Driving Marketing Results

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One of the main problems when offering a focused product is how to equally focus the accompanying marketing efforts. This was recently the challenge for Hibernian, one of the largest insurance providers in Ireland. The firm wanted to advertise a new auto insurance program called Ignition. The marketing campaign targets younger, inexperienced drivers who meet very specified criteria: The drivers must have passed a driving test within the past five years; they must be claim free on their driving record; and their car has to meet certain size requirements. Mass marketing was not an effective option, because it would have resulted in a flood of calls to the contact center from interested parties who did not meet the requirements, wasting time and money as agents filter out unqualified drivers, says Vytas Kisielius, president of Adeptra, which develops text messaging--based marketing programs. "Everyone is doing text messaging in Europe," Kisielius says, "and we developed a program where drivers can text their name to a number. The potential customer then gets a call back with a recorded message asking several yes-or-no questions. If he or she answers all the questions correctly and meets the requirements, then they are forwarded to an agent who can begin processing their policy." The results were fast and fruitful, according to Steven Forsythe, managing director of one of Hibernian's marketing agencies, Strength5, in Ireland. "This new method for giving our prospects a call-to-action has proved far more effective than even we would have imagined," he says. "It is now absolutely clear that the free text inquiry, coupled with the interactive callback, projects the Hibernian image professionally and in an exciting and unusual way that is highly appealing. And when you add the increases in response to the efficiencies generated at the call center, the whole process makes compelling sense financially." Forsythe says that the new marketing method has resulted in close rates at the call center that are several times higher than prior to the implementation, that new customer sales have nearly doubled, and that the cost-effectiveness of the product's marketing campaign has improved substantially. "Hibernian is already investigating further uses of the Adeptra system, beginning with insurance renewal alerts--an interactive voice call advising policy holders of the impending expiration of their policy, giving them various alternatives to renew--as well as a new process automatically advising policy holders of inadvertently missed payments, which today results in some policy holders becoming uninsured without their knowledge," Forsythe says. "The benefits on both sides are obvious." Kisielius adds that as more individuals in the United States sign up for the Do Not Call registry, companies need to get more creative about outbound marketing. Text messaging programs like the one used by Hibernian can work for many types of industries, he says. The Payoff Using text messaging, Hibernian
  • doubled sales of its Ignition product
  • doubled the number of qualified leads
  • eliminated two thirds of unwanted calls to its call center
  • significantly reduced its call handling costs
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