Which topic sends more people scurrying for
the exits: Taxes, lawn care — or insurance?
Now, those of you in and around the insurance sector
know it to be a challenging, fascinating industry. For your
target consumers, however, dread is the most common
reaction to dealing with insurance companies. Allowing
fear, confusion and resentment to reign supreme over your
customer’s experience is no way to grow a business, let
alone generate brand loyalty.
Here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be this way.
We at Jack Morton believe there is massive upside
awaiting insurance companies who commit to
elevating the experience of every aspect of the
customer journey – offering the right information, at
the right moments, in the right ways to seamlessly meet
customer needs today and throughout their changing life
Today’s proactive insurance executives are asking
• Is our customer’s digital experience 100%
optimal? Simple, clear, on-demand, customizable
and built to nurture long-term relationships, especially
• How are we demystifying insurance for the
public? What’s our content marketing strategy?
Where are our Buzzfeed-style listicles, infographics
and games that empower customers through better
understanding of their options and the ramifications
of various choices?
• Do our employees know how to bring real
value to every customer interaction? Are
they acting as helpful partners and guides or
as by-the-book bureaucrats?
Let’s take a closer look at why meeting these challenges is
so pivotal to your company’s prospects and explore some
ideas for leading the charge for change.
Consider this discussion a thought-starter for a
conversation about how we can help you move your
insurance offering toward extraordinary brand experiences
and ever-greater success.
Lessons from insurance
Contributors: Jon Paul Potts and Peter Sun
Be great online
(or be spurned)
Digital isn’t a communications distribution
channel; it’s the bloodstream of your business.
• Over 80% of people first research their insurance
• 72% review online ratings and gauge their social
network’s opinion of insurers.
• With millennials, these percentages approach 100%.
Your customers are always connected. But does your digi-
tal experience connect them with the tools and information
they need, when and how they need it?
Too many companies have legacy websites, built for desk-
tops and functioning like repurposed brochures: Text-heavy,
one-size-fits-all, multiple-click mazes that alienate rather
than embrace customers. A recent U.S. survey found that
only 31% of consumers think it’s easy to find information
on their health insurer’s site.
Your consumers are living online, mostly through
their mobile devices. Demonstrate your care and com-
mitment by reaching them where they are and respecting
• Providing easy-to-use digital tools optimized for mobile
(e.g. enabling auto claims filing via smartphone photos)
can mean the difference between surviving and thriving
in this era of high expectations and low patience.
• Offering more video and concise, image-rich edutain-
ment across digital marketing and social media can
boost your organic web traffic from search engines
by up to 157%.
• Being open to direct dialogue with consumers via so-
cial media shows transparency and helpfulness while
delivering valuable data and insights.
Improving your customer’s digital journey
should be a top priority. Straightforward,
frictionless brand experiences boost your
reputation and revenues.
One of the latest digital outreach strategies is harnessing
the power of games to inspire and engage customers,
uncover their preferences and establish a trajectory for
addressing their future needs – setting up the insurer to
deliver superior service throughout the customer’s lifetime.
In our experience, the most effective games leverage
people’s natural desire to achieve recognition and to “win.”
They must be fun, motivating and offer both extrinsic and
The first generation of adopters has shown
gamification’s potent utility:
• To help reduce accidents and claims, Arbella
Insurance created a highly successful driving
simulation and online companion experience called
“Distractology”. Aimed at new teen drivers, it teaches
the risks of distracted driving and rewards game-
completing teens with gas cards and eligibility for
potential insurance discounts.
• To motivate portfolio evaluation and increased
coverage, a Canadian insurer engaged customers
through a gamified app requiring players to demon-
strate knowledge of investment and retirement plan-
• To improve patient compliance and outcomes,
Cigna deployed gamification for behavior modification
with its Re-Mission app. The game challenged and
motivated young cancer patients to stick with their
• To save nearly $20 million through efficiency
gains, a U.S. insurer applied gamification to its claim
scheduling process, rewarding employees for submit-
ting innovative solutions to common problems.
Games win with customers while removing
communication barriers, motivating
constructive action and reducing costs.
Consider using a gamification lens to frame
moments concerning incentives, choice-making
Disclosing information isn’t the same as
Between the multiplicity of choices and the proliferation
of fine print, is it any wonder consumers race to complete
their mandatory insurance tasks and avoid thinking about
it again until it’s time to battle through a claim or renew
What if insurers took a more empathic path? What if
consumers received regular, personalized communications
that helped them make smart choices not only about
insurance, but also about achieving their goals at each
stage of their lives?
Too often, content marketing gets short shrift as com-
panies put their dollars behind TV commercials and other
traditional campaigns. Problem is: your biggest, most
important customer base – millennials – has abandoned
mass media in favor of on-demand entertainment and
Connecting with today’s customers requires cultivat-
ing an on-going, helpful dialogue that plays to these
customized, on-demand experiences. A few tips:
• Segment audiences – and content – to precise
cohorts. Make use of the abundant data resources
available to hyper-customize both your message and
• Similarly, get closer to your customer with every
interaction. Snap polls, inclusion of “desires and goals”
questions within purchasing forms and check-in calls
from agents all build ever-more-refined databases for
better CRM results.
• Bring your customers surprising nuggets of useful
info. “Did You Know” factoids help them understand
coverage options, risks and rewards.
• Tell more stories visually with infographics, photos and
• Make your content super-sharable. People want to
be known as the “in-the-know” person. Help them
by offering up the kind of content they want to share
with friends – thought-provoking, funny, illuminating
Concise, helpful, hyper-targeted content mar-
keting – grounded in empathy – can serve as
guardrails that prevent customers from falling off
the journey’s path. This reduces leakage while
building trusted, long-term relationships.
Upgrading your digital touchpoints and content marketing
is one half of the experience-improvement story; the other
is improving the performance of your people.
According to a recent survey of current insurance custom-
ers, 60% say they perceive “no value” from their insurance
agent or representative. Ouch.
Now, rather than parsing theories about why that is, let’s
get busy fixing this unsustainable situation.
At Jack Morton, we talk about the importance of
building your brand from the inside out.
That process starts with some basic questions:
• Do your employees understand not only WHAT
they’re doing, but WHY it’s important to customers
and the business?
• What kind of differentiating experience are you seeking
to provide customers? Does every employee – from
the C-suite to the intern pool – understand her/his role
in providing that optimal experience?
• Is your workforce well-educated? Ready to talk about
complex financial products in an accessible way to
hyper-connected, digital-centric consumers?
• Do your people and your technology systems comple-
ment each other?
• Do your people have permission (and management’s
encouragement) to deliver what individual customers
need, not just what the manual says?
Top-notch recruitment, training and support are all
key components to building a better workforce. But
there’s a cultural, emotional element that’s perhaps even
People need a sense of mission, a feeling that
they are contributing to something meaningful.
• USAA, provider of financial products and insurance to
almost 11 million customers, is a great example. USAA
has created a “culture of nobility,” where employees
are reminded every day that their work has value
because of the valiant people they serve: military per-
sonnel and their families. The $21 billion company with
26,267 employees also looks after its own, offering
accredited childcare centers and other benefits which
earned the firm a place on Fortune’s “Best Places to
How your diverse employees and independent agents see
themselves and their work is crucial to your success.
How much more energizing and powerful would it be to
have – instead of identifying as a particular job title – people
committed to the role of partner and guide for customers?
Ditching transactional thinking and embracing the challenge
of helping people navigate the many complexities of insur-
ance over a lifelong customer relationship?
The answer? Seven times more, if you consider that highly
loyal customers deliver 7X the lifetime customer value of a
low-loyalty one, and 3X that of a value-neutral customer.
To gain a competitive advantage that only
increases over time, invest in your people.
Help them appreciate how and why their
work matters. And empower them to serve as
the partners and guides customers need to
successfully navigate appropriate choices for
each life stage and aim.
Insurance is a mysterious realm for most consumers, an
utterly intangible product. Only when calamity strikes does
insurance become real, and often really confusing. Even
at the front-end of the policy journey – evaluation and
purchase – it’s almost impossible to compare products on
an apples-to-apples basis; so voluminous are the possible
policy variables. This situation offers a huge business
opportunity for any insurer who decides to step up
and simplify the experience.
As the book SIMPLE says:
Simplification provides significant business benefits in the
form of cost savings, better client retention, enhanced
employee efficiency and competitive advantage for first
Simplicity is the essence of the golden rule.
Everyone wants to understand what is being offered or
expected of them, and simplicity helps make that clear.
It closes the distance between people.
Some simplifying starters:
• Use plain, jargon-free language in brief, easy-to-
• Reduce product assortment to manageable levels
• Deploy digital tools (e.g. diagnostic quizzes) that help
customers self-sort information and maximize relevant
Getting simple isn’t easy. And it’s extremely difficult for
internal teams to achieve. Insider familiarity breeds
blindness to complexity.
Bringing fresh, impartial eyes to your simplification efforts
speeds you toward productive, customer-centric strategies
Consumer attitudes toward insurance compa-
nies won’t change overnight. But leaders who
commit to elevating every aspect of every cus-
tomer’s journey will change the industry – and
their bottom lines – for the better.
We at Jack Morton welcome the opportunity to be your
partner in this challenging, rewarding endeavor.
Let’s start a conversation about how to move your
business toward an extraordinary brand experience
and ever-better results.
Contact Peter Sun
VP, Brand Marketing