As marketers continue to adjust to the new business as usual, we are working with them to better understand how consumer behavior is trending. Companies are very interested in staying well informed, and we’re providing an additional, broader perspective to help guide their marketing activities and campaigns with greater levels of confidence.
The current state of consumer online shopping activity remains strong. With most of the country under stay at home orders, it’s creating more time to reconsider or re-evaluate important life necessities that are big-budget items. These are the major-life purchases like mortgages or various insurance coverages.
We will continue to monitor online shopping behaviors and velocity across our network and, in the weeks to come, will share more detailed views of consumer behaviors across journeys for all types of mortgages, personal insurance, home buying, and other high consideration purchases. For now, we are urging our customers to:
- Be present: This is not a time to be absent from the market. Marketers can embrace this as an opportunity to help customers and prospects while their attention and focus are high. Educate and expel myths while extending the best offers you can.
- Understand consumer behavior: Now more than ever, it’s critical for marketers to be thoughtful. It’s important to understand where consumers are in their buying journey to deliver the right messaging at the right time for those customers and prospects that will appreciate your outreach. It’s equally important to not over-communicate to those consumers who do not need or want to be receiving offers right now. The most efficient and effective way to do that is to leverage behavioral data.
- Prioritize online shoppers: With consumers quarantined due to COVID-19, overall consumer online shopping activity remains strong. We are encouraging our clients to segment and prioritize consumers based on behavioral data. This includes in-market interest for specific products, depth and frequency of activity, and time of day of activity. Armed with this information, marketers can focus on their specific customers and prospects who show high intent and are receptive to timely and relevant outreach.
Across the industries we serve, we find that companies remain positive and are cautiously optimistic:
- Insurance: Carriers and agencies from all lines of business (P&C, Life, and Health) are well-positioned to continue to serve prospective and existing customers, says Jornaya GM of Insurance, Jaimie Pickles. Consumer demand is strong and, in many areas, above normal levels for this time of year. Carriers are navigating through a revised process or product mix to fulfill demand: how to fulfill underwriting or shift to “automated underwritten” products, for example. Auto and home insurance providers have shared that they are pushing forward on 2020 growth plans and, in most cases, leaning on the performance marketing ecosystem to capture more mid-funnel prospects to fill excess capacity. Customer retention and cross selling is a top priority as more consumers look around to save money. It’s even more critical in this environment to leverage the right data to deliver a better customer experience and mitigate compliance risk.
- Consumer Finance: With interest rates still at historically low levels, demand continues in mortgage, according to our Head of Consumer Finance, Mike Eshelman. Originators and servicers are seeing record inquiries and inbound calls. Non-bank lending sectors are concerned about consumer health and employment impacting the ability to pay. We’ve seen a slow down in outbound marketing volumes because of the overwhelming inbound activity. The key to navigating through these turbulent times will be their ability to sort through those inbound consumers and capitalize on those that are most likely to get a new mortgage.
- Auto: The auto industry is certainly facing major hurdles but Jornaya’s VP of Automotive, Brian Epro, encourages our clients to revisit the leads generated now as they’ll likely pay off in sales down the road. During this time there’s a potential for more leads, or a high percentage of overall leads, to be ‘low intent’ because many shoppers are just window shopping, submitting leads with no real intention of buying. This means dealers and OEMs will put resources on people who obviously will not be buying in the immediate future. However, we can help them wade through the low intent leads and prioritize the high intent leads. In addition, as the market returns, we can monitor the behavior of the previous lower intent leads to see when they become high intent, and alert the OEM and dealer accordingly.
You can read more about Understanding Your Customers and Prospects During Uncertain Times. We will share more insights in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!