In the first five parts of our blog series, we have looked at how marketing automation helps brokers build omnichannel awareness, improves the audience consideration phase when strategically leveraging email, personalization and automated programs and empowers the action and productivity of sales and service teams

Our sixth and final blog looks at building advocacy. Not unique to the insurance industry, many businesses pay an inordinate amount of attention to finding ways to source new business and often overlook the most valuable asset they already have – their existing customers. Relevant messaging, at the right time in a customers lifecycle can drive tremendous value for a broker. Customers that see value in their broker relationship tend to be more loyal, and loyal customers are the best advocates. While the benefits of customer loyalty may be easy to understand, the plan to build advocacy at scale is likely less so. This is where Marketing automation comes into play.

Get Personal

You know your customers (or at least you should!). Insurance has a distinct advantage over industries such as retail and arguably even banking, as policyholders provide a significant level of information about themselves. This data then can be used to personalize conversations. And, the longer someone is a customer the more you will come to know them. Marketing automation is often seen as a tool that impersonalizes communications given its ability to automate them, but the opposite is in fact true. The more data fed into marketing automation platforms, the more personal and powerful the outbound messaging can become. There is absolutely no reason why communication should ever start with “Dear Customer” and should ever make that customer feel like the broker doesn’t know them. All messaging from your marketing automation platform can leverage data from your BMS and/or CRM, including policy number, policy type, company name and the designated producer and/or CSR. These personalized fields can quickly change a message which has little value to any recipient to a message that has value for everyone who receives it. Dynamic content, which goes one step further and automatically inserts the right image to really drive home the ‘we know you and understand’ you (think single family home vs condo, downtown office tower vs manufacturing plant) is one of the many tools that allow insurance brokers to drive personalization at scale.

Add Value with Every Touchpoint

Customers complain that the only time they ever hear from their broker is at renewal time. Not only is that a lost opportunity for brokers, but it’s actually a disservice to clients. Brokers are in a unique position to understand the details of the policy a client has in place and the specifics of what they need to be properly protected, as that changes in line with their personal or business lifecycle. Welcome Programs, which can be automatically triggered once a quote is bound, are a great way to introduce a customer to your brokerage and set up the expectation of ongoing and regular communications. Monthly newsletters driven by easily segmented lists provide brokers with additional opportunities to ad relevance with content about extreme weather or changes in legislation. Cross-sell and up-sell emails powered by marketing automation allow for truly relevant recommendations driven by existing policy data and can include opportunities across different lines of business or within existing ones. Prebuilt templates, housed in the platform facilitate the execution and automation logic optimize the cadence of the timing of when these messages are sent.

Make Referrals Straightforward

Investing in your customers with examples like those mentioned above can provide returns on many levels. Increased retention rates, higher premiums and greater customer lifetime value are certainly among them. But a satisfied and loyal customer will also be happy to tell others about their experience. And customer reviews and referrals matter – consumers read reviews before they purchase products or services and they value referrals almost as much as personal recommendations. Build a referral strategy by finding the right time to ask a customer for a referral, craft the message and determine who should be making the ask.  A marketing automation platform can then execute your referral program with efficiency in mind; custom templates, personalized to and from fields and direct links to the referral forms make it easy for producers, CSRs and most importantly your customers.

Creating advocacy is a function of how you treat your customers. Marketing automation can help you leverage their recommendations to grow your business.

We hope you are enjoying our blog series.

Join us for a live webinar on June 20 at 2 pm where Nancy Costa, VP Marketing & Operations at The Hull Group will discuss how marketing automation has changed how The Hull Group approaches their lead management and customer marketing, and the value that the closed loop reporting provides.

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