I like to think that I am financially literate even if I do not apply all I know. I know how to save, but I also like the soft life.
Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing — Investopedia.
“It is a variety of important financial skills and concepts,” Me.
Financial literacy eventually becomes financial awareness. We can not be aware of what we have not gained knowledge of.
A crucial element of financial awareness is insurance. Insurance is a financial safety net that helps you and/or your loved ones recover when something bad happens. I have, in the past four years, enjoyed the benefit of health insurance. When it comes to health, my only worry is the dearth of qualified and professional medical personnel owing to the JAPA wave in Nigeria.
Beyond that, my basic and some major medical needs are covered under my health insurance plan. The protection, certainty, and risk sharing I have benefited from my health insurance plan has of course helped me understand the benefits of insurance, nudged me to increase my yearly payment toward a more premium plan, and encouraged me to consider getting comprehensive auto-insurance cover.
When I made the decision five months ago, I started my customer journey, which from a company’s perspective, is the marketing funnel — awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. While on this journey, as a marketing professional, I caught myself constantly analyzing my experience with various touch points, up until my cover policy was shared with me via email. After finding myself at the third stage, conversion, I pondered on the biases and influence that led to my decision — which is the fuel for this post.
The following is a summary of my ‘customer journey’ toward purchasing comprehensive car insurance in Nigeria and the marketing lessons therein:
SEO & SEM
My first move was to visit the search engine Google, and my keyword was ‘car insurance’. Allianz Nigeria, Leadway Assurance, AXA Mansard, Custodian Investment Plc, AIICO Insurance, Sanlam, Etap Insurance, Cornerstone, and Coronation Insurance were some of the auto insurance companies on my first Search engine results page (SERP).
This meant that the marketing team at the above-mentioned companies either had a strong search engine optimization (SEO) working in their favor or Search engine marketing (SEM).
SEO is a set of practices designed to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to a website while SEM is the process of increasing a website’s visibility in a search engine through paid advertising.
My bias kicked in.
Service announcement: I am trying to share my unique customer journey toward purchasing comprehensive car insurance without a filter because I can only pick out the raw marketing lessons by being honest with myself as a marketer, and you as you read this.
It was easy for me to gravitate toward the brands I was familiar with either through television commercials or other forms of marketing. It is insurance, therefore, I also wanted to be sure that the brand is legitimate. Secondly, I already had a bias toward a particular brand based on industry gist and reservations from their former staff.
Brand awareness as the name implies is a marketing strategy that falls in the first stage of a marketing funnel. The goal is usually to attract customers unaware of your brand, product, or services. The long-term results include an increase in a brand’s share of voice.
After mentally battling with my bias and which brand I would want to engage, one of the brands stood out for me with their ‘get a quote online’ feature which was clearly displayed in the title tag. Remember that this journey started five months ago and at the time, I needed to know how much it would cost to get a premium cover for my car. The online quote feature caught my attention and I clicked.
CTR — clickthrough rate is the number of clicks that an ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.
After visiting the brand’s page and getting a quote, I visited another brand that also offered an online quote feature, however, this information was not part of what you would see in their title tag or meta description on the search engine results page. Both brands helped me with a picture of how much I should budget but only one followed up with emails.
However, the emails in my opinion were not properly tailored to move me into the conversion stage of the marketing funnel. From the emails I received, I suspect I was just added to their mailing list. What happened to getting a tailored email that sends the sensitive data I provided to get a quote such as my vehicle registration number, identification number, and Chasis number, to me while including a person I can contact for further inquiry? Another follow-up email can contain a breakdown of the benefits and general covers available under the type of insurance I got a quote for. Please note that all these emails can be automated and monitored for open rate and conversation using artificial intelligence (AI).
For a country with less than 1% insurance penetration, beyond artificial intelligence marketing, follow-up communications will help educate a potential customer thereby reducing loss of interest.
Lead follow-up is a method that connects the business with potential leads from marketing channels. It enables the business to establish a relationship with the lead and move them to the loyalty stage of your marketing funnel. It is also important to know the difference between marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQL) in order to create specific communications.
When I was ready to make the purchase, I went back to the brand with the online quote feature in their title tag. I went through the process all over again, the system wasn’t intelligent enough to remember some of my details even though I used the same laptop, Internet, and browser, and had interacted with the page at least twice. I still did not get a follow-up email afterward. So, I reached out to two people whom I felt I could trust their recommendation when it came to insurance.
The first person owns an automobile repair shop and is also a car dealer. The second person is my boss. My boss mentioned the brand and when I told him how much I got as a quote, he shared a contact with me. That contact, a broker, felt like the solution to my problems. I had questions, I needed answers. I got a contact person.
Word of mouth is the oldest form of marketing. Every company must aspire to own a share of this voice through excellent service delivery, customer satisfaction, and intentional branding.
PS: The first person, an auto dealer, recommended a brand I never heard of and because I never heard of them, I didn’t give it a second thought. However, if my boss had recommended them, I most likely would have used them because of the trust and respect I have for him. The quality of word-of-mouth seems to be a thing here. Customers rely on word of mouth to reduce the purchase risk.
I ended up purchasing insurance from the company recommended by my boss because I had a contact person who was readily available to answer my questions and I have access to him whenever assistance is needed. Interestingly, this is the same brand I mentioned earlier regarding having a negative bias.
A well-made product is important, but a well-rounded marketing approach helps sell the product. A mix of the right marketing strategies drives customers through the funnel. The customers go from unaware of the brand to interested to first-time customers to repeat customers. It is important for brands to constantly test various channels and observe how these channels are linked to their business goals.