Business-to-business insurance data strategies

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Lisa Dionne
Lisa Dionne

Commercial lines insurance carriers, or insurance products designed for businesses, are realizing the need to embrace new and different marketing and sales models to create profitable growth. Two innovative models use business data to proactively grow premium, are closed-loop and go direct to the “buyer.”

It starts with quality demographic and firmographic data, which enables carriers to determine if the business is going to be a profitable risk over the life of the policy. Property information, including a picture, is a great way to enable the sales process. Trigger data is also critical, such as the worker's compensation policy expiration date. Approximately 80% of business insurance policies have a common expiration date, so delivering the right offer to the right customer at the right time is critical.

In the first model, the solicitation goes directly to the business owner and the call to action is to contact the insurance carrier directly by phone, Internet or mail. The challenge is to ensure productive prospect selection and management as well as channel optimization. Response, conversion and premium potential mod­els are critical here. A contact strategy is a key driver to success with the worker's compensation insurance expiration date form­ing the basis of this strategy. Marketing channel optimiza­tion is also critical. Testing to determine the most effective use of direct mail, outbound telemarketing and e-mail will drive profitable growth.

In the second model, the solicitation goes directly to the business owner but the call to action is to drive the prospect to the insurance agent. The offer is an insurance consul­tation with the agent. The challenges inherent in this model are many — but it is appealing to many insurance companies that want to only dip their toe into the direct model.

This is an industry that uses data very well in the underwriting process but in today's mature (and soft) market the only way one insurance company grows is to take share from another. Carriers must be proactive in the marketplace and must do it in a way that yields an acceptable return on investment for all involved.

Lisa Dionne is director, strategic marketing financial services, national accounts, at InfoGroup. Reach her at lisa.dionne@infousa.com.

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