In the future, a convergence that has been going on for several years between digital marketing and advertising strategies, channels, and programs will continue, according to Moran. “Marketing can often be strategic and abstract, with plans and strategies set at a high level across various inbound and outbound channels. Advertising is more of a continual push over certain channels,” he commented. “Brands are going to realize they need to be able to understand behaviors and patterns and account for them concurrently across both marketing and advertising channels in an integrated fashion." Additionally, he expects marketing to become more pull than push, with customers moving at their own speed, on their own paths, and with their own timelines. “A comprehensive view of data across all departments, whether marketing, advertising, service, or support, that can be actioned on and activated in real time, will be seen as a true competitive advantage,” Moran said.
Next best actions
One of the primary reasons for devel- oping an omnichannel strategy is to maximize the chances of engaging a potential customer in order to make a conversion. This can best be achieved by bringing as much information as possible into the decision environment in an integrated way, which allows for a highly personalized customer experience. Achmea, a large holding company specializing in insurance, wanted to develop enduring relationships with its customers, but did not have a full picture of each customer because its channels were not connected.
In business for more than 200 years, Achmea was founded by a group of farmers who wanted to reduce their collective risk. It now has more than 10 million customers and 14 different brands of insurance, of which five are international and nine are Dutch. Its brands offer health, life and non-life insurance; income protection insurance; and pensions. Customers include consumers, large and small businesses, and government organizations.
With this diversity of products and customers, Achmea’s companies faced challenges in consolidating and analyzing the information required to establish the long-term and valuable relationships that they sought. In order to address this issue, Achmea selected the Pega Customer Decision Hub to integrate inbound and outbound channels, regard- less of the data source. The Decision Hub has been deployed in three of the brands: Centraal Beheer, FBTO, and Interpolis, the bank insurance channel of the Rabobank.
A key action to focus on was a per- sonalized next best action recommendation related to whatever customer interaction was taking place at the time. The fact that all the data now comes to a centralized hub allows for the most informed recommendations. In addition, through the use of AI, the
channels can adjust those recommendations as the customer’ s scenario changes. A customer who is taking steps to cancel a policy online, for example, is routed to a call center to continue the interaction. The agent will be aware of the customer’s intent. Achmea reports a very high save rate when next best action recommendation are made, a 27% increase in online upsell and cross sell, and a 41% conversion rate when there is a transition from the website to the call center.