Neil Mac Donald, Digital Marketing Director at AXA Partners talks about the many ways to go digital and how it can be confusing for clients to know where best to start.
There are many ways to go digital and it can be confusing for clients to know where best to start. We have developed a number of business models that recognise and cater for different client situations. These models range from standalone websites to fully integrated insurance propositions.
In many of the countries where our clients do business, online product research and online shopping are already the norm. Today over 70% of Europeans do business online and online sales in Europe are set to hit €191 billion by 2017. Our clients see this and recognize that going digital is fast becoming a necessity. They see many of their customers as digital ‘transitionals’, people who have adapted successfully to a new digital world and who are happy to transact online where services are available, and offline where they are not. They also recognize however that these customers are fast giving way to digital ‘natives’ for whom digital is the only way they will transact with financial institutions.
Our Nordic clients – who enjoy high levels of Internet penetration and a propensity to bank & buy products online – are already engaged with us in designing digital insurance programs. Central European countries are closing the gap and a number of our Southern clients are very keen to engage early in this new world.
There are many ways to go digital and it can be confusing for clients to know where best to start. Our job is to try to make this process as simple as possible for the client. To that end we have developed a number of business models that recognise and cater for different client situations, for example where clients have very limited access to their own IT resources. We find that this helps our clients to quickly work through their own situations and the different digital insurance options open to them.
For example, our ‘AXA Managed’ models offer easy-to-deploy, fully branded platforms requiring almost zero investment from the client; so for partners with limited access to IT resource this model offers disruptive change … without the disruption. We build and host the website on behalf of our partners.
For partners looking to integrate an insurance offer into their digital customer journey, our 'AXA Enabled' model offers a range of API building blocks that you can use to design & configure your own digital insurance services. API services allow distributors to draw on a range of API services, putting power and flexibility into the hands of our channel partners.
And sitting between the Enabled and the Managed models, we have a range of 'Shared' models. In many cases it makes sense for our partners to tailor and build the initial insurance offer on their platform (for example inside their Web Bank), based on their own unique understanding of the customer's requirements, and to then hand off the transaction to AXA to close the sale. In Shared models our partners pass some secure customer data such as the customer's name or age, allowing us to support the balance of the sales process for them on an AXA-hosted platform.
Our tools work in self-service and in intermediated (branch, broker, showroom) scenarios, and for clients who want to build the entire proposition themselves we are happy to offer consultancy and content.
Of course, it’s not simply about websites. A website without marketing support is unlikely to succeed, and so all of these services are backed up with advertising content, social media marketing content and Google Analytics support, allowing us to work with the client to build out a fully rounded digital proposition and to understand & respond to customer behaviours.
We are proud to say that our first projects are live and we have a number of great projects in the pipeline. We look forward to continuing our research and continuing to engage with our clients around the world.
Neil MacDonald, Digital Marketing Director