Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Now I'm sure I would have noticed calling myself 'Louise' when signing up for this service. But a quick check shows that all previous emails they have sent me are addressed to 'Hayden'.
Phew..... For a minute there I got confused. I therefore wonder if anyone else got the same issue.
Perhaps a simple slip, but poor personalisation can't help deliverability or click-through rates.
Monday, September 24, 2012
For me, the challenge with collecting vast amounts of data on each individual person's activity, such as driving speed and their late night policy breaking trip to the nearest supermarket, isn't about how an insurance company is going to calculate exactly how much extra to charge you for running out after midnight for those cigarettes, nappies, etc. but how you are going to get hold of that data when you decide to change suppliers. Because surely if you find it difficulty to move your own data away from one company who stores your data, they have an advantage over you?
So surely the answer is to not put your data with any one specific insurance company, as they could well have the advantage mentioned above. But to put your data in the hands of an intermediary service.
But again, you have the issue of who you trust to hold this data on your behalf. Perhaps a company with the infrastructure to easily hold your data securely, who can have access to a complex search service to be able to find trends in big data and who understands the online insurance aggregation market?
Which company could provide such a service? I must Google it......
- If I want to have access to all the data about my driving behaviour, can I?
- How much data is this and how do I get it & store it?
- How do I provide this data to another potential insurer to be able to compare their premium?
- How would I then provide it to several insurers at the same time as part of an aggregate service and are they able to produce comparable policies?
In the end, telematics does not become an issue about creating a comparable policy from insurer to insurer, it is about the bigger issue of how user data is collected, where and who stores it, who has access to it (with and without the insurers permission) and what eventual use this is put to.
In theory, telematics should give more personalised insurance premiums, as more data is collected and more relevant policies are created for each driver. The technology is used already in Brazil, South Africa and now also Australia, which have all apparently seen reductions in road deaths as a consequence.
UK insurers are starting to get more interested in telematics and so is Go Compare, one of the UK's leading aggregators. Go Compare initially approached telematics provider Wunelli to work on a 'black box comparison site' to understand more about telematics products. This led to Wunelli spending six months developing Compare the Box's price and product comparison facility.
So far each insurer is compared using a number of a number of factors, including the location of the car and time driven (some charge extra for late night driving), but also other more detailed information such as acceleration, braking & cornering.
Back in April 2012, Compare the Box was the only telematics insurance aggregation website. But if the history of the web has told us anything, it is that when something unique and successful is developed..... a number of other similar services rush into this space very quickly.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
There are several ways this technology can be used and insurance companies are still looking at different ways to best offer a product to the motor market. Some providers offering a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ model similar to the way you get ‘pay-as-you-go’ tariffs for mobile phones. But others can set up restrictions for drivers, with time and geography both being possible means of restricting customers.
This in theory means they can keep premiums low by agreeing with customers that they will avoid high risk / cost activity (e.g. Away from accident black spots) or only do a specific amount of annual mileage.
Taking this only a tiny step further, this therefore can be a system for rewarding the insured for positive driving.
That little box of electronics in the boot will know everywhere you go, the speed you do it and the time you got there... then it will always report this activity back. Making it a cross between the black box flight recorder, your little brother and a trucker's tachograph.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Note: those brands you think are insuring your car are actually fairly likely to be brokers, trying to earn a profit by selling you insurance from a smaller set of insurers.
In 2010 over 50% of all private car insurance was purchased with the use of the Internet, so it is only sensible to assume that has only increased over the last 18 months. It's therefore surprising that many insurance brands in the UK have made the decision not to have a large online marketing presence and take advantage of this traffic and growth. Sure, some companies are targeting organic or paid search online, but the major search terms are now pretty much dominated by the primary aggregators (MoneySupermarket, GoCompare, Compare The Market & Confused)*.
Either through a conscious decision, a lack of securing funds or some other factor, many insurance companies now accept the dominant role of the aggregators and pay them handsomely. In fact some even accept that up to 80% (or possibly more) of their business comes from the big players.
This current situation may not be permanent, but climbing above the big aggregation and comparison sites in either SEO or PPC is something that would take a lot of time, effort, skill and therefore money.
And this is why aggregators have more to lose now than the companies they provide customers to. They have more at stake when the biggest search engine places its own sponsored box just beneath the top two PPC adverts on a search results page. In effect giving itself a free third place listing and thus siting this service above the organic results.
For any other company this third place Pay-per-click position and top SEO place would cost a fortune to establish and maintain. Save nothing of the improved experience of a comparison service being built into the search journey.
*Sure some are spending significantly on TV (e.g. Direct Line, which is trying all it can to build brand loyalty in the run up to its proposed extraction from the now mainly Government-owned RBS group), but these cases are the exception.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
However in case you're not aware, this isn't just another small startup hoping to grab a small but growing piece of the action. This is one of the biggest Internet companies out there..... Google.
Now, when searching for things such as "cheap car insurance", in addition to a couple of pay-per-click adverts appearing about the search results.... you now also get a box sponsored by Google above the search results that then takes you into a price comparison engine process that compares prices from over 120 insurance companies and brokers.
So whilst this means that insurance companies now have a new and significant entrant into the market that has a considerable influence over the search market (to say the least), I can't help but think that this move by Google is a more significant one for the aggregators.
Friday, September 14, 2012
- Wooden bench seats arranged like pews in two parallel lines down the middle of the store
- Bright product posters / adverts lit from behind and high up on walls looking like the modern equivalent of stained glass windows
- A guru bar at altar height, with a smiling person stood behind it with the Apple logo around their neck
- A six pointed emblem (the 'Genius bar' logo) looking incredibly like the Star of David
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
So to be of any lengthy use in this industry you do need the acceptance of change, coupled with the acceptance that you can not know everything there is or what will be.
Consequently, when asked to pull together a strategy for a client that looks at the longer term digital vision, it can often be hard to come up with anything too specific without drifting off into SciFi territory.
So when asked to predict the future, you end up stating the obvious trends such as:
- Internet (especially data) usage will continue to grow
- mobile use will increase further as smartphones continue to become more prevalent
- device manufacturers will release further versions of their equipment to try and identify (& profit from) different consumer segments
Perhaps predicting the future isn't what it used to be.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Building an ecommerce site is just the beginning of a long optimization process. It doesn't matter how much thought and effort you put into the initial planning of the user experience & design.....You then have the task of tuning your site to get the most out of it.
All this work is typically focused around the transaction path (also known as the 'booking funnel'). Visitors journeys are scrutinised and optimised in an effort to squeeze the most revenue out of each individual visit.
However, building a site that just takes the money (and let the customer run off) is an incredibly short-term approach to ecommerce that gives no consideration to the longer term customer lifetime value.
So ask yourself:
How are you calculating lifetime customer value?
Where's your email communication plan beyond the latest transaction?
Where's your overall customer segmentation and customer journey planning?
In essence, isn't it time you looked at the ways to retain your customers, rather than just trying to get new ones?
Digital Strategy - Website Delivery - Online Marketing
+44 (0)780 1341955