For a while now Tom Baigrie, Lifesearch's influential leader, has been talking up the idea of an industry-wide protection campaign to promote the need for cover among consumers.
Some providers are starting to show their support for such a campaign, which is good. We support it too. In fact we’d like to do whatever we can to get this thing up and running. What thing though? What does such a campaign entail? Let’s stop for a second and take stock of just what may be involved here.
In the past I can’t recall any industry-wide sponsored or funded campaign to promote one area of our market place. I remember a few good campaigns from providers, some of which are ongoing.
I also remember a few dodgy campaigns – a Government advertising campaign with sheep and sheepdogs promoting stakeholder pensions back in 2001 springs to mind. But that’s cool as expectations will be small. Here are some barriers you can expect people to throw at it:
- Firstly, it would be a major job just getting every provider to agree what it is that we should do to represent the industry in the best way (if you don’t believe me, just ask the ABI how tough it is getting us all to agree to things).
- Secondly if we did get that agreement, who would we ask to lead the campaign? Do we use one agency, a few, or simply do it ourselves? Who would have the ultimate responsibility for that decision? The one committing the most money?
How would we deliver our key messages to our target audiences? What vehicles would we use to deliver those messages? Is this an advertising campaign, for example, or one that spans the internet, direct mail, advertising, sponsorship? The list of methods we could use to try and get our message across is huge. Where do we start? Take advertising for example – TV, radio, billboard? The list is endless!
Then there’s the key question. What do you want your target audience to do? What action do you want them to take? Do you want them to contact an IFA? To see their local bank customer adviser? Should they go online and research this in more detail? If so, which websites should they visit? Should they go back to a current provider? Do they call a direct provider?
Then there is the key issue of success criteria. How many people do we want to target? In which customer segments? How many extra clients do we want this to generate? How much extra business might this campaign create? What extra profit would that business generate? How will that compare with the cost of the campaign itself? What extra cover do we want to provide? What type of products? Life cover? Critical Illness cover? Income protection? PPI?
Questions questions... I bet you can think of others too! These are the barriers we must try and overcome.
I know from personal experience that managing a big marketing campaign is a tough job. Managing one of this size, with so many players, variables, issues, risks, well...that’s just mind boggling!
Step one - we need to figure out who would support such a campaign. It’s hard saying yes when you don’t actually know what it is you are supporting. Then we need to figure out the different scenarios we could implement. That’s a tough call but not impossible!
Given the expertise here, we’re happy to help those who want to get this moving figure out what we could do. When we know the answer, or answers to that question we can say for definite what exact support any protection campaign would get from Munich Re. I guess we’re in a bit of a dilemma at present not knowing the answers. Anyway, we’re up for helping out on this one and trying to figure out the details. Are you?
Andy Milburn is head of marketing at Munich Re UK Life
The views expressed in this article are those of its author and do not necessarily represent those of the company he represents, IFAonline or any other Incisive Media affiliated organisation.IFAonline
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