It is apparent that, philosophically, bankers and insurers are beginning to decipher some of the cultural issues that divide them in the marketing and sales arena. However, the “2005 Bridging the Cultural Divide between Bankers and Insurers Study” did uncover a number of marketing and sales issues that are still contentious.
These issues include: building incentive programs that work well within the bank environment; the ability to integrate insurance sales at the point of bank sales; senior management commitment; access to the bank’s client base; and the extent of wholesaler support. As the chart shows, there are still significant gaps between what the bankers say they want and their satisfaction with what the insurers provide.
The full 80-page 2005 study concurrently examines bank and insurer views about insurance distribution, marketing and sales, product design, administration and operations, effectiveness, and risk and profitability. It is available online at .
The study uses a statistical gap analysis technique to quantify the cultural issues, therefore using hard evidence to uncover and explore the qualitative issues banks and insurers must tackle to achieve success. It was completed by 78 respondents, 48 from banks and 30 from life insurers, representing 55% of the top banks and insurers doing business today.
This scatter graph represents the answers to one marketing question that analyzes several elements. It asks specifically what the respondent believes are the most important factors in selling insurance to bank customers and how satisfied the respondent is about how well those elements are executed. By finding out what processes will make the effort more successful, guideposts can be established for starting, maintaining and growing a successful bank-insurance operation.
The scatter graph summarizes scores in this category, while the quadrants of the figure represent areas of opportunity for improving the bank-insurer relationship. This article takes only a brief look at six out of the 11 elements assessed. These are the most divisive items, where we found gap scores greater than 1.2, which is seen as extremely significant in a 5-point scale where 1 is the least important and 5 is the most important.
Notice that all the blue boxes representing insurers’ answers to questions are predominately in the upper right-hand quadrant. In every case, they are higher than the bankers’ scores, which cluster toward the lower right. This shows their high importance but low satisfaction and, therefore, where there is the greatest need for improvement.
Both banks and insurers agree strongly on the factors that are important to selling insurance, and, in fact, the overall scores for all banks and insurers came in at 3.7, or “more important.” This overall average score is misleading, however, because the spread between bank and insurer scores for satisfaction in delivery was in every case lower for banks than for insurers, with an overall gap of 1.3.
Although the scatter graph can be analyzed in a number of different ways, this article will examine only the differences in the bankers’ importance scores vs. their satisfaction.