Two other manufacturing tactics can be used to help insurance marketers reach their targets better.
In my first two posts on just-in-time marketing I discussed the problems with current insurance marketing approaches and one of the solutions CMOs can adopt from the world of manufacturing: Kanban. This time I’d like to propose two others.
Kaizen is an organizational mindset that pervades the whole company, and everybody is committed to improving processes to serve customers better. Its focus on process quality, when used in insurance marketing, really means looking beyond risk characteristics to understand customers’ insurance needs more deeply. Telematics is one way that leading insurers are doing this, with South Africa’s Discovery a good example. It monitors its customers’ driving habits and rewards them by reimbursing up to half their fuel spend. It also uses telematics to identify when a car is stolen or hijacked, a significant benefit in a country in which auto crime is high.
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a complementary, firm-wide commitment to embed continuous improvement in the corporate DNA. In marketing, it commits the whole company to improving efficiency and eliminating waste across the marketing, sales and service functions.
These days, it translates into a drive to give customers a seamless experience across all channels. An insurance leader such as Progressive is busy creating tools that can be used across channels to provide customers with a single experience that is “channel-agnostic”.
Put these three together and you have three cornerstones of a totally new approach to marketing—just-in-time marketing—one that delivers the marketing offer that a customer wants at the time he or she wants it (see the diagram below). It means an end to the arms race approach of spending increasing amounts of money on marketing, and a newfound ability to link each marketing effort to desired results.
After all, it’s this type of thinking that turned “Made in Japan” into something that was a mark of quality at a reasonable price. We need the same approach in insurance marketing as we face up to the challenges of a business environment in constant flux.
For more information, download Just-in-time marketing: How insurers can cut costs while boosting effectiveness.