As I say in a recent article on, the digital channel is arguably the most flexible, efficient, and scalable channel for customer acquisition, growth, servicing and retention. Yet, in speaking with life insurers, there is a real resistance to taking the leap into digital and interactive marketing.

New channels and old traditions

For life insurers, distribution has traditionally relied on a workforce of agents and brokers who sought out customers. While this works relatively well for a product that is “sold” rather than “bought,” it’s out of sync with the open marketing structure that exists today. Customers are educating themselves, using a diverse number of channels: websites, social media, call centers, mobile applications. With so many channels available, even the savviest CMO will probably admit that developing and executing an effective digital marketing strategy is challenging.

However, for those insurers who take the digital leap, the benefits can be tremendous. An integrated approach can result in a much higher percentage of pre-qualified and pre-conditioned consumers, enabling insurers to build customer loyalty.

Insurers can build an effective digital marketing strategy by focusing on three components:

  • Analytics. Robust analytics and predictive modeling can generate insight into customer behavior and preferences. This valuable intelligence can enable an insurer to create competitive differentiation and make better decisions.
  • Integration. Isolated analytics aren’t all that useful; leveraging them into an integrated interactive marketing campaign is. Further, it’s important to link online and offline marketing activities.
  • Creativity. Technology levels the playing field, and the most effective integrated solutions reflect input from advertising and marketing agencies. Bolster technology and strategy with creative planning.

It may be easier said than done, but insurers that develop and execute an effective digital marketing strategy will be well positioned for competitive differentiation in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

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