How to Market Insurance in a CrisisLast updated: April 30, 2020 | 5 min read
It’s been almost two months since the global pandemic started to turn our lives upside down – both personally and professionally
With most insurers preparing for a continued drop in sales and investment losses, they are looking to their marketing departments for solutions and new opportunities. As an insurance marketer, it’s essential to consider how your marketing decisions will reflect on your brand. Tact, empathy, and mindfulness are crucial when marketing during times of crisis.
With no insurance marketing playbook for challenging times like these, it can be helpful to see how other top insurers have navigated the same uncharted territory.
Change Your Marketing Plan
In insurance marketing, context matters. While every brand is unique, there are a few tips marketers can follow to help make the right choices and avoid serious mistakes.
First, review your active and upcoming marketing campaigns and adjust them where relevant. Prioritize the campaigns that need to be delayed or canceled immediately. For some campaigns, you can simply shift the messaging to be more empathetic.
When updating campaigns, be mindful of your visuals and language. Try to stay away from images of large crowds or language that refers to close interaction such as “stop by our office.” Instead, focus on keeping people informed and being helpful without taking advantage of the situation.
Finally, take time to reassess your marketing plan and campaigns continually. As the situation and market changes, you need to ask yourself if your scheduled campaigns are still appropriate.
When adjusting your marketing plans and campaigns, ask yourself the following questions:
- How are our corporate and marketing goals changing?
- Will my marketing budget be affected?
- Are we using the correct visuals and tone?
- What message will resonate with customers?
- What channels should I use?
- What new media habits does our audience have?
Differentiate Your Customer Experience
Over the last few decades, insurance has shifted from product and price-centric to customer experience-centric. Policyholders are willing to switch carriers – and in some instances, even pay more – for a better experience. And in a highly competitive market, now is the best time to differentiate from your competitors.
Communicate Your Benefits
Now more than ever, customers want personalized, digital experiences that adapt to their preferences. As previous crises have taught us, the new habits customers adopt today are most likely here to stay.
Focus on providing personalized and digital experiences and make that part of your brand story. Let consumers know that you will continue to provide quality service and protection in a world that is susceptible to pandemics. Consider communicating these benefits using digital channels like the ones listed below.
Explore New Digital Paths
As an insurer in the digital age, it’s essential to reach customers where they are. And this means testing several digital channels.
While many insurers are active on social media, there are several ways to improve your presence on these platforms. First, make sure you are continually tracking everything, testing new ideas, and adapting campaigns. Consider using paid ads to expand your audience and increase engagement. With an active presence on these platforms, you can stay top of mind and communicate the benefits you offer in real-time.
Some insurers are taking advantage of personalized video marketing to deliver engaging quotes, create informative videos, or simply communicate their brand values. With the dramatic rise of video consumption, insurers who use this medium successfully are more likely to see a positive response to their marketing efforts.
With overburdened call centers, now is a great time to consider implementing chatbots. You can create automated chatbots to answer customers’ questions immediately or direct them to a representative for more complex scenarios. Using this technology, insurers can increase response times, improve service delivery, and achieve cost savings through labor reduction.
Highly Interactive Documents
Additionally, top insurers are leveraging web technology to send highly interactive and responsive quote communications. By adding intelligent technology such as AI-based voice query, interactive forms, charts, graphs, and live calculators, your prospect can actively engage with your quote to evaluate coverage options. This also ensures that you provide an exceptional experience from the very first touchpoint.
Typically, face-to-face networking and referrals are a top source of new business for insurers. Of course, the current situation has made this much more challenging. However, some insurance marketers have discovered new ways to use digital to build trust and generate sales.
Consider using digital channels to promote your awards, highlight your community efforts, and showcase customer reviews. Featuring positive policyholder testimonials in your video marketing will help you reach your audience in a convincing and engaging way.
If you need to generate customer reviews, consider the following:
- Email your policyholders and simply ask them to leave a review
- Create an ongoing process to check in with policyholders and frequently ask for feedback
- Ask for feedback on customer service calls
- Provide customers with an easy way to leave a review using your website or customer portal
Optimize Every Touchpoint
With insurance sales dropping, it’s critical to focus on customer retention and expanding current customer relationships. To do this, you need to optimize every touchpoint for upsell and cross-sell opportunities. But keep in mind that your message should revolve around the customer and focus on being helpful.
Consider adding personalized video, customer testimonials, or educational information about other products to your touchpoints. For instance, you can add a personalized video to a billing statement that educates customers who have a homeowner policy on how bundling home and auto can help them save money. Many insurers who have used this strategy have seen a dramatic increase in the effectiveness of their upsell and cross-sell marketing activities.
Demonstrate Your Corporate Values
In challenging times like these, the strong brand you’ve worked to build becomes very valuable. Your organization exists to help customers and provide value. Use your mission, vision, and organization-wide values to guide your marketing tone and messaging. This shows your brand’s human side and allows you to connect with consumers on a deeper level.
In a time where optimism is in short supply, brands can benefit greatly from adjusting their messaging to promote positivity and hope. Consider emphasizing your community efforts, such as charitable contributions or educational resources. Take this time to highlight how your brand is helping consumers as a business and through your products and services.
Future-Proof Your Marketing Plan
While the global pandemic won’t last forever, consumer behaviors have changed for good. As an insurance marketer in these challenging times, you need to build a plan that includes digital avenues and communicates how you meet consumers’ changing needs.
To learn more about including personalized video, chatbots, and other engaging technology to your communications, reach out to our insurance CCM experts.
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