Fundamentals of Marketing

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18th Sep 2017 Marketing Reference this

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Kirsty Hayes, Bianca Jones, Chris Duffy, Tim Stone

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The purpose of this report is to gain further insight into AAMI’s current position in the personal car insurance market and to identify suitable marketing strategies to meet the needs of current and future customers. Despite being the largest insurer in the motor vehicle market there are many new competitors undercutting insurance premiums, mostly through online sales and service. Current competition includes IAG, on policy, and Budget Direct, on a price point. Since the GFC consumers have shown to be more cautious but with higher expectations. Current measures of internet and social media use shows the incredible scope of data facebook is able to collect from target segments. Loyalty and time wasted choosing a company are the most important characteristics of insurance seekers. They are most likely to use trusted brands when not engaged in the process. Surveys also found Australia wide retention of insurance customers more than 50%, however 75% of customers are not likely to seek out a company but want to make the best purchase decision. A further 10% want convenience purchasing insurance. AAMI must maintain its’ focus on consistent, excellent customer service, and utilising facebook to identify and communicate with customers. The process of purchasing a policy and making claims must be refined further strengthening the AAMI brand.

INTRODUCTIONLACE & INFLUENCING

This report aims to provide a summary of where AAMI is situated against its market competitors and help develop a marketing strategy to promote sustained long term business opportunities. The ABS (2016) estimated 17.7 million vehicles registered in Australia at the 31st October 2014 whilst Tiwari (2014) claims the Domestic Motor Insurance segment is worth 6 Billion dollars in premiums per year and is the largest is the Australian general insurance market.

AAMI face a multitude of competition in the Australian Motor Insurance segment and this paper will identify two competitors, IAG group and Budget Direct. This report is broken into two major sections, the first will evaluate and analyse competition along with demographic and technological trends and understanding how these factors may affect business in both the short and long term. The second part identifies possible segmentation which is involved with purchasing motor insurance. Providing historic trend information from the market will help create a new marketing strategy.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The insurance industry has had some significant hurdles in recent years, these have changed the way insurers need to market themselves and maintain profits. Buyers’ have become more cautious; expectations of products and services have increased since the global financial crisis (How Australian insurers can achieve profitable growth in a challenging market 2017).

Pay-outs for natural disasters have increased in frequency and value due to climate change, effecting insurers bottom lines (Insurance industry and climate change 2017). With the large number of insurers in the market creating intense competition, each company needs to ensure they have the right mix of products and customers to maintain their overall profit.

AAMI WITHIN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY

AAMI positions itself as the customer focused and fun insurance company, to differentiate from other insurers and say they are the ‘not very insurancy insurer’ using comical advertisements which attract younger consumers (AAMI 2017). It seems to be working for them, AAMI sits at number 5 of the top ten list of best insurance companies within Australia (Top Tens’ 2016).

Below is a chart which shows AAMI’s position within the market.

RECENT TRENDS THAT IMPACT THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY    

Usage based insurance (UBI)

While UBI is not a new concept in places like the US, it is only recently becoming common place within the Australian insurance industry (Dipak 2015). Things like pay-as-you-drive insurance, where customers only pay insurance for the kilometres they actually drive and pay-how-you-drive insurance, where customers get discounts for being safer drivers (Lukens 2014). This means customers can decrease their premiums to a rate previously impossible with other methods and feel like they have more control over what they pay. It also enables better identification of customer segments for future planning of products.

The Internet of Things

Still an upcoming trend within the insurance industry, as explained by Forbes (Morgan 2014) “this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other)”. Wearable technology for tracking heart rates, exercise, sleep patterns and more are being used in collaboration with health insurers. Sensors in cars are being used to calculate the risk of particular drivers by tracking speed, acceleration, and braking distance (Liew 2016). This information helps to speed up the claim process with more detailed information of accidents (Kumaresan 2016). For the insurance industry, this means more information available to calculate premiums and reduce risk for insuring specific customers.

KEY COMPETITORS

As Tiwari (2015) explains the Motor Insurance marketplace could be divided up into 4 segment areas. There are 2 major firms which own multiple companies and these are the Suncorp Group and the IAG Group with the rest of the industry made up from smaller competitors (image 1 gives a detailed example). Appendix A is an online comparison of comprehensive policies between NMRA, Budget Direct and AAMI. As Lamb (2016) highlights international firms need to take into account local domestic firms which are also fighting for a share of the market.

Image 1 (image sourced from http://www.slideshare.net/ullyully/australian-car-insurance-market-analysis/6)

IAG Group

The IAG group is our biggest competitor and will continue to be into the future as they share a similar infrastructure to AAMI. IAG also have national leverage through their independent brands RACV, NMRA, SGIO and SGIC. IAG have a major focus on making the world a safer place (IAG Group, 2017). IAG products tend to balance between price, volume, and service. They have no major advantage over our brand.

Budget Direct

Budget Direct are a small player being very aggressive to gain major market share. They specialise in insuring “low risk” clients to keep premiums down (Budget Direct, 2017) thus sitting in the price sensitive area. They have some advantages for customers compared to AAMI on their standard comprehensive product such as offering a no claim bonus on windscreen damage. Appendix A provides a detailed summary.

A KEY PLAYER OF IMPORTANCE

Australia’s population is currently 23.3 million people with more than 15 million owning smartphones. According to Neilsen, we spend on average of over one hour per day using smart phones, of which 35% of the time is spent on social media. According to Forbes (2016), in the social media landscape, Facebook is the most popular site with more than 15 million users and in a survey by Sensis in 2016, for more than 12 hours per week so it makes sense that our advertising can reach more customers in an increasingly competitive market.

By developing a partnership with Facebook, AAMI can target market segments differently using each group’s interests based on data received from the company. Nadia Cameron from IDG (2016) identified raising of brand awareness and conversions as the major reasons for AAMI using Facebook marketing. Failure in this partnership would be fatalistic with over 1.7 billion users worldwide connected to Facebook.

OTHER FACTORS INFLUENCING THE INDUSTRY

Technological Trends

Online Applications – AAMI has launched the AAMI Access® Application which they have marketed as Insurance in your Pocket (AAMI 2016). It allows you to monitor and update your policies, make an instant claim and upload claim photos from your device, and allows claim and live repair tracking. As at 30 June 2016, there were approximately 22 million mobile handset subscribers in Australia (ABS, 2016) making the creation of an online application a great innovation as it allows an easier service for the consumer and the insurance agency and leverages off the fact that consumers are becoming more advanced in online technology. This is not the only application available from insurance companies but it will continue to grow in trend.

Self-Driving Cars – volvocars.com/au (2016) says that there are already self-driving Volvos on the road in Sweden and in 2017, there will be over 100 on public roads, and this will continue to grow. This trend will be crucial to car insurance companies as it will alter the way insurance is provided, calculated and it could make it more difficult to prove which vehicle is in the wrong.

Demographic Trends

Cars in Victoria – The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) states there were a total of 1,944,688 motor vehicles in Victoria. Car insurers need to keep abreast of current trends and ensure ease and simplicity when dealing with consumers and insurance.

SECTION 2: SEGMENTATION FRAMEWORK

CONSUMER CHARACTERISTICS

In this section, we recommend a way that AAMI could segment their market so they can have more targeted marketing.

There are many things a consumer will look at when deciding on a car insurance company. Global Reviews regularly conducts research into how a consumer purchases car insurance, and posted in May 2015, that 71% of consumers had a brand in mind before beginning their research, only 34% of these consumers still preferred that brand at the end of their research. However, AAMI was the clear leader in an unprompted recall at 73%. The research found that 74% are current customers when they choose a car insurance policy. Lamb (2013) says that goods and services that are purchased regularly are associated with routine response behaviour, showing that those who already have a policy with AAMI are more likely to continue to renew their policies with AAMI.

A trusted brand is also a high priority when deciding on car insurance. The research shows that 53% trust the brand they chose (globalreviews.com 2015) and Lamb (2013) says that when consumers don’t want to have to ‘think’ too much about a purchase decision, they often revert to known and trusted brand names.

Based on the secondary research, two different consumer characteristics have been identified that are important in the car insurance category.

Characteristic

Type of segmentation

Description

Why is this characteristic important to AAMI?

Lifestyle – How much time spent searching for car insurance

Psychographic

This relates to how much time consumers are willing to research different car insurance deals.

This impacts how likely a new customer is to find Aami appealing and how likely an existing customer is to find a better deal elsewhere.

Personality –

How loyal they are to a certain company

Psychographic

This relates to how often a customer is willing to change insurance companies.

This impacts how likely a customer is to switch insurance companies if a better deal is found.

Table 3. Consumer Characteristics of importance to car insurance purchase decisions

 

SEGMENTATION FRAMEWORK

Based on these two key characteristics one way that AAMI could segment their market into the following four segments:

How much time is spent researching

Little to no time researching

Extensive researching

How loyal they are to a certain company

Very loyal

Customers for life

This segment contains customers which either do not have time to research or are not interested in researching different insurers due to loyalty to their current company.

Great if you are their current company but difficult to get across from somewhere else.

Knowledge is power

This segment contains customers who have the time and drive to research different companies but who prefer to stay with their existing company.

They are more likely to try to get a better deal with their current insurer than switch.

Not very loyal

Only if they have to

This segment contains the customers who know they need insurance but don’t waste time thinking about the details. They may perform a basic search and go with the insurer they notice first.

Flashy adds will draw their attention.

Simply the best…. for less

This segment contains the customers who will spend as much time as needed to search for the very best deal no matter who it is from.

Having the details which set you apart from competitors on your website is key for these customers.

Table 4. Proposed segmentation framework for AAMI.

SEGMENT PROFILES

The following information has been used to roughly estimate the size of each of these segments. In order to more accurately determine the segment size and segment profile, AAMI would be required to conduct further research with consumers.

  • Generation Y is the most under-insured generation, with a World Insurance Report showing only 36 per cent, compared to 52 per cent of others (Han 2016)
  • Studies indicate, 86 per cent of Australian consumers would only consider between one to three insurers when selecting their next policy (Martin 2016)
  • A survey showed only 15 per cent of respondents believed it was essential to find the cheapest product (Myth vs Reality The Expectation Gap in the ANZ Insurance Industry 2016, p 4)
  • A survey also showed that Australian insurers have retention rates of more than 50 per cent across the board (Myth vs Reality The Expectation Gap in the ANZ Insurance Industry 2016, p 7)

DESCRIPTION

Customers for Life

Knowledge is power

Only if they have to

Simply the best…for less

Estimated % of consumers

50%

25%

10%

15%

Expectation of segment to grow/shrink

Shrink

With more information on competing products being in social media this segment is expected to shrink.

Grow

With more ways now available for consumers to customise their insurance or barter with companies this segment is expected to grow.

Constant

Some behaviours will never change, time poor or uninterested consumers will always be a constant overall in any industry.

Grow

With more ways for consumers to easily find information on different companies it is expected that this segment will grow.

Purchase behaviour

They are not likely to seek out new insurers but would have no choice but to hear about new products through social media

They want to make the best purchase decision but also believe that staying with one company is beneficial.

They will make quick decisions on insurance if they feel they need to have it even though they don’t really want it

They will conduct thorough research to find the best deals available. Price and product is their drive, not brand loyalty.

Brand Preference

This group prefers well- known brands as they are more trusted and seen as a good choice for the long term, once they find an insurer they stick with them.

This group also prefers well-known brands for the same reasons but are likely to switch between the big 4 or 5 insurers when necessary.

This group has no specific brand preference. They may choose based on the insurers used by people they know or by which insurer comes up first in their low level of research.

This group has no brand preference. It is not guided by friends and family insurers either. They go with whomever has the best deals in their eyes.

Potential Profit

Moderate

At the moment the profit made from this segment would be high due to retention rates. However, with the segment set to shrink, potential future profit will decrease.

High

If Aami can get the correct product mix to appeal to price conscious buyers Profit will increase from these consumers, they prefer a big brand name like Aami.

Moderate

Once insured they are less likely to switch, the battle is getting them in the beginning, once with Aami they should be life-long customers. Flashy advertising is needed.

Low

This segment is always looking for better deals, if Aami aren’t the cheapest in the industry these customers will switch. This doesn’t work with AAMI’s customer service image.

CONCLUSION

The Motor Insurance Industry has never been the most exciting in terms of innovation or technology (Sahoo, 2015). Insurance companies have been slow to adopt technology and innovation into their programs. This is beginning to change because of the digital age that we live.

With the population in Australia constantly growing the demand for motor vehicle insurance will always be high. With good branding and positive company exposure AAMI can maintain their presence as a major player in the market place. IAG group is a competitor we will need to constantly monitor as they pose the biggest threat to our overall market share.

It is recommended that AAMI continue to invest in technological and social branding, making it easier for people to connect with the brand. Continual research needs to be done on consumer insights involving brand perception along with potential customers. This would benefit our industry segmentation profile and strengthen our framework criteria.

APPENDIX

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