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Three digitization trends in insurance

Three digitization trends in insurance

Digitization Trends in Insurance

Digitization in insurance is somewhat still in progress. Most companies struggle to make use of their unstructured data. Truley functioning global operating models are nowhere in sight. How can a globally operating insurance company come to terms with the difficult relationship between global headquarters and local business units? In particular in light of the need to drive digitization centrally? How to deal with an internationally fragmented landscape of brand and services presentation? And how can an insurance company turn data into profit? There are some trends out in the market that address these pressing issues and put away with them for ever – if applied properly, I might add. Here is my top 3 list for digitization in insurance in 2020:

Trend #1: Operational Excellence

Arguably there has been a lot of talk about this topic. The key question, however, remains: What is the best governance structure for marketing and in particular digital marketing for an insurance company. And certainly, what role should corporate headquarters (GHQ) play for global organizations? Since the business units maintain a strong position those multinational companies, the GHQ should try to act as a coach for them. With the introduction of digital marketing tools, e.g., the Adobe Experience Manager, they need to be rolled-out successfully to principal BUs. Frameworks for effective use are to be put into place. While some larger BUs usually seem to be able to run on their own, the GHQ could act as a coach by creating “augmented teams”. The GHQ would send experts to a BU for a set period, e.g., three months, to lead agile teams applying those digital tools. That way, the GHQ can influence the “good use” of the costly tools while not being labelled as “telling the BU what to do”. The result of the “augmented team” approach would yield an effective operating model by which the GHQ would generate credibility as a coach and expert advisor. The GHQ could also consider a “hub and spoke” model, kind of a shared service center where a bigger BU as hub serves smaller related markets as spokes. This model drives knowledge transfer and exchange.

Trend #2: E2E Customer Experience-led Design

Many insurance companies have alreday started to map out digital customer journeys. The core objective of this execise ist to build a seamless flow of connected customer data (behavioral, transactional, financial, operational, and more). Based on the data, an insurance company can create a superior end-to-end customer experience, resulting in meaningful services for customers and prospects at all touchpoints (service design). Concretely, a central Digital Marketing organization should set guidelines, frameworks and processes (in short a “how to” guide) for the BUs to create personalized, content-led experiences. With the support of the GHQ, BUs will be able to leverage digital tools effectively to deliver results. One of the immediate tasks is usually the merging of a fragmented web/app landscape to a central tool. In driving this process, the GHQ ensures a uniform appearance across all touch points, in particular web/mobile.

Trend #3: Data-driven Business

Insurance companies have collected mountains of unstructured data over the years. Many companies are now in a process of modernizing core systems, but they have yet to tap the full power of that information. While global insurance players have opportunities to leverage data in new ways across all lines of business and in many functional areas, technology and real-time analytics can bring significant value to any organization. In marketing, understanding of customer behavior is key. Any insurance company should therefore create a central data repository/DMP (or Data Management Platform like, e.g., Adobe Audience Manager) to enable customer profiling. These profiles, in turn, can be used to drive the development of new (digital) products. On BU level, an insurance group should use engagement or conversion metrics to create models and recommendations to drive campaign performance and translate internal/external data (both structured and unstructured) for programmatic ad buying and to efficiently reach customers

Insurance companies can reach or secure a position as a global leader if they manage to create a truly data driven business. Digital marketing, as one of the core elements of a data driven business, makes use of available data to create personalized customer communication based on superior content, and to deliver a state-of-the-art customer experience. Smart tools and the right processes and frameworks will allow any insurance company to play a leading role in the global market of personal and commercial lines insurance.

Three digital marketing priorities for insurers 2021

Three digital marketing priorities for insurers 2021

Tactical priorities for insurers in digital marketing

Every insurer can achieve a global leadership position if the company manages to create a truly data driven business. Digital marketing is one of the core elements of a data driven business. It makes use of available data to create personalized customer communication based on superior content. Digital marketing is the core discipline to create results from data. Identifying relevant priorities in digital marketing will allow insurers to play a leading role in 2020 and beyond.

Marketing has become very dynamic. There was a time when classic advertising was the best way to drive sales of insurance policies. But technologies are advancing and new opportunities for communication have arisen. While the way products are marketed has improved, marketing itself has made an impact on the way people buy insurance products today. Nowadays the ideal way to drive sales is to be where the consumers are, and that’s across all channels rather at the point of sale.

Today, people trust other consumers more than they trust any direct brand communication. In some ways, the mission now is to understand that people don’t want to buy something that is obviously displayed as a product. Consumers ultimately rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. And they are informed through social media. Needs and buying behavior are often counter-intuitive, hyper rapid and triggered from within private “ecosystems”.

While the “old” paradigm of gathering data, translating data into insights, and insights ultimately into communication and offerings still prevails. Consumers today are accessing brands across multiple devices, screens, and channels. Customer groups are rather atomized than homogeneous, thus personalization is key. Digital technologies, the right strategies and the best short term tactics, however, enable insurers to improve operational excellence and to place the right message to the right person at the right time, globally.

The future of digital marketing

The future of digital marketing in the insurance industry is therefore a future where vast amounts of customer data are centrally leveraged to identify needs and customer segments. Not 8, 20 or 50, rather hundreds of them on a global scale. Insurers will develop a flexible service offering to address these “moving targets” effectively. Insurers will also be able to tap into previously closed circuits of customers, “ecosystems” of friends and family. Using simple single cover, pre-underwritten products, new customers can be won and exploited through data analytics at a later stage. This can include marketplaces featuring innovative offers from other providers.

As the number of variables and data sources insurers have available intensifies, automation of processes in digital marketing and an algorithmic, data-driven approach is required. Insurers can render the services of top-notch analytics firms like Data Cubes to apply predictive analytics and leverage new technologies and methodologies in data management such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Insurers will drive superior service design, enabling an end-to-end customer experience across on- and offline channels. The resulting offerings can be true digital products for tomorrow’s customers. But what are the digital marketing priorities for insurers in 2020?

Three digital marketing priorities for 2020

For 2020, insurers should enhance their digital marketing operations, in advertising along the traditional landscape of paid media, SEO, content marketing, social media, community management, and more. Nothing totally new – of course. But what are the digital marketing priorities? I believe that insurers should focus on these three elements in 2020:

Priority #1: Personalized content

With the evolution of data management and the availability of in-depth consumer information, personalizing content improves customer relationship significantly. This clearly the biggest trend.

Already today, 75% of consumers prefer personalized messaging.

As customers are drawn to experiences that reflect their preferences, Insurers have identified what content is most relevant to an individual. Video content is gaining traction as an increasingly popular form of content (e.g., live video, stories, Instagram TV etc.), even personalized video messaging as opposed to email or phone calls. With a tool like the Adobe Experience Manager deployed, insurers will be able to centrally create a repository of targeted content in video or other forms.

Priority #2: Programmatic ad buying

In paid media, employing programmatic ad buying and using centrally collected and processed data to determine which audience the ads should target. There are different opinions on programmatic, but from an effciency point of view, programmatic gets you the biggest bang for the buck.

Priority #3: Voice search

Consumers adapt and begin to use voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google assistant more and more. Centrally developed capabilities to optimize global websites to recognize voice search will be key in 2020.

In the 2020 digital marketing landscape, insurers will put the customer at the forefront of the digital marketing strategy in a more granular way than was previously possible. Thoughtful, personalized marketing at scale, driven by data and innovative software solutions will define the way insurers will communicate with customers in 2020. Appealing to individuals with conversational, speech accessible, and visually engaging content is the trend that will surely help insurers to position themselves successfully in the next year.