Message Testing and Regional Variation

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A Consumer Segmentation/ Message Testing Case Study

The Brand Challenge

The problem was an inconsistent conversion rate among regions.

The messaging was the same, but the impact was different. Consumers in the Tri-State DC region converted differently than those from Southern Florida, and the Mid-West seemed to have its own set of rules as well. The Brand marketing team needed a higher number of better leads coming out of all three regions.

The sponsorship activation strategy was mature with many years of experience and execution learning. But the quality of the impact was a little bit less each year, and it was clear the time had come to address the problem. This national Brand with a national sponsorship activation strategy needed to tighten up its messaging.

The Campaign

The Brand team had multiple large-scale sponsorships that came with multiple marketing assets and they utilized each of these assets to the fullest. From the PGA to NASCAR; State Fairs to Sturgis. Signage, influencer appearances, 100×100 footprints, they had it all. Multiple activation teams engaged consumers at hundreds of events each year.

There was a clear and clean lead-to-conversion tracking process in place. Consumers would register to a patriciate, and those leads would be tagged and tracked. Current customers expanded services, new customers came into the category, and competitors’ customers switched. It all had been working well for a while, just a little less so each year.

The Measurement Strategy

PortMA had (and has) been the measurement partner on this program for years and the work completed by PortMA’s research team, in part, contributed to a lot of these successes. We too were watching the impact decline along with the Agency and Brand team.

Therefore we changed things up and inserted consumer segmentation and messaging research tools into the existing data collection to better understand what was driving national impact and how this varied regionally. If we knew more about why things were working, we could better diagnose when they were not going so well. The PortMA team managed and led the design, data collection, analysis, reporting, and change required to turn things around in partnership with the Agency team.

The Results

PortMA found that the core national message was strong but regional variations were, sometimes, stronger and therefore needed tailored messaging about their insurance offering.

In Southern Florida consumers expected the need to file an insurance claim would be in their future and therefore messaging around the claims process, ease of filing, and speed to payment was, if not more, important than price.

In the Mid-West consumers saw insurance more as a necessary evil than a life saver. It was another regulatory requirement that they may or may not ever need. The simplicity that came from bundling multiple policies and the related price discounts were what resonated.

And in the Tri-State DC area, bundling also mattered, but it was a waste of time talking about bundling homeowner’s insurance because no one owned their home. The typical consumer was a young professional who rented. Renter’s insurance was what they cared about.

Upon uncovering these insights, the PortMA team developed regional “score cards” and trained tour managers across the country on how to tailor their messaging for each market. These score cards defined both who the tour managers could expect to engage and what that consumer needed to hear. With this change, the downward trend in lead conversion leveled off and then started to increase again. With PortMA’s consumer messaging research the Brand activation team was able to get their message-to-market match back on track.