Companies in various industries across the globe are beginning to adjust their strategies with a “Just In Time” (JIT) concept. This can be done in terms of inventory, services and even marketing.
When it comes to JIT Marketing it boils down to eliminating extravagant and unproductive marketing practices. And instead, focusing on creating customer opportunities and shaping the customer experience.
Research indicates that competent JIT marketers help businesses reach their growth goals by engaging only “in-market” customers. Offering relevant messages at just the right moment. By doing this it significantly reduces the waste and ineffectiveness. Which commonly results from conventional marketing.
Accenture Consulting published a study this year around Just-In-Time marketing. 532 chief marketing officers were surveyed – 67 of them were from the Insurance industry.
According to the study across all industries, JIT marketers report significantly higher growth rates than their peers. They were at least three times likelier than their peers to realize annual growth rates of at least 26% in both the past year and past 3 years.
Here are few other notable observations from the study:
- Less than 20% of the individuals whom marketers reach are actual in-market consumers looking to make a purchase soon.
- JIT marketers have better channel capabilities, greater marketing agility and more customer knowledge.
- JIT marketers invest in their customers and it was clear from the statistics. Where 89% of high growth companies focus on the customer experience, whilst only 60% of low-growth companies focus on it.
Just-in-time marketing Infographic, Accenture.
What marketing activities are Insurers doing today?
Best Selling Author and CEO & Founder of Ph.Creative Digital Marketing Agency, Bryan Adams says that ”Insurance today, and for a number of years, has seemed to me to be stuck in a little annoying marketing rut and there are some repetitive traits shared among a large number of insurance brands that have all followed each other:
- Annoying characters
- Repetitive jingles or catch phrases
- Product/sales/price comparison focused
- Telephone numbers seem to be a main message
- No differentiation from competitors in terms of messaging”
He raises the question “What if an insurance company took a brave step into the unknown and broke convention?”
Just for fun, he looked at how some well-known non-insurance brands would approach advertising insurance:
Apple Life Insurance
Image credit: www.linkedin.com
Conventionally, Insurance marketers believe that the greater the marketing investment, the greater the consumer awareness and the more interesting the offering will be.
JIT insurance marketers behave and operate differently. Before just spending, they study where an investment would create the greatest incremental value. They create opportunities and remain relevant by considering what consumers are doing and needing.
By proactively engaging their customers, JIT marketers deliver relevant, meaningful and compelling, real-time content. Content that is in response to the customers changing demands and expectations.
What strategies do JIT marketers have?
- They have unified traditional and digital marketing initiatives and execution. They do not set up separate teams for social, digital, mobile, customer experience and analytics. They have unified initiatives and execution.
- JIT marketers have digital and analytics capabilities embedded throughout the organisation.
- They independently choose or even invest in IT solutions.
- JIT marketers leverage centres of excellence for digital and analytical skills.
These strategies allow them to negotiate within the market quite well. Their focus is on reaching the right consumers through the most appropriate channels – the channel the customer prefers! Digital plays a big role in this but it’s the message that counts. The message must resonate with the customer and it must be opportunely timed – look at Adams’ examples above.
Accenture suggests the following competencies which insurers need to develop in order to support the shift to JIT marketing:
- Investing in Data platforms. These platforms will help you to capture and leverage information across all customer touch points.
- Build actionable customer segments and gather insights from them to inform a go-to-market approach.
- Ensure real-time, on demand personalisation and customization of content that is contextually relevant. The execution will differ for direct and agent intermediary models.
- Deploy channel capabilities for customized modular content. This is the kind of content that can be tailored based on the customer specific information. Content such as purchase intent, online behaviour and market competitive dynamics.
- Integrate with ecosystem partners that will be able to provide access and knowledge to an in-market audience. This can be done by delivering, augmenting or expanding the insurers offerings. Provide new capabilities on new to-market innovations. By participating in this ecosystem, it will make insurance solutions seem more appealing. It plays a more engaging role in customers lives.
- Develop an integrated and balanced customer-centric operating model. By doing this you will enable all the above.
There really is nothing stopping Insurers from getting on the JIT bandwagon. It’s evident that companies in various industries across the world have generated greater growth than their competitors using this JIT marketing approach.
Here are couple of good examples of the use of these competencies by JIT marketers:
A South African Insurer, Discovery Life campaign which leverages existing clients
with other Discovery Products, by offering tailor made solutions:
Life Insurer, MLC partners with a technology partner which offers customers wanting want to live a healthier and active lifestyle, wearable technology.
Another one is the Dream Fearlessly campaign by American Insurer, American Family Insurance. The campaign entices families, Dads in particular, to share their stories and dreams with the Insurer.
The campaign not only serves as advertising to Fathers, but is also a way of gathering customer information for potential leads for future campaigns.
A particularly good example of an TV advertisement put together around Father’s Day, is this one by MetLife:
There really is nothing stopping Insurers from getting on the JIT bandwagon, as it’s evident that companies in various industries across the world have generated greater growth than their competitors, by adopting a JIT marketing approach.