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Strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud | DESelect

As sector-specific marketing needs grow, more bespoke opportunities present themselves, to help marketers better engage with their audience. In this article, we’d like to talk a little about the nuances of leveraging Marketing Cloud in the insurance sector.

How segmentation in the insurance sector is organized

According to AccountLearning.com, the insurance industry can be broken down into five sectors: 

  1. Household: Salaried class, self-employed, retired employees;
  2. Industrial: Public sector and private sector;
  3. Trade: Small business and big business;
  4. Institutional: Universities, colleges, schools, and institutions;
  5. Region: Central, eastern, western, northern, or southern zone.

Salesforce and insurance

Many Salesforce products help insurance companies manage their business. Of course, there is Salesforce CRM, but there’s also Financial Services Cloud, and Service Cloud. All of them can help your business thrive and help you listen better to the needs of your customers.

On top of that, Marketing Cloud allows insurance providers to send timely campaigns to policyholders, cross-sell and provide a better customer experience in general.

Data model for the Insurance sector

Insurance data models depend on the type of insurance your company provides. For instance, The Life Insurance industry model set consists of Enterprise, Business Area, and Data Warehouse logical data models, developed for companies providing insurance products and services to the life and annuity insurance industry. You can find the following data sets there: Policyholder, Beneficiary, Needs Assessment, Channel, Marketing, Advertising, Product Suitability, Policy, Insurer, Insurance Product, Financial Reporting, Business Metrics.

Here’s an example of what an insurance company data model can look like:

Insurance data model for the DESelect article about Insurance segmentation scenarios

Scenarios

Studies show that customer relationships in the insurance sector are extremely important. Customer omni-channel experiences matter the most, and are, in fact,  31% more likely to win repeat business. 88% of these experiences can increase the share of wallet. Contrast this with companies that create high-effort customer experiences where a staggering 96% of customers become disloyal (source: Salesforce).

That’s why, to demonstrate segmentation scenarios, we’ve chosen a cross-sell campaign and an audience retention campaign, considering how they can be created using SQL and DESelect in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Cross-sell campaign for the Insurance sector in SFMC

Dick is the marketing manager of an insurance company. In the last three months, the company has struggled to cross-sell its dental insurance plans to existing customers.

Now he wants to create a segment with customers who already bought a specific category, such as personal accident insurance. Then he’ll make a filter, so he only sees the customers who haven’t yet purchased dental insurance.

After, he can reach out to this audience and offer them a package discount. 

Let’s see how he can create that segment in the SFMC environment.

How to recreate the following scenario using the out-of-box Marketing Cloud settings

First, you’ll need to create a target data extension for your segment, if you plan to use it for future campaigns.

You can create it in Email Studio. Under Subscribers, you’ll find Data Extensions. Choose or create the desired folder, then create a new data extension.

This is what the data extension in our example looks like.

strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud data extension creation

(Cross-sell Campaign for Insurance data extension)

We’re simply using two fields in our target data extension. In your particular case, you can create as many fields as needed. Normally in this type of data extension, you can find the following fields like first name, policy number & name, Insurance broker name. Remember to set correct data types for your fields. For instance, choose the email field type for email data, and date for this relevant data. Also, make sure to define a primary key for your data extension. This way the field that’s set as a primary key will serve as a unique identifier for this data extension.

Then, under Journey Builder, you can find Automation Studio. Click on Activities, and create a new Activity. Below you can find the resulting SQL query, used in our example.

strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud SQL query example

(SQL query example for a cross-sell campaign)

In this scenario, we’re combining the information from three data extensions, namely, Insurance Contacts, Insurance Contracts, and Policies.

Insurance Contacts data extension created in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

(Insurance Contacts data extension)

Insurance Contracts data extension creation in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

(Insurance Contracts data extension)

Policies data extension in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

(Policies data extension)

How to recreate the following scenario using drag-and-drop

It may have already occurred to you, but the very nature of a ‘drag-and-drop’ solution is simplicity. Drag-and-drop tools make segmentation altogether possible for anyone, regardless of technical ability. The use of a great drag-and-drop tool therefore totally avoids the complexities and inefficiencies of SQL.

You can watch this short walkthrough video that shows just how easy it is to leverage drag-and-drop instead of writing SQL queries.

Customer retention campaign for the Insurance sector in SFMC

To add value during an active policy period, insurance companies need to augment their business and act as a service partner in the customer’s life. Instead of being present only when an accident has happened, they can support their customers in the proactive maintenance of the items they’re insuring. For example, an auto insurance company may remind users about their vehicle’s regular maintenance, offering this to its network of service providers. Such an offering would not only reduce the chances of a future accident but also improve customer satisfaction. 

In our scenario, Claire would like to remind her customers about their regular car maintenance.  So she needs to target customers who have car insurance, then run a recurring automation (set every 3 months), to remind them of the importance of regular vehicle maintenance. By doing so, Claire shows that she cares about her customers, and can remain relevant and helpful to them.

How to recreate the following scenario using the out-of-box Marketing Cloud settings

First, you need to create a target data extension in Marketing Cloud. Under Subscribers in Email Studio, click on Data Extensions. Then, find a location where you want to save and create one. 

Remember to set correct data types for your fields. For instance, choose the email field type for email data and the date for the dates. Also, be sure to define a primary key for your data extension. This way the field that’s set as a primary key will serve as a unique identifier for this data extension.

In our example, we have only two fields. Of course, in your scenario, you have to decide what fields are necessary for your campaign.

strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud data extension creation

(Reminder to check your car data extension)

Then you have to create an SQL query that will later be used in the automation. You should hover over Journey Builder and click through to Automation Studio. Then select Activities, and click on create a new Activity.

This is how the resulting SQL query looks in our example.

strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud overview of the SQL query

(SQL query example for a customer retention campaign)

We’re connecting the Insurance Contacts data extension to Insurance Contracts because we have various types of insurances listed. Then, we select ‘car insurance’ and save this SQL query activity.

In Automation Studio, you should then navigate to the overview and create a new Automation. The following activity will enable us to run a recurring selection. From the starting sources, you should choose ‘Schedule’ and set the Automation to run every three months, starting from the day you define. You can also choose the time you’d like to end the automation.

As a next step from the activities, you should select SQL Query, and find the activity you just created. Then choose ‘Active’ under the Schedule step, and your query will run every three months.

strategies for market segmentation in the Insurance industry using Salesforce Marketing Cloud overview of the automation

(Automation for a customer retention campaign)

How to recreate the following scenario using drag-and-drop

Ultimately, we’re all about improving marketing ROI by saving data marketers time.  

With DESelect, not only can you leverage drag-and-drop to segment instead of writing SQL queries, but the whole scenario can be done inside the app. There’s no need to navigate through different studios, where the navigation alone can be confusing. In DESelect, you can perform the same activity — just way faster.

Watch the short walkthrough video below, that recreates the same scenario using DESelect.

Precise segmentation with no code necessary

With Deselect, you can segment, score, grade, and deduplicate SFMC data, with a few simple steps. Our easy-to-adopt tool with drag-and-drop functionality saves up to 50% on your data marketing time.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article sheds light on how to segment insurance sector data using SQL versus a no-code drag-and-drop segmentation tool like DESelect. 

If you’d like to learn more about how DESelect improves data marketing ROI, feel free to book a live demo here.

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