Digital Strategy: Key Questions Insurance Industry Should Consider Before Going Digital (Part 3)

Digital strategy for going digital

If you’ve been following the series you should have some solid background information on why you should go digital, but how do you leverage this to make a successful digital strategy?
Currently, almost half of insurers have no single cohesive digital strategy— today we’re going to try and change this. But, we’re going to do much more than talk. We’re going to put your knowledge to the test, and help guide you on how to make your own successful digital strategy.
In this third instalment, we’ll gauge your overall digital readiness and answer some key questions that should be considered before you implement your strategy.

Digital Strategy Maturity Model

Before making your digital strategy, you should have a clear understanding of your current position. This will help you make better more informed decisions, and give you a strong grasp on your digital readiness— so you can develop a successful strategy long-term.
EY, a global leader in consulting and advisory services, distinguished 4 key elements you should assess:

  1. Corporate strategy
  2. Customer strategy
  3. Enabling capabilities
  4. Digital roadmap

To grow from a digitally stunted strategy to digitally mature, these four parts need to be aligned, and optimized. Currently, American insurers have a high degree of variance with their overall digital maturity, and with their digital strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Don’t worry, in our recent post I explained each segment in detail and discussed why they’re crucial for your strategy’s success.
Want to know how digitally mature your company is? Well, we brought this model to life and created an interactive digital readiness scorecard! Check it out and see where you line up. Added bonus: we’ll also throw in some tips and tricks to help push you further along in your digital maturity!

Before Going Digital: What’s Your Plan?

EY also recently asked insurance firms some thought provoking questions:  

  1. Ambition: Where do you want to be on the Digital Maturity Model? Do you have a clear view of what “digital” aims to achieve?
  2. Priorities: Do you know which customers, products, channels and customer trigger points require digital attention- and which do not? What are your competitors doing in this space?

Know Your Digital Strategy Plan

A full digital transformation requires full dedication and determination. Everyone must be onboard and ready to give their all. But before you can get everyone on the same page, you need to outline your long-term objectives and goals.
You should have a clear vision of where on the digital maturity model you want to be long-term. There is a wide range of possibilities, as you can focus on the model as a whole or on individual segments separately. Whatever end goal you choose, it should be closely tied with all your other strategies and support overall business aspirations.
Understanding where you lie on the digital readiness scorecard is crucial. You should not only have a general knowledge of how digitally ready your business is, but you should also be keenly aware of how you perform in each individual element. By knowing where you are and where you want to be, you can better understand what digital aims to achieve in order to reach your end goal.
You should focus your initial attention towards the fundamentals of your business. Look at your current brand equity, competitive position and brand performance. It may also be a good idea to conduct an internal SWOT analysis of your company. Through this, you can better see where you need to improve and set concrete objectives. After this, you can set a definitive digital vision. Outline your strategies to achieve your defined objectives and any dependencies, obstacles or risks that may occur. Additionally, you should create a firm and detailed budget. In doing so, you can divide up all the responsibilities to the needed people, increasing individual accountability. You should communicate your strategy and ambition to your staff, partners and customers to manage expectations and improve employee cohesiveness.

Know Your Priorities

During the transition, things may become pretty hectic. Before this happens, it’s important that you know exactly what objectives to tackle first. The success of your digital transformation almost entirely hinges on your ability to set objectives and follow through. Some objectives to consider include:

  1. Customer

According to EY, the biggest drivers of digital strategies are improving customer experience, building long-term customer relationships and regaining more control over these relationships. In order to do so, you need to have a deep understanding of your customer base. You should clearly outline your intended target audience and understand their needs, behaviours, values and expectations.
You should also have a firm grasp on your customers’ trigger points, as they can show opportunities in your customer’s buying process. You can start by identifying a buyer persona, and deeply know their buying habits and their decision process. Through this, you can understand what motivates them to purchase and create targeted messages and content for that trigger. Even better, you can work to create the trigger yourself. Moreover, these triggers should be ingrained into your overall marketing strategy. The right message should be delivered to the right person, at the right time. This can help insurers accurately predict their sales forecasts, and better help them in attracting new customers.

  1. Product & Service

You can use the power of digital to test the efficiency of any and all of your products and services. Through this, you can better see what’s doing well, and what needs some improvement. This insight will also help you in creating any new products and services, as you know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

  1. Channel

First, you should outline the breadth and depth of your envisioned channels and know how much resources will be needed to keep them updated and maintained. It’s extremely crucial to not over-estimate your resources at this stage, as you do not want to be in a situation where certain channels are neglected, or your overall communication effectiveness is hindered. The specific channels you choose depends on the content you want to share. Each channel has a different atmosphere, purpose and set of social norms. In essence, users connect with every channel differently. For example, LinkedIn may be a more suitable channel to target B2B customers than Facebook. You should evaluate all of your channel options, and select the one most appropriate and fitting towards your intended target audience and overall objectives. In the beginning, you may need to experiment with a couple of different channels until you find the one that works the best for you. Moreover, all of your channels should be integrated with each other. Customers expect to have the same experience with your brand regardless of the channel, so consistency is key.
Along the same lines, you should probably prioritize a mobile strategy. A whopping 65% of purchase journeys start on a smartphone, and by 2020 four out of five people will own a mobile phone. Currently, less than one-third of insurers have a distinct mobile strategy— meaning there is a huge opportunity waiting for you!

Know Your Competition

You should be aware of what your competitors are doing with their digital strategy, and how well it’s being executed. This can work as a baseline for you to gauge industry activity and may uncover some initiatives you should be participating in. Moreover, this can determine areas of opportunity, and points of potential differentiation.

A good digital strategy is one that can adapt to industry changes, and that is aligned with your overall business objectives.
The first step: calculate your digital readiness. Last step? Sit back and watch your business skyrocket.
Miss Part 2? Learn more about why analytics are fundamental to your strategy, and how to optimize their use from our previous post in the series!  
Looking to go digital? Sign-up now and get free access to Signority’s Business Plan.

Digital Analytics: Key Questions Insurance Industry Should Consider Before Going Digital (Part 2)

Digital Analytics - Key Questions and Considerations for the Insurance Industry

If you’ve been following the series, you have a general baseline on how going digital can improve your overall business functions, but how can you gauge how well your investment is operating?
The answer: Digital Analytics!
The success of your digital strategy depends almost entirely on your implementation of meaningful digital analytics. They allow you to gauge your success and shortcomings, so you can allocate effort and resources where they’re needed.
Why hinge your organization’s success on assumptions, when you can base your decisions off of facts?
This second series will discuss the various stages of digital analytics implementation, as well as key questions that should be considered to optimize their use.

Stages of Implementing Digital Analytics

Understanding and getting ahead in analytics does not solely mean focussing on your website analytics. Although, you should definitely pay attention to your Google Analytics and optimise for increasing conversion.
In order to go fully digital, using analytics effectively means making the call to gather data from your entire range of channels, including website conversions, social media, online advertising, contract turnaround times, and contact data.

Stage 1: The Basics

When you begin implementing digital analytics, you should first focus on building a strong foundation analytics. Start by mapping out your operations process, from lead to customer. Break apart the process by identifying crucial touchpoints, for example, those touchpoints could be when a lead enters your sales funnel (Lead) and when the lead converts to a paying customer (Customer). From here you’ll have to start measuring the time taken for the actual conversion and assign it to the corresponding touchpoint.
Keeping track of these touchpoints and analysing the data regularly allows you to understand your operational flow and identify sectors or departments that require optimisation.

Stage 2: Lay the Groundwork

Once you have identified key touchpoints, now it’s time to begin tagging all of your pages, to obtain baseline information on how your users interact with each page. For example, you can see which of your pages are the most popular. Tools like Google Analytics and Mix Panel can help during the tagging process, by checking and alerting you about broken tags- so you never unintentionally neglect data! Keep in mind, solely using web analytics is not enough. The majority of the data you receive is descriptive and does not give you any actionable or meaningful insight. The ultimate goal is to build your web analytic strategy into a fully digital strategy. In doing so, the data you collect will be more useful, more in-depth, and can better guide your decision making. Instead of just knowing which pages are popular, you will be able to understand why. And, in turn, how to improve the pages that are not!
The most successful insurance businesses are fully aware that information is the lifeblood of the industry. Knowing when and how long a lead turns into a customer is absolutely crucial to understand bottlenecks in your sales process. You can start this process by moving from paper to a digital signature solution. This allows you to see the time it takes for a contract to be signed (I.e. Lead to Customer) in real time, streamline the process for your customer, and also give you an overarching look into your sales funnel.
Read how you can go paperless here.

Stage 3: Analytics Pro

Congratulations, you’ve almost made it to the finish line! It’s time to integrate multi-channel and multi-touch digital analytics across all your business platforms. In order for you to completely personalize and optimize your customer interactions, it is imperative that you fully understand their buying patterns/behaviours and preferences. As such, there should be a strong emphasis on customer and user analytics. Moreover, digital analytics provide predictive data. Meaning, you can better understand and foresee new customer trends, behaviours, and anticipate future outcomes, optimizing your efforts. IBM‘s Digital Analytics provide advanced analytics by tracking visitor behaviour over time, and across multiple touchpoints and channels. This tool can also compare your success with competitors, and give recommendations when warranted.

Before Going Digital: What’s Your Plan?

EY, a global leader in tax and advisory services, recently asked insurance firms some thought provoking questions:  

  1. Are you rolling out analytics in tandem with digital?
  2. Do you have the right capabilities in place- — a strong analytics team & supporting tools?
  3. Are you capturing, storing and using current customer data to maximum value?

Before implementing digital analytics, you should have a general idea of how to approach each question. Since there’s no better time than the present, let’s get started:

Measure Your ROI With Digital Analytics

By 2019, global investments for digital transformations will amount to $2.1 trillion– with 70% of these initiatives predicted to fail! With this in mind, less than 15% of companies can quantify their digital initiatives ROI with traditional methods. It is more imperative than ever to start using digital analytics to gauge your investments ROI. You can see where you’re making money, cutting costs or, brace yourself… where you’re losing money. In essence, you can clearly see what’s working, and what isn’t, and how well your investment is paying off. As such, you can make improvements where necessary, and hold relevant people accountable. Some analytics you may want to track include: conversion rates, customer satisfaction, reduction in time costs, percent of revenue coming directly from digital channels, and percent of revenue enabled from digital channels.

Build Strong Digital Analytic Teams & Supporting Tools

You’re only as strong as your weakest link, so don’t limit your strategy’s potential with poor teams or supporting tools.

People

The entire organization must be on board and supportive of the digital shift. Your organization’s culture must transform toward a digital-centric and customer-focused model. Aside from the obvious need for technical skills, the analytics team must have a deep understanding of your organizational goals, and of customer wants and needs. Only then can they properly leverage and interpret the data in a way that’s meaningful towards future success. Moreover, they may be the only employees who realize potential opportunities and weaknesses. In order for them to relay the results in a clear and effective way, they must have strong communication skills.

Tools

There are various tools you can use to support your overall analytical process. First off, Foresee can help you make needed improvements and revisions, by interpreting your analytics results. Matplotlib can help with data visualization, which would otherwise be time-consuming and tedious to create. Smart panda labs can help your team maximize its use of Optimizely. Smart Panda Labs help implement, personalize, troubleshoot, analyze results, and even provide recommendations accordingly.

Maximize Value by Using Quality Customer Data

Your results are only as good as your data. Currently, insurers are not taking advantage of the full potential of digital support. In fact, insurers rate themselves less than 2 out of 5, for overall customer experience. They are failing to communicate with customers during critical points in their buying process, and, consequently, missing out on huge opportunities. By using quality customer data, insurers can better understand their customers and properly communicate during all steps of the buying process. Accurate customer data allows you to better target your customers, decreasing costs and increasing conversion rates. Moreover, capturing, storing and utilizing current customer data gives deeper insights into the buying habits of your customers, giving you more accurate predictions of future behaviour. Unsurprisingly, according to McKinsey & Company, companies that effectively use customer analytics are more likely to outperform their competitors on key performance metrics, including profit, sales, sales growth, and ROI! In fact, with the use of customer analytics, profit and ROI almost double.
All in all, digital analytics are essential to fully maximize your digital transformation. They give you an in-depth understanding of what’s working, what’s not, and how to improve. Why do it the hard way when you don’t have to?
Like the saying goes, “assumption is the mother of all mistakes”.

Miss Part 1? Don’t worry, you can read more about how going digital can save you time, money and effort all while improving your customer’s experience from our previous post in the series!
Looking to go digital? Sign-up now and get free access to Signority’s Business Plan.