This case study focusses on an insurance client that had a large and relatively complex spend across a range of marketing channels which were utilised in both customer acquisition and customer management processes. The supply chain was fragmented and consisted of separate suppliers for each requirement leading to the issue that there was no single supplier at the heart of executing an integrated marketing communications strategy. In addition to the above, there were various systems being utilised with data being held in different systems and it became a significant manual process to deliver an integrated customer journey – essentially there was limited integrated marketing activity which was incredibly inefficient and there was considerable room for errors. The client was clear from the commencement of this review that they saw the final solution being a single provider who could provide all the services directly in the form of a managed service solution.
The client was a large, multi-site insurance provider. Over the years a number of tactical procurement decisions had taken place based solely on unit price savings which had resulted in the supply chain being disparate with no evidence of any integration to terms of strategy and approach.
There were many marketing and communication challenges with what had been implemented which was reducing the ability to acquire customers, the ability to cross-sell into existing companies and the opportunity to communicate to customers about relevant services in a relevant personalised format for that individual. In fact, the only aspect of the contracts which were considered to be ‘good’ by the client was the unit prices but at what cost and impact to the business.
Based upon the challenges identified above it was clear that a very detailed category review was required to conclude with a marketing leading communications company who was an expert in developing strategies for an executing integrated cross-channel communication.
As mentioned above the client clearly knew there was an issue with the current approach which was holding them back but had limited resource and market knowledge to quickly make an impact on this review and as such we were engaged to lead with review and work very much in conjunction with the client.
- Current approach focused solely on best price
- Tactically managed category
- Limited concept of integrated marketing approach
- Missed acquisition and cross-sell opportunities
- Manual processes with low speed to market
- Potential for data and communication errors
From the start of this project, once the challenges were fully understood, the strategy became clear. Implement a single source supplier capable of delivering an integrated customer communications strategy. In short, the potential supplier had to develop not just the strategy but to execute the strategy at their own production sites, on their own systems with their own personnel.
Given that the client also would have a high dependency on the selected supplier, and they work in a regulated environment business continuity and risk management were both firmly on their agenda when they embarked on this review.
A very rigorous tender process commenced and was led throughout by ourselves. Once we had fully researched the supply market the focus was on embracing the supply chain in the review and marketing the opportunity to them. Essentially this was an opportunity for a supplier to become involved in a change management process with the client where they could offer significant value based upon their case studies and experience.
This tender was viewed by all as one where we were looking for innovation and creativity to be at the heart of the responses whilst still being underpinned by strong project management and operational disciplines.
- Implement a single source supplier
- Deliver an integrated customer journey
- Appoint a supplier who could execute the journey
- Ensure business continuity and risk management is front of mind
- Focus on innovation and improved technology
Following a comprehensive tender process the category solution agreed with the client was to award a 5-year contract to a leading customer communications provider who could lead the challenge on reviewing all customer communications with a key drivers being to improve sales revenue, personalise customer communications, optimise the usage of the variety of channels available and improve the risk and business continuity position.
This new strategy was also based on reducing the client’s supply base to a single supplier and to improve time to market with new initiatives.
Almost immediately, the company saw significant operational improvements from a ‘best-in-class’ committed supplier and the technology implemented started to make significant returns instantly. The relationship was immediately positioned as a strategic one and key Director sponsorship was allocated.
From a cost savings perspective, the savings to the clients were in the region of 32%. However, the bigger gain will be on greater market penetration through the newly implemented integrated marketing approach.
- Award a 5-year contract to a leading customer communications provider
- Partnered with a provider who could consolidate spend
- Significant service improvements
- Significant technology innovations delivered
- Greater potential to make significant revenue and market share gains
- Sustainable cost savings of 32%
The success of this review has been based upon the successful relationship and ways of working which we developed with the client. This is always a fundamental part of how we work. The client was open to challenging the current approach from the initiation of the review and we found their approach to be incredibly refreshing.
Aside from the significant benefits mentioned in the solutions section of the case study we also led the drafting of the supplier contract to ensure that all commitments made by the supplier were captured including the service specification, the service level agreement, and the key performance indicators.
Whilst the cost savings were important and impressive the value that the client most received from the review was by working with a ‘best-in-class’ customer communications provider who was motivated to demonstrate the value they could add.
In terms of costs whilst a 32% saving was implemented this greater financial benefit should be in revenue growth through new client acquisitions and cross-sell marketing initiatives.
At the conclusion of the review, we were delighted to receive very complimentary feedback from the client based upon the outcomes achieved in such a relatively short space of time.
- Sustainable and significant cost savings
- New marketing communications strategy
- Postal savings through reduction in output
- Greater potential for cross-sell initiatives
- Improved service and technology