For some businesses, a significant portion of revenue comes from marketing their products and services through other businesses. Sometimes called partnership marketing, this approach is common in the insurance industry.
The best results are most often achieved when reseller partners are equipped with effective marketing tools. In 2022, Homesteader’s Life Company, which markets its products for advance funeral planning and end-of-life expenses nationwide through local funeral homes, was starting to feel its current marketing approach was too one-size-fits all.
Homesteaders wanted to enable funeral home partners to be more targeted and personalized in marketing its services, particularly in an effort to reach new, younger audiences. They engaged B2E Data Marketing for help, and the resulting data and marketing research yielded big results and was recognized with a 2023 NOVA award from the American Marketing Association Iowa chapter. Here’s what we did.
Expanding Its Reach to New Demographics
In smaller communities, there may be only one funeral home in town. This meant that Homesteaders essentially had a captive audience in some markets. For many businesses, this enviable position would make it tempting to maintain the status quo. Instead, Homesteaders saw an opportunity to optimize its marketing in order to reach new audiences.
The average age of customers it acquired through funeral homes for pre-paid funeral services was approximately 75 years old. This is an age demographic for which end-of-life planning is more top-of-mind. Homesteaders wanted to reach younger audiences around 50-60 years of age. This would grow sales with new customers who would receive greater benefit from pre-paying future funeral expenses at today’s rates.
To be effective, Homesteaders needed a message that would resonate with a new audience that often wasn’t already thinking about its products and services. Its goal was to optimize consumer targeting and maximize sales conversion by ensuring the right products and messages were matched to the right audience.
Data-Driven Persona Development and Market Analysis
Neither Homesteaders nor its funeral home partners had ever developed consumer personas for audience insights. Its customer base could vary widely among funeral homes based on the local market and competitive landscape. Homesteaders engaged B2E Data Marketing in the development of data-driven target customer and product sales profiles. The goal was to collect data that could be used in conjunction with a market analysis for each of its funeral homes in order to more effectively introduce end-of-life planning messages that targeted audiences would be receptive to.
B2E synthesized and analyzed customer, market, and third-party data in order to build out interactive web-based dashboards and reports. All data handling was executed in accordance with proven data security methodologies established by the National Security Agency (NSA) and SOC 2 standards.
Machine learning was used to group prospective customers into lifestyle segments. From 71 distinct categories based on demographics, psychographics, and lifestyles, 28 were selected with a head of the household age of 50 years or older. B2E then selected the descriptive variables relevant to Homesteaders’ marketing efforts, which included:
- Financial circumstances
- Communication preferences
Further analysis identified principal components that were fed into a k-means clustering model, which provided the basis for the development of eight Informed Analytics key personas.
The resulting personas provided a vivid aggregate view of the key characteristics of target audiences. The profiles included details such as:
- Marital status
- Discretionary spending
- Religious involvement
- Technology skill-level
- Media channel preferences
- Likely buying styles
- Recommended personalized marketing strategies.
An interactive reporting system was set up to provide Homesteaders’ insights into every market in the U.S. as desired by county, metropolitan area, city, or zip code. The market analysis allowed Homesteaders to see how each market aligned with its target personas and how many households within each persona group were available to target.
The data intelligence and market research equipped Homesteaders to embark on more targeted, personalized, and resonant marketing campaigns.
A 750% Return on Investment
Metrics for Homesteaders’ resulting marketing campaigns were tracked at the funeral home level and outstanding results were reported. The marketing campaigns produced a return of 750% on the investment in audience insights.
If you’d like more information about data-driven marketing campaigns that get results, reach out to set-up a conversation!