Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.
A new marketing activity from AAMI Insurance targeting mobile consumers via Facebook and using segmentation, data insights and dynamic content is being hailed as a breakthrough for the insurance group.
AAMI executive manager of marketing at Suncorp, Josh Wittner, told CMO one of the challenges the Suncorp-owned insurance brand is facing is an ever-more competitive and cluttered insurance landscape.
“The challenge is trying to engage and reach customers in a relevant manner,” he said in an exclusive interview. “Not only are there more competitors, but a lot of marketing strategies being put forward are going heavily into mainstream media. Our ability to own these types of spaces, as we have done in the past, is not what it was. And it’s not the direction we want to keep taking as a business moving forward.
“We want to be where consumers are. The usage of mobile has become far more prevalent, so we need to take advantage of that and be on the front foot in that medium.”
It’s this ambition that saw AAMI partner with Facebook to launch an insurance-industry and mobile-first campaign that was both content and consumer led. The campaign revolved around defining three key demographic segments – 18 to 29-year-olds, 30 to 49-year old, and over 50s – and used key insights from the social media giant about each group’s interests, pursuits and preferences in order to produce more relevant content. The objective was to not only raise brand awareness, but lead to brand favourability and conversion.
Wittner said insights from each of the three segments proved to be quite different.
“Many [advertisers] take an approach of one message spread across the entire market,” he commented. “Once we dug down into segments, then aligned our creative to insights the Facebook guys had given us, that gave us a better approach to be able to drive the results we’ve seen.”
Building the right creative
AAMI, its media agency and Facebook first sat down to look at the challenges the brand had in the market. From there, Facebook researched and devised insights on each key segment. Having chosen 3-4 key insights to work with, these were turned into a brief, and AAMI worked with its creative agency to produce about 60 pieces of content, stretching from static pieces to video and imagery.
As an example, Wittner noted insights around the over 50s space was ‘nostalgia’ and their tendency to engage with nostalgic content, along with a penchant to travel.
“Our creative utilised photos from 30 years ago of people on holidays, then related back to our travel insurance process,” he explained. “We went from insight through to creative through to product, and that delivered results around awareness and brand recommendations.”
Prior to the segmentation exercise and as a first phase aimed at ad recall, AAMI pushed through its latest TVC ad through Facebook. The second phase then saw insights and targeted content launched across all three segments.
“We recognised that while the TVC would play a role, it wasn’t going to do what we really needed to do for the brand,” Wittner said. “We knew we had to invest in lower-cost content to drive that relevant, tailored creative and product message to achieve the right message, right time and right consumer scenario.”
As a result of the campaign, AAMI has witnessed a major spike across all of its brand metrics. This includes in excess of a 10 per cent increase in brand favourability from the wider campaign. According to Wittner, AAMI also saw a 4 per cent increase compared with its control group for ad recall during the first awareness phase of its campaign. The second phase of activity resulted in a 3 per cent lift in brand favourability versus those not exposed to the targeted creative.
Facebook head of financial services and travel, Paul McCrory, heralded AAMI’s campaign as a best practice example in the category of a mobile-first attitude to the consumer.
“The big takeaway was that by demonstrating that approach and understanding where customers spend most of their time, then building content for mobile and social, AAMI has been able to deliver results in ad recall, awareness and retention,” he said. “The brand was able to not only have an ongoing conversation with consumers on mobile, but get people to do things they wanted them to do.”
McCrory pointed out how difficult it is for retail banking and insurance brands to change consumer perceptions about their products.
“As a platform, we expect to generate ad recall and awareness, but when you start getting into core brand metrics such as recommendation or favourability, it becomes increasingly difficult to move those,” he claimed. “This make this a very significant result for the category.”
McCrory said the other challenge every industry faces today is how to balance their media mix. “It’s not one or the other, it’s a balance of getting it right together,” he said.
For Wittner, the campaign has proven the success of a mobile-first, segmented approach.
“It proves consumers are willing to engage if you do get it right,” he said. “We have some learnings to work through, but I’d like to think we’ll roll this out as part of BAU, and no longer as a test-and-learn program.”
Wittner also said mobile can’t just be a marketing play, and noted AAMI has invested heavily into building optimal consumer experiences right across its mobile offering.
“Once you do click through, we have best-in-market customer experience on mobile, along with customer service, engaging on retention programs online via mobile,” he said. “If we didn’t have an extremely good customer experience across the mobile platform internally, it’d be a hard justification to drive people through that channel.
“Mobile is increasing year-on-year, why we are making these investments. We’re mirroring propensity to engage on mobile.”