Sarah Walker, Marketing Manager at Future Proof talks about the changing consumer and how digital marketing can help us engage with them more.
I am a fortunate woman. The company that I work for is very progressive when it comes to digital marketing and the use of social media. It understands the power of technological change and with that the evolution of client wants and needs when it comes to being listened to.
Consumers have changed
Consumers these days have evolved, they are more shrewd when it comes to choosing providers and buying protection insurance. With internet access now ubiquitous, they find it a lot easier to shop around to compare goods and services. Choice has also grown and whilst it is good to have choice, too much can be a minefield.
Internet use is growing
Figures from the ONS report about internet users, UK 2018 state:
- In 2018, 90% of adults in the UK were recent internet users, up from 89% in 2017.
- Virtually all adults aged 16 to 34 years were recent internet users (99%) in 2018, compared with 44% of adults aged 75 years and over. ‘Silver surfers’ are a growing demographic.
- 8.4% of adults had never used the internet in 2018, down from 9.2% in 2017.
Marketing Week headlines recently stated: ‘Relentless’ digital growth boosts UK marketing budgets. (Ellen Hammett Marketing week 18 Jul 2018)
Digital marketing provides the opportunity to do things better. Mass marketing for mass brands is a thing of the past. Campaigns can be now highly targeted, so that content can be tailored on a large scale. For us, the key is marketing our content effectively, in what is now more than ever, a digital world.
Making a digital transformation takes a supportive top down approach and bravery to try new and different techniques. In my capacity as marketing manager we have tried blogs, videos, social media and email campaigns. The search for new touchpoints to engage with clients, coupled with innovative approaches is positively encouraged.
Out of all the digital marketing actions that I have been involved in, the most far reaching and successful has been Search Engine Optimisation of our health blogs. In simple terms on a Google search, I want my blogs to be sat on that first relevant page. SEO is attractive in many ways as you don’t have to pay to appear on page one of a search list, although some companies do with great results. Being in such a visible position allows prospective clients to find us easily. It’s then up to our blogs to be relatable and jargon free to instil trust and hopefully encourage the potential client to pick up the phone to us. The wide range of topics published means that there is always something that is relevant to a large readership.
Social media is another effective point of contact for our clients. The more quality the touchpoints, the better we can engage. Tailored content encourages click throughs to our website, so that we can introduce ourselves.
Online reviews are key to our referral success. Live streamed on our website we use the best ones to showcase as content for our social channels. Spreading trust and standing out in our marketing message is paramount in a digital world full of choice.
Videos have also played their part in our content marketing. We ran an introducer campaign to encourage specialists to outsource their protection to us. Our message resonated strongly across the market and eventually led to our company being acquired by a large wealth management company. We also embed our videos in our quarterly client emails, to make them more interactive and dynamic. Our percentage of quarterly emails read is always high, at over 55%, with very few unsubscribes.
I am in awe of one large protection provider’s marketing campaigns. Youthful, bright, positive, it satisfies the immediacy that millennials crave by rewarding clients now and promoting good health. Balancing this with the long-term goal for life cover. I think that the industry as a whole could take a leaf out of their book when it comes to engaging with present day consumers.
Personally, I am a firm believer that for protection, a line should be drawn between using digital campaigns to attract an evolving demographic and robo-advice. Digital touchpoints are a creative and growing method of engaging and communicating with a new younger audience.
However, there is nothing quite like the reassuring human touch when it comes to great service and the feeling of security at having a tailored a protection package built around your personal circumstances. Speaking to a sympathetic, experienced adviser gives the client an instant answer to questions and concerns. An adviser can reduce the risk of non-disclosure by asking the right leading questions, advise on correct sums assured, terms and the effect of health conditions on premiums. Clients get the benefit of talking to someone who really cares about arranging cover that is absolutely fit for purpose.
Protection is about insuring the lives and wellbeing of people. It should be, at the end of the day, a human process.