In our new digital world, the balance of power has shifted to the consumer. Product research, reviews, price comparisons, and more await just a click away. We’ve seen this instant access transform entire industries: Who needs a travel agent when you can book your whole trip – flight, car rental, hotel – right from your phone?
As happened in travel, the traditional agent-driven sales model in insurance is under strain. Although agents will still play an important role, it is clear the insurance products of tomorrow are far more likely to be consumer-bought, not agent-sold. Technology and consumer behavior make this transition seem inevitable:
- The internet as a means for reaching and converting consumers has never been more effective.
- Younger families are not responding to the same delivery channels that worked on their parents and grandparents.
- In recent global survey, 70% of insurance owners preferred mostly digital interactions to only face-to-face interaction with agents1
So how do individual carriers help lead the evolution of the industry, rather than fall victim to it? It starts with tailoring outreach to meet consumers where they are. Traditional demographic considerations – race, gender, age, etc. – are not enough; to reach marketing and sales goals, insurers must view consumers as human beings, not just a collection of demographic data points.
Pulling In Customers
While both the amount of available data and computing capacity are rapidly increasing, insurers continue to struggle with meaningful consumer engagement. Much of the problem can be attributed to reliance on outbound (aka “push”) marketing and sales campaigns still using outdated methods. Inbound (aka “pull”) marketing is changing the way forward-looking carriers communicate with clients.
Inbound marketing starts with a unique “hook,” typically in the form of engaging web content, including articles, infographics, social media posts, video and more – all carefully tailored to drive qualified leads to the insurer’s website. To be effective, such content cannot be created in a vacuum; insurers must connect with individuals on a deeper level to acquire and retain customers. This requires insurers to gain an in-depth understanding of each current or prospective policyholder’s needs, to personalize a marketing appeal to address those needs, and to develop content that leads or “pulls” customers through a purchasing process that extends from awareness to action. This process occurs almost entirely digitally and is transforming the way insurance is both sold and bought; only the most agile will be able to cope with these rapid changes and newer challengers.
The Insurtech Solution
Consumers are overwhelmed, distracted by devices and disruptions. According to figures collected by the Android lock app, the average Android smartphone user actually unlocks and checks a smartphone around 110 times a day. Perhaps more tellingly, a typical individual can receive more than 5,000 advertising messages per day.2 Given such competition for attention, it should be unsurprising that conversion rates, or the rate at which website visitors transform into purchasers, fell by 26%.3
How can insurance marketers gather actionable information about potential customers, develop relevant and engaging marketing messages, and break through the noise? Insurtech may offer a solution. Consider rLinkage, a marketing platform developed by RGAX, RGA’s industry transformation engine.
rLinkage works by linking new forms of data with proven technologies in a centralized marketing hub. The platform is flexible and scalable, enabling insurers to adapt as big data pervades the competitive environment.
But aggregating data isn’t enough. So, rLinkage has partnered with a leading machine learning company to test and analyze online consumer behavior data and categorize prospects into six personality archetypes. For each archetype, the use of personality psychology transforms the steps in the marketing and sales process, including:
- Direct-to-consumer value propositions
- Segment targeting
- Message testing
- Campaign management
- Marketing automation: contact strategy and nurturing
- Upselling and cross-selling
Archetypes in Action
rLinkage works by putting archetypes into action. A concept originally developed by the psychologist Carl Jung, the archetype in marketing refers to a collection of qualities or preferences associated with a group of target consumers. Each group shares a set of characteristics and preferences and may respond to a very specific set of marketing strategies. As an example, consider “Experimental Fun Seekers”:
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