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Financial Services Market: DR 'Insures' Success

Published August 1, 2011 in ResponseMagazine.com

When it comes to financial services, trust has always been key to successful marketing, and in the past that’s meant developing a personal — and quite often, in-person — relationship between purchaser and agent. But as consumers become more comfortable with doing everything from buying coverage plans on the Web to even depositing a check and paying bills via their smartphone, financial marketers have had to shift their means of communication. The smartest insurance companies are utilizing a combination of online initiatives and direct response messages to provide consumers with the best of both worlds.Direct-Marketing-Insures-Success

Advertising spending has more than doubled for the financial services industry since 2000, with record spending of $4.15 billion on insurance advertising in 2009 alone, and for the first time, a majority of new buyers of auto insurance this year initiated their policy purchases online, according to J.D. Power & Associates. Increased spending in the online sector in particular has opened the doors for a more personal connection — and more effective marketing — between financial companies and consumers.

“Marketers’ focus has expanded beyond promotion of traditional agent relationships to include more personal appeals to consumers in the form of direct marketing messages both online and off,” says Barry Gilbert, vice president of marketing for PowerDirect in Newport Beach, Calif. “Television, radio and print remain essential insurance marketing channels, buy savvy insurance companies are incorporating direct marketing as an important option — enabling a personalized touch and the ability to reach customers at home, where they are researching and making many of their insurance shopping decisions.”

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