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Troy Ihlanfeldt, Merkle
Troy Ihlanfeldt, Merkle
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Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers

A Merkle study found that high-performing insurance companies have completely different strategic investments than lower performers.
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Customer relationship marketing (CRM) and related digital capabilities are evolving at lightning speed in insurance – so fast that it begs the question, "Do I need to keep pace or can I watch, wait and then make safer investments at a later time?"

The clear answer is that customer-centricity is today's core winning business strategy – you must invest accordingly.

Merkle recently released the results of a study focused on customer-centricity, customer value and the role of a specific set of CRM capabilities that maximize them. The study was conducted with senior-level executives (50% C-level) at US-based insurance companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, as part of a larger cross-industry study of more than 350 executives.

Uniquely, we looked for links between customer-centricity and company performance. Some of the insights we uncovered were surprising. We found that high-performing insurance companies have completely different strategic project investments and goals versus lower-performing insurance companies.

What distinguishes winning companies?

• Programs are sponsored at the CEO level or have joint sponsorship by executives just below the CEO level; programs are not just supported at the division or functional level

• CRM is a strategic way of life; investment priorities are focused and fundamentally different from lower performing companies

• Customer engagement capabilities are stronger and include customization of the customer experience

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Jonathan_Camhi
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Jonathan_Camhi,
User Rank: Author
5/1/2014 | 2:37:45 AM
re: Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers
Yes and with the economic data that showed the recovery slowing down today, the big cause for the slow in growth was business investment. Go figure.
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/30/2014 | 10:04:20 PM
re: Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers
Thanks Troy. Unfortunately in a recession, companies are reluctant to invest Gă÷ even though down times for sales might mean it's a good time to work on other efforts when people aren't spread so thin.
Troy I
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Troy I,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/29/2014 | 10:14:56 PM
re: Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers
The transition to customer strategy as business strategy can be challenging for many companies -- particularly in well established industries like ours. The recession certainly did not help executives decide to make large new investments in CRM, but it seems to be paying off for those that did. I have attached a link to the full white paper if you are interested.

bit.ly/O97AWU
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 5:01:53 PM
re: Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers
You make a lot of really interesting points here, Troy. Given the growing focus on customer experience, I wasn't surprised to see that the most successful companies are the ones that are focused on maintaining strong relationships with consumers. Customer strategy really is business strategy, and businesses with greater customer insight are better positioned to grow.
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Author
4/28/2014 | 3:04:01 PM
re: Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers
Really interesting, Troy. The findings on the last slide are especially eye-opening, especially when you see how things like "lack of analytical skills," "Lack of mgmt bandwidth due to compeiting priorities," "Too hard to align customer strategies across the org" align with low/slow growth. Also seems like another example of how investments in things like risk management, compliance and operational efficiency can be leveraged to support customer insight and service (and vice versa).
Nathan Golia
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Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/26/2014 | 1:20:09 PM
re: Study: Winning Insurers Invest in Customers
Thanks for sharing the findings, Troy. Some have posited that the difference in insurer strategy can be attributed to whether or not the company is still in a recession mindset of cost-cutting vs. growth. It's a good sign for the industry that most companies are moving into growth mode.
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