needs and preferences. Not only that, with the knowledge base built from data, companies are also able to make more accurate assumptions about as-yet unexpressed needs and incorporate them into the formulation of personalized proposals. And personalization, as we have already seen in retail, utilities, entertainment and other industries—can do a great deal to strengthen existing relationships and increase the number of conversions.
4) Develop interactivity to build valuable relationships
Insurance is an industry related to the provision of ongoing services where points of customer contact are often restricted to payments, requests for clarification, renewals, and settlements. If poorly managed, these contact opportunities turn into outstanding payments, administrative delays, and recurring calls to call centers.
Paper documents, such as PDFs attached to an email, simply no longer suffice (and increasingly become part of the problem): they fail to capture either the customer’s attention or interest, do not adequately exploit the digital channels available, and do not facilitate linkage with the website and online payment mechanisms. Completely lacking interactivity, these methods fail to fully support marketing activities for communicating product and service offerings.
Doxee’s interactive experience line (ix) not only enables conversation with users but also allows new data to be gathered from each and every interaction, which is useful in getting to know customers better, offering them content, products and services they really want, and building strong and lasting relationships.
- Among the ix products that digitize the customer journey, personalized videos (Doxee Pvideo®) allow communication to be enriched, making it a highly relevant interactive experience (even distributing them via mobile so as to take advantage of consumers’ preference for smartphones). Through Doxee Pvideos, it is possible to converge the digital assets the company has at its disposal, such as the website and the app, thus making the company’s communication more consistent and clear.
- With Doxee Pweb® an insurance company can build and deploy personalized microsites enriched with interactive content, fully multichannel. In this way, statements, renewals, underwriting, and other transactional documents become fully actionable, resulting in web experiences whose exploration and understanding is facilitated through interactive charts, expandable tables, filters, and sorting.
The interactivity of these two tools is ensured by a series of functions such as calls to action, forms for acquiring new information, and integration with chatbots. Such channels have been historically intended for the simple transmission of educational or entertainment content (videos) or relegated to transaction or reporting (websites) now become a new communication tool and an additional business channel.
A new dialog between insured and insurer
The insurance world is often perceived as complex and repelling: hence, the need to make insurance management understandable and accessible. Moreover, insurance and damage prevention and management are in general very sensitive topics. For this reason, it’s essential that they are communicated in a simple and clear way, where every contact with policyholders is perceived as a comfortable, immediate and convenient process, especially at the most delicate moments, such as policy underwriting or renewal.
From this point of view, the four best practices we have discussed have the merit of identifying some particularly efficient business solutions. In fact, dematerialization, hybrid customer experiences, omnichannel and personalization, and interactivity make it possible to:
- digitize the renewal and communication processes of an offering while significantly reducing costs and making processes simpler and more manageable
- communicate and manage customers cost-effectively and without losing quality or effectiveness
- and to create new possibilities for expanding the dialog between insured and insurer.
Insurance digital marketing offers the answers to solve users’ and companies’ problems, and ensures the most relevant experience possible, which is perfectly consistent with the customer tendency to prefer brands that are capable of integrating different touchpoints into a single path in an increasingly fluid and uniform way.