A man making a decision (Image: Thinkstock)

As someone who works with life insurance marketers on a daily basis, I am keenly aware of the interest that carriers and agents have in meeting their customers in the market, when they are actively interested and most receptive to a conversation.

(Related: Without Customer Trust, Nothing Else Matters)

This not only improves productivity for the insurer; it also offers a great customer experience. And there are a wealth of tools, technology, and insights that insurance professionals use today to better understand the needs of the people they serve, in an effort to create engaged, valuable, long-standing relationships with clients.

No longer are insurers relying solely on guesswork or predictive models to guide acquisition and retention efforts. Today, the best marketers are using behavioral data to align their outreach to when the consumer is actually shopping, and basing their messaging on the stage of the buying journey the consumer is actively in.

I didn’t fully grasp the positive impact that these tactics have on the consumer experience until I find myself on my own life insurance buying journey. Here’s how it happened.

Researching My Options

My wife and I welcomed our first child, Harrison, into the world last year. As part of preparing for his arrival, we knew we needed life insurance. After researching online and comparing quotes from multiple carriers, we purchased policies from two carriers that best understood the needs of our growing family.

Fast forward to this year and the arrival of our second son, Archie, in October. With the new addition came new considerations. With two kids, we quickly outgrew our townhouse and needed a bigger place to call home. So, we hopped online and started our home-buying journey. We compared available houses, researched mortgage rates, and started speaking with a realtor. Through the process, our Realtor introduced us to his insurance agent, who he recommended for a good price on home insurance. The agent said he could offer the best price if he quoted us for auto as well, and so he did. The home and auto quote was competitive, and we decided to switch carriers, all while securing a mortgage, buying a house, caring for a newborn, and managing the wake of our one-toddler-tornado at home.

We were juggling so much then, and we were considering all of these other major life purchases, that I never thought to call my life insurance agent. That is, until she called me, offering to review my needs to make sure that my coverage was adequate.

In working with her, I decided that I needed to increase my coverage so that if anything ever happened to me, my wife could pay off our new house and have enough runway to keep our family afloat during the early days without me.

My agent knew exactly which questions to ask to hone in on my current situation and guide me to make an informed decision for my family. I really appreciated her proactive outreach and offer. It was a welcome relief and I wouldn’t have thought to do it myself.

How My Agent Knew

Coincidentally, my carrier uses my own employer’s monitoring platform, Jornaya Activate, to better serve its customers.

The platform enhances carrier customer data with the millions of online shopping behaviors Jornaya sees every month across its network of lead-generation and comparison shopping sites. The platform provides an in-market shopping signal for life insurance marketers. You can know when your customer is in-market for life insurance or a parallel buying journey, right now.

This insight powers the timing and messaging of acquisition and retention programs.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.


Jeff Piotrowski is the senior director of insurance at Jornaya, company that helps marketers understand how consumers make decisions.