The Digital Customer Experience Blog

Your source of insights for a successful digital transformation.

Neosurance Recognized Twice Among the Best Startups in the InsurTech Industry

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Neosurance, the startup founded by Neosperience and Digital Tech, continues its journey of revolution in the InsurTech world, bringing home two prestigious awards that confirm it as one of the most appreciated players, not only in Italy, thanks to the recent opening of the American headquarters in Sunnyvale .

The 2018, in fact, opens under the banner of the first prize in the "Intelligent Automation" category, won during the MF Insurance & Previdenza Awards 2018, organized by Milano Finanza and Accenture.
Neosurance has been rewarded thanks to the product "Al Volo", a micro insurance solution developed by Axa Italy and based on the Neosurance platform, in which is accumulated the technological experience of the DCX consolidated in a decade by Neosperience.

"Al Volo" comes as a further step in a collaboration born in 2017, when Axa Italy and Neosurance laid the foundations for an ad hoc product for Tiassisto24 - an app that offers car concierge services - offering travel insurance that covers medical expenses for the 25 thousand users of the community.

After being included in the Insurance Factory 2018 Trend Report, on the April 13th came a further recognition of absolute value, with the inclusion in the list, drawn up by StartupItalia! and The European House - Ambrosetti, of the best 10 + 1 startups that have the potential to innovate the FinTech world ecosystem from Italy.

Neosurance, born from an idea by Dario Melpignano - CEO and co-founder of Neosperience, the first Digital Customer Experience Cloud - and Andrea Silvello - CEO and co-founder of Digital Tech - attracted the attention of the most important FinTech players, always looking for innovative solutions.

The technology of Neosurance, in continuous development, is based on artificial intelligence and dedicated to communities and insurance companies, allowing the sale of micro policies in "push" mode. The fulcrum of the value proposition for customers lies in the ability to build a digital customer experience based on contextual, behavioral and emotional information, used in a "learn by doing" approach.

In 2017, Neosurance was selected by Plug & Play to participate in the "InsurTech" acceleration program, and was invited to the important event of the Expo Demo Day in Silicon Valley. The presence on the news continued thanks to the Insurance Nexus IoT Europe Award and the MEDICI Top 21 - InsurTech Award.

Neosurance's path only confirms what has been certified by the Wall Street Journal, which has defined InsurTech as one of the sectors of greatest interest for venture capitalists who want to invest in innovative startups. Even in Italy, where the industry is still young, the recognition of the value of this startup shows - if still needed - the importance of the digital transformation that is revolutionizing the insurance market.

Photo by Caleb Whiting on Unsplash

Psychographics in Marketing: Build a Culture That Drives Their Power

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In advertising, brands constantly use communication appeals to influence the behavior of their target audience. As the science moves forward, marketing professionals improve their knowledge of the more profound pathways of human mind, and how to hit the right buttons in consumers' brain to increase the persuasive power of messages.

In the last years, this approach has also been extended to one-to-one marketing, giving Brands the opportunity to hyper-personalize interactions with every single user based on their distinctive traits: values, attitudes, motives, interests, lifestyles and personality traits. In a word, Psychographics.

This methodology has been employed in many sectors, with very different purposes. In the B2C world, to increase customer purchases and conversion rates, in health education, to encourage and support patient behavior change, up to politics, to influence citizens choices.

And it's just from politics that a question has recently arisen around the methods used by some parties to help elect a U.S. President, finding out through data-science and machine learning techniques what makes each specific citizen tick.

Our purpose is not to dig into the merits of a story that has already been over-discussed, but to think about the consequences of two big issues that it has brought out. On the one hand, the enormous power of psychographic models in predicting the behavior of individuals; on the other, how much these tools can be abused without shared deontological principles and rules.

Supporting and providing an ethical use of psychographic profiling, enabled by AI, becomes even more crucial from now on.

In the B2C world, building a culture that directs and controls the application of these methods is now more important than ever, given the essential need of brands to gain a deep understanding of who their customers are, as people as well as consumers, and so be able to deliver more personalized experiences.

From the suggestion of products and services to the creation of offers, messages, and content, psychographics are perfectly suited to win-win strategies, which open up new opportunities for higher-value, human-centered customer experiences, tailored to the needs, tastes, desires and interests of every single user.

Let’s Make an Example

Think of an online fashion retailer selling branded and own-brand products through its website and app. And think of Maria, a new customer.

In a typical situation, the retailer would know that Maria is a Millennial, lives in New York and in the last months has bought an evening gown and a pair of dress shoes of the spring collection, spending $ 215. She made her purchases on the website, but yesterday she downloaded the app too, following the invitation of a friend.

Now, the retailer will have to ask: What is the next step to keep Maria involved? With that information the retailer can offer to Maria, on her first access to the app, a special discount on the purchase of a garment easily matchable to those she has already bought (adopting a "content-based" approach). Or, the retailer can suggest to Maria a specific garment that is highly appreciated and frequently chosen by customers who share many similarities with her (using a "collaborative filtering" technique).

Now, imagine that the retailer can have access to different types of additional information about Maria. The marketer understands that she is very creative, likes to mix different styles into a single outfit, and prefers variety over routine when she goes shopping. She is always looking for original and uncommon clothes, with which she can stand out and show her unique personality.

With that new information available, the retailer would know that the best way to keep Maria engaged is to offer her, at a special price, a garment from the brand new collection that she would be one of the first people to buy. It will not recommend the most popular clothing matches but propose multiple styles that she can mix creatively. Moreover, it will not suggest the most chosen clothes by users "like her" but will offer something always new and different, to meet her need to feel unique.

So What?

Back to the ethical question: All that is new and different can be used for the good and the bad.

Changing the way Brands connect with customers remains a great challenge. They still lack a profound understanding of "Who" their customers are and, therefore, the ability to think like a customer, as Paul Gillin would say.

This barrier prevents them from creating remarkable personalized experiences, consistent with the distinctive traits of every customer and able to meet inner needs and emotional preferences.

If you keep thinking the old way, you will fail to overcome the challenge, building innovative user models capable of aggregating heterogeneous and anonymized data, and turning them into meaningful insights appears to be the right way forward.

Transparency and value to the customer are fundamental principles that must precede and guide the use of a powerful tool such as psychographics, allowing them to humanize the way brands interact with customers, giving unprecedented relevance to the digital experiences they deliver.

Photo by Oscar Keys on Unsplash

Discover MyPsychographics, based on techniques that have been developed and refined over 100 years of cognitive, behavioral and social psychology.

How Mobile Has Rewritten The Rules – No More Idle Micro Moments

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A few days ago, while waiting for my turn at the post office, I have witnessed the definitive disappearance of the downtime. Do you remember how boring was to carry out some dull activities only ten years ago?

Well, we have now said goodbye to the idle moments. The smartphone is the key to unlock the potential of those moments when we have nothing to do but waiting and waiting. The queue has never been so exciting.

Mind you, we are not saying that we will not be stuck in the waiting rooms in the next future. The digital disruption has changed a lot but, at least till now, we still have to face the boredom from time to time.

What has changed is the quality of these experiences. The random unattractive magazines stacked on the table of the doctor’s waiting room have given way to the smartphone. Thus, we have the whole world in our hands.

We live in the era of the Micro Moments and no idle moments are allowed anymore. Google has tackled this important matter in a recent article published on Think With Google. The post, titled “How mobile became a power tool in idle moments”, starts from the awareness that:

“The smartphone has become indispensable in getting things done. In our latest research, we found that 75% of people say their smartphones help them to be more productive. But it’s more than that. Productivity has an emotional impact as well. Fifty-four percent of people say their phones reduce stress and/or anxiety in their lives.”

And we all know how stressful it can be to stand in line waiting for a turn that never comes.

Mobile quickly delivers results when they’re impatient, provides inspiration at their fingertips when they’re curious, and gives them a personalized experience when they’re demanding one.

Google researchers have identified five typical scenarios when people turn to their phones to fight boredom.

A SPARK

This happens, for example, when something either just pops into your head or you are triggered by something you see.

AN URGENT NEED

This happens, for example, when you suddenly realize that you need something and you don’t know where to get it.

IN-STORE ASSISTANCE

This happens, for example, when you are strolling through the store’s aisles and use the smartphone to look for info, discounts, reviews.

MICRO-PRODUCTIVITY

This happens, for example, when you are stuck somewhere and scroll the list of things to do to move forward.

PLANNING AHEAD

This happens, for example, when you use the phone to plan the next moves in your life, from weekend trips to important purchases.

This is the story from customers’ perspective. What about your Brand? What about your marketing strategy? How can you exploit these micro moments to engage your customers and win their loyalty?

We leave you with a pretty interesting video, highlighting how mobile is impacting the opportunities and challenges for Brand and marketers.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.

Improve Your Personalization Strategy with AI-driven Psychographics

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Consumers are hugely empowered. There is no room for mediocre” said Keith Weed, Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer, at the last European Forbes CMO Summit. “We now have the opportunity to understand people on a one-to-one basis – to get down to that individual engagement.

Marketer's challenge for 2018 and beyond will be to hyper-personalize customer relationships. Which means, creating relevant interactions to capture customers' attention, evoke an emotional connection and secure their loyalty.

The days of one-size-fits-all targeting and seeing ads for things we’ve already purchased are finally coming to an end, as the power of personalization today gives brands a real opportunity to deliver one-to-one experiences at scale. This requires a data-driven approach and, with the massive amounts of data that brands have access to today, the question is: What's more important? What really matters?

Though we are in the Age of the Customer, most of the knowledge in the science of persuasive communication is primarily focused on the "sender", rather than the "receiver". The profile of the "good seller" has been studied a lot, and so the traits and qualities of successful salespeople. For example, they are achievement-oriented, curious, and conscientious. They have a high self-efficacy, are less gregariousness and show a lack of self-consciousness.

We know much less about the characteristics of the recipient, although the real meaning of a message is what the recipient makes of it. How individuals respond to different types of communications, in fact, is strongly linked to their personality.

Think about how much easier it is for salespeople to be effective with a customer that they know personally, compared with a new customer they have never seen before. Well, this kind of knowledge, previously limited to the offline world, today extends also to the digital world.

Let's see some examples.

Extroversion and Introversion

Extrovert people are outgoing, sociable, optimistic, and talkative, while introverts tend to be reserved, quiet, and independent thinkers.

Communication tips

While extroverts respond more positively to online ads that contain persuasive appeals, so that the communication is more free and easy, with introverts you have to prove credibility, for example using objective indicators of excellence. When dealing with an introvert user, you also have to avoid hype and exaggerated information: just get to the point and use high-content samples.

Open-mindedness and Closed-mindedness

Users of the first type are more open to new information, which they evaluate based on what they see or hear. Simply put, they make up their minds based on what you show them. closed-minded users, on the other hand, tend to be more skeptical and less receptive to new information, that they judge as related to what they already know.

Communication tips

With open-minded users, you should highlight the innovativeness, novelty, and customization features of your product. With closed-minded users, it's better to focus on proven effectiveness, and your message must include demonstrations or getting them to take part in product trials.

Need for Cognition and Need for Affect

Need for cognition reflects the extent to which a person is inclined towards effortful cognitive activities, such as information search processes. Need for affect indicates one's motivation to approach or avoid emotion-inducing situations.

Communication tips

It has been demonstrated that people with a high need for affect and a low need for cognition are more attracted by affective-based messages, such the sensory experience of trying a sample of a pleasant-tasting drink. Conversely, a cognitive-based message such as reading a list of strong and positive attributes about the drink is more powerful among individuals who are high in need for cognition and low in need for affect.

Today, with the explosion of customer data that Brands can access from all digital and physical touchpoints, moving from complexity to action requires giving a new meaning to existing data and choosing those that provide the most useful insights.

To win this challenge, Artificial Intelligence with Machine Learning enables marketers to understand their customers better by overcoming obvious factors such as demographics and purchase history and getting psychographic elements from web usage patterns and social profiles. This allows to tailor persuasive appeals and provide targeted recommendations based on users' interests, attitudes, lifestyle, and personality.

How good sellers do when they are familiar with a customer, now Brands have the opportunity to offer hyper-personalized customer engagements and experiences than ever before.

What are the key psychographics to understand your customers better? How would you use them to enhance your personalization strategy?

Photo by Jay Dantinne on Unsplash

Discover MyPsychographics, based on techniques that have been developed and refined over 100 years of cognitive, behavioral and social psychology.

Must-Know SEO Tricks To Improve Your Digital Presence [INFOGRAPHIC]

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SEO is dead, long live the SEO. Every now and then, the critics of search engine optimization scream their apocalyptic manifesto for a SEO-less world. You don't need optimization anymore, they say, because the engines evolve so quickly that everything you do is immediately obsolete.

Yes, the evolution of technology every year brings developments to the industry, but does this mean that you don't need to optimize anymore? The answer is clearly 'No'. You still need SEO; it's just not the SEO you were used to, as shown in the following infographic.

To quote the words of Neil Patel, New York Times best selling author and co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics:

"
The Internet has gone through several iterations over the past 30 years, and while SEO tactics have certainly changed, as long as search engines exist, ranking in them will be important.

New technology may change the way we interact and explore the Internet, but search engines will always be a factor, and optimizing your information for these constantly evolving algorithms will never go out of style.

You probably know where I’m going with this article.

SEO is not dead."

New times require new means, and the new digital and mobile ecosystem requires a whole new approach to SEO. You always have to appeal two different targets - the user and the engine - but both have been deeply disrupted by that tiny (so to say) device called smartphone.

You face a new generation of customers - always connected and willing to receive information in real-time, whenever they are - and a new generation of AI-driven algorithms - they learn from their interactions with the user, and can also process real speech patterns.

Google gets over 100 billion searches a month and handles at least 2 trillion searches per year. 89 percent of customers start the buying process using a search engine. Customer experience management can not do without SEO, and if you think that being there at the right time is not relevant for your Brand, well, think again.

The metrics don't lie: The digital presence is more crucial than ever. And that means that you need to employ all those SEO tricks that will help you improve your strategy in the online and offline worlds.

If you need further proof, check the recent research from Milkwhale, first published on Entrepreneur, in the form of an enlightening, long-sighted infographic (click on the picture to enlarge).

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Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on Unsplash

Download The Mobile Engagement Playbook, a collection of relevant insights that'll help you to overcome the challenges of the digital transformation and grow your business exponentially.

What Customer Personality Can Teach You About Your Marketing Strategy

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Conversion optimization is a matter of persuasion. And persuasion is, first of all, a matter of psychology. As you may know, nobody is better than Robert Cialdini in teaching us about persuasion and psychology as a way to understand how customer's mind works.

Not surprisingly, marketers regularly base promotional techniques on Cialdini's principles of social influence to increase the desirability of their products among customers. The choice of what tactics to use, however, is primarily determined by their business goals, while ‘who’ their customers are - from a psychological point of view - is often pushed into the background.

Reciprocity, Commitment and Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority, and Scarcity. These six principles rely on different psychological motives:

  • The desire to give something back when we've received something (Reciprocity).
  • The need to behave consistently with our previous choices (Commitment and Consistency).
  • The tendency to perform actions that reflect other people's actions (Social Proof).
  • The tendency to like someone or something that seems similar to us (Liking).
  • The tendency to follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable figures (Authority).
  • The desire to have more of those things we can have less of (Scarcity).

Each of these principles is related to our inner needs, which make us different one another. As a result, their effectiveness can be stronger or weaker depending on who is the target audience - always from a psychological perspective.

Here are three good examples.

SOCIAL PROOF

People look at what others do to determine their own behavior, especially when they are uncertain or doubtful. Conforming to others, in fact, helps us to feel part of a social group and avoid social faux pas. This kind of "peer power", however, works only with certain types of people.

The ideal customer personality

Social proof is typically more persuasive to people who have a high need for approval and a desire to conform, but it can't work with those who seek uniqueness. Having a high need for uniqueness, in fact, undermines the influence of majority (Imhoff & Erb, 2009). As a result, recommendation techniques such as "people like you bought this" may bother uniqueness-seeking customers while attracting conformity-seekers at the same time.

SCARCITY

People perceive products as more attractive and valuable when their availability is rather limited. So, when they believe that something is in short supply, they want it more. Because valuable things are often scarce, people tend to conclude that scarce things are valuable and more desirable. That is why customers are so attracted by products promoted as being "scarce" (versus abundant), in time or quantity (Cialdini, 1993).

Promotions such as the 'limit one per customer' sales and the 'limited editions' are designed to harness the persuasive power of the scarcity effect. However, as they rely on specific psychological mechanisms, the effectiveness of scarcity changes according to "whom" they are addressed.

The ideal customer personality

Scarcity effect by its nature conveys a feeling of urgency and the belief that you will be missing out on something if you fail to act quickly. A personality trait called "need for closure" refers to one's desire for gaining a definitive answer to a question, thus avoiding uncertainty.

People who are high on this trait feel the urge to come to a quick decision, and scientific research demonstrates that scarcity affects them more compared to people who tend to avoid closure and are more comfortable with ambiguity (Jung & Kellaris 2004). As a result, customers with higher need for closure would be more prone to buy something if they know that it is the very last one or that a special deal will soon expire.

RECIPROCITY

People feel the need to give back to others the form of behaviors, favors or gifts that they have received in the first place. In other words, they want to treat others the same way they have treated them before and, more importantly, be the last to give.

Running a blog that offers highly actionable and useful insights for free; a waiter or waitress that gives you a gift - such as a fortune cookie, or a mint - when bringing your bill; offering a gift incentive upfront rather than at the end of a sale.

All these common-used tactics apply the principle of reciprocity to make your readers more willing to buy something from you or provide you with a conversion and to be more generous tippers. As we all know, however, the feeling of being indebted to others, the sense of gratitude and the desire to repay a kindness, are not equally present in each of us.

The ideal customer personality

Studies have found that such "prosocial" tendencies are strongly rooted in personality and, especially, in individual differences in agreeableness.

Agreeable people are typically more grateful, thankful, and trustful. They are also more likely to attribute their positive outcomes to the intentional behavior of others, while distrustful people tend to be suspicious, skeptical, and address others' kindness to personal or selfish gain. So, agreeable customers are perfect for reciprocity-based engagement techniques.

If you think that customers decisions are just based on past behaviors, you are wrong. They mainly depend on who they are. That is why it is imperative to put effort into knowing the human side of your customers and choose how to communicate with them on a personal level.

In a world where hyper-personalization is an essential factor for success in every business, blending empathy in your marketing strategy becomes the key to meet the challenge. Add technology to the equation, and that is the key to make it scalable.

References:

Cialdini, R. (1993). The psychology of influence. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Imhoff, Roland, Hans-Peter Erb. 2009. What motivates nonconformity? Uniqueness seeking blocks majority influence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 35(3) 309–320.

Jung, J. M., & Kellaris, J. J. (2004). Cross‐national differences in proneness to scarcity effects: The moderating roles of familiarity, uncertainty avoidance, and need for cognitive closure. Psychology & Marketing, 21(9), 739-753.

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Discover MyPsychographics, based on techniques that have been developed and refined over 100 years of cognitive, behavioral and social psychology.

The Digital Customer Experience Blog

This site, published by Neosperience, overviews the advancements of digital customer experience in marketing, technology and society. Neosperience Cloud is the technology platform to create engaging experiences for your customers that drive ongoing loyalty to your brand, and faster paths to purchase. It is the choice of the best companies in the world, Winner of the most prestigious global awards across many industries: Automotive, Communications, Media and Services, Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution, Fashion, Luxury and Beauty, Financial Services, Healthcare, Utilities, Government and Infrastructure, Travel and Transportation.

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