Ahead of YMS19 LDN, we’re chatting to some of the youth marketing experts who’ll be taking to the stage about their passions, experiences and what they’re looking forward to at the event in April.
This week we hear from Adam Moger, Sales and Marketing Director at Marmalade, the insurance company that puts the youth demographic first. He shares his tips on understanding the youth market and which marketing channels are most effective in engaging this highly-connected audience.
Why did Marmalade choose to focus on offering insurance to the youth market?
Marmalade was founded in 2006 because we were involved in cars and motor-related employee benefits. We were working with a few companies and they had real problems with young drivers. In fact, they were struggling to recruit and/or retain them because the premiums were too high – predominantly down to personal injury.
For example, the average car age for young drivers was a whopping 13 years, air bags and ABS were only just starting to become the standard and crumple zones were very different to what they are now. We came up with this philosophy that if we put a young driver into a newer, safer vehicle, then in an event of an accident they’d hopefully be more protected.
Thanks to our sound relationships with manufacturers and finance companies, we achieved some very good terms from them, and we combined that (an affordable car for young people) with an insurance package. We went to insurers and said: “If we can put them in this sort of scheme, would you give us a decent rate?” And that is how Marmalade started.
I love that we are able to support young individuals in achieving this life-changing milestone. It will inevitably be an expensive one to reach, but the sense of freedom these young adults feel once passing their tests outweighs that. Plus, we always have the parent in mind too.
Previously, taking out insurance as a young driver meant tagging on to your parent’s policy, however, we have developed a variety of options to suit both young driver and parent. For example, our Learner Driver Insurance enables provisional drivers to drive a parent’s car, without risking their parents’ No Claims Bonus. Similarly, the New Driver Insurance offers innovative telematics technology and low insurance premiums to young drivers, who can improve their safe driving skills by reviewing their driving style and ways to improve after each journey.
What are the factors that have made Marmalade the leading car insurance brand for this age group?
Marmalade was the first insurance provider to take a prevention-based approach in the way we set up our business – rather than getting involved only once an accident has sadly happened, we strongly believe in investing in making sure we stop as many accidents as possible from happening in the first place. The way we make this happen is by being there for our customer every step of the way, from when they take their first lessons through to when they get qualified and have their own car.
Aside from tailoring our products to young drivers’ needs, one of our key priorities and what sets us apart from our competitors is our desire to champion young drivers, ensuring they feel empowered, supported and informed throughout their driving experience. Driving is a fun activity, so we make sure we ask the right questions without being patronising or minimising the joy of the freedom driving brings with it.
From the get-go, our customers have access to a dedicated customer service team which is made up of young people who can relate to our drivers and can tailor their approach to offer the best possible experience.
Everything about Marmalade is designed to make the customer journey easy and straightforward. This includes the way our website is built, our network of young ambassadors that share their experiences on our blog, and our ever-popular social media channels which achieve phenomenal engagement rates with our target audience because we choose to speak in a language that is clear, concise and approachable.
Which marketing channels have you found most effective in engaging the youth demographic?
We use a variety of advertising channels, from TV adverts during the final of last year’s hit ITV show Love Island to Google advertising, all of which have yielded great results for us. However, we find that social media is particularly effective for us, as we are able to apply the ‘small budget, big ideas’ principle to our activity and the return on investment is easily and visibly quantifiable.
What kinds of research do you do at Marmalade to keep up-to-date with the latest youth trends and ensure your marketing is relevant to young consumers?
Staying relevant and up to date with the changing youth market is vital for us. We employ a full-time Insights Manager who conducts of variety of research, including surveys and interviews with new and prospective clients. Her aim is to assess where our brand currently stands, what gaps exist in public perception and how we can improve our offering.
We organise an annual Census to gain insight into the issues and motivations of young people, keeping us up to date with changing market trends and informing our decisions. We have also set up ways to get instant customer feedback and respond to trends quickly; our Social Media Executive is always tuned into what our audience is interested in, attending events and asking questions through our social channels. Even more, we use One Pulse, a market research tool, to gain quick and targeted insight. Last but not least, we constantly engage with our network of young ambassadors to understand their concerns, needs and priorities, which informs both our blog and our business decision-making process.
What tip would you give to brands looking for ways to promote an “unsexy” product or service to the youth market?
You can’t get much more “unsexy” than insurance and the product traditionally hasn’t been self-explanatory, so we have tried various ways of getting on the radar or young people and making sure they are well informed about the details of the product. My advice is to focus on providing unbeatable customer service and ensure you do what you say you’re going to do.
Wrongly so, young people often get dismissed as customers and there is less care and attention given to the service they receive. At Marmalade, we have turned the driving insurance industry on its head by zeroing in on what young people want and need and adapted our business model accordingly. Although driving insurance can be viewed as a grudge purchase, we make sure that the process is as smooth and pleasant as possible, and customers feel valued and listened to.
And the questions we ask everyone:
What have you learned in your career that you wish you’d known when you started out?
I have learned the value of being patient and that kindness gets you so much further.
What’s your favourite app at the moment?
I enjoy reading the HuffPost app every morning to get up to speed with the news. I have lots of fun with HeadsUp, the app for group games. I also love watching films, so I am often on the IMDB app checking for recommendations and reviews.
What are you looking forward to at YMS19 LDN?
I am excited to learn about new social media channels and explore how we can develop them to fit with our aims at Marmalade. I am also looking forward to meeting other brands and seeing how they are reaching the youth market.
What should we have asked you that we didn’t?
If money was no object, what campaign would you do?
You can hear more from Adam at YMS19 LDN, where he’ll be taking part in our panel on Why Big Ideas Are Better Than Big Budgets. Click here for full details and to secure your passes for the year’s biggest youth marketing event.