The pandemic has caused significant P&C losses estimated at $100 billion, so for insurance marketing, the need to acquire new policy holders is a top priority.
With customer lives changing daily, insurance marketers need to proactively see life event triggers that indicate future policy needs before it’s too late—both with existing and net-new customers.
This article outlines some ways marketers can improve their insurance marketing strategies to maximize return on ad spend investment and minimize wasted budget dollars.
1. Use early life event triggers to know who’s in market
One important way to boost policy acquisition is to be in front of in-market customers before your competitors even know those customers are in market. How?
Better insurance marketing comes down to better tracking. By creating individual-level customer profiles by matching all browsing and purchase behavior to one person, rather than a series of cookies and device IDs, you are able to tie early life event triggers to prospective customers that would be a good fit for your policies.
Here’s an example: With better identity tracking in insurance marketing, it’s possible to learn that Martin, who has an income of $120K and lives in Chicago, is also the same person who is browsing for school districts in Dallas. It looks like Martin is moving—so the sooner you can get in front of him with digital media advertising a home insurance policy, the better chance you will have of working with Martin.
Some vendors calculate how many people they can reach by totaling their known cookies and devices and using them as a proxy for real people. But this is an incomplete strategy that can lead to significant ad spend waste. According to our data, across digital channels the average person has:
- 4 devices
- 3+ email addresses
- 6 points of contact
So, although a third-party cookie-reliant strategy was incomplete before, with third-party identifiers on the way out, it’s all the more important to ensure your identity solution is based on real individuals—not third-party cookies.
If your insurance marketing customer identity strategy right now is reliant on third-party identifiers and device IDs, it’s time to reevaluate. Because without being able to identify the right people early in their customer journeys, you won’t be able to connect with the right people when you need to.
2. Spend your insurance marketing budget on reaching the right people
It’s one thing to know who you should reach, but actually connecting with those in-market customers at scale is another. This has often been a challenge for financial service marketers: Forrester research indicates that 68% of financial brands struggle to message the correct person across devices, browsers and touchpoints.
This is where AI needs to come into the picture. Machine learning can update more than 2 billion times every minute as customers take actions—like browsing online (taking note of early, more obscure behavior that, combined, signal a life event), making a purchase and researching their financial options. This allows marketers to build an insurance marketing strategy that ensures data-driven, personalized experiences for every person, accounting for preferred channel, device, time of day, real-time interests and more.
By way of example, when a Fortune 500 insurance company wanted to generate home insurance policies, Epsilon combined our rich profiles spanning across 7K+ attributes with the company’s current home policy holder’s file and site information. This allowed us to fuel AI models from existing home policy holders to find their ideal leads. Then, using our real-time comprehensive contextual and behavior data they could identify actively in-market, and truly net-new policy holders to engage through digital media.
Ultimately, Epsilon’s real-time intent data allowed the insurance company to use life event triggers to proactively reach active customers that improved efficiency and response.
3. Measure the true impact of your insurance marketing budget
Quality measurement starts and ends with individual-level identification. Metrics like views, clicks and impressions are great—but not the end goal. And without a full view of your impact, there’s no way to accurately improve your insurance marketing efforts. It’s crucial to see if and how the digital media advertisement you served to a prospective policy holder actually led to a conversion.
The purpose of measuring engagement metrics should be to tie the transaction and the data to the outcome. It’s a challenge, though: Forrester research reveals that over half (52%) of financial marketers say they face challenges with proving performance and measurement of marketing.
Your partners should be able to drive campaign performance around your specific desired outcomes and goals—all while showing clear impact, not just activity. Not all insurance marketing partners deliver results based on real outcomes—and many put too much emphasis on engagement metrics as the barometer of success. Marketers want to see real conversions tied to marketing spend, but even when ROI is measured, most vendors use complex attribution models or provide a limited, black-box view. It’s intentionally difficult to understand so you don’t question it—what are they hiding?
Especially if your advertising is served based on cookies, your reporting will be skewed and inaccurate. The good news is if you’ve developed individual-level customer IDs and reaches customers on with personalized messaging using AI, the measurement is easy. Starting with identity-driven insurance marketing means that you’ll then measure at the individual level when proving marketing impact. It’s as simple as high-quality inputs produce high-quality outputs. Following an individual throughout their journey ensures a transparent path from message to conversion.
Improving your insurance marketing today is easy
COVID-19 has only accelerated the need for a digital-first marketing approach. Insurance marketing strategies need to harness “off-us” data from this increase in digital signals to proactively address evolving consumers’ needs for policies.
Taking the three strategies from this article into consideration ensures you’re connecting with the right individuals, reaching them through digital and measuring your true marketing impact.
Download “The insurance marketer’s guide to acquiring new policies” to learn more.