The Bright Marketing Manifesto:: 23 cardinal ‘rules’ of marketing


Even if you reckon you already know about marketing a well-timed reminder never did anyone any harm…and I’ll bet it has been a while since YOU sacked any customers!

In 2007 Robert Craven published his book ‘Bright Marketing’, which focus on giving the reader straightforward advice on how to improve marketing methods. Using a number of practical how-to tools you will be able to improve the way your marketing operates and ensure that your message gets heard by the right people.

via The Bright Marketing Manifesto – The Directors’ Centre Business Club.

Survey:: UK insurance “enjoys” a serious lack of trust


Bloody Meerkats and an endless stream of unimaginative and downright infuriating caricatures sums up the “bounded creativity” of an industry whose idea of innovation has been dulled by years of squeezing every ounce of customer value out of products and processes to feed its insatiable appetite for revenue…and, hopefully, underwriting profit!

Insurance: Feed the beast but ignore the elephant

Just be grateful I can't sing too!In particular, the Personal Lines market is so deep in a rut of its own creation that, for all any of us know, this meerkat (I will concede they are cute!) may be a scout sent to see what the terrain beyond the rut looks like.

Well here it is: how could anyone in their right mind trust an industry, whose best interests are served by attracting customers with a “good” risk profile, rewarding their profitability and loyalty BUT insists on spending outrageous amounts on scattergun marketing and incentivising disloyalty, then tries to claw back costs by compromising the integrity of cover and service.

In a recent survey of 400 nationally represented insurance buyers, a clear message has been given that despite all the advertising and hype, there remains a serious lack of trust in insurance providers.

  • Just under 73% believe that insurance providers make the terms and conditions in their policies deliberately complicated.
  • Half believe claims are never paid out fairly.
  • A third believe that insurance providers expect them to lie about a claim.

Looking at the survey it cannot be disputed that price is a real determinant of converting an insurance sale, with 72% of the respondents attesting to this fact.

However we need to look a bit more deeply. We questioned further about what factors are the most important when taking out or renewing a policy, their replies were clear and unambiguous. 89% stated that they look to their provider to be trustworthy and 79% said that it is important for insurance advisors to have professional qualifications related to insurance.

UK General insurers have most to gain from “simplicity”| Siegel+Gale [report]


Einstein simplezFew would argue that Albert Einstein wasn’t a very clever man! As I read this report I was reminded of this famous quote: “I wouldn’t give a nickel for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” 

Even a smart guy like Einstein didn’t know how much he knew about insurance and customer service!

There is a delicious irony that serves to emphasise the counter-intuitive nature of complex [business] systems – and explain why we are so bad at managing them!: a self-serving Corporate culture, whose relentless pursuit of growth and ambiguity, generates excessive complexity, that hurts efficiency and profitability.

The simplicity of providing sustainable, transparent, value to customers’ should only be as complex as it needs, to be BOTH effective and profitable!

…health insurance and general insurance industries also struggled, finishing last in this year’s survey, at 23th and 25th place, respectively. The insurance industry’s complex processes and lack of clarity regarding coverage continue to frustrate consumers. Respondents voiced displeasure with insurers’ failures to offer clearly written policy documents and answer questions promptly and unambiguously.

UK brands have much to gain if they can effectively streamline their communications and experiences for their consumers. UK respondents said they would pay over £2.75bn a year for simpler communications and experiences represented in the Index, and 87.7 percent are more likely to recommend a brand because it makes their customer experience simpler. Some of the least simple industries have the most to gain: utilities (£419m), banks (£460m) and general insurers (£506m).

 

Online Brands Help UK Consumers Simplify Their Lives | Siegel+Gale.

“Big Data”: Competing through data [McKinsey Quarterly]


The data advantage

Most great revolutions in science are preceded by revolutions in measurement. We have had a revolution in measurement, over the past few years, that has allowed businesses to understand in much more detail what their customers are doing, what their processes are doing, what their employees are doing. That tremendous improvement in measurement is creating new opportunities to manage things differently.

Our research has found Read more of this post

Dawning of the day of the contrarian: consumerism lies bleeding


The signs of a gathering momentum were there to be seen (for those prepared to look) even pre-crash and I am surprised that the pace had not, significantly, accelerated since 2008. I have long argued with the “price is king” lobby within my own industry that the flight to quality was inevitableimage (the pic on the left is taken from a presentation I did in 2005/6) and would spell an inglorious end for those whose “understanding” of delivering customer value extended to some glossy marketing literature, the “hard sell” with cover, service, satisfaction and reputation compromised to achieve a cheap price.

Not only have these firms come to believe their own marketing but, in the process they have contributed greatly to the decline of the industry that spawned them. Quite apart from the reputational damage, that an industry dealing in products that are a grudge purchase, can ill-afford there is a recognised fall in Professionalism (hence Aldermanbury Declaration) and the “dumbing down” of a generation of employees and customers. Read more of this post