iSelect CMO on building the ultimate customer ‘life admin store’

From its use of humour to tech platforms and data insight, the insurance broker is aiming to get closer to customers, its marketing leader says

Allocating budget

Davys said it’s important to understand the customer journey, from start to finish, which can be challenging in a business like iSelect that doesn’t have long lead times.

“With auto, we know we have a three-month journey, from a customer first seeing an ad, right through to their purchase of a car,” she explained. “In this instance, we sometimes might have minutes between them seeing an ad and going through to the purchase decision, so a headache for me, is making sure we have the right channels in place to meet the needs of a varied and wide market.

“What is the right channel that we need to be in given our limited dollars? It is a headache for every CMO because no one has got an unlimited amount of marketing budget, but how is that spend correctly proportioned to get to the right lead and, hence, revenue targets that you need for the business?”

To cope, Davys said CMOs need to “embrace the customer experience journey,” recognising the customer's perspective, segments, customer goals, emotions, and touch points.

“If CMOs are not saying they want a customer experience and are not doing a digital transformation, then they are probably not strategically on the right route right now because every industry, and every business, is evolving so fast,” she said.

With the life admin store approach, Davys said the intention is to talk customers about nine key verticals. “It is about coming to us for all of your life admin needs and the platform is going to enable us when you last called us, what products you bought from us, your lifestyle stage, your demographics - the full end-to-end,” she said.

“We then know the right time to start talking to you about life insurance or home loans. We actually know you. It is about having the right level of relationship.”

Calling it the “love funnel,” Davys said the company recognises customers come in at the top and purchase at the bottom. “Where we are trying to work on is the relationship in the middle and that is all of that content management and the work we are doing with our content hub to actually make sure you remain part of our ecosystem over time,” she said.

“There is all sorts of technology we’re building in the background to help you do that, which is classified, but it will help us build out this vision of a ‘life admin store’.”

Like many in the industry, Davys saw the value in getting the ‘single view of the customer’. “It is kind of Utopia - the single view of the customer. One of the reasons I came back into this business is because we absolutely have now - through years of the Salesforce platform – the ability to actually know the end-to-end customer,” she said.

Traditional measures

Asked about the company's digital spend, Davys said she doesn’t give people a typical answer on this front. “I would actually say - interestingly for the networks as well - we are actually moving a little back to more of the traditional,” she said.

“As an online company, I think we moved almost too quickly into the digital environment. Now we have to come back because the traditional channels still have a massive role to play with our brand health and our brand awareness and consideration, which we do track on a monthly basis.”

And while Davys continues to juggle myriad decisions about marketing technology as well as brand and advertising questions, knowing your leadership style can be quite useful.

“For a CMO these days, you have to have a really open and transparent style. I think it is about being real with your people,” she said.

“It is also in this environment about having a lot of tenacity to be able to understand a problem, but continue to evolve that problem to a solution. And as change continues to happen, and it is going to happen to all of us, knowing how you bring people on that journey is important.”

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