NIB used an AI-powered platform to deploy a personalised welcome video to thousands of its new customers. The insurance company says the strategy has proved to be effective and is exploring other areas where emerging technology can be used in its marketing mix.

During a customer presentation at OpenText Enterprise World in Singapore, NIB application product manager, Stephen Hinton explained some of the strategy, saying it was designed to simplify and personalise correspondence while also improving convenience for customers.

He explained how NIB designed an email welcome campaign for its new customers, attempting to capitalise one of the “surprise and delight” opportunities it had identified in customer journeys.

“We wanted to be able to do something that stuck in their mind when joining and explained the real basics of their cover; the important things. And do it in a way that was memorable,” Hinton said.

NIB, a Newcastle-based health and travel insurance provider, used local rugby league legend, Paul “The Chief” Harragon to record over 3,000 customer names which then became part of a personalised explainer video. Harragon, a long time NIB brand ambassador spent around eight hours in the studio recording the names, Hinton said.

Paul “The Chief” Harragon recorded thousands of customer names for NIB welcome videos.

New NIB customers now receive a welcome email video including the personalised audio greeting along with basic information about their policy like who is covered, what they are covered for and how payments are made.

This coverage information varies based on options customers have selected but the OpenText Exstream engine means the video creation can be automated and rendered in near real time.

“At the time of sending, when the customer clicks in it, it renders the video and plays it. Every video is personalised, completely unique to the customer and their circumstances,” Hinton said.

The customer data used is relatively basic, Hinton says, but has produced significant results and contributed to NIB’s growth — well above market share, according to Hinton.

Early opportunities

Hinton says the relative ease of switching providers in Australia makes the first 30 days especially important for retaining new customers and why NIB focused its personalisation strategy on new customers.

“If you’re not happy you can move on,” Hinton said. “So that first experience is crucial.”

The lack of stickiness was exasperated in the past by NIB’s previous lack of personalisation and at times confusing correspondence – a product of the insurance company’s limited technical capabilities at the time, Hinton said.

NIB reviewed its communication and channel strategy determining it needed to simplify messages and promote relevant, timely and meaningful content. On the technology side it invested in OpenText’s customer communication management software, Exstream, including a new internal team to leverage the software, eventually allowing for the personalised video campaign

“We pretty much started form scratch, we threw everything away. There was no lift and shift, there was no picking things up from the other platforms and move to Exstream. We started all over again.”

Along the way, end users tested solutions and correspondence giving NIB valuable feedback as the strategy was rolled out, helping to identify the “surprise and delight opportunities,” Hinton said.

Hinton told Which-50 the personalised video campaign involved a mix of NIB’s technology, marketing and customers leaders, rather than being a strictly IT or marketing play.

“We’ve tried to orientate the team more around those customer journeys instead of saying ‘you’re marketing, you’re IT,’ etcetera.”

“The truth of the matter is customer experience is everybody’s job, it’s plastered all over our walls, it’s something we all think about.”

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