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Insights with Microsoft: Auto Insurance, B2B and Financial Services

Today we're sharing some insights on specific industries to help you adapt your marketing strategies and drive success in these unprecedented times.

How are people approaching auto insurance amid shelter-in-place orders?

Widespread shelter-in-place orders have caused Americans’ commutes to change drastically. Many of them have a new morning route of going from the bedroom to the office, den, dining room or pretty much any other room that is now the designated home office. This means all the cars that are typically used daily are now sitting dormant in the garage or driveway. This also means that drivers are paying the same insurance for a car that is being used significantly less. There are some notable downstream effects of this pattern.

With fewer cars on the road there have been fewer accidents, so insurance companies are saving a lot on claims. This has prompted some insurers to provide their customers with proactive rate reductions, but it is by no means the norm. This may be a good business decision for these insurance companies to help create more customer loyalty during a time when many customers are comparison shopping different providers. Specifically, we’ve seen a trend emerge in this vertical with a 10-30% increase in modifiers like ‘best,’ ‘cheap,’ or ‘quote.’ While superlatives like ‘best’ often indicate an individual is still in the early stages of searching, now may be a good time to gain some impressions and enter their consideration set. Additionally, it would not be all too surprising if we see a rise in pay-per-mile insurance since this offering is more aligned with the universal truth that people don’t like to pay for things they don’t use. In this case, that means paying to insure a car that’s not being driven.

Source:  Auto Insurance

Businesses shifting to work from home means big business for business-to-business (B2B) services

People around the world are working from home, some of whom are doing it for the first time. This quick and dramatic shift has caused a flurry of searches around productivity tools and remote work. This rise in related search volume began just before COVID-19 was declared as a national emergency in the U.S. and has remained elevated ever since, with the top search term at the time simply being ‘work from home.’ As time progresses and people are getting their bearings, we’re seeing a shift to more tailored searches around specific productivity tools, the most popular of which are for electronic signature, photo editing, or business applications. What’s most interesting is how the data tell us a story of people’s journeys to find the tools they need. As a general trend, they begin with non-branded searches, which are up 138% since the COVID-19 announcement. In relation to this, we only have seen an 85% uptick in non-brand click volume. Looking at branded searches tells a much different story where the ratio is inversed, with a much higher click percentage lift compared to searches. All this is to say that people are really doing their research for productivity tools and are more often ending their search on brand terms.

This search pattern is important to keep in mind as you adjust your digital marketing strategy to align with the decision journey people are going on to find the right productivity tools and apps.

So, what does this mean for advertisers? Be thoughtful about your customer’s experience as they search for tools to help them work during the shelter-in-place orders. These are uncharted waters for many of these first-time buyers, so be sure to have the right message at every touchpoint along the buying journey — remarketing can help with this. Also keep in mind that cybersecurity is top of mind as we see more headlines around ‘Zoom bombing,’ and for those that are unfamiliar, it’s where a teleconferencing Zoom call gets hacked and the uninvited guests are typically not very nice.

Source:  B2B Services

What’s changing with financial services?

First, let’s set the stage: In short, people are worried. In a recent customer survey, 82% of participants claimed they were concerned about going to their local grocery stores or bank because of COVID-19. Over half of the participants were also concerned about their ability to pay back loans in the coming months. These are sobering statistics, yet not entirely shocking based on the overall financial climate we’re currently experiencing. These worries have made people more inclined now to try digital apps or websites, with younger generations being the most receptive. Even with financial institutions offering these digital solutions, they may not be meeting their customers’ expectations, which show that 84% of respondents expect brands to keep us safe by maximising digital interactions.

Of course, staying safe from the virus is important but it doesn’t fix people’s financial woes. This is where we’ve seen positive change in how financial institutions are making their customers aware of their options through advertising. Some of the most common messaging we’ve seen is how banks are providing financial solutions and expertise to their clients. They are also including product phrases that are hyper relevant right now like ‘transfer your balance’ or ‘low intro APR.’

Likely, financial institutions are also having to tighten the fiscal belt right now, so here are some suggestions for running efficient search campaigns:
  1. Show personal support and offers in ad copy and landing pages
  2. Help users go digital by promoting your app with app install ads
  3. Be visible. Cost per clicks (CPCs) are down, so be sure you’re still connecting with customers through your ads
  4. Since there is a lot of search noise right now, use negative keywords and targeting solutions to optimise your campaign performance and avoid spending unnecessary money
Source:  Financial Services