Marketers have much to gain from the wealth of digital tools and capabilities that have emerged in recent years. Social media, advanced data and analytics, mobile platforms and connected devices enabled through the Internet of Things provide ample opportunity to target and reach customers more precisely and efficiently. Yet, many insurers’ marketing strategies are still focused on the traditional sales funnel, with its emphasis on reaching as many people as possible—including many who may never become customers—rather than a more dynamic model that is better suited to the way today’s customers buy (Figure 1).
In contrast, engagement marketing is about businesses connecting with individuals—understanding a customer’s intent, needs, preferences, interactions and behavior; offering a customer experience that aligns with those characteristics; and evolving the customer dialogue over time. Engagement marketing combines both creative vision and data-driven strategy, and it enables insurers to move quickly to create higher quality programs. Perhaps most important, engagement marketing represents a shift from one-off, wide-net campaigns toward targeted, continual interactions that drive long-term loyalty.
Being relevant to a target customer requires the ability to understand what experiences appeal to an individual, and to enable the right processes and interactions to delight those individuals. To begin the journey toward effective engagement marketing, insurers should assess their capabilities across three key dimensions