Measurements drive marketing – marketing drives measurements.
There is a symbiotic relationship between marketing and measurements that has an especially strong bond in the insurance industry because, well, insurance owes its existence to measurements and numbers (i.e. risk). This interchangeable bond only continues to strengthen as the rate at which new technology being implemented skyrockets—creating never-before-seen shifts in the legacy architecture models of carriers across all lines of business. It’s the wild west of numbers out there, folks, and carriers that are hastening to make room for innovation may come out on top of the real risk.
Our last TLF article Connecting the Buzzword Dots laid out the foundational definitions and ways that these new technologies are the driving force in this revolutionary shift. The common strand between the technologies is data and the limitless potential that every little piece of recorded information could and may contain. Some say this supposed potential is just hype, some say it is going to change the world as we know it.
To get some insight on how important data and measurements are to insurance and financial marketing in 2019, check out this article featuring CMOs from John Hancock, Sentry, MassMutual, ALLY, and more, with a headline including “…And Data. Oh. So. Much. Data.”: https://www.chiefmarketer.com/interactive-content/the-2019-cmo-roundtable/
Numbers Game or Gain?
Arguably, the importance of data is less about getting or having it and more about how it is being used in action. In recent marketing undertakings- including an influx of rebranding and restructuring- the intense concentration on technology that collects and organizes data to determine how, when, where and why a decision is or is not profitable is booming. With this, those who are weary about the trending “data-hoarding-mania” and “big data” may have a point. The real gain is established in these steps:
- collecting precise, accurate data, resulting in “smart” data
- organizing/segmenting the data
- analyzing the data for best actionable uses
- then, driving sophisticated marketing decisions that can be tracked as deeply as possible
If data is being collected for the sake of a collection, this is going to translate into more of a game than a gain. Data is worthless unless you can use it to manifest a thoughtful and/or profitable objective.
Technology, Solutions and Marketing
“…what you do know can drive your company’s ROI.”- Steve Olenski (Olenski n.d.)
And here is how: Insurance companies are being forced by the demands of their customers to center their efforts on and to provide convenient, personalized experiences for them. In order to make these decisions and roll these initiatives out successfully, marketing teams need to gain insights into their customer’s behavior and preferences, which requires collecting data on each one of them – before, during and after their customer experience.
Rishi Dave, CMO of Dun & Bradstreet, gives us the secret to modern marketing in fifteen words here, “The biggest thing I learned was the importance of data and analytics: making sure that decision making is data driven and measuring impact of changes you’re driving.” (Overby n.d.)
Effectively analyzing good or “smart” data in marketing is a process in which we can move away from guessing what a customer wants and moving closer to knowing how to and providing a specialized experience for them. The key to obtaining good data is in implementing the best technology, but the key to success is in implementing the best strategies to use the data collected. Combine these two factors, and in swoops digital marketing to save the data day!
Digital Marketing is solving the industry challenges and there are extraordinary numbers to prove it. Dave explains here how good analysis of data drove incredible marketing results… “It doesn’t matter how much you invest in new technology or great content if you don’t have a clear understanding of who you are and who you are targeting. And that early work confirmed that we needed to create an entirely new digital experience for our customers.” Dun & Bradstreet’s key customer experience performance indicators all went up after the reorganization and launch of the new digital experience platform, including lead generation numbers, which leapt 95%. I repeat, 95%!
“We were able to do more than just design a great experience leveraging good technology and new data and analytics. We had a strong understanding of who we were targeting and how to differentiate the experience we were creating for them.”
You want a clear-cut example?
ClaimSpace, an insurtech startup, one of the ten selected startups in the Hartford InsurTech Hub accelerator program powered by Startupbootcamp, has taken an industry challenge: the poor customer experience(s) surrounding the claims processes, and, through the utilization of smart data and technology, has solved for this challenge by creating a better claims experience for both the customers, as well as for the carriers. To learn more about how ClaimSpace is working to bring innovation to the industry, visit their website: https://claimspace.io/
Convincing Marketing and IT Departments to Say “I Do” for the Customers
As Doug Straton puts it, “Content is king, but data is queen.”
Great. It’s understood that marketing and data go hand in hand. Now, to convince the Marketing and IT/digital departments that they are going to become one big family, creating a digital marketing powerhouse. Seems like an easy feat in theory, however, these two are still getting lost in translation.
CMO of Voya, Karen Eisenbach explains her experience of working closely with the company’s Chief Digital Officer to create “a more agile, responsive, and open marketing environment. We are transforming how we engage and interact—breaking through hierarchy and breaking down silos to collaborate from an end-to-end, customer journey perspective.”
This type of “family” integration will allow for great victories in personalization and segmentation for both the B2B and B2C experiences.
Genesys’ CMO, Meijn te Booij also chimes in to share the importance of eliminating systems that silo data. “Digital marketing campaigns will have to deliver exceptional omnichannel journey management because most customers are active across multiple digital channels. Connected campaigns that orchestrate all customer interactions with ease will have a longer shelf life and drive better business results.” (Overby, CMO.com n.d.)
What will really aid in the breaking down of silos and creating transparency between departments and down every pipeline, all the way down to the end-user, will be the implementation of Blockchain, or DLT (distributed ledger technology).
The Great Digital Marketing Disruptor
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there is something coming, and it’s going to be great.
Enter the mysterious, sultry Blockchain, here to disrupt the stagnant, established relationship. Blockchain and Marketing? Yup. If you’re interested in precise targeting, deep tracking, in building trust through transparency, providing payment processing solutions, creating personalized customer experiences, and in heightened security at every touch-point (a short list for time’s sake), you should be interested in DLT, commonly known as Blockchain.
DLT will be a “behind-the-scenes” marketing tool and process that will capture data more deeply than ever before, and with an accuracy that will leave little to no question. Through customer experience using DLT, the data accumulation will be tied to every experience, indefinitely. Right now, so many of these experiences and the potential data that correlates, is getting lost.
DLT will eliminate the steps in which ambiguity and irregularities are prevalent and bring about both a B2B and B2C trust that has never been. These are exciting times! But, for most carriers, these times seem to be more scary than exciting.
Sinkers or Swimmers
Paul Carroll, Editor-in-Chief of Insurance Thought Leadership, announces A.M. Best’s plans to assess and score insurance companies on their ability to innovate in his most recent article, Innovation Rating Shows Insurers the Way Forward. Carroll’s response is a positive one conveying that A.M. Best is doing the industry “a big favor by not only sounding a warning but also offering the industry focus, structure and direction to avoid danger of inaction.”
Up until this point, many carriers have adopted a timid and procrastinating attitude toward innovation and are taking a back seat; waiting and watching. With assessments and initiatives to light fires, as A.M. Best will prove shortly with their data-driven results comparing companies against each other, “incumbents either have to build robust capabilities or suffer consequences in the here and now.”
“Companies can no longer go on innovation tours and pass it off ‘staying on top of insurtechs’. Executives will no longer just be able to assure superiors and the board that, Yeah, yeah, we have an innovation process in place and have X projects planned.”
This may also be a great setup move for state and federal regulations to more easily be rolled out as the assessment will focus on innovation processes and how they are being put in place. Blockchain/DLT is certainly on the radar in these roll out and regulatory plans. Best practices have been established for the hand holding of carriers who choose to jump instead of sink or sell. Carrier hands just need to be extended. Carroll thanks A.M. Best “for planting the flag firmly” and concludes, “now it’s up to the insurance industry to get serious about doing what few really want to do, but we all know must be done.” (Carroll n.d.)