Innovation Management Wisdom

Insurance Company Reorders Marketing and Operations Priorities

October 6th, 2008

A large insurance company had recently entered a niche market that several key competitors had announced they would also enter. Our client wanted to gain market share as efficiently as possible while managing its rate and underwriting risks. The president asked us to develop urgently needed intelligence and make recommendations.

Whyze Group reviewed the company’s advertisements, collateral, marketing plans, agent database and marketing research.  When we interviewed company leaders, we found that they were in disagreement on the company’s market priorities. We also learned that the company’s value proposition included features that exposed the company to risk, but these features were never validated as drivers of brand choice.

Whyze Group facilitated two workshops with sales and marketing leaders to specify the criteria by which the company would prioritize its target markets. We asked the team assign importance weights to each criterion. Using these two inputs, Whyze Group created an easy-to-use market prioritization tool that the company uses as an input to its sales and marketing planning processes.

We conducted 10 focus groups with prospective buyers to develop ideas for improving our client’s value proposition. The company’s product concepts and positioning were refined as we conducted the groups.

We learned that a key feature, which was costly to deliver, was difficult for consumers to understand or appreciate. Several other ideas emerged as potentially powerful differentiators. It turned out that our client was already providing some of these, but wasn’t promoting them.

We also surveyed 400 agents, a channel through which the company generates most of its sales. Agents’ perceptions of our client’s brand were positive. There was one key attribute on which our client was at a disadvantage, however.

Whyze Group formulated specific recommendations designed to dramatically increase agent-channel advocacy and end-consumer demand. We also outlined next steps for building the company’s market intelligence capabilities. This company is implementing a focused set of marketing and operations initiatives based on our recommendations.

Entry Filed under: Facilitating Change,Product Development,Qualitative Research Case Studies


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