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.

We Consult

Why “We consult”?
How do frustration, lack of fulfillment and a fair degree of disgust sound for starters? A bit extreme?
I don’t think so. But the best I can do is give you this insiders view of the UK insurance industry. Read on: 
I’ve been in the insurance industry for thirty years and it took me a long time (circa 10 years) to get serious about it! Since then I have worked in a variety of senior roles both external development roles and internal management roles…with and without the development responsibility. I, like many of my peers, enjoy being an insurance broker when it is about delivering the best that you can to your client. Equally despising the industry when COVER, SERVICE and PROFESSIONALISM are deemed secondary to SALES. 
Achieving sales to SME and COMMERICAL/CORPORATE clients has inherited the worst features of personal lines marketing and product commoditisation. Compromise product cover (integrity) to aid strategy to sell on price for market share. Rather than re-invest in repairing products, innovating new products OR improving overall service delivery: subsidise front-line pricing to build and perpetuate “cheap is good” attitude that is reinforced by expensive multi-channel advertising campaigns. Sell hard and often via whichever distribution channel you are able. All the time telling the “valued” broker channel that they are different and better than direct or affinity deals and should sell on quality and service i.e. go head-to-head with the insurers massive advertising spend that brainwashes every level of society! A very successful recipe to rid a broker of much needed funds methinks. But that isn’t intended to sound like the makings of a conspiracy theory.  Read more of this post