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Insurance Marketers: Data Can Revolutionize Your Strategy

Blog Post03/17/2017
Thumbnail image for Confessions of an Insurance Marketer: Data Can Revolutionize Your Strategy Blog

This is the first in a series of posts on the journey of an insurance marketing professional.

I’ve been a successful insurance marketer for… let’s just say, a while. Like many of you, I’ve been on a never-ending search for how to speak to the right person at the right time with an offer tailor-made for them. To me, this well-timed, 1:1 conversation is the Holy Grail of marketing.

My quest has led me through direct mail, email, e-marketing, digital, multi-channel and integrated marketing, and inevitably the next buzzword that’s sure to come next.

Along the way, I’ve studied how the psychology of buying has changed; from the widely known “sales funnel” concept to McKinsey’s “Consumer Decision Journey”. These provide very good insights into purchase behavior. But understanding the map doesn’t always mean you’re guaranteed to find treasure.

Through it all, there’s been one elusive thing keeping me from my goal of connecting with customers in-market.

What’s been missing is data that provides a different look at the context of the customer. I don’t just mean demographics or psychographics, but something more introspective. Not the kind of contextual information a marketer would immediately think of, but data that informs transactions of any scale. Until now, this kind of data has been expensive to access and extremely difficult for insurance marketers to use while satisfying permissible purpose guidelines. It’s also not found where many marketers would instinctively look.

What is it?
Current, aggregated, anonymized credit data and non-financial behavioral data—along with reliable systems to make it actionable.

Marketers have always been clever about finding ways to use data to expand markets and drive sales. Nowadays, the rise of Big Data offers up exabytes of digital information to reap and analyze. But as adept as we are to new digital marketing capabilities and messages to online audiences, there’s a critical component not always leveraged online. Understanding the credit-related characteristics of consumers in various geographies can yield drastically different results, like yeast in bread. It also gives insight into the long-term value of potential customers.

Our colleagues in pricing and underwriting have been relying on credit data for decades, as have those executing direct mail campaigns with prescreen offers. However, the use of aggregated credit data for digital marketing is still a new frontier. This strategy is something I’ve learned while at TransUnion. Had I figured out how to do it earlier in my insurance career, I’d now own my own island. 

This is what I’ve learned about better online shopping experiences
TransUnion has a unique position to help insurance advertisers with technology that matches offline data with online data by comparing the two using credit-related data. New technology allows insurance marketers to use web and mobile channels to deliver online advertising and/or quotes to prospects who are in market. This can extend the reach of your current offline campaigns with incremental online impressions, reinforcing your message and improving response rates.

In addition, there are tools and technology available to help you find the right people online by using your custom risk profile to identify those who have raised their hands as insurance shoppers (or consumer-initiated transactions). The data that makes this happen can be credit and/or driving history, enabling you to connect with the right person—for you—at the right time.

As a consumer, imagine the frustration of requesting quotes from multiple carriers, who might or might not provide a quote. Meanwhile, carriers can optimize media spend by getting in front of consumers who fit risk profiles. This results in a better experience all around at the speed of an average website visit!

As you read this, you’re probably getting the picture that insurance marketing is on the verge of change. Improvements in marketing technology have already revolutionized other industries and are now bearing down on ours. Some would use this moment as a podium to say, “Evolve or die”. In my opinion, that’s a false set up. Good or bad, our industry has always had the capacity to accommodate slow and fast adopters.

To me, the matter is less about organizations evolving than the professionals within them. I’ve learned that people who embrace an opportunity to become better marketers will be better positioned professionally; whether at their current employer or the next. Marketers today are becoming more revenue- and pipeline-focused across all industries, and this is a turning point for insurance carriers to target highly qualified leads online.

New ideas to solve old problems can make us all better marketers. TransUnion has many capabilities to help you optimize online traffic. Discover how we can help by filling out the form below to contact me directly.

For more posts related to the insurance industry, click here.

This is the first in a series of posts on my journey as an insurance marketer. I’ll continue to share tips and tools you can use to shorten the curve to solve problems and add value to your business goals.

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