For marketing executives, the importance of digital marketing has never been more critical or pervasive. The field has widened, requiring expertise in rapidly expanding and evolving areas: social media, SEO, data analytics, mobile optimization, targeted ads, and other digital channels demand attention and resources to remain competitive. This changing landscape has led to challenges but also presents exciting opportunities to develop a simple yet effective digital marketing strategy. Take the insurance industry as an example; the need to adapt to changing consumer expectations, often shaped by the emergence of digital technologies, is top of mind to many of these industry marketing executives.
What forces are driving change in the insurance industry?
Recently, RGAX’s Digital Distribution team surveyed small to mid-sized insurance carriers to find out more about the forces of change that are driving the industry – and the focus areas where they are pushing the boundaries of digital marketing. 64% of professionals reported having “little/some” digital capabilities in digital marketing – with 11% reporting “non-existent” capabilities – an alarming stat for service providers in a digital landscape. Small teams with limited resources wear a lot of hats and serve a diverse base of consumers – making it difficult to meet the needs of traditional clients while appealing to other, long-term prospects. Despite challenges with capabilities, strategy, and resources, 64% reported testing digital advertising, and 50% are trying out e-application user journeys.
Rising expectations for consumer experience
These are steps in the right direction. With no end to the digital trend in sight and rising expectations of user-friendly, convenient services, insurance carriers need to strategically adapt more than ever before. Combined with the influx of new entrants and multiple insurtech and fintech start-ups entering the space in recent years, the reality is that insurance companies must adjust to digital developments to remain competitive. Consumers are electing to spend their hard-earned dollars at companies that are more consumer friendly, offer products that are tailored to individual needs, and most importantly, have analyzed traditional industry pain points to incorporate a dramatically improved customer experience.
Consumers are getting more comfortable with digital channels – but the industry and its professionals remain grounded in offline channels. This disconnect can seem intimidating but there is still a place for both of these types of experiences in the customer journey. Broadening horizons are exciting because they offer insurance product developers and marketing executives more flexibility to meet the needs of their clients.
Consumer Experience, UX, Customer Journey – What does it all mean?
Consumer experience, user experience (UX), and customer journeys all refer to the process of designing, developing, and maintaining a suitable level of service. They put the consumer/user/customer at the center of the decision-making process, and prioritize usability, accessibility, and convenience. These concepts extend the notion of service from one-on-one calls with a dedicated agent. The customer journey includes all of the actions a customer takes when they engage with the brand - even if they don’t necessarily communicate with a member of the team.
For example, consumer experience encompasses the company website where they look for information about plans, an in-person meeting to get approved, and the mobile experience that enables them to pay their premium. It is part of the same journey when they have a phone call with the support team and when they see the social media posts that remind them how they can make the most of their coverage. Each of these touchpoints creates an end-to-end ‘experience’ that leaves an impression with the client. It should be consistent, efficient, and engaging while building trust and loyalty.
Start interacting with consumers in the spaces they are spending time
There are a lot of resources to get started. From ambitious product development to a short digital campaign, every action is valuable if you can learn more about your customers and can offer them more options. Remove the intimidation factor from new channels and start speaking to prospects and clients where they are. You might be surprised by the results – and you’ll definitely learn a lot.
Learn more: The current state of digital distribution strategy among life insurers
We surveyed surveyed small to mid-sized insurance carriers to understand if and how they are using digital channels as part of their strategy. Download the whitepaper to discover what we learned and get tips on leading the industry in this space.