Lemons into lemonade

Established marketing/sales wisdom tells you that the formula is:

Target audience + mass marketing = sales.

Therefore, add more audience or marketing budget, get more sales! Simple!?

In the current climate (with all it’s financial turmoil and uncertainty) business needs to recognise that, in the consumer economy that has been fashioned at HUGE expense, the balance of power has shifted.

Consumers control the flow of information today—consumers have the clout and power. Within the financial services industry the brand and reputation (and balance sheets!) of many UK and global institutions are irreparably damaged.

We have entered a, historically, difficult phase in the UK insurance cycle. The fact that it is set against such a tough economic backdrop makes predicting the future an exercise fraught with danger. But is it more or less dangerous to ignore the facts and hope that tried and tested routines will see you through?

Insurers need to realise that, by diluting cover and service in their drive to “win business on price” a large portion of their marketing budget would have been better invested in these key areas.

Brokers have only served to compound the damage to the industry’s reputation by continuing to support insurers who provide a sub-standard service in return for unsustainable commission levels.

Consumers are more savvy and, as a result, are less likely to be “sold to”.

“turning lemons into lemonade”

The new formula is:

Consumer experiences = sales.

Understanding and embracing this shift creates opportunities for those who focus on creating consumer experiences, and who are willing to trade control for sales by viewing consumers as their partners.

We have an opportunity to set in motion a transformation for the traditional system from a transactional model where I win and you lose, to a relational model where I win, you win and the community wins.