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Insurance Needs A Growth Marketing Platform

Insurance Needs A Growth Marketing Platform

First things first, insurance marketers (as well as marketers across industries) are increasingly aligning to revenue. A July 2016 Forrester survey of 275 CMOs showed that over 80% of them are directly aligned to revenue targets. My own meetings with marketers across Asia Pacific confirm the same.

Growth Marketing as a concept, directly addresses this significant but surprisingly underestimated development in the marketing function. And what marketers need in this new world order are not vanilla marketing platforms but a growth marketing platform.
Here’s what a growth marketing platform looks like. In short, a growth marketing platform aligns in much more specific ways with digital revenue generation in terms of how data is collected, how its processed and how its ultimately actioned across a variety of channels.
How does this play out in Insurance?
 
INSURANCE FOCUSED DATA 
 
Capture Quote Data
The richest source of data from prospects comes when they take quotes on the website. If a user visits your website, and says he is a 30 year old male and needs a term cover of $100,000, there really isn’t much else data out there that’s more authentic or valuable.
Make sure this is captured and used to personalize all interactions. And yes, for a general insurance website, this would mean capturing a wide variety of data depending on which insurance type the user is looking for.
Separate policy holders and agents from prospects
A high proportion of visitors to an insurance website are existing customers or insurance agents. Separating these from prospects who are in your conversion funnel is critical. It saves you precious money on paid channels, and also helps create a different experience for them on your website.
Ingest offline responses and conversions
Thousands of leads are submitted online on insurance websites. But in markets like India, these leads are usually taken over by call centers. Linking back which users converted, which users could not be reached, which did not want to pursue further conversations is critical offline data.
Feeding it back to your growth marketing platform is crucial for your predictive algorithms to learn effectively. And also to nurture non-converting leads in online channels.
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INSURANCE FOCUSED ANALYTICS
Horses for Courses Predictive Algos
Its hard to effectively tame the millions of tiny interactions happening on your website in a meaningful way if you are using “rules”.
Rules are helpful when you want to intervene into specific customer journeys with specific actions. Barring that, you should let an algorithm decide which users are ready to buy, and which need to be nurtured into to the funnel.
And these algorithms need to use insurance specific variables. For example, the algo should factor that users who are on the quote page are more likely to buy compared to users on the product pages alone.
Innovative Conversion Focused Variables
One example – how many minutes since the user dropped off from your website? That’s a highly conversion focused variable. Helps you target users as soon or as late as you want. Someone dropped off from the lead page – maybe you can remind them in 15 mins. Someone read an article and dropped off? Ask them about it a couple of days later.
INSURANCE FOCUSED MARKETING CHANNEL MIX
Let’s face it. The average insurance customer is not really visiting your website regularly. Barring the research and purchase phase, and the occasional visit to pay premiums or check up their policy values, there isn’t much to go by.
Browser Push Notifications
Having a great website experience alone, therefore, is not enough. One innovative “owned” channel, for example, are browser notifications. Browser notifications engage customers to keep coming back to the website, get comfortable with your brand, and get more educated on your products.
 
Go Cross Device
Similarly, having a programmatic channel is not enough. Ensuring a good proportion of users can be targeted across devices is critical – to ensure they continue to actively engage with you.
So there you have it. If you are an insurance marketers, its likely you are measured on revenue. And if you are measured on revenue, you need to ensure you have the right marketing platform which helps you deliver on your goals.
Make sure have a growth marketing one!
Maximize Your ROI with Vizury’s Growth Marketing Stack

Maximize Your ROI with Vizury’s Growth Marketing Stack

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Nothing happens in vacuum, including the analytics that you run/expect to run on your Growth Marketing Stack. At Vizury we think of analytics as a part of a larger process of data visualisation as explained in Ben Fry’s phd thesis titled “Computational Information Design”. Here’s a graphic adopted from his thesis:analytics_vizury.png

He explains the process of acquiring, transforming and eventually vizualising data to create engaging and effective graphics. When you use Vizury’s Growth Marketing Stack, you automatically get access to stunning interactive data visualisations like the one below :

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This is the final product that our clients get to interact with, but behind the scenes there is a lot of hard work that happens and a lot of awesome people that make all this happen. This post is an attempt to highlight the overall process and effort that goes in to bring to our clients this state-of-the-art analytics experience. Through the rest of this blog  we will dig into how this process helps us uniquely serve our clients across Banking, Insurance and Travel domains by giving them critcal domain specific insights into their growth marketing strategy.

1. Gathering data

The first part of the process deals with acquiring and munging data. This involves data ingestion via web scrapping, log collection and database accesses etc. The goal in this phase is to build Scalable Extract, Transform and Load pipelines(ETL). The way this is done with Engage is by placing a tag and some integration code on the client’s website. Post which data collection begins and the rest of the process continues.

2. Dig deep into data that’s available

The Second phase involves filtering and minining, this is often most associated with what is called “Data Science” and many people consider it to be the most exciting part. This involves modelling, data mining and exploratory analysis and applying statistical and mathematical theory to discover insights. People often think that it is the second stage where (as they say) the magic happens and models are built. It is very important to understand the importance of the entire process as a whole after all, if the data is not available in a readily accessible format you wouldn’t be able to model it and even once you have the model, if you can’t present it and communicate your results, it might as well, would never had happened.

3. Visual representation

The third phase focuses on visual representation of the data and how we represent it graphically. And this is the stage that excites me the most. It is in this third stage where we focus on various visual encodings to represent our data in the most effective manner.

4. When humans interact

And finally in the fourth phase we obsess over how our clients might interact with our visualisations and apply the techniques from the field of Information Visualisation and Human Computer Interaction to determine how best to design our graphics and visualisations.

The result of all of  this is that we enable our clients to discover valuable and business critical insights for themselves. For example : What is the best day/time to send a website push notifications to your users ? Or how to spend my marketing dollars wisely? Questions like these are the ones that are very easily answered and can be acted upon to maximise your ROI.

I would love to hear your thoughts around this man-machine interface and how you ensure a uber-like experience for your customers? Write to me at chetan.kapoor@vizury.com or leave your comments below.

How Insurance brands can engage customers for free

How Insurance brands can engage customers for free

At Vizury we have a mantra for marketing teams — “FREE BEFORE PAID” — Think free channels before paid. In that spirit read on…..

In one of the previous blog posts we talked about How Insurance Brands Can Acquire New Customers Online. So following that recipe and combining it with your marketing superpowers you must have acquired tons of new customers. Now what?

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Need for Web Push Notifications

Our research show that majority of insurance customers(whooping 81%) login once in 3 months. Given this unique nature of insurance customers how do you make sure that you are engaging customers and meeting them where they are? Yes, you can find them on Facebook and target them on Google but not without spending money. Alternately you can engage them on your website, which by the way is awesome and works great . But the problem is that we run the risk of not engaging them over a prolonged period with personalised up-sell opportunities, account updates and all the exciting updates about your brand.

I know what you must be thinking? We send them emails for all of the above. Yes you do, but with the flood of emails that your customers receive every day, reaching them has become increasingly harder. Fortunately, there has been the emergence of Web Push Notifications. The power of Web Push Notifications lies in the ability to reach your customers even when they aren’t actively engaged with your website. As they say, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This sure sounds like one.

So what really is Web Push Notification? 

Average monthly unique visitors on mobile web outnumber native apps by a factor of 2. The struggle is how do you take these and convert them into weekly active users or daily active users. Specially difficult in contrast to the native apps, which really take advantage of capabilities like push notifications via mobile.

The real question is how do you take the reach of web and combine it with the engagement on mobile devices, and is this even possible? The answer is yes, and that is exactly what Web Push Notifications delivers on. Customers have to opt-in to start receiving Web Push Notifications from your website. And once they do, they will start receiving notifications irrespective of your web page being open or not. This makes for an ideal companion to your already existing onsite notifications and onsite personalisation marketing strategies and provide a great segue into these channels from where the user currently is(i.e anywhere on the internet).

Some of the use cases that go extremely well with Web Push Notifications

  1. Insurance premium due in 15 days — Now you have a segment of users that have their insurance policy premium due in 15 days and you would like to reach out to them, reminding them of the due date and prompting them to pay the premium due soon.
  2. Targeted cross sell opportunities  — You have an existing user segment that recently got married and have their first baby on its way. May be this would be a great time to get in front of them with one of your star ‘Child Plans’.

Implementing Web Push Notifications

How complicated would this be to execute ? We take care of all the complexity for you and with Engage’s powerful Growth Marketing Stack you can execute these use cases in under 5 minutes.

Step 1. Create the segment of users that you want to target. Here’s a really simple demo of how to create one.

Step 2. Create a new Web Push Notification. Specify the title, message, target url.

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Step 3. There is none. That’s all you need to do to send fully customised and hyper targeted web push notifications to your users.

Not to mention all this inherently comes with 1 to 1 personalisation that Vizury is know for across all channels.

With great power comes great responsibility

Yes it is true that Web Push Notifications can put your message front and centre of your users, but this also means that if you do not adhere to certain best practices, it is very likely that your users would turn off the notifications from your website. We at Vizury Engage care deeply about the end user experience and are coming soon with our own set of best practices for Web Push Notifications. Stay tuned!

Read More:

Tackling push notification opt-outs : One strike and you’re out

Tackling push notification opt-outs : One strike and you’re out

People usually wake up to find a ton of notifications on their phone, although only a fraction of those are from people they actually know. The rest are from random apps trying to get them to check out new products, or inform them of certain discounts. Notice the word random? That’s because these notifications are simply going to be swiped away unceremoniously in one go. And now, there’s something that is going to help users do this way quicker.

Currently, more than half of Android users allow push notifications on their phones, compared to only 40% of their iOS counterparts. This can be attributed to the fact that the latter insist that apps collect location and push permissions at the time of install from the user, making it straightforward to refuse unless it’s an app they’re really keen on hearing from. In contrast, apps on Android receive permission to send push notifications by default at the time of installation.

Disgruntled users have to turn this feature off manually, a roundabout way they’re are less likely to take. With their new update, however, Android are making it way easier to block permissions. Now all a user has to do to is something as simple as press and hold a push message to opt out of further pushes. This means it’s time to take mobile push engagement to the next level because now,  with one poorly crafted message, you could end up losing a major marketing channel to connect with that user.

 

 

The repercussions: lesser app abuse

Applications, especially ones that the user hardly uses, can no longer afford to employ ‘hit or miss’ tactics with their content. If the user already doesn’t want to hear from you, and your messages aren’t that useful anyway, chances are your future Push messages will be blocked. Even regular users are less likely to give you a free reign, and a couple of irrelevant or untimely messages can get them reaching for that opt-out option. So how do you take it from here?

Tackling opt-outs
  • Prioritize and personalize content – The obvious starting point. If the your push messages contain useful information (rather than rhetoric aimed to imprint your brand on the user), it is unlikely that the user will look to exercise the opt-out. Push Notifications are like profiles on a dating site. There’s just too much stuff the target user goes through in such a quick time, you’ll never be noticed without ‘stand-out’ content.
  • Implement carousel push better – We all know the problem with dynamic push messages. They usually have a killer first slide, but that’s about it. They either go too fast, or way too slow, and never seem to stop at the one slide that contains the information the user is really interested in. By focusing on introducing proper pause and navigate buttons to enable the user to peruse them properly, brands can negate the ‘more is less’ problem and prevent carousels from being rendered completely useless.
  • Push timing and location : A smarter degree of personalization –Timing your push messages is an art, and perfecting it can make sure your message doesn’t get swiped away into obscurity along with countless others. A badly timed push message might just end up sitting on the user’s phone for ages without being seen, until the user is no longer interested in the information. Using user data to figure out when to send notifications based on time or location is an excellent idea. For example, a car pooling app that sends ride recommendations to its users based on their location and usual time of commute is more likely to engage with its user base and build up a sizable audience.

In summary, push notifications might have the widest reach among all marketing communication channels, but the flip side is that they’re also the easiest for the user to opt out of, especially with this new update. Focusing on engaging, rather than annoying, your hard won user base may make the difference between utilizing this channel effectively or losing out to competitors who do.

If your app users don’t come back in 7 days…

If your app users don’t come back in 7 days…

If your users don’t come back to your app in 7 days, they are probably never coming back. That is the crux of this Andrew Chen article which talks about app user retention. Andrew Chen is a prominent thought leader on mobile and has worked with Quettra to develop this article.

Here is Quettra’s graph which shows how apps lose more than 95% of their users in the first 90 days. This study has been done only on Android apps.

This study by Quettra goes on to reinforce the fact that installs alone don’t mean anything to brands anymore. If your users are not spending time on your app, how are you ever going to monetize your app?

In today’s ‘app-only’ environment where users have a million apps to choose from, the importance of re-engagement cannot be overstated. Brands need to run intensive reactivation campaigns in the first 3 – 7 days to retain their users.

Like Mr.Chen says, bending this curve happens through activation, not notification spam.

Users these days expect brands these days to know where they are and what they want. While the question of privacy is a different question altogether, brands simply cannot get away with generic engagement tactics to bring back users.

Personalization is the holy grail for app marketers.

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While Push notification has proven to be the most powerful tool to engage users, there are other channels that can be used effectively to personalize engagement – display, social and email.

While Push and email are free channels, display and social aren’t. It makes a lot more sense for an app marketer, from an RoI perspective to make use of the free channels first before venturing into paid avenues. Optimizing marketing spends isn’t a myth anymore.

It’s time to think beyond installs.

Let me know what you think of app re-engagement. You can write to us at marketing@vizury.com.

 

Highlights of El Buen Fin 2014

The Good Weekend of Mexico, “El Buen Fin” this year turned out to be “The Wonderful weekend”. Starting as early as 14th of November, E tailers were busy luring potential buyers for upto 5 days with exceptional discounts and offers.

All credits to the theme based banner ads, there has been an increase in average CTR by 4x.

 

Flash Pop-out Banner Ad

 

Multi-product HTML5 Banner Ad

While the netizens clicked, they also splurged close to $900 million USD on online purchases. Exceeding all industry predictions, the Mexican market witnessed a 45% overall increase in e commerce sales in these three days alone.

El Buen Fin 2014 CTR
The BuenFin weekend rush seems to be settling and the “Hold-over effect” takes charge. So, what plans for the Holiday season sale?

3 Proven Retargeting Tips for Black Friday Sales

3 Proven Retargeting Tips for Black Friday Sales

A day to go for the Black Friday- Cyber Monday weekend and the shopping frenzy sets in. With Ecommerce thriving and Mcommerce sky rocketing, one can only guess how many buyers are ready with their shopping carts. Just to give you an idea- the online sales prediction for the 3 days:

Online Sales Prediction

 

Here are the remarketing mantras that will help you stay ahead in the race.

The ‘Window Shopping effect’:

Trends from previous years show that the traffic to your website increases 2 to 3 days ahead. You might not see a boost in sales, nevertheless. These are window shopping trips buyers make to make shopping plans. We call this the ‘Window shopping effect’. This behavioural data could be strong indicators to understand their purchase intent. Up the scale well ahead and target more users up the funnel i.e. search/category and home page users and that’s the first mantra.

Go aggressive on social media:

Social media has the most engaged user-pool with users spending approximately 22% of their total browsing time here. Make sure you have an effective social media remarketing strategy in place. Solutions like Facebook Exchange (RTB based ad inventory on Facebook) and Twitter tailored audience (retargeting users on Twitter through promoted accounts and promoted tweets) help in reaching the right user at the right time with a personalised message.

Social media influence

Cross Device, a must have:

Smartphones drove 24.9 percent of all online traffic on Black Friday 2013 compared to tablets at 14.2 percent, making it the browsing device of choice says an IBM report. Tablets drove 14.4% of all online sales, double that of smartphones, which accounted for 7.2 percent of all online sales and the rest on the desktop. Around 25% of E commerce shoppers switch devices to suit convenience. It is thus important to engage with them from where they are. So, go cross device and stay with them throughout the purchase cycle during the Black Friday- Cyber Monday weekend.

 

 

Media Agencies and the Behavioural Retargeting Space

Media Agencies and the Behavioural Retargeting Space

Behavioural retargeting is a fast growing sector in the digital marketing space. Not only that, but is something that should be an important part of every marketers’ digital strategy especially if they’re running an online transactional business.

 

At a basic level, behavioural retargeting allows a site owner to retarget a consumer that has dropped off their site and encourage them to come back and complete a desired result, in many cases a completed sale. The rise of pure play sophisticated retargeting platforms allows online transactional businesses to follow a consumer through their sales funnel, build a profile of this consumer and retarget them with a personalised and dynamic ad somewhere else in the digital ecosystem. For most retargeting businesses, this is done on a pure performance model (CPC, CPA, CPS), and delivers an effective and efficient sales result for the site owner.

 

Due to the nature of this type of product, and the engagement required with multiple touch points within a client, it’s almost essential to work directly with a client’s team and typically the Head of e-Commerce within these businesses, as opposed to via the media agency channel. To get a campaign to start and run effectively there’s the need to deploy tags across a site, access an API or XML feed of site data, and build and have creative approved.

 

The question that is now coming up is whether this is a solution that should be sold into and then managed by a media agency. In media land, there’s always the natural tension created by a media owner wanting to work directly with a client, and a media agency wanting to protect the relationship they have with the advertiser whilst also controlling and driving the digital marketing strategy.

 

This is fair enough if the media owner is providing is a ‘flat’ media solution.

 

In the case of behavioural retargeting, this is an integrated creative and technology solution that drives an effective sales result for a client. Quite often this can be done more efficiently than what a media agency is able to deliver through their own planning and buying strategy. When you then add the vested interest that an agency has in recommending a solution from their Agency Trading Desk, the question that needs to be asked is whether a media agency can provide an independent and objective suggestion to their client about a retargeting solution, when this is potentially a competitive and more sophisticated product.

MobiConvert In-App Retargeting Delivers 2X Higher Conversions for Yintai

MobiConvert In-App Retargeting Delivers 2X Higher Conversions for Yintai

Vizury MobiConvert’s unique In-App Retargeting helps you reach out to your mobile app users as they access various other apps and show them customized ads. Yintai.com is one of China’s leading online boutiques and has an incessant volume of app downloads. Yintai wanted to engage these app users and retain them in the purchase cycle. Here’s how Vizury’s In-App Retargeting helped Yintai not just engage their app users, but also delivered a 2x boost in purchases through the app.

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50 Shades of Retargeting

50 Shades of Retargeting

Original article published at Clickz.com on August 13, 2013

 

Following the Twitter feed for the term “retargeting” gives you a fair gist of what the world thinks of it. There are several who find it annoying and a stealthy follower of one’s digital footprint. And then there are those who are amazed by it, for whom a contextual banner ad is more welcome than an arbitrarily laid out one.

There are several strategies that one can devise to ensure your ads end up being perceived a whole lot more useful than annoying, but we’ll come to that later. Today I’ll give you a brief overview of the many different flavors of retargeting (they may not really add up to 50, in case you were going to count). There are several ways to classify types of retargeting.

 

Let’s Begin With the Marketing Channel

The image below should tell you all that you need to know. If my graphical skills fall short, you can read multiple articles from various sources available here, here, and here.

ALJ edits

In the Way You Bid for the User’s Impression

The kind of retargeting can also differ in the way the brand invests in the user’s impressions. This is important from a marketing/campaign ROI perspective.

  • Bulk buying. This involves buying retargeting impressions in bulk from a publisher or ad network based on a fixed price (CPM based). Alternately there are marketers who utilize a portion of their overall display inventory for retargeting website drop-offs. Here the advertiser does not determine the worth of every impression individually.
    • Programmatic buying (or its street name, RTB). Here the advertiser (or a representative vendor or agency) microsegments its website visitors and utilizes long-term agreements with ad networks and/or ad exchanges to bid for every user’s impression. The cost (or bid value) of every impression is different in this case and mostly identified by a variety of algorithms applied in real time (more on this later).

 

In the Banner One Displays to Retarget the User

 

Feature Static/Segmented Retargeting Standard Dynamic Retargeting Advanced Dynamic Retargeting
Useful for Awareness campaigns where the communication is standard – e.g., a car launch or for the Customs department to remind users about things they cannot bring back. Businesses with less products, categories, or customer segments. Marketers running their own retargeting campaigns (limited ability to customize communication). Businesses with large and frequently changing product portfolios, many customer segments – e.g., OTAs, e-commerce.Marketers who work with an agency or vendor who can continuously optimize banners for them.
Personalization Nothing much to be done here. Messaging and banner design is standard. Banners developed on the basis of a few factors like last X products viewed, name, image, and price. Several factors affect banner content – e.g., top products bought, upselling, viewed-bought correlation.
Creative Optimization Rarely needed and no scope as there exist only one or two different messages/banners (pre-created). Some optimization possible if banner templates are loaded dynamically. High need and scope for optimizing banners based on several customizable elements.

On the Retargeting Vendor’s Business Model

There are different ways in which brands may engage with a vendor (retargeting specialist). These will include:

Pricing models

    • Click based – CPC or CPM: usually employed by brands that use retargeting products in a self-serve mode (through their marketing team/an agency).
    • Conversion/sale based – CPA: usually employed by brands that engage with vendors on a campaign or retainer basis.

 

Operational models

    • Self-serve: the brand marketing team (or agency) runs the campaigns by using the product themselves. All creative customization and optimization is mostly done by the team themselves.
    • Fully-managed services: the brand invests for a time period/a campaign and the retargeting vendor’s in-house operations team runs the campaign for the brand.

In every way one might look at retargeting as a marketing tool, I have tried to provide a list of variants that are disparate. However, there exist shades of grey, overlaps between many of them that threaten to be a variant in themselves – e.g., a website retargeting campaign that publishes on social media (think FBX), or self-serve operational models where the vendor provides creative design as a service. Maybe if we count all these variants, I will have indeed covered 50 shades in all. Let me know if you know of or use or sell variants that I haven’t covered here!