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Insurance Firms Should Market More to Existing Policy Holders CMO Council Finds

September 20, 2010
PALO ALTO, CA—Sept. 20, 2010—A new study by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council has found that many insurance providers are overlooking opportunities to multiply their business with existing customers rather than just focusing on acquiring or poaching new accounts. The report, sponsored by InfoPrint Solutions, reveals that marketers in the insurance space have a tremendous opportunity to increase customer lifetime value by executing data-driven, targeted retention marketing strategies. Yet many feel they must focus on acquisition strategies or servicing the needs of top performing or strategic accounts.

According to the findings of "What's Critical in the Insurance Vertical," over 55 percent of consumers polled have held their existing insurance policies for more than five years and are open to receiving information from their trusted providers on new or complimentary services. And an impressive 21 percent of consumers purchased or increased the value of their existing policies after receiving communications. Unfortunately, only seven percent of marketers in the insurance vertical value up-sell and cross sell tactics as critical to route to revenue.

Among other key findings, the new report benchmarks the critical drivers to customer engagement in the Insurance vertical. Over 100 insurance marketers provided insights on how they market and sell insurance, while over 1,100 consumers provided feedback on their experiences shopping for insurance and selecting providers. The insurance industry's net premiums total more than $1 trillion annually. There are more than 2,700 property/casualty insurers and more than 1,100 life/health insurers in the U.S. (Insurance Information Institute).

In the case of marketers, there is a sense of frustration over budgetary constraints that have stalled investment in data analytics programs, which in reality could help jump start robust lead flow through more targeted and engaged prospect and client opportunities.

"Without a doubt, marketing is being called upon to deliver greater value and return, but there are still those marketers who focus on the top strata of accounts and ask what can be done to squeeze more loyalty from these large account. However, they are overlooking the gold mine that resides just below that key account line," said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council.

"Insurance marketers must refrain from just looking at the surface measures of policy size and key accounts as the exclusive for retention marketing and reactivation strategy. The greatest opportunity to grow business resides within their own policy holder and agent channel base."

When looking into their existing customer pool, 22 percent of marketers are looking at customer lifetime spend and loyalty to the company, potentially missing an opportunity to look at lifetime value and opportunity. This tendency to overlook up-sell and cross-sell opportunities are further punctuated as only nine percent of respondents are leveraging communications to existing customers to up-sell or cross sell as part of a retention marketing strategy. Instead, marketers are looking to strategic account reviews that tend to only focus on the most profitable customers with the biggest portfolios, almost completely ignoring dormant, departed or disaffected customers.

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