A contextual influence

By Nelson Camara, marketing at SilverBridge

Contextual pull platforms are replacing the traditional push approach requiring insurers to shift towards developing more customised solutions. Whereas the latter was about providing generic solutions, the former is built around understanding and solving specific customer needs for tailored insurance solutions.

Modern insurance solutions in this environment need to reflect the unique context of people’s daily lives with every person having different circumstances and requirements than what the traditional ‘all-in-one’ solution can fulfil. With digital taking pride of place in a connected environment, this [context] translates to ensuring a solution is matched to the needs of an end-user. Even though some generic qualities remain, it is how the product is developed to tailor for a specific individual.

People are expecting something that provides more than just ticking a generic market box. Insurers need to embrace the possibilities that customisation bring to the table. Not only will this provide additional revenue streams, but it also strengthens the brand positioning of the insurer in a market that has become notoriously fickle in where it spends its hard-earned cash.

Creating great customer experiences

It might be easy to dispel these platforms as merely something to aid product development but contextual pull platforms are key to driving behaviour and creating great and relevant customer experiences.

Context on its own does provide a potential minefield of options. Examples of some of the elements that need to be considered for good customer experiences include the likes of work/life balance, time to commute, the devices used to access information, food likes and dislikes, shopping experiences, and cultural events people attend. After all, just imagine all the components in your life that impacts on your decision to purchase a specific product or service.

Consumers are aware that companies have their data and are using it to tailor products and solutions. This has seen many consumer-facing businesses develop products and services that enrich this experience. In turn, this influences customer demand with insurers now needing to embrace this approach for product development.

Built on data

Contextual solutions are not as new as many are led to believe. As far back as 2012, news articles were focused on the drive to contextual platforms. It is no surprise that this coincided with the growth of data in organisations. Driven by an increased usage of mobile devices, companies have started offering location-based services that include the likes of discounted groceries, restaurant recommendations based on mobile GPS positioning, and being able to quickly see where the closest petrol station is.

As data has grown and permeated every facet of the business (insurer or otherwise), so too has the need to accurately analyse what it means for strategy and product development.

This makes it essential in understanding context in product development. Yet, the problem in this is obvious. The data explosion has brought with it new data sets from many different sources. This has seen many organisations employing data scientists to accurately perform real-time analysis and assist decision-makers in determining the best business strategy going forward.

Understanding behaviour

However, one of the critical advantages of embracing these pull platforms is the ability to develop an ecosystem of experiences (as well as solutions) designed to cater for a more comprehensive customer offering.

By being able to collect data from mobile devices, for example, more complete customer profiles can be developed that helps give better insight into risk exposure and product expectations. These tailored offerings can create an enabling environment that results in a positive customer experience. In turn, this directly impacts the brand identity of the insurer and positions it stronger in a competitive marketplace.

Insurers are aware of the changing times and the need to push innovation to be relevant for modern customers. Now is the time for adopting contextual pull platforms.