As today’s slow economic recovery continues, insurers look for ways to increase sales. New technologies can be applied in creative ways to do just that.
One example can be found in location-based marketing. This type of campaign allow companies to present information that a consumer needs in just the right place, at just the right time. The growing number of those who have just purchased homes, for instance, will need to insure them. What better time could there be to offer new homebuyers a homeowners policy than when they’ve just made their purchase? Some insurers may have arranged compensation programs for real estate agents who refer business to them.
The problem has always been, once the new homeowner leaves the realtor’s presence, applying for a homeowners policy goes onto their mental “to do” list. When they finally get around to it, your company’s offer may have gone from option #1 to option #4. That could mean never even getting an opportunity, let alone the business.
How can insurers avoid this situation and “strike while the iron is hot?” By equipping cooperating real estate agents with printed insurance brochures containing a QR Code. If homebuyers use any one of the many free apps available for smartphones, they can just take a picture of the code with their phone and the app will automatically bring them to the appropriate website. That website can promote the carrier, take their application and prepare them for a call and quote from the company call center or a local agent. Research shows that the act of entering their information into a website can predispose prospects to buy.
Apple, Google and others are actively pursuing an even more exciting technology – Near Field Communication (NFC). This will allow consumers to buy goods or even make a payment just by tapping their smartphone onto a section of a “smart poster” with an NFC tag. NFC tags can communicate with any properly equipped device that comes within two to four inches of them. This technology is widely used in Europe.
With NFC, those who buy a car can apply for auto coverage at the dealership when they sign the purchase agreement and, when approved, make their first payment with their smartphone when they take delivery. This would also work for those who purchase motorcycles or boats.
Can consumers freely access this technology?
iStockAnalyst reports, “According to Fitch Ratings' latest telecomm special report released today, postpaid smartphone penetration increased to 46.8% in third-quarter 2011.” It could hit 50% by the end of this month. Soon the majority of consumers will be able to use QR Codes to access carrier’s microsites when they need to buy insurance. Widespread NFC adoption won’t lag far behind.
Other key applications not mentioned here could increase insurance sales and retention. Could this technology impact your company’s top and bottom lines in the future?
The Allied Group is a marketing communications company offering Location-Based Marketing and other marketing and sales support programs along with full service fulfillment to the insurance, financial services and benefits administration companies.