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Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing

For the second time in less than a year, the insurer is in a partnership to enhance an event with a smart bracelet.

Wearable technology is a hot topic this year, but impacts on the insurance business, on a wide scale, are likely still some time off. That hasn't stopped some companies from being enterprising in using the technology for marketing efforts.

Last year, Esurance partnered with a marketing agency to create wristbands that allowed attendees of a music festival to track their experience for prosperity with check-ins. This year, the company is doing something similar with a food festival near its headquarters in San Francisco. The concept is explained in a YouTube video:

Following on the success of its socially focused Super Bowl campaign, Esurance is firmly following the strategy spelled out by the CEO of parent company Allstate in this year's first earnings call for investors. Tom Wilson told investors that Allstate's vision for Esurance is to serve customers who want to relate to their insurance companies in a digital way.

"We've wanted to strengthen brand by endorsing it with Allstate, not competing with Allstate," he said.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/27/2014 | 9:36:08 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
Thanks for commenting Bob. I am talking to Esurance next week and can check on that. There was a marketing agency involved in the last wristband campaign (ClearHart Digital) but i'm unsure if that company also developed the tech or they contracted it out as well.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2014 | 2:03:45 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
This is definitely a brilliant marketing play for Esurance. I imagine Esurance had a good experience with their first test at a music festival last year. I hope the company will share some of it's results with the community so everyone can learn a little more about what works, what doesn't.
BobO464
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BobO464,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/25/2014 | 1:33:05 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
Agreed: this is a savvy use of technology to reinforce Esurance's brand positioning as a digital insurance company. It also reaches an upscale clientele in an enjoyable leisure activity, and provides a benefit to the user. The tech-centric attendees will be the ones to use it, which is exactly Esurance's market. These bracelets are much cooler than QR codes, which are too awkward for all but the most geeky to use in a social situation.

I have no doubt that Esurance will use the registration info to connect with users after the festival.

One question: did I hear correctly that Esurance hired a company to develop the product, or did they just sponsor the cost of implementing it at the festival? If the former, that's a bold statement.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2014 | 6:16:13 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
I thought that was interesting as well and think it could be a bit of both. While Esurance may be testing out the bracelet to use for future insurance-specific purposes, I think for now it serves as a solid marketing strategy and helps establish Esurance's identity as a digital-savvy brand. It does seem similar to the health insurance/wellness company strategy though, in that it's trying to increase its appeal to consumers.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
2/24/2014 | 3:23:55 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
What I think is interesting is that the functionality isn't really about insurance -- it's about connecting and sharing a social/entertainment experience, with the capability enabled by what happens to be an insurance company. Is Esurance doing this primarily for the branding value and also to test out capabilities that eventually could be applied in a more insurance-specific context? Or is Esurance taking a long view and aiming to redefine what an insurance company does -- that, in addition to providing protection, it also can nurture a community? Perhaps it's similar to the ways health insurance companies are repositioning themselves as wellness companies, not just payers?
sfcomms
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sfcomms,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/21/2014 | 8:19:58 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
More to come!
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
2/21/2014 | 4:15:24 PM
re: Esurance Once Again Taps Wearable Tech for Marketing
This is really cool. I can see this being a big success at the festival (I'd like to try it out myself). Between this and their Super Bowl campaign, it's clear that Esurance is dedicated to targeting a digital audience. It'll be interesting to see their future campaigns.
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