Thesis: Social-Media-Marketing Using the Example of Insurance Industries (thesis) (Abstract englisch) by Dr. Claudia Hilker – Slovakian Technical University, Institute for Management, Bratislava. Adviser: Doc. Ing. Marián Zajko, PhD. M.B.A.
Studies of media usage behaviour prove that Social Media Marketing have already established. In comparison to classical marketing, insurances are able to achieve large reaches with low costs using social-media-marketing. However, insurances are outdated in cross-sectorial comparisons regarding fields of application, usage intensity and frequency. The backgrounds for this are little researched. The analysis shows three problems in the strategy-development and implementation:
- Only half of the insurances employ a social-media-strategy with integration in the strategic marketing communication;
- Only half of the insurances measure social media successes;
- Many insurers have deficiencies with the strategy-implementation.
Overall, benefit arguments for the economical social media marketing of insurances are missing. Therefore, the efficiency of social media marketing is hard to determine. Resulting from this are prejudices on the management level against social media marketing and a low significance within the company.
The thesis examines how insurances in Germany can support their company goals strategically and operatively with social media. It analyses models for the social media result measurement and creates a social media balanced scorecard for a fictive insurance, Ch. 4.1. The thesis examines the Facebook marketing of the thirty biggest German insurances over three years (2012 to 2014), Ch. 4.2. It analyses practical case studies (Ergo, Debeka, Allianz, R+V) and gives guidance for proactive crisis prevention and positive effects, Ch. 4.3.
The research goals
The research goals will be pursued by an iterative process with evaluation of causalities and explorative, descriptive and explanatory methods. The data will be ascertained with secondary and primary research. The thesis creates an analysis of chances and risks and a guidance for social media integration in the value chain. For the first research goal, social media models will be analysed in order to develop a proceeding with defined terms, key figures and guidance for the success measurement. In order to analyse relations between insurances and Facebook users, a data model will be developed which examines relevant impact patterns between the sale and Facebook marketing. This data will be analysed with tools (monitoring, Business Intelligence, data visualization) in order to evaluate impact connections empirically. For the third research goal, the social media marketing of insurances will be analysed with case studies with partial census in samples in order to recognize the principals for positive and negative impact successes.
The scientific contribution
The scientific contribution of thesis can be seen in the area of communication policy within the marketing management. The thesis shows that social media marketing promotes, e.g. the setup of online reputation, customer service communication, customer relationships, and indirectly sales revenue increase. It becomes clear, that it is not sufficient for implementation success to solely develop a social media strategy. Equally important is a thorough implementation with measurement of its results, operative management with qualified employees and special IT tools (monitoring and analyses). Only in this way, success will be achieved and the value creation of a company promoted.
Important research results
The most important research results are:
- The SWOT analysis for the social media marketing of insurances illustrates the strengths, weaknesses, chances and risks;
- The detailed analysis of chance sand risks analysis arrived at five risk types (operative, legal, IT, reputation, financial) for insurances with social media marketing as well as guidance;
- A social media scorecard was developed for a fictive insurance in order to demonstrate a suitable action for the systematic measurement of social media results;
- The social media usage analysis of the thirty biggest German insurances with an analysis over three years (2012-2014) exceeds notably the work done so far, but could not determine patterns of relation. It examines connections between results of the Facebook engagement and gross premium income;
- The analysis of negative case studies shows, how reputation crises can spread with exponential growth on the internet and how companies can prevent it;
- The analysis of positive case studies shows, how insurances with social media marketing enforce their customer relationship through service and dialogues online, improve their online reputation and gain new customers with it;
- The comprehensive glossary with 122 social media terms serves as a definition basis for the examination of research questions in the thesis. The results offer a solid base for further research in the area of social media marketing for this significant economy sector.
Keywords: social media marketing, strategy, communication, insurance companies, innovation.
JEL Code: G220, M20, M30, M310, O30.