Big data rules the digital marketing roost. Interpreted correctly, it explains what makes consumers tick. Companies can zoom in on their customers and analyze their behaviors, shopping preferences, hobbies – qualities that define them as individuals. The data amalgamation has turned to these personal questions because the more specific and intimate the information, the more companies can pinpoint needs and wants within their customer base and develop products that address them. It’s the reason you see eerily tempting Google ads and sponsored posts on Facebook.

This is considered out-in innovation because product ideas and solutions spring from customer insights.

The insurance industry, on the other hand, continues to employ the in-out approach, developing products based on ideas from inside the company not customer data. When ideas come only from within, product development is often limited to what stakeholders deem the most marketable or what needs they assume customers have.

Businesses whose leaders aren’t looking at the data to drive product innovation tend to rely on process innovation to remain competitive. There’s no question that streamlining operations is vital to maintaining current blocks of business, but efficiency alone isn’t enough to grow.

Data in action.

In an email marketing campaign, data transforms a flat pitch into a custom solution. A company can either send its customers a blanket offer, untethered to anything specific about the recipients, or it can send a targeted offer, one that reaches individuals who are most likely to be interested.

These targeted offers are based on what the company knows about that customer through big data and they’re hugely successful — roughly 70 percent more successful, in fact, than offers that aren’t customized, according to the Harvard Business Review.

The good news, if you’re an insurance company, is that you already have all the data you need. The underwriting process alone provides access to more information than any other type of data mining. A complete picture of a customer who is interested in buying that product is right in front of you. The bad news is you likely use that data only to determine the risk of insuring that customer and then toss it aside.

Instead of tossing it aside, analyze it. It could fuel your new product research and development efforts or give you a better idea of how your existing products can help solve problems for customers. Either way, you’re letting the data tell you what the customer is looking for.

Giving consumers what they want breeds success.

Next comes the real work – interpretation. Marketing Donut suggests “to tease out demographic and behavior trends that correlate with your best customers.” One behavior trend you’re likely to find is the desire to engage with you – and manage their accounts – online. If you don’t have the bandwidth to create an experience like this, you might consider partnering with an Insurtech company.

These businesses exist to improve the insurance buying experience using technology. Be careful which one you choose, however, because many of them are trying to acquire consumers for themselves. You need to make sure you’re choosing a partner – like LegacyShield — who isn’t interested in being a distributor or product manufacturer. Our business model is strictly B2B and we don’t market directly to the consumer. We help consumers organize their financial lives and give them a portal for interacting with industry professionals.

By engaging with customers on this platform, you’re giving them the experience they expect. And you’re also developing relationships with them. Relationships in which they tell you the challenges they’re facing and you figure out how best to solve them.

Michael Babikian

Written by Michael Babikian

Michael Babikian is an established innovator whose focus is implementing ways for disruptive innovations to help further his goal of protecting families. He helps bring insight to people that will empower them to not just accept the responsibility for their financial futures and securing their legacies, but also to be enthusiastic about the process.