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How marketing automation is revolutionising the insurance industry

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Katie Jameson is the Head of EMEA Marketing at Act-On Software

When it comes to handling and interpreting data, the insurance sector has often been at the forefront. It was one of the first to start hiring staff specifically to manage databases – something which is now a familiar practice – and has a model almost exclusively assembled around statistics and understanding its customers.

 

Despite this, insurers haven’t been as quick to adopt marketing automation. For many, the notion of adapting and personalising communications across an expansive target audience spanning across a varied number of different generations, niches and products is still an enormous test.

 

Because of the huge sum of variables, from renewal dates to individual customer knowledge, switching over from manual processes can sometimes seem like an almost futile job.

 

But the insurance sector is one that could profit considerably from marketing automation, which can help providers improve lead generation and adjust the journey to the respective needs of each customer.

 

Personalised communications

 

To cut through the noise and successfully market to prospects, insurers and sales teams, communications need to be bespoke for each recipient. The term marketing automation can often make people think of mass emails, but it is much more than that. Marketing automation shines the brightest when it comes to personalisation, and both artificial and predictive intelligence will play a bigger and bigger part in this space over the coming years.

 

Marketing automation platforms can help process databases and produce significant insights for the many segments insurance companies target, like when customers are online and what their favourite channels are. A good platform must then be capable of turning this insight and segmentation into action, by using the customer data to accommodate communications in the best way.

 

Doing this converts into higher sales effectiveness, more inbound and outbound leads, and increased customer loyalty, all while reducing the work involved and the demand for expensive reporting.

 

Adaptive marketing

 

Marketing automation caters for a targeted strategy that far eclipses the industry standards today. With it, insurers can curate highly personalised, customised paths for each individual lead. By applying predictive intelligence, customer data can be utilised much more efficiently, following the trail of ‘digital breadcrumbs’ that promising leads leave behind when agreeing to the use of cookies or carrying out an online activity in the public domain.

 

It can be combined with many other aspects of marketing too. A properly adaptive journey not only incorporates email, but also involves the customer via SMS, banner and social media ads – wherever it will work best for them. A good multi-channel marketing strategy in itself can be a way for insurance companies to diversify themselves, making their messages seem more appropriate and timely than those of their competitors, and at the same time supporting the brand direction.

 

Real world results

Physicians Insurance, a provider of liability insurance for clinics, physicians and hospitals in the US, has been marketing to new buyers to counter the recent the decline of physicians leaving independent practices to work for large clients and hospitals with its own self-insurance programmes. It found its previous software couldn’t keep up with demand, and failed to deliver targeted content that addressed the specific needs of each buyer.

 

With a large chunk of its revenue coming from maintaining its core book of business, the company decided that retaining customers, and using a more relational approach, was a critical component of its strategy.

 

To do this, the insurer distributed three monthly newsletters. The first supplied resources to help companies curtail the risk of medical errors, the second delivered thought-leadership pieces, and the third was shared with brokers to educate them and aid in servicing clients. Through marketing automation, the company was able to segment the audience by job title, specialty, geographic region and even size of clinics, and the lists were synced automatically to ensure the company’s huge database was always up to date.

 

Physicians Insurance then tailored the content in the newsletters to each group, making it easier to alert administrators to potential cyber threats and even offer obstetricians online courses about new developments in managing post-partum hemorrhages. Overall, marketing automation cut down Physicians Insurance’s time consuming operations and tackled managing and segmenting their lists manually. It also had a major impact on the results, helping the company achieve a 95 percent customer retention rate – considerably higher than the industry median of 84 percent – and driving open as high as 31 percent for existing clients.

 

Furthermore, marketing automation gave insights to help build on their marketing strategy. Act-On tracked and assessed how and when buyers interacted with messages so Physicians Insurance was able to build and adapt strategies depending on their audience segments, providing more detailed insights.

 

 

And in the UK, RSA Insurance – one of the world’s longest standing insurers – used Act-On and marketing automation to break through the noise of their brokers and risk managers’ inboxes as it found its previous system sent emails straight into “junk mail” folders. Like Physicians Insurance, RSA Insurance’s former method of marketing was time consuming, difficult and lacked a strategic plan based on analytics.

 

RSA Insurance used marketing automation to create and deliver professional emails and landing pages simply and clearly. Its ability to A/B test and report on email performance enabled RSA Insurance to further refine their emails and messaging, which resulted in an increase in open and click-through rates across its various email campaigns.

 

The results show why automation is set to become an essential strategy for insurers to approach the right clients and nurture the right prospects, all while maneuvering through the highly competitive insurance market.

 

It may well be argued that the future across all sectors is adaptive and personalised, and the insurance industry won’t be an exception.

 

Katie Jameson is the Head of EMEA Marketing at Act-On Software, a leading provider of marketing automation and one of the fastest growing tech companies in North America. She has previously implemented, integrated and executed programmes on a variety of marketing automation platforms at industry leading companies such as Symantec, Paywizard, and ResponseTap.

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From compliance to the metaverse: Investment trends to look out for during the year ahead

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By Rami Cassis, Founder and CEO of Parabellum Investments

 

In the investment world, the old saying, knowledge is power, has never been more pertinent. As any investor will testify, it is essential to retain an in-depth, and up to date, understanding of news, predictions and trends that specifically relates to his or her specific area of interest.

This is particularly true for investors in the financial sector.

We all know just how quickly the sector can change beyond recognition. The demands of consumers are forever changing, new technology is always waiting in the wings to re-write the financial status quo and the next big digital company is constantly looking to increase its market share. There is always a new trend to look out for.

As we move into a brand-new year and prepare to face the opportunities – and challenges – that doubtless lie ahead, these are some of the trends that are likely to develop during the next 12 months.

 

Personal banking conversations

In its Tech Trends 2021: A financial services perspective Deloitte states that today’s pioneering companies are using advanced digital technologies, virtualized data, and cobots to transform supply chain cost centres into customer-focused, value-driving networks, based around a personal experience.

The concept of personal banking provides a perfect example of how the financial services sector has evolved to deliver digital personal banking.

Before the digital banking revolution, personal banking involved a visit to a high street branch to sit down with a personal banker in the flesh. This personal banker would be the customer-facing, end point of a complex supply-chain, involving training centres, degree courses, carbon-emitting journeys into work – the list goes on.

Compare this to the current version of personal banking. Digital financial services firms such as Monzo have revolutionised banking thanks to sophisticated analytics and a personalised interface. The big banks are now catching up, offering their own versions of ‘modern’ banking insights for the everyday user, and furnishing them with the latest online, smartphone-powered gadgets to enable them to manage their money 24/7, wherever they might be in the world.

However, even this is now becoming somewhat stale, with many financial services providers still seeing personalization simply in terms of personalized messages. Instead, the next chapter will involve smart banks understanding that good personalization requires personalized conversations, not just messages.

Enterprise software is one of the specific investment interests of Parabellum Investments. One of our portfolio companies is ieDigital, a specialist UK financial technology provider. The team from ieDigital and Parabellum Investments analyses the latest developments in business technology regularly.

We understand the importance of pushing digital boundaries. Indeed, one eye should constantly be scanning the horizon to identify the digital tools that the customers of tomorrow will expect. The interpretation of digital transformation is specific to each organisation and translating technology into practical business outcomes requires the focused specialism the combined IE Digital & Parabellum Investments team is qualified to deliver.

We understand – and see daily – the pressure that banks are coming under to deliver an ever more personal service, and see the ability to deliver these personal conversations is one of the trends to watch during the next 12 months.

 

The metaverse

The word ‘metaverse’, is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as a “virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users”.

When Facebook changed its name to Meta in 2021 it may have come as a surprise to many of the platform’s users, but it was a major moment in the company’s history. It signalled Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions for his business; to be the leader in the development of the metaverse.

Indeed, the future of the metaverse is looking sophisticated and bright. With giants like Facebook and Microsoft introducing metaverse elements into the fabric of their business models, it’s a concept that cannot be ignored, and one which is likely to expand rapidly throughout the next 12 months.

Returning to the financial services sector as an example, in a blog post titled Metaverse, the end of banking digital transformation?, CoinYuppie speculates that the metaverse will change banking in a number of ways including:

  • Identify verification. In the metaverse, identity verification will be performed via VR glasses and Metaverse sensor devices which contain a security chip.
  • Real-time creation of financial products. In the meta universe, virtual product managers use gestures to drag and drop the entire process of digital product manufacturing.
  • Games and attractions become a source of bank traffic. You can open branches on Mount Everest, in the Tarim Basin, on the Kunlun Mountains, or in Jiuzhaigou. The bank will combine these magnificent landmarks to fully personalize its branches and display its products.

This is just the financial services sector. Just imagine the opportunities for other industries – and the tools that will be needed to deliver them.

People are likely to need virtual-reality headsets, for example, together with related components such as sensors, as virtual-reality technology becomes intrinsically linked with the metaverse world.

 

Compliance

Another key trend to look out for as we move into 2022 and beyond is how companies deal with their compliance issues.

In the wake of the global Covid pandemic, we are seeing a much-increased hybrid working model, with a large proportion of the workforce now based at home. This creates a logistical headache for compliance teams, who must now ensure that sensitive data and company secrets remain just that, despite a workforce now using multiple digital platforms, messaging systems, mobile phones and landlines.

Cloud-based archive systems that can capture multi modal communications are likely to become essential for companies to remain compliant.

 

Alternative currencies

Cryptocurrencies are likely to retain their position as one of the most talked about developments in the world of alternative currencies.

As an example, Bitcoin has risen nearly 70% since the start of 2021, driving the entire crypto market to a combined $2 trillion in value. However, heightened regulatory scrutiny and intense price fluctuations have somewhat dampened bitcoin’s prospects in recent months.

Despite this, we are likely to see banks increasingly looking at offering mainstream crypto services. We have already seen the start of this, with the first major crypto company going public with the debut of Coinbase in April, increased participation from Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs, and the approval of the first U.S. exchange-traded fund linked to bitcoin.

 

Conclusion

We all know how quickly the financial sector changes. If you happen to be reading this just a few months after it was written, several of my points might now be in the mainstream – or they might be completely obsolete.

The fact is that unless an investor possesses superhuman powers, it is impossible to identify, with 100 per cent accuracy, what the next big investment trend is. All we can do is use our experience, insights, and up-to-date sector knowledge to predict what the next big trends are likely to be.

 

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How Crypto Traders Can Avoid Unexpected Expenses

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Have you been dabbling in cryptocurrency in 2021? Are you still relatively new to the world of crypto and feeling your way around? While crypto can prove to be quite lucrative, it can also spark a lot of unexpected expenses if you aren’t careful and don’t use the proper tips. We’ve got four essential ways tips crypto traders can use to avoid unexpected expenses moving forward, making sure your experience with crypto is as positive as possible.

 

Make Sure You’re Working with a Strategy

When you get into cryptocurrency, it’s wise to look at it as you would any other type of investment. This means you have a plan and a goal of what you want to achieve. You also need to ask yourself how much of a risk you are willing to take. The answer will be different for each person, so don’t feel pressured to keep up with others. In general, cryptocurrency trading is seen as a high-risk activity, so you need to accept that going into it.

 

Diversification Can Help Limit Expenses

Any financial investment expert will tell you that diversification is an excellent way to balance your options and hopefully prevent any massive losses – or unexpected expenses. You can use this approach with cryptocurrency and make sure you’re diversifying.

 

Understand the Tax Laws and How They Apply to Crypto Investments

Did you know that you may be subject to paying taxes on your crypto assets? It’s something that isn’t always discussed, nor do all investors realise that this is the case. Cryptocurrency tax UK can be confusing and not something you want to glaze over.

Because you may face some crypto tax issues, it’s worth it to work with a company like Hodge Bakshi, which is a group of chartered tax advisors and chartered accountants. They are well versed in how individuals are taxed, what the code says, asset pools, capital gains tax and more. They can guide you through the process so there is no chance of an unpleasant surprise.

 

Keep An Eye Open for Cryptocurrency Scams

Unfortunately, scams are now popping up all over the place and if you get caught up in one, it can end up costing you money. There are business and investment cryptocurrency scams to be on the watch for. A popular one is where you are told to get others involved, like a rewards programme. So, the more people you manage to recruit into the programme, the more money you will make. This should be a huge red flag; you don’t want to get involved in any of these.

Another popular scam is the promise to convert your bitcoin to cash, which can result in you losing your money. Remember the saying – if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. In other words, be sceptical and don’t get pulled into anything.

While it’s impossible to anticipate every possible scenario, these tips can help you to avoid unexpected expenses or at least limit their negative effects.

 

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