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Consumer Insights From Insurance Customers

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Jun, 06, 2013 @ 06:06 AM

Consumer insights from insurance customers

This is a prime example where the "nay sayers" in a focus group can drown out some very powerful and emotional stories.  If we had simply listened to the groups as a whole, we would have never obtained the in depth insights that drove the successful campaign. 

Our client had built significant negative equity with consumers by attempting to convert from a not-for-profit to a for-profit status, paying their CEO more than $2 million, having high rates and rate increases and keeping 12 months worth of reserves versus an industry average of three to six months.

We conducted focus groups with current and past customers and a number of in-depth one-on-one interviews with customers who had been in exceptional circumstances and for whom the insurance company had “come to the rescue.”

We learned that our client was seen as being “expensive and worth it” as was described as being “Nordstrom and not Wal-Mart.”  We also learned that from those people for whom our client had “come to the rescue” they had very powerful stories to share.

We developed an integrated TV, print, OOH and online campaign that told the stories of how our client had made a dramatic positive impact on people, and families, with significant medical needs and situations. 

In the first eight weeks of the campaign, positive perceptions of our client increased almost 20% while negative perceptions decreased nearly 40%.  Overall awareness of the brand went up as did top-of-mind awareness and leads.

Respondents were so enthralled with the stories of the individuals featured they were able to play them back in focus groups months after the commercials stopped running.  Ultimately the client embraced being seen as Nordstrom's rather than Wal-Mart.

Do you use consumer insights to improve your communications to prospects and customers?

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Tags: dialogue, consumer insights, accelerate sales performance, consumer insights to change brand perceptions

10 Ways To Get Consumer Insights Even If You're Using Big Data

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Jun, 03, 2013 @ 06:06 AM

Consumer insights 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The current issue of Marketing News is entitled "Incomplete Insights" because, as I've said many time in the past, even good consumer data will not the most accurate picture of the consumer.

Consumers make decisions based on emotion and then rationalize their decision after the fact. Big data provides a lot of information on the purchase, and what action led up to the purchase, but it provides no insights on the emotions involved in the consumer making the purchase.

This is just as important for B2B as B2C purchases, perhaps moreso given the price, and long-term implications, of the B2B purchase.

Here are 10 ways to get consumer insights even if you are using, or to supplement, big data to accelerate sales:

  1. Focus on making an emotional connection with the customer. Encourage customer service reps (CSR's) and customer-facing employees to create personal connections with customers rather than adhering to corporate sounding dialog.
     
  2. Position yourself, or your firm, as someone who will help the customer of prospect solve a problem they are having.  You'll need to have a dialogue with the customer to learn what the problem is; however, going in with an attitude of solving a problem rather than making a sale will help you get more consumer insights.
     
  3. Empower your employees to engage customers and prospects via social media.  Employees who have the right tools to resolve customer issues without escalting them to management will be proactive in solving problems which will increase customer satisfaction and brand image.
     
  4. Connect with the customer in their preferred media channel -- they'll be more likely to connect, and share, with you if they know you're on the same media channel as they are.  It's one more thing you have in common.
     
  5. Understand why your customer is loyal to you.  Is it your loyalty program, because you give them five cents off a gallon of gas, or a free sandwich after buying 10?  Or do they have an emotional connection to your brand that goes well beyond your loyalty program. Loyalty can be bought, emotional connections cannot. Having insights into why someone is a loyal customer will give you an idea of how long they'll be around when a better deal comes along.
     
  6. Understand what your customers think about your product and service. Ask them what they like, what they don't like, what do they consider as an alternative to your product or service?  The more you know about your customer, the better you'll be able to develop and direct your message, to prospective customers.
     
  7. Understand the pain points in your customers' lives.  By understanding their needs and wants, you may be able to develop a product or service that addresses these, be able to earn even more loyalty and business.
     
  8. Don't let "big data" prevent you from offering other logical products and services to a particular segment. Just because the data shows that 65+ year olds don't surf the internet on their phone doesn't mean they don't want to -- they may not know how.  If people 65+ new how to use Face Time on iphone, I'd bet a number of them would love to talk to their grandchildren by seeing them and it's easier to do that with Face Time than it is with Skype -- especially if someone's not near a computer.
     
  9. Ask your customers what you can do to deliver meaningful, personalized, high-impact customer experiences. Keep this information in your customer relationship management (CRM) database. Not all customers will want the same thing so it's important to know what each customer prefers. Ritz-Carlton does a great job of obtaining, and tracking, this information across properties.
     
  10. Educate your employees on the imporatnce of consumer insights and empower employees to capture them and act on them. By engaging employees in your business, they will feel and act more like owners and will help your business grow by providing better customer experiences that will lead to more business and more referrals from satisfied customers and their friends. Make sure you recognize and reward your star performers that help your business grow and wish the others well as they go to start their own business or go to work for someone else where they will or won't add to the success of the company by providing consumer insights.
What do you and your firm do to obtain more consumer insight from your "big data" to accelerate sales?
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Tags: emotional connection to the brand, consumer insights, accelerate sales, consumer insights to change brand perceptions

10 Ways to Write Simply to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, May, 29, 2013 @ 06:05 AM

Write simple to accelerate sales

 

As I create and edit more content for my business and clients, I notice people getting away from writing as concisely and as simply as possible.

I recently heard Dan Zarella, the social media strategist and author of "The Science of Retweets," say that blog posts, ebooks and tweets written at a fifth grade level will be forwarded many times more often than more complex content.

Simplifying the marketing of a complex product or service starts with simple language.

With so many people generating content, we need a revival of Stunk and White's The Elements of Style and commitment to write simply.  I recently wrote a post about the length of posts and articles and people not having sufficient time to read them (http://wp.me/pYHt6-eQ).

It takes more time to write concisely and thoughtfully.  However, the extra time is worthwhile if it enhances readability, intellectual and emotional connection, and pass along readership.

How can you distill the value proposition of what you are selling in a way that it appeals to your target both intellectually and emotionally?

Here are a 10 suggestions:

1.  Avoid big words.  Instead of the first word, use the second:

  • aggregate = total
  • ascertain = find out
  • demonstrate = show
  • finalize = finish
  • utilize = use

2.  Eliminate redundancy:

  • close proximity = near
  • different varieties = varieties
  • first and foremost = first
  • joined together = joined
  • whether or not = whether

3.  Know the meaning of the words you are using:

  • ability, capacity
  • about, approximately
  • affect, effect
  • over, more than
  • principle, principal

4.  Eliminate clichés:

  • beyond the shadow of a doubt
  • cost-effective
  • dialogue
  • first and foremost
  • vitally important

5.  Avoid acronyms or jargon.  If you must use an acronym, define it immediately in parentheses (e.g., CRM (Customer Relationship Management)).  Don't assume that everyone knows, or uses, the same industry acronyms and jargon as you.

6.  Use lowercase letters.  Only user uppercase when lower case do not work.

7.  Learn the language of your customer and use it.

8.  Clearly communicate the benefits you provide and the problems you solve, not the features you bring.

9.  Be human.  People do business with people, not companies.

10.  Ask a fifth grader to read what you've written and tell you what it means to them.

What can you do to write simply?

Ask your customer.

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Tags: emotional connection to the brand, consumer insights, accelerate sales, consumer insights to change brand perceptions