CMO50 #26-50: Alice Chiew, Guild Insurance
The focus for Guild Insurance’s marketing function is to support the lead generation, nurturing and customer management process in the next 1-2 years.
“Specifically, we’re looking to build and develop capability in digital (including social) media to create awareness in existing markets, build a lead nurturing strategy, across products, segments and markets, refining existing sales funnels, optimise activities to improve conversion rates, and build customer analytics capabilities with other colleagues across the insurance business,” head of marketing, Alice Chiew, says.
From the CMO50 submission
Business contribution and innovation
Marketing’s focus prior to Chiew’s tenure was to support partners’ marketing activities, specifically:
• Conference sponsorship and trade stand activities
• Member media – advertising and articles (technical)
The team was also responsible for servicing and billing artefacts.
Today, marketing’s remit spans the broader lead generation and sales cycle, working actively with functional colleagues on a number of fronts such as designing a recent win back customers campaign. The collaborative efforts from product and price and sales and marketing saw Guild double retention rate on this campaign.
Modern marketing and customer engagement thinking and effectiveness
Insurance is a big ticket item and critical to Guild customers’ livelihood.The challenge for marketers is to demonstrate value (of the purchase) to customers.
Marketing designed an engagement program with colleagues in claims and client risk services to demonstrate the value (of Guild) even when a customer doesn’t claim.At its foundation is the rich pool of information the company has on tens of thousands of customers over the last 50+ years.Guild said the teams analyse the key drivers of complaints and hearings; or the major causes of property losses or damage, then marketing turns these into stories, based on testimonials of customers.
The success of an initial pilot in December 2014 has led to the program being embedded into Guild’s regular campaign calendar. Encouragingly, Chiew said the marketing team continues to deliver strong results – most recently 40+ per cent open rates and upwards of 30+ per cent clickthrough.
Data and/or technology driven approach
Guild has been in the process of migrating from an old product system to a new product system.One of the many benefits of this new system is the ability to complete a straight through transaction.Marketing worked with technology and underwriting (product and sales) to develop the new suite of forms online.As custodians to the website, Chiew said marketing was also responsible for the ‘front door’ and how that integrates with these forms.
Marketing worked closely with technology to design and complete internal and external user experience testing of the new online forms.The launch of the new forms was staggered across customer segments and continues to be supported by marketing. This is now effectively a low-touch BAU process.
Chiew and her team continue to work with their technology counterparts across a number of areas, taking full advantage of the investment made in the product system.
In all they do, the marketing team stays true to the spirit of the brand, Chiew said. Guild Insurance was started with a haircut, and one man who saw his [hairdresser] neighbour in need, and found the way to help her and thousands like her.
Chiew said it had ‘warmed’ up the brand from its most recent corporate look and feel with images that are of people first, profession second. Language is also personal and accessible.
Creativity and discipline is not mutually exclusive and Chiew works hard to stay discipline in presenting the proposition of why a customer should choose Guild. She noted room to improve as the business shifts away from the category’s spectrum of laundry list of benefits to broad ‘protection’ messages.
Part of this is focusing on engaging the customer with the Guild brand.To that end, Chiew has over the last two years put in place structured communication with each of its customers, from a simple thank you when they pay, to the engagement program now in place.
Chiew said that over the last nine months, the team has run pilots in all manner of areas, from paid search to social media to data mining through social media.
“We know the market and the marketing space is ever evolving and the pace has only just gotten faster.Some of our pilots fail and some succeed – but all teach us something that we can do better and differently next time.”