Smart content in insurance - Presentation from The Digital Insurer


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In this Presentation at the Mandarin Oriental on 8th April 2014 The Digital Insurer talked about content strategies in the insurance industry

The objectves of the presentation were to make the case for more content in insurance , to illustrate good example of smart content and to briefly look at how insurers can gear up for the "content wars" in insurance.

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  • Ambitious agenda. Not sure will gel. Hopefully something for everyoneBreak down into 5 areasMay be time challenged – so skip section 4
  • Like to share my background – and explain why I am speaking on Smart content.Firstly let me say I am not a digital marketing specialist. However, I do have a deep background in both insurance and technology from a strategic and operational perspective. 18 months ago when I stated producing and publishing content on digital insurance I started to learn about the importance of smart content. So when I was approached to talk as this conference I grabbed the opportunity– a little bit selfishly as it would hopefully help me produce better content in the future.And I have to say I have enjoyed researching for this presentation – and the good news is that there are great example of smart content in insurance we can all learn from.
  • Neither would I ?
  • Can I ask you to raise your hands if yourecognises this photo? The worlds most famous selfie!As a follow up please raise your hand if you know what mobile phone company was behind this photo?More people know this photo was captured on a Samsung than who won the oscars!
  • This selfie was an enormous success. But only because it relied on two strong distribution channels – Live time TV for a premiere event and a famous personality with more than 20 million twitter followers.The other really interesting point to note is that the selfie itself was spontaneous – although the US$18mn in ads and product placement was not.Samsung was so happy donated another US$3 million to 2 charities chosen by DeGeneres.Did you know that there has been similar success in insurance ? I’d like to share not one but two examples where content has changed the game for an insurer or insurance related business.
  • The first example is from the US and involves Farmers innovative use of the Blimp in Farmville. With a series of prize draws they were able to quite quickly raise their Facebook followers to more than 2 million.In the second example a comparisons sites search for cheaper search terms resulted in an almost overnight transformation of their business – redefining their brand and their results in the processBoth of these examples are fantastic – but is it realistic to try and repeat them? When you research these example on-line even the creators acknowledge that the success of either campaign was not expected.I would like to suggest that these are examples of great tactical marketing but not necessarily smart content. For me smart content is about a platform investment that will steadily increase your engagement with customers and prospective customers. Smart content will definitely increase your chances of a “lucky strike” -but that is not the primary driver or motivation. It’s a bit like a young entrepreneur saying he wants to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs . A laudable ambition but actually even creating a company worth a few million dollars is a huge success – and of course more attainable ! For the rest of this presentation I am going to focus on the “graft” of content production as opposed to the one in a million runaway success stories . I want to do this because I think all insurance companies can improve their companies by applying themselves and developing smart content.
  • So Let’s look in turn at three strong reasons for investment in content. And Lets start with a look at the evidence that consumers like content
  • So why is content important. Basically we are nearly all using on-line content before we make purchases.These sound bites are interesting and I particularly like the first one . Where 62% of millennials (who are basically people younger than about 32) know what they want to buy before they enter the shop..So the sceptics will say that is pretty selective – US based data, a young customer segment and retail based. Is it relevant to insurance here in Asia. So let’s broaden the evidence base.
  • This Consumer Barometer report shows that just less than 70% of people who are part of the on-line population globally research on-line - but then 2/3rds of us still then go and make an offline purchasesSo again I hear the sceptics say. Financial services is different.
  • Well this survey suggests otherwise – 67% of people researchon-line for finance – only 2% less.But again the sceptics will still say but Asia is different
  • Again Not really . In India 65% and China 74% research on-line. However, what we do see in this data as different is that as face-to-face dominates in Asia at the moment we have a higher rate of offline purchase.So I would argue that this data shows us that even if you are an agency led insurer in one market in Asia you should be interested in getting the best on-line content available – or risk serving an increasingly older and steadily reducing population of offline people. Without an investmet in content you are leaving about 65% of your online prospects to research your competition..
  • Customer researchfrom Ernst & Young in 2012 confirmed that all around the world when customers research for insurance they like to research on-line and also rely on advice from friends and family. And of course increasingly advice from friends and family is increasingly shaped by online content on social media as well as websites. And of course smart content will be used by face-to-face salesforces to engage with their customers.
  • The second reason for smart contentis that trust is at the heart of insurance and financial services purchases – but the evidence suggest that financial services has a trust challenge. It is easy to smile at the viacom result which suggests that customer prefer dental treatment over listening to their banks. But then you realise that insurers are less trusted than banks….One of the best ways to overcome this trust deficit is through a customer centric content strategy.
  • The third argument for investing smart contentis that an excellent smart content strategy could open up new market opportunities. This LIMRA study, reports in a Swiss Re Sigma report in 2013, indicates that the vast majority of people don’t actively shop for life insurance. When you combine this with the well documented protection gap around the world there is clearly a big prize available to the company that can create content that motivates people to actively shop online for life insurance.
  • I’d like to add in one more tactical reason why investing in content makes sense. As this Hubspot survey shows the three lowest cost methods for generating leads are content supported tactics that generate inbound inquiries.
  • I think we have just seen a strong case for using content to increase sales. However, this Content Marketing Institutesurvey shows us that a good content strategy is broader than this and often also includes brand awareness and customer retention as well as sales and customer acquisition goals.
  • What challenged me was how to move from the subjective towards the objective. How do we measure smart content and what are the key criteria?
  • I Researched the academic literature and the most common reference was to the AIDA model which describes a buying funnel from awareness to interest to desire and then finally action.However the AIDAmodel is more than 100 years olds and its major weakness is that it doesn’t cover the distribution and social aspects that are increasingly important in our on-line world.As I researched this more and more I realised there were few formal frameworks for assessing smart content. So I guess as a sub theme to this presentation, and for a bit of fun, I ended up creating my own index which I would like to share with you today and then use it to score the examples of smart content we are going to review laterSo Let me share what I call the Smart Content Index. I am going to cover this only briefly as it is not the main purpose of the presentation today.
  • I ended up with 8 criteria which incorporates elements of the AIDA model but also updated for the modern world to include digital criteria such as content being searchable, useable, shareable and reportable.
  • To create a rating system I then added a simple traffic light scoring system linked to a points system for each criteria – 1 for red , 2 for orange and 3 for green – green being the best rating. This then combines to give an overall maximum score of 24. In this example the score totals 16 – the middle of the average range and hence the circle is orange.
  • So for example I scored the Samsung Oscar selfie at 22 out of 24. Only losing out in that it was not really that actionable and had no usability dimension to it beyond instant gratification.
  • I Was thinking of doing top 10 list but had to settle for 3 really good examples as I realised time was a limiting factor.So we are going to do a Tour around the world from West to East – Starting with USAA, moving to Money Saving Expert in the UK and ending up back at home in Singapore with Great Eastern Life.
  • USAA Provides financial services to Veterans and serving members of the armed forces. By the way USAA does not stand for USA Army but United Services Automobile Association. So can see why they use USAA as their brand!What is really good about USAA and I think it really helps them in their social content strategy is they know their customer, people with a relationship with the military, and know what they want to deliver – a full range of competitive financial services. In short you can see they have a customer centric mission statement. Out of the 3 examples we are looking at today they get the highest engagement stats in terms of pages per visit and also minutes on site
  • In terms of content strategy you can see their approach is very advice based and they use member-to-member forums as well as mobile, Facebook and twitter.I’d like to show you a video on their iPad application to show this video for 2 reasons:Firstly it is a great piece of smart content telling you all about the smart content they have on their iPad appSecondly it makes you realise what a marketing advantage there is with a full financial services proposition
  • I also like their open use of customer ratings and posts. They are not scared to host the less than good news. And presumably they respond to these insights and improve much faster as a result.
  • What is also interesting about USAA is it its mutual ownership structure – it is owned by its policy owners . I think it is this structure combined with a well defined and narrow customer base that has meant that it has been a customer centric company for a long time. So content would seem to be a natural extension of this customer centricity.Any you can see how good they are in formal independent customer service surveys - not only in industry but across industries. They even have a higher net promoter score than Apple and Amazon.I gave them an SCI rating of 20 – marking them down slightly on the quality of their content and also reportability as I don’t know how reportable their content is . Of course this is a bit unfair as I am not a member of their target customer base !
  • The second example is strictly not an insurance example. But I wanted to include it as I think it is a great example of how advice based content can get a fantastic following.Money Savings Expert is a independent site – and not surprisingly it’s proposition is to help people to save moneyAs you can see it is one of the leading sites in the UK – ranked 55 by Alexa
  • In addition to a site that get millions of visits each month it also has a weekly email with 5 million subscribers and a whole series of very active discussion forums supplement with a range of guides and money saving tools.
  • As you can see my SCI rating for Money Saving Expert is 23/24 – nearly a perfect score . Again I only marked it down because I couldn’t find any publicly available information on how reportable the engagement is - but I do expect they have extensive reporting and tracking in place.The other thing to note is that the site makes revenue by referral links to financial services providers . It was sold in 2012 to one of its largest referral partners, the aggregator for more than US$100 million. That shows you the financial muscle of great content. Money is in itself a popular site – ranked 207 in the UK – but note it is still much lower than the Money Saving Expert ranking – again illustrating the power of great content.
  • For our last example I chose Great Eastern and in particular the Live Great programme.I like this programme as , in addition to being brand reinforcing with the use of the word Great, it also allows the content to be extended to health and lifestyle issues.
  • The programme is very extensive both in terms of timescales and in the range of content tools used. It covers microsites, guides , apps , lifestyle tips and loyalty programmes.60,000 Facebook likes in Singapore a good result. At about 1.2% of the total population it is better than the <1% for the USAA for example . It is also good compared to the Singapore competitionAIA - <40KNTUC Income <12kPrudential <5K
  • I gave Great Eastern an SCI rating of 20/24 . Marking it down a little bit because I think they could sharpen their marketing to make the content easier to find and easier to share. Great Eastern have been very successful in the last couple of years and have been named the life insurance company of the year in both 2011 and 2013. The multi-year commitment GE has made to customer centric content is paying off.I am also surprised that they haven’t presented a more integrated financial services offering to customers by leveraging of their parent bank OCBC. A rewards based credit card for example? I gave Great Eastern an SCI rating of 20/24 . Marking it down a little bit because I think they could sharpen their marketing to make the content easier to find and easier to share.
  • The Content Marketing Institute survey is again very instructive in this area. This chart show in the orange column what the most effective content marketers do and we can compare that against the least effective . So we can seeThey have a clear strategy – 60% vs only 12% for the least effective85% have someone in charge of content – perhaps a chief content officerThey use the more content tactics and more social media platformsThey spend more of their budget on content and are least challenged by budget issuesThey feel they have the skills to create content
  • The same survey also show the types of content marketing tactics needs to be deployed. It was a common thread across the three examples we looked at earlier that they deployed a large number of content tactics
  • Similarly we see that B2C content marketers use multiple social media platforms. To test this in Insurance I did a quick check on Pinterest and found that all 3 of our examples did in fact use that platform – but it was patchy and Great Eastern was better than our 2 other examples.
  • If you are just starting a content strategy my personal top 3 recommendations areCreate a modern content factory – with dedicated leadership and a mix of internal and external talentInvest in content distribution in parallelLeverage your people to support both content production and distributionAnd obviously a pre condition for success is a long- term budget commitment.
  • I think there are 5 key success factors for winning content strategies –but perhaps the two most important are brand affinity and the breadth of the product range.As you can see I have all 3 of the examples we looked at in the “winners” category. I think you would also agree that small traditional life insurance companies are going to be the most challenged in their content strategies.I also think there is plenty of scope for new leader in content to emerge – and the field is quite open to all industry participants be it IFA’s, brokers, aggregators, banks , insurers or new entrants. My personal desire is to see a Money Savings Expert type site emerge in the region – perhaps as part of an aggregator model.
  • Sample of reference materials influencing and contributing to this presentation
  • Smart content in insurance - Presentation from The Digital Insurer

    1. 1. Social Media & Mobile Marketing Conference 8th April 2014 Presentation by Hugh Terry – The Digital Insurer Change Picture Find the slides in the conferences section of The Digital Insurer
    2. 2. 5 Key Objectives today 2 Make the case for smart content in insurance Present a framework to help assess smart content Take a look at some examples how can you prepare for a content war in insurance? Crystal ball - predicting the likely winners 1 2 3 4 5
    3. 3. The Digital Insurer is in the content business Reports on Digital Insurance Content production Insurance library (9 articles reviewed each month) 2-3 new articles a quarter Thought leaders :2-4 articles a quarter Quarterly Digest insurance library (9 articles reviewed each month) Bespoke sponsored reports Speaking Engagements Digital Consulting & Digital Ventures Join more than 2,500 other insurance professionals @
    4. 4. Smart Content in Insurance Social media and Mobile Marketing Conference 8th April 2014 1. Making the case for smart content in insurance
    5. 5. Best Actor & Actress in Oscars this year? 5 Cate Blanchett Matthew McConaughey
    6. 6. 6 Do you recognise this picture?
    7. 7. 5 facts you may not have known 750K retweets in 15 mins, >3 million within a week Ellen Degeneres has >20 million twitter followers It was ‘half planned’ – sponsored placement but not the selfie They spent US$18 million dollars for 5 minutes ad at the Oscars + product placement Samsung was so pleased it donated U$1 for each tweet to a charity of Degeneres’ choosing 1 2 3 4 5 DeGeneres: “Meryl, here's my idea, ok, so you were nominated -- it's a record-breaking 18 times, right? So I thought we would try to break another record right now with the most re-tweets of a photo. So right now I'm going to take a picture of us, and we'll see if we can break the record for the most retweets –” Streep: “Get her in –” *points to Julia Roberts* And the rest followed….
    8. 8. Similar success in insurance 8 Digital to real world – win a free ride 2010/ 2011 – Guinness World Record with most likes in a 24 hour period Again: scale of success was not expected 2.2 Million Facebook likes Farmers Insurance use Farmville Driven by desire to reduce click through costs – 73% reduction in search costs Accidentally created a loveable cartoon character (Aleksandr Orlov) - >800K likes on Facebook No 1 for spontaneous recall
    9. 9. 3 Strong reasons for investing in content in insurance 9 1 2 3 4 5 1. Consumers like and use content 2. Insurers have a trust challenge 3. New customers
    10. 10. Reason 1: consumers love content 10 - the conscious consumer
    11. 11. 11 Consumer’s research on-line & purchase anywhere Source : . Around the world 69% of the online population researches on-line before purchasing a product or service 46% research online /purchase offline23% research online / purchase online
    12. 12. 12 Is Financial Services different? Not really For Finance and Real Estate it is 67% around the world Source : .
    13. 13. 13 Is Asia different? Not really In India it is 65% and in China it is 74% for Finance and Real Estate. However, a higher % of purchases are currently made offline (reflecting face-to-face channel dominance). Source: .
    14. 14. Multiple source of information – “mono” communication channels no longer exist 14 Extracted from Swiss Re Sigma 06/13
    15. 15. Reason 2: Trust is at the heart of financial services. But… 15 Source : Edelman 2014 Trust barometer WE HAVE A TRUST CHALLENGE 15 71% would rather go to the dentist than listen to what their banks are saying to them Source: survey by Viacom
    16. 16. Reason 3:Market Opportunity 16 Extracted from Swiss Re Sigma 06/13 Smart content can change the paradigm that “life insurance is sold not bought”.
    17. 17. Economics of content distribution: inbound lower cost than outbound 17 Websites are at the heart of a smart content strategy. Content is the driver for inbound marketing.
    18. 18. “What for”: Content goals 18
    19. 19. 2. Frameworks for assessing Smart content Smart Content in Insurance Social media and Mobile Marketing Conference 8th April 2014 Image from ;
    20. 20. So what is smart content? What are the key criteria? How do we measure smart content? How do we move beyond being subjective? 20
    21. 21. The AIDA model for Advertising 21 A - attention (Awareness) - Attract the attention of the customer. I - interest: - Raise customer interest by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits (instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising). D - desire: - Convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs. A - action: - Lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing. AIDA is the traditional model – but ignores distribution and needs updating for digital channels
    22. 22. A work in progress - Share your views The Digital Insurer’s Smart Content Index (SCI) The Smart Content Index from The Digital Insurer The content demands my attention – this increasingly involves multi-media The content is engaging - it attracts my interest and it is thought provoking The content Is searchable / findable – it can be discovered by target consumers The content is memorable – and easy to quote The content is reportable – which means its success can be measured The content is designed to encourage sharing – it can be shared across multiple platforms The content is easy to use – “fit” for purpose and to the point The content is actionable - it leads me to take a step that the content producer wanted22
    23. 23. What is the SCI Rating? 23 The Smart Content Index 16/24 Good Average Poor 3 2 1 20-24 8-12 13- 19
    24. 24. 24
    25. 25. 3. Examples of Smart Content in Insurance Smart Content in Insurance Social media and Mobile Marketing Conference 8th April 2014
    26. 26. 3 great examples of smart content in insurance 26
    27. 27. Blank USAA provides financial services to veterans and serving members of the armed forces Alexa Ranking : 1,172 Global ; 288 US 6.2 pages per visit – 6 mins average on site per visit27
    28. 28. Blank 28 >600K likes in Facebook Mobile service and content platform Member-to-member forum >60K Twitter followers 28
    29. 29. Blank 29 Let the conversation flow The good … and the bad 29
    30. 30. 0 Did you know ? USAA is a mutual – owned by its policy owners It’s content strategy is an extension from deep seated customer centricity A customer centric business – Leading customer satisfaction scores Leading Net Promoter Scoreboards 30
    31. 31. Blank Money Saving Expert Provides advice on how to save money in the UK Alexa Ranking : 1,780 Global , 55 UK 4.7 pages per visit – 5 mins average on site per visit31
    32. 32. Blank 32 Who doesn’t like to save money? Independent advice 39 million site visits in 2011 Weekly email (5 million subscribers – 2011) Discussion Forum (28 million posts) Extensive Guides Money saving tools 32
    33. 33. Did you know ? Money Savings Expert is owned by leading aggregator (Alexa : 207 UK) The site was sold for ~US$130 million in 2012 (it had <50 staff!)33
    34. 34. Blank Great Eastern is a leading regional life insurer – homegrown in Singapore Alexa Ranking: 164,285 Global ; 1,638 Singapore 3.1 pages per visit, 4 mins average per visit34
    35. 35. Blank 35 Dedicated microsite >60,000 Facebook users Multi– year commitment – content is additive around broad theme “live great” Mobile enabled Engaging – Guides , health apps, tips , rewards Applied across the region 35
    36. 36. Did you know ? Great Eastern started its content journey more than 2 years ago 36 Asian Insurance Reviews Life insurance company of the year 2013 “We are honoured to be named Life Insurance Company of the Year. At Great Eastern, we embrace a simple yet powerful corporate purpose - to not just be a life insurance company, but to be a LIFE company. We have made it our purpose to help our customers to live longer, healthier and better, and over the last two years we have been building our Live Great programme,…. This award is a strong affirmation and validation of our multi-faceted customer engagement strategy across the region.“ Chris Wei , Group CEO (Source: Great Easter press release 6/11/2013)
    37. 37. 4. Preparing for a content war in insurance Smart Content in Insurance Social media and Mobile Marketing Conference 8th April 2014
    38. 38. Blank 38
    39. 39. “How”: Content Tactics B2C Content Marketers use an average of 12 tactics
    40. 40. Content distribution platforms 40
    41. 41. Getting started: Top 3 recommendations 1. Create a modern content “factory” - agile with a dedicated leader, external recruits and third party support 2. Invest in content distribution in parallel with content production 3. Co-opt staff and salesforce to support both content production & distribution 41 Stating the obvious A multi-year budget commitment is required
    42. 42. 5. Predicting the content winners in insurance in Asia Smart Content in Insurance Social media and Mobile Marketing Conference 8th April 2014
    43. 43. Key Success Factors Breadth of Product Range BrandAffinity WINNERS LOSERS Brand Affinity Owned or borrowed. Influenced by size of customer base Sustained Commitment Combination of financial and cultural commitment to content production Independence of advice Ability to offer advice that is viewed as authoritative and sufficiently independent by consumers Breadth of product range Life insurance only is a difficult content proposition (but could be tackled by a digital niche player) Content Distribution capabilities Access to a combination of in-house traditional and digital marketing assets as well as paid distribution 11 22 33 44 55 43 “Digital Money” Small distributor centric life co 1. A well funded start-up? A non financial services company with a great brand and fantastic digital assets 2. A division of a broking company? But where’s the brand affinity? Could employer affinity be sufficient? 3. An aspiring Independent financial Advisory firm? Would they have the resources to compete? 4. A Large incumbent insurance company? Would it be prepared to expand its product range into banking? 5. A bank? Are banks willing to adopt open architecture models for non- banking products? Candidates for “Digital Money” in Asia
    44. 44. visit • Subscribe for free content • Provide content and ideas • Be an industry leader and help us to do more- Ask you company to sponsor content development Messages to take away Support The Digital Insurer – and help us develop smarter insurance content for you! Find this presentation in the conferences section of the-digital-
    45. 45. References & recommended reading About Smart content marketing: Other views on great content (website/blogs): Hubspot - State of inbound marketing reports: Trends in Trust in financial services: 45