by Tracey T. Turner

In the changing world of employee benefits, information is more than just power – it’s the key to business growth. With limited customer information, carriers and brokers can’t know exactly who they’re selling to. And without clear, well targeted benefits information, customers can’t know how some products work – let alone what to purchase. In today’s complex and competitive world of employee benefits, new approaches are required to gain a unique business advantage.  State-of-the-art analytics platforms are being developed that provide in-depth targeting and rich customer ​insights to better match customers to benefit products. The results? Improved participation rates and increased business growth.  SaaS-based portals put the most current customer information at the fingertips of marketers, enrollment coordinators and sales professionals.

A Clearer Customer Picture. It’s hard to hit the bulls-eye when you can’t see the target. Analytics enable carriers, brokers and sales teams to discover rich customer insights based on big-data analysis of customer’s behavioral, demographic and lifestyle attributes. The result, a deep understanding of customers by segment, scientifically derived data on the right products to offer that will drive optimal customer participation.

Improved Messaging and Education. In an era where personalization is key, particularly for the Millennial generation (see our blog “Insurance Carriers, Meet Henry”, 6/23/15), generic, one-size- fits-all messaging is ineffective and expensive.  With new technologies that enable targeted customer research, now you can customize your message according customer segments, within an account, a book-of-business or region, eliminating the “scatter-gun”, “fingers-crossed” approaches dictated today by limited information about customer needs and purchase motivations.  If companies can deliver relevant product information to customers, enrollment decisions are easier, purchases are more informed, and employers can rest easy knowing their employees are better educated and well-served.

Open Lines of Engagement. New, cloud-based, open and flexible benefits marketing tools make it easy to build personalized engagement strategies for each client, increasing the value a carrier or broker can bring to the client relationship.  Some services can further improve benefits and wellness education and compliance by reaching customers through their computers at home, the office or on cellular devices with customized banners that deliver targeted messages. It’s a foray into a brave new world for employee benefits, but the tremendous value enabled through deep customer insights, targeted messages, and engaged customers is well worth the trip!