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Creating Personalized Insurance Marketing that Isn’t Creepy

In 2012, Target made the news when it sent a teenage girl coupons for pregnancy and baby items based on how her shopping history for items such as lotion and a large handbag lined up with their data on millions of customers.


The girl’s father was incensed and called the local Target store to complain about the “inappropriate” message they were sending about his daughter.  A few days later, he learned that he was in fact going to be a grandfather.


When we have access to high quality data, personalization can be fairly easy, but being human can sometimes slip through the cracks.


So how can we learn from Target’s mistakes (just as they ended up doing)?


  1. Be personal, but not too personal.

Just because you have the data doesn’t mean you should use it!  Target ended up learning that they could just as effectively market to parents-to-be by including relevant coupons with ones that were likely irrelevant, wine glasses next to diapers, lawn mowers next to baby bottles, etc.


Cole XDates gives you a lot of information, so be wise how you use it.  Instead of saying, “Your neighbor Bob with the red Honda motorcycle just saved 11.8% on his boat insurance,” consider something still pretty specific but feels less intrusive: “Your neighbors in Zip Code 43268 are saving over 10% on recreational vehicle insurance.”


  1. Let clients decide.


Target found success with interspersing the baby coupons among more innocuous coupons because the customers got to choose which offers were right for them.  While not many expectant mothers are looking for lawn mowers, some are, and getting to decide which offers were relevant gave power back to the consumers.


If you decide to use email addresses you found on Cole XDates to create facebook ads targeting your current customers’ neighbors, consider giving them a choice on how to engage.  For example, you could create a one-page website offering a snapshot of average car insurance rates in their zip code in exchange for a phone or email contact information. Clients who find this offer attractive will feel in control of the engagement instead of scared off by overbearing tactics.


In marketing, personalization is only as good as your audience’s reception of it.  Today’s world of data breaches has left customers wary, and you’ll do well to respect their boundaries.  Using personalized information thoughtfully can create a great first impression that yields business for years to come.


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Call Cole Information for a free demo or contact us online!


It only takes a few minutes to see how we can help you maximize your prospecting strategy!

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It only takes a few minutes to see how we can help you maximize your prospecting strategy!

Cole Information