Financial Services marketing teams face their toughest challenge yet when it comes to improving the way their brands are perceived by customers.
Brand strength across the insurance industry is at a seven-year low
Consumer trust and confidence in insurance brands is at an all-time low. In fact, our Brand Strength Index, which combines scores for brand awareness and consideration across all Motor and Home Insurance brands, shows that brand strength across the industry is at a seven-year low.
And whilst Price Comparison Websites, or aggragetors, have given consumers wider choice when it comes to buying their home and motor insurance for the brands they have made it harder to demonstrate what they stand for beyond price and a few key product features.
All this against a back drop of FCA regulation that states financial promotions must be clear, fair and not misleading.
So how do you start building a credible brand, create compelling marketing messages that meet FCA requirements and start to rebuild trust in an age of the aggregators?
Top 5 sources of insight to create compelling marketing messages
1. Customer satisfaction scores
Consumers tell us that they trust the recommendations of fellow customers over industry experts when choosing an insurance provider. We conducted a survey with over 2000 adults which showed that 45% of people trusted customers’ opinions compared to only 17% for industry experts.
So making use of your Net Promoter Score or Customer Satisfaction Scores can help you substantiate a message that demonstrates the strength of customer sentiment for your brand.
Our Customer Insight Manager Nicola Turnill explains why NPS is important:
”Measuring how happy customers are – be that overall satisfaction, NPS or other similar metrics – is essential to the health of businesses. These measures correlate with how likely that customer is to continue to shop with your brand and so it’s crucial to track this over time and importantly to understand what it is that causes any variation”.
2. Customer testimonials and case study
Where you can it is always worth asking satisfied customers if you can use their quotes in your marketing material or better still in a case study.
Saman Mansourpour MD of AgencyUK explains:
Your brand only exists in the mind of your customer so a customer testimonial or case study is one of the best ways to bring your brand to life. Consumers are all predisposed to social sentiment towards brands, and for many these online communities have become an extension of their nearest and dearest when it comes to researching products and taking financial advice.
Positive experiences expressed directly by your customers reinforces trust and can often swing a purchasing decision in your favour. Particularly when it demonstrates how you solve a difficult problem, while being great to deal with while you did it.”
3. As voted for by consumers
Awards voted for by consumers can be a powerful way of communicating trust and satisfaction.
Earlier this year we discovered in a survey that consumers prefer insurers that display awards.
We asked consumers to imagine they were deciding between insurance companies where each company had won an ‘award of excellence’ for insurance. Company 1 had won an award based on the opinions and experience of real customers, whereas Company 2 had won an award based on the opinions of industry experts. The results showed a strong preference for a company who had an award based on real customers with 50% choosing Company 1 compared to only 8% for Company 2.
Our CEO Ian Hughes explains why awards voted for by consumers are enormously powerful for a company:
“It’s not easy to win awards voted for by consumers, you can’t enter or get a PR agency to write your entry for you. The only way to win is to work really hard all day every day across all of your company and all of your supply chain and set it up to be amazing. And that’s really difficult to do. In our experience, companies who win awards of this type are passionate about delivering great customer experience and they make sure everything internally is lined up to deliver this”.
Check out the winners of our Consumer Intelligence Awards 2016 as voted for by consumers.
4. Customer reviews
Reading reviews are a key stage in the customer shopping journey these days for just about most purchases and insurance is no exception.
There are lots of independent platforms you can use to capture reviews and calculate an overall rating such as Feefo,Trustpilot to name but a few as well as doing it yourself in house.
It’s always disappointing to receive a negative review but it’s better to find out in this way than have a disgruntled customer take straight to social media without you having the chance to do something about it.
There are some great best practice example of insurers using customer reviews to bring to life their brand values.
John Lewis are a great example of how to collect and display reviews on your site. And here’s how they position them:
Feedback from our customers helps us offer you the best possible service. The reviews above outline the opinions of our customers, who are asked to consider a range of criteria and to give an overall rating. These views are those of individual customers and are based on their experience of their product, policies and received services.
Aviva are another brand who feature customer reviews on their website.
These reviews have been provided by customers who've made a claim or bought a home insurance policy from us.
Direct Line use a tool called Revoo to collect and display their customer reviews.
Lisa Franklin one of our Account Manager’s explains why it’s import for insurance brands to use reviews:
“Consumers generally have few touchpoints with potential insurers, so reviews from current customers can provide vital credibility. Collecting and displaying customer reviews helps to build trust with potential customers as sharing real experiences, both positive and negative, demonstrates a brand that is open and helps improves brand consideration”.
Increasingly brands are using survey insights to unearth unique and interesting stories from consumers for PR and marketing purposes to help them stand out from the crowd.
Our Account Manager Iona Hartshorn explains the values of surveys:
“Getting your brand to stand out within a fast paced, content-heavy media is a challenge. That’s why creating interesting and fun stories about your brand is so important. Surveys are a great way to get quick and catchy headline statistics to form your unique messages.”
Create new marketing messages
Because we’ve been talking to consumers about their habits and preferences when it comes to their home and motor insurance for over 12 years, our clients often ask us to work with them to help create new marketing messages that they can substantiate with our insight or to test the impact of new propositions. If this sounds like something we could help you with contact us.