We listen to the news and hear that some areas of the US are paying $3 more for a gallon of gas than other places. So intuitively, we understand that different parts of the country are impacted differently when it comes to inflation.
But how can we apply differences like these to our marketing strategies for insurance companies? Merkle’s Inflation Resilience Dashboard showcases differences across dimensions like geography, household discretionary spend, and cash reliance, among others, to identify who is most and least prepared to weather the storm we’ve found ourselves in. If we can addressably identify those struggling with today’s landscape (we can), then we as marketers can directly provide better customer experiences tailored to their needs.
In this article, we list 3 key considerations for adjusting marketing activities in the current landscape. It’s proven that marketers who embrace change and lean into what is happening fare better than those who hold tight for when the weather calms. Merkle’s free, publicly accessible Inflation Resilience Dashboard can help identify distinct audiences for activation.
Speak to your audience with the appropriate voice
Everyone in your target audience is not reacting to inflation in the same way. Some will be making major changes, like waiting just a little longer to pull the trigger on that new car. Others might look to make more subtle changes – looking for every opportunity to cut costs while avoiding any major lifestyle changes.
Demonstrate empathy whenever possible by leveraging personalized creative to speak to your audiences’ unique needs. Even your most loyal customers could be looking at consolidating policy providers (with someone else!). Now is the time to address the unique value that your company offers, and directly illustrate how you can meet customers’ needs. According to the Insurance Information Institute, bundling together multiple insurance types (like car and homeowners insurance) is one of the top 5 ways to save on what you’re spending today. Consider whether low inflation resiliency could predict increased receptivity to policy-bundle savings messaging. Could your current digital tools be leveraged to dynamically serve personalized narratives on the fly?
Understand product choice trends
Del Taco’s recent spot touting their 20 menu items under $2 directly recognizes how customer choice can change in a higher-cost landscape. Consider how inflation could impact product choice.
Many new insurance products have entered the marketplace. Whether it is monitoring driving behavior or pay-by-the-mile models, customers have more product choices than ever before – and they may be willing to make different product choices today compared to the past. Inflation is a broad stressor to families that can lead to significant change in interests and behavior.
Work with your business intelligence (BI) department to create measures that highlight product choices on an addressable audience basis. One interesting measure might be geographic concentration of one of your new products. How does that natural geographic pattern of product acceptance differ by generation? Then, using the Inflation Resilience Dashboard, look at how that pattern compares to generational inflation patterns. Exploring the trends could inspire you, and your teams, to consider new ways to promote these new and innovative products in a quickly changing market.
Explore renewal patterns
The past couple of years have been expansive for life insurance policies. The pandemic has increased policies tremendously, but these policy payments are now due. With the pandemic situation different than it was two years ago, how will inflation influence these new customers’ decision to stay once annual policy renewal bills arrive?
The Inflation Resilience Dashboard can provide resilience measures by county, which can be overlapped with your business’s renewal rates. How do your lowest renewal rates and highest renewal rates align with inflation resilience? This can highlight pockets where there may be greater appetite for renewal based on resilience, allowing your team to allocate marketing dollars and efforts in areas with a higher propensity to convert. Our initial testing with this concept showed remarkable potential.
In many ways, inflation is uniting our country as we are all feeling its effects – and it may be here to stay for a while. As insurers, we need to evaluate our marketing risk carefully and make strategic marketing adjustments. The market is becoming more dynamic, and this dashboard can help you make sense of it.
As we’ve outlined above, adapting your marketing for consumers looking to cut costs is important, but so is adjusting to meet the needs of inflation-resilient populations. Check out our recommendations in How Inflation Resilience Data Can Shape Insurance Marketing.