Digital ad spending is growing, with no signs of slowing down. How can insurers benefit from this trend and use data-driven marketing to their advantage? We sat down with David Drotos, Vice President of Insurance Solutions at TransUnion to find out.
Question 1. What are some of the main challenges insurance companies face when it comes to optimizing their digital marketing?
David Drotos: A challenge for many carriers is calibrating attribution for quotes and sales across digital marketing tactics. Some still look at the last click as key in evaluating digital spend efficacy, but that’s been an outdated metric for awhile now. Even with multi-touch attribution, we have to make assumptions about the contributory value of display versus social, versus paid search and so on, and revisit that often as online consumer behavior evolves.
Another challenge is understanding how to use other marketing efforts to complement digital and drive the right media mix for the business. Striking the right media mix can be complicated, as the ecosystem is constantly evolving. Carriers need to be attuned to the latest trends and willing to put budgets against emerging, innovative digital executions. Successful marketers take a test and learn approach and optimize their mix in near real time, leveraging technology and machine learning algorithms to analyze the massive amount of data signals being generated in this digital ecosystem.
Q2. How is the insurance industry different than others in terms of reaching the right customers?
David Drotos: For insurance, the right customer is defined not only by their risk profile, but also by their intent. Not everyone with a great credit score is looking for insurance. Most carriers aren’t targeting every risk across the spectrum, so leveraging data to narrow the scope of your audience is very important relative to other industries. Additionally, insurance shopping is often tied to certain life events, such as getting married, buying a new car or owning a home. Using this type of data to identify customers gives insurers a unique opportunity to market to them at the most appropriate times, specifically when they need to buy insurance.
Q3. What are some ways new digital solutions are helping insurers reach motivated buyers?
David Drotos: With recent direct integrations into digital advertising platforms, insurers can capitalize on offline intent signals to reach online consumers in a timely fashion. This is critical to catching the consumer immediately after they’ve been observed shopping for insurance and are in that window of consideration. In the past, marrying offline to online required an intermediary, known as an onboarder. That connection could take a few weeks, but by leveraging direct connections, this process can now take as little as 24 hours.
Q4. Direct mail has long been a mainstay of marketing, but what new insights or advantages can insurers gain with digital marketing solutions in conjunction with or as an extension to direct mail?
David Drotos: By using digital marketing to complement direct mail, carriers can see lift in their overall response and conversion for a targeted audience, as the same consumer sees the message across different mediums. This can be accomplished with email (before, during or after the mailing) or with display advertising.
Many carriers reach a point of diminishing returns on direct mail as they go deeper into a prescreen file, where the cost doesn’t yield results within their targets. By leveraging digital as an extension of direct mail, carriers can reach the upper spectrum of their target market with a medium that typically costs less than direct mail, as well as acquire new customers at a favorable ROI.
Q5. What kinds of returns are you seeing on these innovative types of solutions?
David Drotos: Feedback has been extremely positive — carriers recognize the value in digital targeting using risk and intent signals that make direct mail successful. Many of our customers are also existing direct mail clients and are excited to apply to digital what has worked for direct mail.
Q6. What are the biggest digital marketing opportunities that insurers should consider as they plan for 2020?
David Drotos: Voice search is an emerging focus, with more than 40% of U.S. adults using it every day. In addition, streaming video is predicted to represent around 80% of all internet traffic by 2021, so this is rapidly becoming the main way in which people are consuming media.
Regardless of the tactic, digital is only getting more dominant, and to find success in the new era of multi-channel marketing, data must be at the center of your strategy.
How can TransUnion help with your digital marketing? Find out by visiting transunion.com/industry/insurance