Use Measurement and Evaluation to Get Better Value For Money And Better Results From Your Marketing
Measurement and evaluation give insurance marketers deep insights into how campaigns are performing. They are able to tell us what content people are consuming, what they are doing with it and whether they like it or not.
Using analytics and metrics it is possible to improve the quality of campaigns over time. It is what gives credibility to insurance marketing, and is both an effective and worthwhile investment of time and resources.
Your Marketing Plan is the blueprint for your business strategy, however, it is just the first step in an ongoing process. Marketing should not be set in motion and left alone, but constantly reviewed, evaluated and adjusted to suit the needs of the company and the wants of the consumer.
Understanding how to judge whether your marketing plan is delivering the best possible results can save you time and money and help ensure the success of your business.
Here are some of the main things that you should be constantly measuring and reviewing.
- Return on Investment (ROI): ROI is always a major concern when it comes to marketing or any other business expense. The idea is to check whether the money you have put into your marketing plan has resulted in a profit. In order to do this effectively, you should measure the amount spent on each campaign, versus the number of sales each campaign brought in specifically.
- Sales Numbers: Reading the numbers can be the fastest and most basic way to determine whether your plan is working. For example, if your overall sales for last year from June 1 to September 1 totalled $100,000 and your total sales for this year totalled $150,000, you can deduce that your current marketing plan is having some sort of positive effect.
- Customer Response: Measuring your customer response in
all its varied forms can help you to determine what type of reactions
your marketing creates. There are several ways you can do this, such as conducting surveys, asking for general customer service feedback and welcoming online commentary. This can reveal what your customers think of your marketing and which campaigns have the greatest impact.
- Competitor Response: The actions of your competitors can often be very telling when it comes to the success or failure of your marketing plan. If competitors rush to copy what you’ve done or try their best
to one-up your initiatives, the plan is working. If your campaigns go largely ignored or there is an immediate negative response, there may be an issue or at least a question about what you’ve set in motion.
How do you know when your marketing is working? Here are a few suggestions we’ve come up with to tackle this question from a process perspective and ensure that your start-up marketing evolves appropriately:
- Analytics through a cross-disciplinary approach: Look at the Obama 2013 campaign – the campaign director managed the creative team and the analytics team simultaneously, which allowed a great deal of synergy to flow between each discipline. (Incidentally, we are big proponents of the cross-disciplinary approach). The idea during the Obama campaign was to constantly test creative, vary and analyse, all in-house. You can also do this by using the Google Analytics app – just make it a habit to check every day to see how you’re doing so that you can react accordingly. And remember, correlations do not equal causation, so don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. Keep in mind sample sizes, test cases, variance and more.
- More data is not always better: A big problem with big data is that it can be overwhelming. Make your data actionable. Build test cases with hypotheses and outcomes. Decide in advance what you will do if that trigger comes, for example, if you don’t get any email sign- ups in a week, change the Call To Actions on the landing page – and then actually make changes. In other words, think in advance of the actions you will take once specific triggers are reached and specific goals are hit around your start-up marketing analytics program. This will help ensure that your start-up marketing evolves appropriately.
- It’s not all about numbers: Another way to say this, is that quality can be more important than quantity, and so it’s important to dig deep into the statistics. Yelp is fascinating – look how much time some people spend writing reviews. If you’re a small business owner with Yelp reviews, often it’s not actually about quantity but about the quality of a single post or comment.
You shouldn’t be afraid of negative comments and reviews you may receive as a result of executing your start-up marketing tactics because these are what you’re going to learn the most from. The quality of these can often be better than the hard metrics, just don’t get too hung up on them.
Basing your campaigns around calendar events can be a great opportunity to get creative and position yourself as a knowledgeable business with your finger on the pulse.
By adjusting your marketing strategy based on upcoming seasons and holidays, you are able to target your clients with responsive, relevant and personalised information that capitalises on different trends.
Make the Most of Seasonal Opportunities
By ensuring that your marketing is tied into the time-based interests and needs of your clients, you can communicate relevant information with them that makes them more likely to act. In order to do this, you need to know who your target audience is, but also understand their motivations and purchasing patterns. Take some time to find events that apply to your business and craft your communication around these.
Different climates represent a host of different complications and benefits. Identify the ones that are relevant to your business and your clients’ businesses and single out some areas to focus communications around. For example, when we’re coming into bushfire season, it may be useful to provide clients with information that will reduce their risk.
Focusing on calendar holidays or events is a great opportunity to market to your clients. For example at Christmas time, there is an increase in consumer purchasing that impacts businesses across industries. This is the ideal opportunity to get in touch with your clients and check that they are covered for this busy period – for example, for any extra employees they’ve taken on or for surplus stock levels.
Once you have put in the work to create your campaigns, they should still be relevant (with minor updates) for cyclic events. This means that you can learn from your campaign, make improvements to it and reuse it the following year.
There are certain marketing methods that are common to the most successful insurance marketing campaigns. These are:
1. Local Marketing
Local Marketing involves identifying and implementing marketing opportunities in your local area. You can do this by engaging positively with individuals, groups, organisations, businesses, local media and online.
With an effective local marketing program, you can position your business as a dynamic member of their community and increase your overall brand awareness in your area. Here are a few local marketing strategies that you should consider:
- Sponsorship/Community Involvement: Offer to sponsor events or donate a prize to a good cause. Most organisations will reward your contribution by displaying your business name in promotional activities for their event or club, and your business is likely to gain a better reputation as one that cares about the local community.
- Be Seen: Offer to speak to a local community group, at a local event or on a local radio station. You can talk about how to best protect small businesses in your area. This engages your local community and informs people about yourself and your business whilst building your business brand.
- Join Forces: If you provide a service that goes hand-in-hand with another business in your area there may be an opportunity to create a joint venture. These businesses are likely to have a similar customer base as you.
- PR Opportunities: If your business is doing great things in your community then make sure you tell them about it. Get to know your local newspapers and media outlets as they are always looking for great community stories to tell. The more you support your local community and communicate with your customers, the more likely you are to be rewarded with a community that will support your business in return.
When you’re looking for new business, it’s a common assumption that casting your net as broadly as possible is the best way to get your name out there and attract new clients. However, narrowing down your business options may be just what you need to succeed.
There are several benefits to specialising in your business:
- Customers Know Exactly How You Can Help Them: With a clearly defined niche, customers quickly understand exactly how you can help them. This means that they are much more confident in your services, which makes them much more likely to buy from you.
- You are Perceived as an Expert in your Field: Being an expert sets you apart from more generalised businesses. If you are perceived as an expert in your field you will not only attract more customers, but you can charge more for your services.
- You Have a Smaller Learning Curve: One difficulty in starting a business is the tremendous learning curve you face. By specialising your business you can focus on learning one area and becoming really good at it, which cuts out a lot of headaches.
EXAMPLE: An insurance advisor who specialises in insuring art galleries has a specific niche that they are recognised for. They are able to fully explore the risks of business in this sector, and become an expert in this type of insurance. This allows them to position their business as the ‘go-to’ for insurance in the art gallery industry.