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Allstate revamps mobile apps to provide more value to users

An Allstate Insurance executive at the MMA SM2 Innovation Summit 2016 discussed the need for comprehensive mobile integration in every step of the marketing process, both on the back-end and front-end.

The session, titled “Unlock Bigger and Better Opportunities Through Mobile,” focused on the many ways Allstate has integrated mobile into its marketing process both in its customer-facing capacity and on the internal side. The executive focused on three major trends – mobile, shared economy and video – and the four main ways marketers can take advantage of them.

“Seventy-four percent of Allstate customers have smartphones,” said Sanjay Gupta, chief marketing officer of Allstate. “Fifty percent have tablets and 38 percent of their media consumption comes from mobile.

“Seventy percent of insurance shopping starts online. How do we take advantage of those numbers?”

Intelligent innovation
Mr. Gupta demonstrated, by way of raised hands, that nearly everyone has a smartphone and almost no one uses it to interact with their insurance companies. To remedy this, Allstate came up with four pillars of strategy to help bridge the gap between its mobile presence and their customers.

Those four strategies consisted of providing value, innovating purposefully, connecting emotionally and challenging the standard thinking.

In an effort to provide value, Allstate made its mobile applications more than just a way to check on insurance status. Allstate app users can earn rewards for safe driving, take pictures of their homes and cars to track possessions and status of their insured vehicles and drop a pin wherever they park their cars.

Allstate even lets its app users call a tow truck and watch it come to them in real time – a movie inspired by Uber, Mr. Gupta said. All of these functions are embedded within a few Allstate apps, giving customers a reason to open the app more than once every month or two when they need to check their information.

Mr. Gupta also spoke about how Allstate pushed its app designers to come up with purposeful, thoughtful innovations for its app suite. Allstate’s strategy was to make the mobile experience useful and desirable and not just bloated with needless features.

Mobile every step
Allstate is taking advantage of the sharing economy by offering guidance and insurance to those who participate in it, such as people who put their houses up on Airbnb or who let others into their car as an Uber or Lyft driver.

The last trend that Mr. Gupta spoke about, aside from mobile and the sharing economy, was the growing popularity of video as consumers’ desired digital format. To showcase this, Mr. Gupta played and then spoke about a few of Allstate’s recent video campaigns, emphasizing the emotional, immediate connection it can make with users.

Allstate recommends that marketers and brands bring mobile into every aspect of its business model.

“Everything we do with mobile informs every aspect of our business model,” Mr. Gupta said.

“But what works for us may not work for you. Experiment and use mobile intelligently.”