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Just-in-time marketing: Bolstering your insurance marketing strategy

How insurance CMOs can apply just-in-time manufacturing core lessons to reduce costs and improve customer interaction quality.

Only half of chief marketing officers (CMOs) at insurance carriers believe that they can meet their organization’s aggressive growth objectives, according to new research from Accenture’s High Performance Institute. Just-in-time (JiT) marketing offers them new ways of eliminating wasteful and ineffective marketing practices, creating customer opportunities and shaping the customer experience.

JiT marketing is all about using the most appropriate channels to reach in-market consumers—those who are most likely to make a purchase soon. These consumers are offered the products and services they desire at an attractive price, thereby meeting or exceeding their demands and expectations.

“One important point of differentiation is that JiT marketers do not isolate their digital marketing efforts from the rest of their marketing organization.”

Across all industries, JiT marketers surveyed by Accenture reported significantly higher growth rates than their peers: they were at least three times more likely to realize annual growth rates of at least 26 percent in both the past year and the past three years.

What JiT marketers do better

The agility of JiT marketers allows them to negotiate the evolved digital marketplace remarkably well. They are more focused on, and adept at, reaching the right consumers through the most appropriate channels—particularly digital, but most importantly the channels that customers prefer—with messages that resonate and are delivered at the most opportune moments.

When they proactively engage customers, JiT marketers deliver content that is relevant, meaningful, and compelling, and responds to customers’ changing demands and liquid expectations. These high-growth companies understand that today’s digital customer expects a relevant and appealing experience at all times and across all channels.

One important point of differentiation is that JiT marketers do not isolate their digital marketing efforts from the rest of their marketing organization. For example, they do not set up separate dedicated teams for mobile, social, analytics or the digital customer experience. The success of that integration depends on establishing the appropriate marketing operating model with the appropriate mix of digital and analytics skills.

It’s an important point of differentiation between JiT and conventional marketers that, research shows, does not typically involve additional investment. JiT marketers embed people with these talents in all their marketing teams, regardless of whether those teams focus on specific campaigns, customer segments or product or service categories. JiT marketers also embed dedicated centers of excellence to make digital and analytics capabilities readily available in all of their marketing strategies and programs.

Supporting JiT marketing

To fully support a shift to JiT marketing and deliver a differentiated customer experience, insurers need to develop several competencies. They should:

  • Invest in data platforms that capture and leverage information across all customer touchpoints.

  • Build actionable customer segments and extract insights from them to inform a go-to-market approach.

  • Enable real-time, on-demand personalization and customization of content that is contextually relevant.

  • Deploy channel capabilities that support customization of modular content. This is content that can be tailored based on customer-specific information, such as purchase intent, online behavior, sentiments, product mix and competitive dynamics.

  • Integrate with partners to provide access and knowledge to an in-market audience; deliver, augment, or expand the insurer’s offerings; and provide new capabilities or new-to-market innovations.

  • Develop an integrated and balanced customer-centric operating model, which would enable all of the above.

All of this means that the insurance marketing function has to move beyond providing only a tactical and supportive role to its organization’s lines of business. CMOs will need to drive and shape evolving customer experiences across channels and offerings by taking a leadership role within the enterprise.

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