Page 2: Relationship marketing
Building a one-to-one relationship with customers is the ideal. In her influential book, The Popcorn Report, the American marketing guru Faith Popcorn charts the rise of consumer bonding or relationship marketing. The principles she identifies are encapsulated in the following sentence: 'We do need to build relationships with our consumers, to create a dialogue, expose them to our corporate values, establish a bond based on something more deep-seated than product quality, brand image, or even simply meeting customer needs.'
The American writers Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, in their book, The One Future: Building One Customer at a Time, have urged businesses to form impregnable relationships with individual customers. They provide a range of examples of ways in which even mass marketers can strike up these relationships. This involves gathering as much information as possible about individual customers and then developing the organisation to meet individual needs. They refer to this as customer segmentation.
The brokers are the customers of Independent Insurance and building a relationship with them involves finding out and then meeting their needs and requirements. In particular this case focuses on the Absolute. Tour - a dynamic marketing tool.
This involved the senior management team getting out on the road in a campaign that used state-of-the-art technology coupled with the highest levels of comfort and customer care, using luxury coaches, as a vehicle for face-to-face meetings with brokers.
Insurance is a ‘people business’ - it is based on face-to-face contacts. The Absolute. Tour involved visiting major brokers and making them feel cared for and pampered. Independent has always been a marketing-led company and attributes its rapid growth during the 1990s to its willingness to invest heavily in innovative, professional campaigns and initiatives.