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Marketing direct : the client is in control and insurers to take advantage of it, ” says Jacques Nantel

by

Alain Castonguay

May 31, 2018 07:00

The insurance sector has been a precursor of the marketing direct. Consumers have changed their habits. You need to know how, and especially when, they wish to begin the conversation with the insurers and their representatives, ” says Jacques Nantel.

During the Day the insurance of damage to 2018, Mr. Nantel, professor at HEC Montréal, noted that the recent legislative changes the federal government is forcing businesses to rethink their approach to customers. Previously, the company was able to retain in their lists an infinite number of clients she could contact his / her discretion. By default, the responsibility was up to the consumer to request that you unsubscribe from the mailing list. Now, the consumer must give his permission for the seeking.

This revolution in customer relationship “may be extremely valuable,” said Mr. Nantel. It should, however, know how to manage the operation successfully, he says.

Qualified customers

Previously, the insurance representatives had to conduct their own solicitation by using their personal networks and those of their firm. To approach potential customers, it was necessary to use the telephone books, lists of former students, professional associations, door-to-door and mail, among others.

“Through this feature of the solicitation, the insurers have been forerunners in marketing direct, even before the term existed. The industry still thrives elsewhere, ” said Mr. Nantel.

The email is now in the spotlight. Faster and less costly than telephone solicitation, it has provided insurers with the opportunity to seek a boost to its customers on the principle of chain of a pyramid, providing them with a gift or a discount in exchange for the referral of a loved one.

Subsequently, it has been possible to buy lists of qualified customers for a few dollars per 1 000 names. The approach has been in effect from the late 1980s until the middle of the previous decade. It was sometimes so invasive that, at the request of users, email providers have developed applications to help their clients to filter the solicitations are not desired.

Solicitation individual

Then, came the era of the individual quest, as presented by Seth Godin in his book Permission Marketing. According to this concept, it is necessary to have the courtesy to ask the permission of the consumer before you talk to him. It comes in three great imperatives, still relevant today, ” said Mr. Nantel.

First of all, the contact with the client must be anticipated, desired, and expected. “No one knocks not at the door if the person does not want to be disturbed or hear from us. It is almost of the antimarkéting. Yet, it is so much more efficient, ” he says.

Secondly, the contact should be personalized. “It means that every time you talk to this person, you must know who is this person and why this person agreed to speak with you. If you don’t know, or that it is a cold call, you will have difficulty, ” he continued.

Thirdly, the object of the contact must be relevant and useful to the customer. It is thus necessary to provide the expected value at the appropriate time. This represents a certain challenge, acknowledges Mr. Nantel. “I do know that I talk to, what to say and when to say to him. Do I have to have the right product ? Yes ! We are condemned to it, client by client. This is the bad news. “

The strength of Netflix

In his book, Seth Godin talked of the two forms taken by the marketing of permission : the “opt-out” where the consumer must request that we remove his name from a list, and mode is ” opt-in “, where the company must ask the permission of the consumer for the request.

For Jacques Nantel, the digital distributor Netflix excels in the field by facilitating the lives of its subscribers with its list of tv programmes and films. “You can listen to what you want, when you want and as many times as you want. Nobody can force you to subscribe. If you no longer want the service, you unsubscribe when you want. It is very easy to do, ” he says.

The recipe works, said Mr. Nantel, since Netflix has more than 125 million subscribers. In addition, the approach to “opt-in” is made compulsory in most countries. “You can’t talk to someone if you don’t have his consent,” said Mr. Nantel, specifying, however, that the lawyers do not agree on the subject.

Mr. Nantel joined Seth Godin on this point. The important thing is to present something interesting, value-added, personalized and at the right time. If you do this, don’t let it bother you, the client, you will chase after, ” he says.

The volume

The large lists of clients who are not qualified have done their time, ” insists Mr. Nantel. “It costs a lot more money to manage many more lists of people who are not qualified. You are better off with fewer clients, but in the following much more personalised “, he insists.

It represents more work to qualify potential clients. When this is done, the chances of closing a sale are much better. It is found by analysis of the rate of success of the solicitation by e-mail.

In the field of insurance, the rate of success in an unsolicited e-mail is 1 %. When the potential customer has given his consent, the success rate climbs to 6 % to 8 %. “If you contact the right person at the right time with the right offer, without deceiving you in the first or last name, as it can increase the opening rate,” he says.

The advantage of the insurance industry

The insurance industry has a tremendous advantage, ” said Mr. Nantel, compared to other suppliers. She knows the moments that triggers a purchase, such as relocations, renewals police or the purchase of goods of value. The intermediary may then, to recall to the memory of the client, by its ability to respond to the new requirements of coverage and asking him if he would like to be the contact on a basis of custom.

The Web site optimization (SEO for search engine optimization) of the company to obtain better results in the search engines is one of the elements to consider to attract the attention of the consumer. Even today, the majority of the requests made for products and services begins with search engines such as Google, he says.

If the consumer clicks on the link suggested, which is that of your company, it is then necessary to ask permission to engage in the conversation. In the same way, if an advertising is purchased in a traditional media generates phones in a call center or e-mails through the Internet site, the consent is obtained. This activity provides a list of customers who have yet to buy anything. So we are talking of highly qualified customers, who have expressed their interest in the company and who have a desire to participate in the conversation.

The use of a page, Facebook also allows business customers to recommend its services. “It is of the gold bar if one knows how to use it. It must be relevant and of interesting content, updated on a regular basis, ” said Mr. Nantel.

The information may be shared with only one person at a time, but also with its network. “You need to enable your customers to refer you. It was true 100 years ago and it will still be in 100 years, ” he says.

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