Online Marketing

Optimizing your digital marketing to reach insurance shoppers – SmartBrief

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David Drotos

This post is sponsored by TransUnion.

Reaching the right customers when they’re shopping for insurance can be a challenge, particularly when it comes to digital marketing. Using data-driven tools to improve your online tactics and complement direct mail campaigns can increase the effectiveness of your marketing budget.

In this post, we talk to TransUnion’s David Drotos about the advantages of digital marketing and how insurance companies can leverage data to reach their target customers.

What are some of the main challenges insurance companies are facing when it comes to optimizing their digital marketing?

Calibrating attribution for quotes and sales across digital marketing tactics has been a challenge for many carriers. Some still look at the last click as a key metric in evaluating digital spend efficacy, which has been an outdated metric for a while now. Even with multitouch attribution, assumptions have to be made on the contributory value of display versus social versus paid search versus other options, and these have to be revisited often as online consumer behavior evolves. There is also a challenge in understanding how other marketing efforts complement digital in order to drive the right media mix for the business.

Striking that right media mix can be complicated as the ecosystem is constantly evolving. This requires carriers to be attuned to the latest trends and to be willing to put budgets against these emerging, innovative digital executions. Successful marketers are able to take a “test-and-learn” approach and optimize their mix in near real time, leveraging technology and machine learning algorithms to analyze the massive amount of data signals being generating in this digital ecosystem.

How is this the insurance industry different than others in terms of reaching the right customers?

For insurance, the right customer is not only defined by their risk profile, but also their intent. Not everyone with a great credit score is looking for insurance. Most carriers aren’t targeting every risk across the spectrum, so leveraging data to narrow the scope of your audience is important relative to other industries. Additionally, shopping for insurance is oftentimes dependent on certain life events, such as getting married, buying a new car or owning a home. Using this type of data to identify customers gives insurers a unique opportunity to market to their customers at the most appropriate time, such as when they are in need of insurance.

What are some ways new digital solutions are helping insurers reach motivated buyers?

With recent direct integrations into digital advertising platforms, insurers can capitalize on offline intent signals to reach online consumers in a timely fashion. This is critical to take advantage of the time immediately after a consumer is observed shopping for insurance in order to catch them in that crucial window of insurance consideration. In the past, marrying offline to online required an intermediary, known as an “on boarder.” Previously, it could take a few weeks to make that connection, but by leveraging this process, it can be done in as little as 24 hours. 

Direct mail has long been a mainstay of marketing, but what new insights or advantages can insurers gain with digital marketing solutions in conjunction with or as an extension to direct mail?

By using digital marketing to complement direct mail, carriers can see lift in their overall response and conversion for a targeted audience as the same consumer sees the message across different mediums. This can be accomplished with email (either before, during or after the mailing) or with display advertising.

Also, many carriers have a point of diminishing returns on direct mail as they go deeper into a prescreen file where the cost of direct mail doesn’t yield results within their targets. By leveraging digital as an extension to direct mail, carriers are able to reach the upper spectrum of their target market with a medium that typically costs less than direct mail, as well as acquire new customers at a favorable return on investment.

What kinds of returns are you seeing on these innovative types of solutions?

Feedback has been extremely positive as carriers recognize the value in digital targeting using risk and intent signals that make direct mail successful. Many of our customers are also existing direct mail clients and are excited to apply what has worked there in the digital medium.   

What are the biggest digital marketing opportunities that insurers should consider as they plan for 2020?

There is a lot of emerging focus on voice search, with more than 40% of US adults using it every day. In addition, video and streaming are predicted to represent 81% of all internet traffic by 2021, so it is rapidly becoming the main way in which people are consuming media. Regardless of the tactic, digital is only getting more dominant, and to find success in the new era of multichannel marketing, data must be at the center of your strategy.

You can read more about digital marketing here, and discover more about TransUnion here.

David Drotos leads product development for insurance marketing at TransUnion, creating unique data-driven solutions for digital, call center, lead generation and direct marketing. He also provides thought leadership for the insurance division and frequently speaks at industry events.

Prior to TransUnion, Drotos spent 20 years in the insurance and financial services industries at Direct General, The General, Progressive Insurance, KeyBank and New York Life focused on developing leading online sales and service programs, digital marketing and lead generation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Cleveland State University.

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