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NTUC Income: Engaging customers with relevant data-driven insights to increase insurance sales

About NTUC Income

Established in 1970 to make essential insurance accessible to all Singaporeans, Income is the only insurance cooperative in Singapore, offering life, health, and general insurance. In catering to the evolving needs of consumers today, Income has sharpened its digital and multichannel propositions to offer more personalized, data-driven customer experience and innovative, customer-centric insurance solutions that reimagine the way people engage with, purchase, and claim insurance.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Singapore

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About Happy Marketer

Founded in 2009, Happy Marketer is an award-winning digital marketing agency headquartered in Singapore. Happy Marketer is committed to making marketers happy by achieving value from data-driven marketing campaigns. Its team of Google-certified analytics consultants helps clients translate marketing insights into business value on Google Cloud. Happy Marketer was acquired by Dentsu in 2019 and is part of the Merkle group.

Income uses Analytics 360 and BigQuery to collate and find meaningful customer data to tailor its marketing strategies to meet individual needs and generate sales.

Google Cloud results

  • Creates effective personalized campaigns in days, not months
  • Increases click-through rate (CTR) by 92% by delivering timely and relevant messaging to a targeted audience
  • Builds deeper relationship between consumers and insurance agents

Lowers customer acquisition cost by 40% with BigQuery

What motivates people to buy insurance? Some people buy insurance to secure themselves from the financial constraints that come with possible future medical emergencies, while others see it as a form of savings. Changes in life stages, such as marriage, the birth of a child, or home buying, also often influence insurance decisions.

“Instead of pushing the same product to everyone, we want to optimize marketing spend by targeting the right customer, with the right message, at the right time. Google Cloud helps us understand who to target and how to target them.”

Anny Huang, Head of Digital Business

Anny Huang, Head of Digital Business at NTUC Income (Income) believes that recognizing buying signals can help insurers increase sales or lose market share. This is why she embraces data and analytics to discover more about her customers' needs with the intention to convert prospective customers to making an insurance purchase. Her data-first approach was also the reason she led the adoption of Google Cloud at Income to empower customer-centric marketing.

“Most people don’t like receiving messages that are irrelevant to them,” says Anny. “Instead of pushing the same product to everyone, we want to optimize marketing spend by targeting the right customer, with the right message, at the right time. Google Cloud helps us understand who to target and how to target them.”

Content is a big part of Income’s inbound marketing strategy. Led by Saffry Hoo, Head of Digital Marketing at Income, the digital marketing team manages its website, mobile apps, microsites, and social media channels.

“We want to create unique content that brings leads to the website so that the digital business team can convert them to sales,” says Saffry. “The ability to measure marketing performance on Google Analytics 360 has led to a fundamental change in mindset at Income where marketing goes beyond generating brand awareness, to improving customer journey and generating actual sales.”

The team used to spend months planning reach and frequency campaigns to find target audiences. With BigQuery, advanced audience segmentation can easily be activated for campaign success in just a few days.

“The ability to measure marketing performance on Analytics 360 has led to a fundamental change in mindset at Income where marketing goes beyond generating brand awareness, to improving customer journey and generating actual sales.”

Saffry Hoo, Head of Digital Marketing, Income

Enabling a 360-degree customer view with Analytics 360

In the past, customers’ interactions were limited to phone calls and in-person meetings. Nowadays, tech-savvy customers increasingly turn to online services for their insurance needs, from getting a life insurance quote to filing a car insurance claim. The customer journey from awareness to purchase may involve multiple touchpoints, offline and online. These interactions offer opportunities for Income to learn about people's needs to improve its marketing strategy over time.

However, there wasn’t a single platform to track and analyze digital data. Data resided in different marketing systems, such as sales interactions in its customer relationship management (CRM) database, and email engagement in the company's marketing automation tool.

To help Income break down data silos, Happy Marketer, a Google Marketing Platform partner, introduced Analytics 360 and BigQuery to Income, to connect and analyze historical and new data in one place, specifically customer information and interactions. Data sources include customer management software, owned channels such as Income's website and apps, and paid channels, such as ad-serving platforms.

Compared to a traditional database, BigQuery can handle the real-time analysis of streaming data from Analytics 360, so Income can score potential customers based on their propensity to buy. Machine learning (ML), combined with automated marketing on Optimize 360 to create personalized messages, helps drive sales through higher customer engagement.

“Happy Marketer set up our marketing tech stack from ground zero,” says Anny. “Given the team’s technical expertise and in-depth understanding of our data, we were able to successfully integrate data analytics and ML with Analytics 360 and BigQuery and launch 10 use cases between 2018 and 2020.”

“Advanced segmentation and machine learning on BigQuery has improved our marketing effectiveness significantly. We achieved a 40% reduction in customer acquisition cost and an increase in click-through rate by 92% by connecting our audience with what they are interested in.”

Anny Huang, Head of Digital Business, Income

Activating marketing strategies with customer insights from BigQuery

Unlike mass marketing, where a wide range of audiences sees a bus ad or a billboard, a targeted marketing campaign requires the marketing team to focus on specific customer segments. Income’s customer database is the starting point for marketing campaigns that target an audience already familiar with its brand and history.

This on-premises database stores first-party data, such as demographics and purchase history. However, the dataset doesn’t capture the customer’s intention to buy a particular insurance policy. To anticipate the customer’s ever-changing insurance needs, Income needs to uncover buying decisions from new data, specifically multichannel interactions.

So how does BigQuery help Income know who is interested in what?

For accurate tracking, Income creates a unique user ID for each of its 1.8 million customers stored in Analytics 360. To protect user privacy, Happy Marketer anonymizes the data by hashing personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, email, and phone number. Data scientists at Income can therefore analyze the website traffic and associate digital interactions with user ID 123, instead of identifying the specific user. Users also manage their cookie settings and give consent on the Income website on their first visit, so they can control what personal data is collected.

To target the right audience, Income runs ML models in BigQuery that break down its customer pool into fine-grained segments, such as the customer’s propensity to purchase or their preferred marketing channel. Income uses Optimize 360 to deliver a personalized experience relevant to the specific microsegments based on the customer’s needs and behavior.

“Advanced segmentation and machine learning on BigQuery has improved our marketing effectiveness significantly. We achieved a 40% reduction in customer acquisition cost and an increase in click-through rate by 92% by connecting our audience with what they are interested in.”

Prioritizing sales leads with omni-customer view

The marketing team plans to roll out a customer data platform (CDP) in 2021 to create synergy between online data in Analytics 360 with offline interactions, such as call center interaction and agent interactions. An example would be alerting an agent of a potential sales opportunity when a customer reads a blog article about a particular product.

The CDP should also take data signals from agents to send relevant ads to the customers to create a feedback loop. For example, it would show an auto insurance ad to a policyholder based on information from the agent that the customer is buying a new car.

“When we evaluated different data warehouse options, BigQuery’s low-code integration with Google Marketing Platform was a clear differentiator for us,” says Anny. “Moving forward, Google Cloud will continue to be the core backbone of all our marketing activations, powering advanced segmentation, and downstream applications."

Three girls laughing and riding bikes. Header reads Insurance Made Different.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About NTUC Income

Established in 1970 to make essential insurance accessible to all Singaporeans, Income is the only insurance cooperative in Singapore, offering life, health, and general insurance. In catering to the evolving needs of consumers today, Income has sharpened its digital and multichannel propositions to offer more personalized, data-driven customer experience and innovative, customer-centric insurance solutions that reimagine the way people engage with, purchase, and claim insurance.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Singapore

About Happy Marketer

Founded in 2009, Happy Marketer is an award-winning digital marketing agency headquartered in Singapore. Happy Marketer is committed to making marketers happy by achieving value from data-driven marketing campaigns. Its team of Google-certified analytics consultants helps clients translate marketing insights into business value on Google Cloud. Happy Marketer was acquired by Dentsu in 2019 and is part of the Merkle group.