A Re-examination of Online Marketing Strategies for Graduate Recruitment in the Insurance Industry.
[Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
"Cynics sometimes refer to the insurance industry as boring, old-fashioned and bureaucratic. What can Zurich do to challenge such misconceptions and better market themselves to potential graduate applicants?”
In recent times, there has been a noticeable shortfall in graduate level applications to insurance firms. The industry is now facing problems of an ageing workforce and are undergoing difficulty attracting graduates, as compared to other industry sectors such as a banking, finance, law, engineering, public sector and more.
Speaking to graduates, Zurich Financial Services (a prominent global insurance solutions provider) found that certain misconceptions were held against the Insurance industry; primarily that it was Old Fashioned, Bureaucratic and Boring.
To refute these fallacies, this thesis considered a key constituent of the marketing strategy towards graduates: Zurich’s online presence. To this end, a new e-marketing and e-branding strategy was developed by following a customer decision framework and modelling graduate jobseekers as customers. The framework outlines how a consumer first gains brand Awareness, leading to them conducting a Search for more information, Evaluating the product and alternatives, making a Purchase decision and then displaying Loyalty to the company.
Throughout this process, appropriate online marketing solutions were recommended, which combined to form an entirely new e-marketing strategy. The key findings were firstly; simply having a presence on current, fashionable social networking sites is not enough – consumers must be offered value.
Secondly, the misconceptions occur as a consequence of a lack of information and true facts on the consumer’s part. Therefore more work needs be done by insurance firms to demonstrate how they are attractive and offer value, not only to consumers but also for graduates seeking to build a career. This is achieved through strategic brand positioning.
Thirdly, combining the first two points, Zurich must seek to build a brand relationship with a younger demographic, by involving them in direct consumer to business interactions. This is undertaken through cutting-edge e-marketing solutions such as viral marketing, crowdsourcing and community building. This will eradicate the Old Fashioned myth, and lead to younger consumers learning more about the company and industry, thereby extinguishing the Boring and Bureaucratic untruths.
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