MetLife's B2B consumer challenges

The global insurance provider's head of data and digital reveals consumer and B2B challenges through online channels

Metlife's Australian head of data and digital, Aaron Fuller, on disrupting the B2B data minefield
Metlife's Australian head of data and digital, Aaron Fuller, on disrupting the B2B data minefield

The migration of consumers to online channels is providing B2C companies with ample opportunity to gather and analyse data.

But what do you do when you are a B2B company that sells mostly through partners, and are a long way from having a regular online interaction with your eventual consumers?

It is a question that has been at the heart of the work of Aaron Fuller, head of data and digital for the Australian operations of the global insurance giant MetLife.

Headquartered in New York and with 66,000 employees spread around the world, MetLife provides a wide variety of life and general insurance products, and is the US’ largest provider of life insurance. In Australian MetLife’s activities are mostly restricted to life insurance, which it sells through 16 partners including Hostplus, and Coles.

Speaking at the Future of Customer Experience & Business Intelligence staged by FST Media in Melbourne last week, Fuller described how insurance had become essentially commoditised in the minds of buyers, who were unable to distinguish between products. As a result, the new battleground was the experience that customers had when purchasing and owning insurance products, he said.

“The companies from my point of view that are winning in this space are using digital and data to create an experience that is holistic and intuitive,” Fuller said. “The differentiator that is going to make a customer buy a product is the way in which you relate and make it meaningful to them.”

That presents challenges for a B2B brand such as MetLife, which lack access to first party data of their own.

“How we are making MetLife a powerhouse in Australia is by making digital services and digitally-enabled tools available to our partners, who are super funds or other businesses like Coles,” Fuller added.

As a consequence, the company views partnerships with the likes of Nine Entertainment Co’s data division Tipstone crucial, which sells user data from 14 million users across sites from Mi9 and Microsoft.

“If you are a company like MetLife with very little data of your own, you have to go and do partnerships with people with lots of data,” Fuller explained. “And you can do that through partners, or with people like TipStone. All these guys are opening up their data and monetising their own database to help you acquire and engage with your current asset base.”

Moving forward, Fuller saaid the plan for the insurance giant is to now turn that data into insight.

“I read a quote the other day that said we are in an insights arms race,” Fuller said. “Most companies have loads of data, but very few, if any, knows how to take all that data and turn it into action. So the future winners in this space will be the smartest ones, because if it is a price driven offering it’s a race to zero.”

In the spirit of digital disruption, numerous new insurance companies around the world have emerged to take a more data driven approach to their products and services. South African firm BrightRock for instance makes extensive use of analytics to customer policies for customers, while US-based Hi Oscar is another leader in this field.

For MetLife, one of the long term goals is to help customers overcome their apathy, with studies showing that while nine out of 10 Australians know they need to buy life insurance, only 1 out of 10 actually have an adequate amount required.

“It’s about value, and the value has to be throughout the entire experience,” Fuller concluded. “There is no simple solution.”

Altogether it provides life insurance to around 2.5 million Australians, but has little direct contact with them.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

What about this one FormDesigner.pro? I think it's a great platform providing a lot of options, you can collect different data and work w...

Salvador Lopez

Gartner highlights four content marketing platform players as leaders

Read more

Blog Posts

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Whose responsibility is it to set the ground rules for agency collaboration?

It’s not that your agencies don’t have your best interests at heart – most of them do. But the only way to ensure they’re 100 per cent focused on your business and not growing theirs by scope creep is by setting the guard rails for healthy agency collaboration.

Andrew Pascoe

Head of planning, Hatched

Sign in