Empower my brand
Empower my brand

Insurance trivia from the ‘voice of the customer’

If you work on an insurance brand or are generally the curious type, you might find interesting.

We used Auris to listen in to conversations around insurance (July 2019, India only) and let it use its AI to churn insights. Using some of these insights we put together a small trivia for you.

Check whether these observations tally with what you’ve observed or have intuitively believed.

Which insurance vertical is most discussed amongst all insurance verticals?

Health. Amongst conversations in public forums (review boards, social, news boards etc.) – consumers discuss health insurance more than life or auto.

Possibly because the usage frequency of health insurance more than makes up for a relatively lower penetration? Perhaps. The national insurance scheme launched by the Government is spurring a lot more conversation than before.

An interesting correlation is that health insurance is growing faster than other non-life segments and significantly faster than life insurance segment.

Insurance conversations auto life health

What % of conversations see female participation?

Well, participation is about <20% which is very low.

The decision making as well as a pursuit with agents, customer service is mostly led by the ‘man of the house’ which reflects in the low %.

Any campaign which engages the female audience can open a new segment. Especially, health insurance, because relatively speaking females drive the healthcare portfolio within the family!

female conversations insurance

Related to the previous question – conversations around which insurance vertical sees more female participation?

This might be a surprise, but its Auto.

Look around and you’d see a sizeable female population driving as compared to a few years before.

In comparison, life/health insurance responsibility is donned by males, still.

auto insurance buzz

Those thinking brand positioning for auto insurance should do a rethink if their brand does not speak to the female consumer segment.

Look at what forward-thinking insurance brands are doing.

Who’s in charge of dealing with insurance-related issues, i.e., when things go south?

Well, it is predominantly males who do the heavy lifting maneuvering through paperwork, follow-ups and perhaps dealing with some red-tape along the way.

male insurance troubleshooting

The average NPS scores are low. What drives such low scores?

Misselling & lack of transparency continues to ail the insurance sector overall. Better forms of customer education of what is covered and what’s not are important to win back the trust of the customer.

insurance negative sentiment drivers

Which Indian insurance brand is most discussed in the news?

No prizes for guessing the #1 J But of course, its LIC!

Closely followed by ICICI, SBI, Aditya Birla, HDFC and Apollo Munich.

Aditya Birla stands out from this set, given the depth and width of the portfolio of the others. Apollo Munich has seen more coverage because of the M&A activity it is engaged in.

Share of PR for insurance players

Auris for insurance helps unearth such category insights. Auris goes beyond social listening.

Consider using Auris for monitoring your insurance brand and to learn more about consumers, category and competition.

What’s a story worth telling?

What’s a story worth telling? One that drives real conversations.

Good brand managers relish the challenge of creating a brand preference in competitive categories. Of course, the real question underlying this challenge is: How do we create real conversations?

Some brands do this consistently and well.

You’d find iconic brands such as Nike do this by taking on issues which are thought-provoking, sometimes taboo. Topics which the “silent majority” relates to but does not discuss openly.

What gets this “silent majority” to express themselves? A stimulus. A stimulus which stirs the right chords within us and compels us to initiate a dialogue.

AegonLife chose such an issue and told a story which telling impact. There are many good learnings worth emulating for brands, especially in competitive categories such as insurance.

A compelling story. #BondofProtection


Important facets of the story.

  1. The occasion. The brand chose Raksha Bandhan, a festival which celebrates the strong brother-sister bond. It should be expected that several brands would pick this occasion (and they did!). It was both an opportunity to use the occasion as well as a challenge to stand out and get the brand’s voice heard.
  2. The issue. An issue which is not spoken about very often. The issue of accepting differences. Differences in personal preferences and beliefs.
  3. Contextualizing. Aegon chose a storyline which connects the occasion and the issue meaningfully.
  4. Creative. A short, but power-packed, engrossing video.
  5. Connecting it to the brand. You’d see several “digital-only” videos but only a few which show the connection between the category and the story. The brand weaved its promise beautifully.

Watch this video and see how this creative communicates a message through a compelling story. Worth observing is how it ties in the brand’s promise around protection – “For those who protect. From those who protect”.

An impactful story.

Media spends to “boost” video views are commonplace. Do such “boosted” videos drive real conversations? From the right audience?

Media spends can drive reach. But resonance is something else. Resonance amplifies reach.

The Auris platform was used to measure impact. Here is what we learned.

  • The conversation volume shot up multiple times the usual. Perhaps over 100x. Important to draw the distinction between reach and conversations. The latter reflects “resonance”.

Insurance campaign impact AegonLife

  • A story which struck an emotional chord. The topics of discussions reflect that the buzz was driven by emotion. Consumers relayed that the story was “real”.

Insurance campaign buzz Aegon

  • A category which sees <20% participation from the female audience saw almost equal participation. Such campaigns which engage a distinct consumer segment can help expand market share. Imagine a very small slice of viewers suggesting AegonLife in dinner table discussions. Or better still imagine them buying an Aegon policy on their own.

Insurance audience insights Auris

Such storytelling is what helps a brand create a preference for itself, and in the process to transition from “also-ran” to category leaders.

Alternative data​ offers an alternative to market research

About 0.5% – 3% of revenues are spent on collecting consumer insights and conducting market research. Consumer brand behemoths such as Coca Cola or P&G spend significant amounts on research – and owe a lot of their success and longevity to staying close to the consumer.

Research helps create better products, concepts, and campaigns. Insights help to keep strategy aligned with the sentiment on the ground.

Our conversations with several CMOs have revealed their desire to learn more, but faster and with reduced spends.

The question is whether this is possible?

A lot has been written about how “big data” is a big deal. But “big data” is rife with what a data scientist or a market researcher would frustratingly call “noise”. Data (and a lot of it) has been available, but what has made it less usable and therefore less valuable, is our inability to extract what we need from this “mess”. Our inability to distill the key insight. Insight, which is like a needle in the haystack. So, this debilitating limitation has held us back. Until now.

But things are different today. What is different?

Three things are coming together to make us re-evaluate.

  1. The availability of big data. Thanks to the digitization of everything under the sun, proliferation of online conversations – we have data streams coming out from every platform, device and system possible. So, yes, copious data is available.
  2. Maturity of infrastructure to deal with this “big data”. Not long ago, the ability to deal, stack and query this data was considered an important skill. It is now omnipresent.
  3. Finally, AI methods and the infrastructure to make these more powerful. GPUs, Transfer Learning Methods and the like make it now possible to clean the data and draw the insights which you’d like to. Our team does all of this in real-time and in the cloud. Read more here.

Alternative data is disrupting a variety of sectors. Quandl, now acquired by NASDAQ, makes it mainstream to use alternative data for investment decision making. Sentieo in the same space is referred to as an “AI-powered Bloomberg Terminal“.

Amongst these attractive avenues is one which my team is building, namely, Auris – an alternative data platform for consumer insights and market research. Using alternative data, both public and private, Auris is powering consumer insights for leading enterprise brands across industries.

Why is alternative data derived insights attractive? A few reasons for starters..

  • A much larger sample size, definitely significant when compared with the 100-1000 strong panels brands rely on.
  • Unprompted questions – most views are expressed without solicitation
  • Finally, and equally importantly, these insights are recent, “fresh”, real-time.

Why should innovation in market research be limited to digital surveys? Research is waiting for disruption because the combination of data + infrastructure + AI makes this viable.

Brands have begun to explore the power of alternative data. It is just the beginning.

How to Use Social Data to Enhance Your Market Research

Market research has come a long way from surveys and questionnaires. AI and Big-Data-driven tools are the big guns supporting quality research now. However, there is still a disconnect. This could be because the transition from traditional ways to modern tools has been so rapid that there has been little clarity. Social data can be used to access various data streams depending upon the insights we want to derive.

How to use Social Data to Enhance Your Market Research

Social Data and Market Research

Among the many ways, the top 3 uses of social data include:

Social Listening

Monitoring social data and extracting insights sums up the act of social listening. This is a complete tool in itself. Social listening tools can be used to observe what consumers are talking about, their views about the product/brand/industry and expectations about the functionality of the product/service. This use of social data helps you capture real-time, spontaneous opinions that are hard to come by when customers consciously fill out surveys. The best part about social listening is that it pulls out data from not just social media platforms but also other review forums and websites too. Also, it can be used for more than just monitoring your brand. Comprehensive competitive analysis, industry trend analysis, buyer persona analysis can all become easier with tools like this. All these features make this the best bet for any marketer looking for an enterprise market research tool.

Search Data

Search data helps us gain information about the searches made on search engines. The search volume and trends complement our social listening set up and help with keyword-based social listening. Identifying information gaps is also made possible via search data analysis. A brand trying to increase its presence on a search engine can fill in the gaps where information is needed for keywords, especially when there isn’t much existing data available.

Search Data

Social Ethnography

Social ethnography can actually help with traditional researches. Listening to how consumers profess their sentiments online can help marketers strategize to interact with them. So how does social ethnography work? With the necessary permissions, tools can help you map the activities of individuals on social platforms. You can draw insights from their activities, their interests, the kind of topics they engage with and the way they express their opinions. Further questions can be based on these insights for traditional surveys. This method has proven to be useful especially in the case of the medical industry. It also eases the process of connecting the dots between the self-reported behavior (when filling out survey forms or in focus groups) and the spontaneous responses. We have found this technique to be able to present a more wholesome picture of the interests of your targeted audience.

The techniques discussed help provide an additional layer of deeper understanding and insight into the minds of your customers. Besides traditional techniques, these help to uncover real-time and spontaneous data which in turn paves way for quality insights. Social data and market research go hand-in-hand when it comes to uncovering unprofessed details of customer needs and expectations. These tools are of great help in achieving insights unattainable via primary approaches alone.

Social Listening for Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is the emotional connect that is built when a customer can really trust a brand. Business expansion and acquiring new customers are worthy goals but can’t come at the cost of losing one’s existing customer base. A loyal customer-base can actually help you to acquire new leads. Statista says 65% of customers demonstrate brand loyalty by purchasing more products/services. 61% of such customers will also recommend their brand and its products to friends and family.

The long and short of it is that the key to success lies in converting your existing customers into brand loyalists before you go looking for more of them.

Social Listening for Brand Loyalty

What makes Your Customers Buy from You again?

The answer to this sounds very simple. If they love your brand, they would return as customers. However, as simple as it may sound, being everyone’s preferred brand is not so easy. The one thing that can make it easy is your ability to know what your customers think of and expect from your brand. Reaching out to resolve their issues with any of your products and customizing your offerings to their specific needs will go a long way to make them love your brand. After all, everyone loves being taken care of. Studies show that around 77% of customers will stick to one brand or become brand loyalists if they feel connected.

One of the most economical and easy ways to get to know your customers is to listen to the comments, reviews, and chatter they post online and on review boards. Social listening helps you do this very well and provides you first-hand information right from the customer in real-time.

How does Brand Loyalty come into Play?

The key is to connect with your customers. If your current set of customers are happy, they will purchase more, keep revisiting and spread the good word for you. It is every bit a win-win situation for you.

The Art of being Associated

It is always a relief to see a familiar face in a strange crowd. On the same lines, put your customers at ease by making them feel how much you care about their interests and needs. If they express a need to which you can’t cater immediately, use their contact details and let them know when you are able to do so.  It is possible today to know what your customers think of your brand or what their needs are in general. Use a social listening tool to begin monitoring the comments online which mention your brand. You can dive deeper to analyze them, once you get more comfortable with the tool.

Create the Experience

Sometimes it is possible for just the simpler things to make people remember you. These can be the courteous behavior of your staff members, the ambiance of your restaurant business, or the overall experience created by your product/service. A brilliant example of this is Disneyland. The Walt Disney Company came up with this fantastic concept of converting the intangibles into tangibles and making it possible to monetize them. Their animated films and television shows can now be seen and realized in live-action shows, making the audience remember the whole experience. The awe created in the minds of your audience makes them want to associate with your brand. And this can be achieved using well-planned marketing campaigns.

Disneyland Example

What’s more? Social listening can help you gauge the interests of your target audience and cater to them better. Sometimes the feedback your customers have can help you tweak things within the department. For instance, a lack of post-sales customer support can affect the overall experience of your customer. Listening to the reviews, you can reset the processes of your post-sales support team or create one.

Value Proposition and Quality Assurance

It has been famously said that the modern customer does not simply buy a product, they buy solutions to their problems. If your product fails to offer a true value proposition or prove its worth, chances are that it will not sell. Brand loyalty demands a strong value proposition and quality products ably enhanced by a support team. These essentials can be honed to perfection using social listening. Social media comments and reviews practically present an open book of research data to you and social listening tools filter out the most relevant ones for your immediate attention. Furthermore, the analysis presented by these tools helps you know more about what interests your audience, what causes negative chatter and so on.

Gaining customers and turning them brand loyal is most certainly not the easiest of tasks. However, with the data-driven approach of a social listening tool, the results can be realized sooner, and the quality of the offering is improved.

Why should the Automotive Industry track Social Data?

When we talk of social media and businesses, the automotive industry is also a keen participant online. In fact, some auto brands are leading the pack on social media, which is a top destination for people who want to discuss automobiles. In this blog post, we deal with all of the available data, how social listening can help, and how the automotive industry has been performing on social media as a whole.

Use of social data in Automotive Industry

What does Social Data say about the Automotive Industry?

Automobile companies have embraced the digital world and some of the leading brands have set quite an example in running successful social media campaigns. Data predicts that by 2020, millennials (the fastest-growing generation of car buyers) will make up more than 40% of the US automotive market. With over 3.5 billion active social media users of which 90% are millennials, you can understand the importance of effective social media marketing.

Automotive industry’s followers discuss every little detail in a critical way online. The rich source of social data lies in their discussion of which brand is the most innovative, whose designs offer luxury, who is engaging with fans and followers the most et cetera. Everything is noticed and talked about online. Listening into the conversations gives you an insider’s view of how people perceive your brand. The benefits do not stop at that. One of the major pluses for the automotive industry is that social listening and monitoring social data can help them to identify the gaps they could fill. A great example of this would be how Honda expanded its motorcycle market to the US using the insights derived from their market research.

How are Auto Brands Performing on Social Media?

Over 50% of millennials fear they are missing out when their friends share posts of their new cars on social media. This only goes to show how involved this generation is.  Listening to the chatter can also help car brands to devise the components of their management strategy in the following areas:

  • Handling Customer Complaints
  • Lead Generation
  • Identifying Market Opportunities
  • Competitor Analysis
  • Consumer Insights for Strategic Decision Making

Looking at the performance of some of the top brands on Facebook, we see that Skoda did quite an impressive job with its 2017 campaign which gathered much user-generated content for their flagship model – the Superb. Their engagement count for this campaign managed to eclipse the efforts of giant brands like Ferrari and Mercedes Benz.

Besides Skoda, the other brands performing well on Facebook are Mercedes Benz, Ferrari, Maserati, Chrysler, Audi, Tesla, and BMW.

If you are in the automotive industry, you know how driven this industry is – both literally and metaphorically. If you do not engage with your customers, your business would not thrive for long. The very first step to understanding customer preferences in a given automobile’s features requires you to listen to them. Knowing the demographics and the preferences based on gender, age group et cetera will help you decide the target audience you need to follow.

A very interesting study showed that over 44% of females discussed Mini Cooper over social media while for all the other cars and brands together, the number of female social media contributors was below 39%. Can we assume that car size matters and that Mini is more popular with the ladies because of that?

So how can Social Listening benefit the Automotive Industry?

The numbers clearly tell you that social media marketing is the most obvious way to go forward if you are trying to build your brand as number 1. Yet, social media marketing is not simple. The data generated is huge and zeroing down on to the people who are talking about you can be daunting if you are trying to do it manually. Thanks to modern times, technology and AI bring you social listening tools which make social media listening and analytics easily accessible.

Monitor Complaints and Reviews Diligently

The very first thing that will establish your brand as trustworthy is when you listen to your customers, their problems and respond to them quickly or resolve their issues.

Monitor Complaints - Kia Motors example

It is easy to overlook comments when your social handle is burdened with thousands of mentions every minute. A social listening tool helps you divide and conquer. The tool segregates positive and negative comments; highlights the comments which need your immediate attention, like that of the KIA Motors customer above which needed a quick resolution, in real-time. It can also present you with an analytical map of your whole online marketing campaign.

Lead Generation

Finding leads gets simpler when you can customize search results to include a specific keyword or particular locations on a social listening tool.

Lead generation window - auris Social listening tool

In-built search facilities in the tool allow you to find leads by listening for specific keywords. For example, a person looking to buy a car would look for recommendations online. Setting up a specific search for this keyword phrase helps you find prospects. Next step would be to engage with them and social listening helps your sales team with that too. Your sales team can listen for the trending topics, the interests these prospects have and pitch the product in such a way that it sounds more personalized and attuned to their interests.

Competitor Analysis and Identifying Market Opportunities

The major advantage of social listening for the automotive industry is that social listening platforms serve as a great hunting ground for new market opportunities. And there are several ways to do this.

While listening for the needs of your customers you might identify a gap in coveted product features. Fulfilling these needs that no other company has delved into can set your brand as an exclusive one. Listening for competitors can also help you acquire market share. When the customers aren’t happy with your competitors, you would know about their specific grievances. Make sure you swoop in to pitch the model from your line which best suits their requirements.

Tesla Complaint - monitoring for competitor analysis

The comment here by these customers clearly show how they have been put off by Tesla’s quality-control issues. And these weren’t the only people complaining about the paint issues. Social listening tools track down all such comments within 5 seconds. Workflow and business decisions become quick and efficient with a social listening platform at your fingertips.

Customer Insights for Strategic Business Decisions

Such instances can help with your core management and strategic decisions. Your tactical team can make crucial business decisions like whether or where to expand the business, what features to include or exclude, how well your online presence is growing and the like. Social listening also helps in zeroing down on problems your company might be facing at the operational or branch level.

Social listening tools help you track comments and know the exact location they are originating from and the analysis will give you an exact picture of the location where there’s most chatter, analyze its tone whether it is negative or positive, and provide a detailed insight into the reasons behind the negative chatter. If your showroom in Dallas has rude salespeople, analyzing online comments tell you of this. Social listening makes it easy for you to learn about employee attitude and customer experiences together, in real-time.

In conclusion, we trust we have presented a wholesome view of how you can set up a social listening tool to benefit your business and prosper in the competitive environment of the automotive industry. And yet, with advances in AI, new possibilities are endless. Till then, let’s enjoy a part of what is possible to achieve using social data.