September 5, 2016

What could you learn from Canadian Insurers?

By Paul Carroll

Canadian insurersWhen working to improve your marketing through using customer insight, it’s important to still use market intelligence. Knowing what competitors are doing, seeing the wider sector marketing to which your target customers are exposed, these sources still matter. Sometimes other sectors can also offer the fresh perspective you need. So, let’s hear from Canadian insurers.

Paul Carroll, CEO of Insurance Thought Leadership hub, has shared guest posts with us previously.

While chatting with Paul about this month’s theme (applying insight to marketing), he introduced me to this post from Robert Knop.

To help those of you seeking to transform your digital marketing through using customer insight, I hope this post from Robert helps. Some clear reminders of lessons learnt, both from what is working for North American insurers & how their use of digital media is changing.

Without further ado, over to our latest guest blogger (Robert is CEO of Assist You Today) to share his memories from a Canadian insurers conference:

I recently attended the Digital Marketing for Financial Services Summit (#DMFSToronto). Digital leaders from Citi, Facebook, Wells Fargo, MetLife, Allstate, Salesforce and more were there talking about what is working, not working and what is coming next within digital marketing for financial services.

Five accelerating trends:

1) It’s all about the data

It has ALWAYS been about the data in digital marketing, but now with so many advancements in programmatic advertising, real-time media buying, CRM, data lake technology and data visualisation services, it’s easier than ever to track results, test, learn and optimise your marketing efforts.

Hari Pillai from Invesco spoke on a panel about a struggle many companies have — being data-rich but knowledge-poor. His keys to success were to create a strong infrastructure for your data and an API to simply and effectively leverage your data, so you know where the customer is in the journey. In his words, “Data is the secret weapon to move the customer down the journey.”

2) Customers matter more than ever

As we all know, the dynamic has flipped to a customer being in charge more than ever in the buying process. Fifty-seven percent of the purchase journey is done before a customer ever contacts a supplier per the CEB, so you need to listen to the key needs of your customers and figure out how to solve those needs.

Ramy Nassar from Architech had a great presentation about focusing on customer needs instead of financial products. My favourite line from his presentation was, “Think about the need, not the transaction. No one wants to buy a mortgage, they want a house.”

3) Social will soon rule the world

The typical North American adult checks social media 17 times a day. SEVENTEEN!

Combine that with the fact that cold calling and emailing response rates are hovering around 3-4%, and millennials preference for social as the No. 1 method of contact, and social will soon be taking over as the primary communication vehicle for marketing and sales.

Any financial professional or salesperson who does not have a complete LinkedIn profile that is optimised for search will slowly begin to lose their client base.
I spoke on the value of social selling to financial institutions in this new digital world and how to use the power of social media to generate leads and sales.

4) Wearables are not going away

If you are looking for the next big thing, wearables are it. How long is it until our Fitbit we use on a daily basis to track our steps starts feeding that information to doctors? Insurance companies? Retail stores? It’s a matter of time until everyone knows everything about everyone else. Enjoy your 15 remaining minutes of privacy! And be prepared to have everything measured and managed in real-time.

Rachid Molinary of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico presented an informative use case on how the company quickly integrated mobile banking into wearable technology. Now you can check your BPPR account balance in a matter of seconds on your Apple Watch. What was even more impressive was the processes and systems they have put in place to bring this new tech to market in a short period of time.

5) The pace of change is fast (and will get faster)

Mitch Joel gave a fantastic keynote about how fast the world is changing and how every company thinks they are being innovative. However, to truly create innovation is to “create something that the market did not know that it needed, that then becomes adopted (and paid for) in a way in which we could have never imagined our lives without it.” Not many companies are doing this today.

Erin Elofson from Facebook spoke about their roadmap and how VR is playing a huge role in their future. To get a small glimpse of the company’s VR capabilities, check out the first film shot with the new Facebook Surround 360 camera. This is just the snowflake on the tip of the iceberg.

So, how will you and your company react to this new digital world in financial services? These changes are coming sooner than anyone expected. Those that adapt quickly will thrive, those that don’t will struggle to survive.

Reflecting on Canadian Insurers perspective

Hopefully you found those voices useful. Thanks to Robert for sharing his impressions.

I often encourage insight leaders to ‘get out more‘. Attend events, listen to other voices, both inside & outside your sector. With the pace of change these days it is also vital to  keep tabs on what innovators are up to & the developments of leading tech firms.

I hope the above reminders, probably of themes you already knew, have helped prompt your own thoughts.

Any lessons you can take back to your context? Does this alternative context prompt other opportunities for insight-led marketing in your firm?