Insurers are aware that their customers’ behavior is evolving to “digital everything.”

In fact, says insurance consultancy Celent, insurers are expected to embrace established digital marketing methods to their advantage—where it makes sense for the brand and the line of business.

What is less clear is the interest and adoption rates in emerging channels, and how priorities may shift from established to emerging in the coming years.

In a new report, “Digital Marketing in Insurance: A Partnership with Potential,” Celent reveals the results of a detailed survey that looks to take stock of what insurers are doing today and what they plan to do with future marketing spending.

The report maintains that insurers are aware that 60% of consumers already use digital media to help them make informed decisions. Established digital media, such as emails and paid keyword searches, currently dominate insurers' marketing budgets. These methods are seen as more effective than traditional marketing means, but survey respondents were also clear that, alongside these tools, social networks should attract significantly more marketing spending than they do today.

"We cannot get away from having specific, traditional measurable goals for the use of these new tools," says Catherine Stagg-Macey, senior analyst with Celent's Insurance Group and author of the report.

"At the end of the day, being 'cool' doesn't matter,” she adds. “It's about revenue, efficiency, and loyalty. The measurement of the impact of these emerging digital tools remains a significant hurdle for most insurers."

This report looks to help business and IT engage in a fruitful conversation on how digital marketing tools are being leveraged in the market, and how this might be appropriately applied to their insurance organizations.

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