New Report from Acxiom Evaluates the Effectiveness of Marketing Technology in the Highly-Competitive Insurance Industry

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Senior Industry Leaders Understand the Power of Personalization for Customer Growth and Retention but are Challenged with Creating Accurate Data Foundations

Acxiom, the data and technology foundation for the world’s best marketers, today at Dig|In 2019, released a new report in partnership with SourceMedia Research. The study explores the top martech issues facing senior leaders at P&C (Property & Casualty), life and multi-line insurance companies. Despite significant investments being made in the martech space, insurance carriers are struggling to get value out of their investments. The joint report, ‘Marketing Transformation for Insurance – A Study of MarTech Through the Eyes of Insurance Leaders,’ unveiled top-tier and mid-tier carrier strategies and challenges in maximizing the value of their martech investments, influenced by increased volumes of prospect and customer data from various channels.

“The rapid proliferation of channels, devices and data sources has impacted the complexity of identity resolution strategies. This, in turn, increases the risk of brand loyalty erosion as competition soars in this transformative climate”

“The rapid proliferation of channels, devices and data sources has impacted the complexity of identity resolution strategies. This, in turn, increases the risk of brand loyalty erosion as competition soars in this transformative climate,” said Clark Wooten, group vice president of insurance services at Acxiom. “Customers expect carriers to deliver a seamless and highly personalized experience, but organizational and industry obstacles, including data silos and evolving data privacy policies, can create barriers between the expectations of customers and the experiences delivered by insurers.”

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Key Findings:

  • Twenty-three percent of insurance executives indicated that enhanced customer experience is their primary indicator of marketing success in 2019
  • Thirty-six percent of executives cited data quality and accuracy as their biggest obstacle to being able to obtain a 360-degree view of the customer, curate actionable insights, assign accurate marketing attribution and measurement, and prove ROI
  • Nearly three-fourths of insurers are currently using between five to 14 martech solutions— clear evidence of the data fragmentation challenge within insurance organizations
  • Nearly thirty-five percent of executives did not understand the martech solutions they were developing or purchasing, finding the tasks of achieving data quality/accuracy, marketing ROI, removing data silos and managing data governance very challenging
  • Customer acquisition and retention (66 percent), personalization (60 percent), and increased competitiveness (56 percent) were ranked by executives as the most important martech investments in the next 12 months

The study also found that seventy-six percent of customers said they were willing to take their business elsewhere if they weren’t getting a highly personalized experience, and fifty-one percent said most brands fell short of delivering a great customer experience. A Forrester report in 2018 had similar findings. Data from Forrester’s CX Index proves that when customers have a better experience, their intentions to stay with a brand, buy more from that brand, and recommend that brand all increase. But great customer experience in auto and home insurance is still rare. That means that there is huge financial upside for insurers that transform their customer experience.1 But simply understanding the importance of making customer experiences better and bringing together various martech tools designed to improve customer experience are not leading to the success insurance marketers hoped to achieve. The reason is that martech alone cannot solve the customer experience problem.

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“There is an overwhelming disconnect between results versus expectations of the martech solutions insurance executives have purchased,” said Jennifer Liptow, director of research operations at SourceMedia Research. “Carriers must take a step back in order to get the data foundation right, ensuring accuracy and compliance, in order to effectively target customers and clearly differentiate their value propositions among competitors.”

“The report clearly demonstrates that connecting the martech platforms into what Acxiom terms a unified data layer or framework is much harder than carriers realize. Many are trying to do this in-house but struggle with integrations due to data challenges, lack of expertise and internal resource constraints,” said Karen Imbrogno, senior insurance industry strategist at Acxiom. “The majority of carriers are placing primary focus on enhancing the customer experience yet struggle to measure success with multiple projects continuously in play. The only way one can measure accurately is by bringing all the data together — online, offline, first-party, second-party and third-party data—into an integrated framework.”

Findings from the report, which was conducted in 2018, are a telling indicator of insurance executives’ priorities, with seventy-eight percent of respondents stating that they are interested in implementing a unified data framework solution to optimize their martech investments. Partnership is key to uniting martech ecosystems at the data layer. Since integrating marketing data and platforms is not a core part of an insurer’s business, it is essential for them to work with an expert partner who has a proven way to increase ROI and improve the customer experience.

“Successful marketing depends on connected data at the foundational layer,” added Wooten. “With a strong focus on creating a connected ecosystem of marketing and advertising data services and technologies, insurance companies will be able to create a single 360-degree view of their customers while improving their ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers, all of which is critical to proving ROI and maximizing value.”

The report leveraged quantitative and qualitative interviews of 106 respondents at the director level or higher at top-tier and mid-tier insurance carriers.

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