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Can your creative strategy survive at the sharp end? Insurance Marketing and PR Panel Bupa Out of the Blue iPad

Can your creative strategy survive at the sharp end?

Posted by emma.critchley | 20 June

InsurancePOST and InsuranceAge invited Rob Scott our group creative director to present his 20+ years of expertise at their first Insurance Marketing and PR Conference which took place in the morning of their annual awards ceremony. 

The conference brought together insurance marketers, brokers and agency directors for a series of panel discussions and presentations which all referred back to one key message, how to be more human

TLC Marketing operate at the tipping point of purchase or rejection and it doesn’t get much more ‘real’ than that in the marketing world. That’s why we’ve invested millions in strategic planners and creatives worldwide to work towards specific ‘brand lead’ concepts for our clients. With that in mind, we’ve picked out the key takeout’s from Rob’s presentation that should help inform how your creative strategy is deployed.


Your creative strategy should be focused on tonality and brand empathy. It should true to who you are as a brand and show your customers you are indeed ‘real’. Your customers need this, especially at those key ‘claim’ moments when they need you the most.

Usual ways creative strategy can be exploited

Look beyond the obvious channels. Your creative strategy should inform every action of your company – from internal communications to advertising and even when a customer is calling you to stop their policy. Social channels are great, but they should not be seen as ‘free’. Remember they cost even if driven internally.

Be human

The first point of contact usually takes place in the form of a quote, so surely all you need to do is crank up the machine and fire out as many quotes as possible? After all in the digital world this becomes almost instant. But what if your creative strategy is based on showing respect for your customers by giving them time?

The NFU Mutual website has a brave and compelling statement:

We won't rush a quote online

The implication is personal service, a tailor-made policy and a big brand acting as a human being. Their policies may not be the cheapest but contrary to popular thinking cheapest isn’t always what people want. Especially when it comes to the claim.

The creative strategy is reassuring that when it comes to the crunch those nice personable people at NFU Mutual will treat customers as individuals not simply a claim.

Stop your customers shopping around at month 11

We all know the best way of dealing with churn is to stop it happening in the first place. Prevention is always better than cure and in the case of our client Bupa an apt analogy.

Anyone who has a policy has come to expect the month 11 ‘bribe’. The great offer intending to hook you in or the added value you just can’t refuse. We’ve come to expect it and if anything will provoke customers to ‘shop around’ at this critical point.

Bupa promotes itself as a healthcare partner – creating on-going relationships in sickness and in health.

When they came to TLC Marketing for advice in reducing churn we started not with what ‘bribe’ they could offer but with how and when should they offer it. What if we acted in a more surprising and human way – true to the Healthcare partner strategy?

What was born was a reward campaign called ‘Out Of The Blue’.

Leaning heavily on the brand colour ‘Out of the blue’ offered policyholders a free gift just for being a policyholder. A random act of kindness – importantly not a bribe – at month eight of their policy – and more importantly not at month 11.

The results speak for themselves. The campaign won Customer Retention Campaign of the Year at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Awards, received a Bronze at the Institute of Promotional Marketing Awards in the Financial and Professional Services category and was a finalist for Niche Marketing Campaign of the Year at the Insurance Marketing and PR Awards.

Our actions and creative work fulfilled Bupa’s objectives whilst building brand equity and improving results at the sharp end.

That’s so much more than a ‘bribe’.


In a buyer's market, your creative strategy sets you apart, but only as long as you remain true to it. Everywhere and in everything you do.

  • Don’t let received wisdom dictate strategy. 
  • Don’t be scared to test different ways 
  • Always refer back to your brand, however small the task at hand.

Your prices can be matched, but if you stay true to your creative strategy your service and brand personality will set you apart. 

Get in touch with Rob, tell him your top line objectives and he’ll get back to you with how you should approach them.