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Top tips to maximise campaign effectiveness and build board level credibility

I’ve previously written about demonstrating the value marketing brings to the business and the importance of investing in marketing even when times are tough. Right now, these words have never been more true and as management teams across the industry are faced with balancing the difficult reality of a Covid-19 recession with a rapidly hardening insurance rating environment, robust marketing planning is more important than ever.

As marketers, we have to keep in mind that insurance is an industry driven by numbers; our management teams are risk-averse individuals who want to see physical evidence of the success of any venture, including marketing.

There are a whole host of business models available to support marketing planning, but I wanted to give an overview of the one I can’t live without, SOSTAC.1

For those of you not familiar, it stands for:

  • Situation Analysis
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Actions
  • Control

I stick to SOSTAC because I find that any time I deviate or miss out letters, my plans don’t deliver everything they promised. Below are the details of two similar scenarios, run only a few months apart by the same team.


Launching an online quote and bind facility for an existing team


  • To register new brokers to the online quote and bind facility


  • Email all existing contacts with an interest in this line of business offering them access to the online facility
  • Support announcement with LinkedIn posts


  • 21% open rate on the email
  • 49 users clicked through to sign up to the online quote and bind
  • 83 policies bound


Launching a rebranded business


  • Create brand awareness for the newly rebranded business
  • Generate a 10% increase in Income in 3 months
  • Increase number of brokers using online quote and bind facility from 200 to 400 in 3 months
  • Strategy/ Tactics/ Actions:
  • For existing brokers, we will run a reassuring, personalised omnichannel contact strategy to inform them of the changes to the business and how they will be affected.
  • For new brokers we need to highlight the benefits of our online capabilities and wide regional sales footprint demonstrating how easily they can access our team and products.
  • The campaign will utilise blog posts, paid media, LinkedIn retargeting and forms to generate leads and traditional PR to raise awareness.


  • Sustained increase in web traffic over the 3 months (14% more new visitors)
  • 13.7% in Income in 3 months (9.4% increase in GWP)
  • 473 new brokers using the online quote and bind facility in 3 months.


The firsts scenario didn’t stick to the SOSTAC framework and as a result we cannot definitively say if it was successful or not:

  • There is no evidence that background work was done on how many policies the team currently writes manually/ how many brokers they currently work with/ which other providers offer this service etc.
  • The Objective wasn’t SMART. If the background work had been done, it would have been easy to write a SMART Objective e.g.  Online quote and bind facility should make up 15% of total quotes submitted in the next 3 months.
  • An overarching strategic approach hasn’t been applied e.g. Using our existing broker base to test an online quote and bind facility, we can then use broker feedback, testimonials and GWP to inform the strategy to target new brokers.
  • Even though results have been noted, without first creating SMART Objectives we cannot say if the campaign has been successful because we didn’t set the benchmark for success.

By running the Situation Analysis in the second scenario, the team was able to set SMART marketing objectives that they were able to track and adjust during the campaign.  The Situation Analysis also prompted the decision to take different approaches with existing and new brokers.  By having SMART objectives, a benchmark was set for success, and even if those objectives had not been met, the framework was there to develop learnings and opportunities from the missed target.

Following a framework like SOSTAC in isolation won’t guarantee a perfect marketing plan but it will give you the tools to justify your decision-making process to your sales/ management teams.  Demonstrating the trail of data that has led to the decisions you’ve made ultimately gives you credibility within the business and cements Marketing’s role as the starting point for the sales and business development teams.

Cara is a Strategic Marketing Manager and has over 9 years of experience within the insurance industry working on high-level campaigns in both the UK and internationally.

Further reading:

1 https://prsmith.org/sostac/

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