Big data rules the digital marketing roost. Interpreted correctly, it explains what makes consumers tick. Companies can zoom in on their customers and analyze their behaviors, shopping preferences, hobbies – qualities that define them as individuals. The data amalgamation has turned to these personal questions because the more specific and intimate the information, the more companies can pinpoint needs and wants within their customer base and develop products that address them. It’s the reason you see eerily tempting Google ads and sponsored posts on Facebook.

This technique is called out-in innovation because the ideas come from customer insights.

The insurance industry, on the other hand, continues to employ the in-out approach, developing products based on ideas from inside the company, not customer data. It is easy to be closed-minded when looking at a situation from the inside. The company cannot see beyond what stakeholders deem the most marketable or what needs they assume customers have.

Businesses whose leaders aren’t looking at the data to drive product innovation tend to rely on process innovation to remain competitive. There’s no question that streamlining operations is vital to maintaining current blocks of business, but efficiency alone isn’t enough to grow.

Data in action.

In an email marketing campaign, data transforms a flat pitch into a custom solution. There are two primary options. The first is to send customers a blanket offer, untethered to anything specific about the recipients. The second option is to send a targeted offer, which reaches individuals who fit the description of the perfect buyer.

These targeted offers are based on big data and they’re hugely successful. According to the Harvard Business Review, targeted offers are roughly 70 percent more successful than untargeted ones.

The good news, if you’re an insurance company, is that you already have all the data you need. The underwriting process alone provides access to more information than any other type of data mining. That data paints a complete picture of a customer who would buy your product. The bad news is you likely use that data only to determine the risk of insuring that customer and then toss it aside.

Instead of tossing it aside, analyze it. It could fuel your new product research and development efforts or give you a better idea of how your existing products can help solve problems for customers. Either way, you’re letting the data tell you what the customer is looking for.

Giving consumers what they want breeds success.

Next comes the real work – interpretation. Marketing Donut suggests “to tease out demographic and behavior trends that correlate with your best customers.” One behavior trend you’re likely to find is the desire to engage with you – and manage their accounts – online. If you don’t have the bandwidth to create an experience like this, you might consider partnering with an Insurtech company.

These businesses exist to improve the insurance buying experience using technology. Be careful which one you choose, however, because many of them are trying to acquire consumers for themselves. Choose a partner – like Link by LegacyShield — who doesn’t want to be a distributor or product manufacturer. Our business model is strictly B2B and we don’t market directly to the consumer. We help consumers organize their financial lives and give them a portal for interacting with industry professionals.

By engaging with customers on this platform, you’re giving them the experience they expect. And you’re also developing relationships with them. Relationships in which they tell you the challenges they’re facing and you figure out how best to solve them.

Dan Pierson

Dan Pierson

Dan Pierson is an insurance industry veteran, having run several insurance businesses and eventually selling a nationally recognized life insurance general agency. Dan started LegacyShield to help other insurance advisors grow their practices by focusing on the consumer experience.

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