• Marketing Campaign of the Year
• Customer Care Award
• Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year
Poorly thought out and badly executed marketing campaigns can conversely have a negative impact on the brand sending the message.
Watch any advert break in the evening and you may find yourself reaching for the remote control in sheer frustration as another minute of your life is wasted thanks to the Cravendale Cows.
But on the other hand, a good campaign can leave a mark on audiences forever and establish a brand’s prowess in the public psyche.
Indeed, establishing itself in customers’ minds was one of the aims of this year’s Marketing Campaign of the Year Award, won by Allianz.
Successfully making a name for itself in an already crowded market and ensuring that when the viewing public thought about insurance, they in turn thought of Allianz, the insurer carried out research into consumer behaviours to inform its marketing efforts.
The research found the public perceived a complete lack of differentiation between insurers – and Allianz saw this as an opportunity to set itself apart from its competition by focusing its campaign on its expertise.
The insurer wanted to get closer to its customers to understand their lives and meet their needs, so created several video clips showing what happens on a school run. The advert showed real parents and children on school runs, capturing the trials and tribulations experienced by millions across the UK each day.
From arguments in the back of the car to children discussing their views on the royal pregnancy, the videos aim to encourage parents to share their tips on how they keep their young family entertained each morning using the hashtag #schoolrunstories.
The videos are very different from other insurers’ social media activity and this allowed Allianz to gain cut-through, positioning itself as the insurance experts and showing parents that, as a company, it understands their lives.
By the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, awareness of Allianz had risen to 59% from 30%, making the campaign a resounding success and Allianz a deserved winner.
Looking after your customers is one of the most basic rules of business. If you treat them well, they will stay with you. However, if you treat them exceptionally well, they may just spend that bit more with you.
Having a loyal customer base is particularly impressive in the insurance sector, where a sizeable proportion of the customer base views insurance as a grudge purchase and tends to be driven towards the cheapest policies by the free toys.
However, the winner of the Customer Care Award – LV – demonstrated that developing a loyal customer base in insurance can be done. Over the past 12 months, the insurer engaged both the hearts and minds of its customers in order to offer exceptional service.
LV vowed customers would always be able to speak to knowledgeable staff who had the power to make decisions and promised policyholders would receive a fast response when they came to the company with an issue.
To achieve this, LV invested in bespoke training for front line staff so they could deliver customer-focused conversations and build bonds. Those members of staff were also given authority to make immediate decisions for customers, rather than leaving policyholders frustrated as they waited to speak to someone who did have the power to do something.
On top of this, LV’s target operating model was changed to reward customer-based outcomes, rather than quantitative outcomes.
The results? Customer satisfaction levels have gone through the roof. One LV policyholder said: “I would just like to say thank you for the great customer service and the umbrella. When I phoned to make my claim I asked if my insurance covered me for bad weather damage. I am now also covered for rain; that is what I call comprehensive cover.”
Finally, corporate and social responsibility is becoming ever more important nowadays – across all business sectors. Businesses, quite rightly, are making moves to improve the world around them, whether that be in an environmental or social setting.
When done properly, the results can make a real difference to people, as they have done in the case of RSA – this year’s winner of the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative of the Year Award.
RSA teamed up with the School for Social Entrepreneurs in the UK and Canada to deliver development opportunities to disadvantaged people and find solutions to poverty.
RSA’s scheme set out to support enterprises that address social needs. Rather than making one-off corporate charitable donations, the insurer decided to invest in developing the leaders of these social enterprises so they could have a positive impact year after year.
There was also the chance for RSA staff to develop themselves further through volunteering opportunities within the enterprises.
Over the course of the three-year partnership, RSA has pledged to provide 21 bursaries – seven per year – to fund social entrepreneurs through SSE’s Fellowship Course. It also provides 21 RSA mentors to support the students.
Each student from SSE is paired with an RSA mentor who shares their business skills and offer an objective and new perspective, over time developing their mentoring skills. The mentors are chosen from across the UK business, based on their ability to add value to the students and their own development needs.
Projects that have been supported by RSA so far – and contributed to its much-deserved BIA award win – include helping social entrepreneurs who have set up innovative businesses to tackle issues facing young people, unemployed mothers, the elderly, children with learning difficulties and hospital patients.
RSA has also brought social enterprises into its supply chain. Helen Cotton, supported through the 2013/2014 course, set up See Change Films to promote social change. She’s now a supplier, having produced a cycling safety video for RSA and the Met Police, and is working with More Than to make a film about road safety.
Alastair Wilson, CEO at SSE, said: “RSA provides remarkable support to SSE and to social entrepreneurs on our course – enabling them to get their ideas off the ground and create real social change. In addition to bursaries, RSA provides mentors who are truly invaluable to these fledgling entrepreneurs.”
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