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Lianne Trantz

VP Marketing, Novidea

Clarity, confidence and great communication

Maintaining growth is hard, no matter how good the technology.  Lianne Trantz explains how she has brought together her experience and lessons from marketing in industries outside of insurance (such as advertising), along with her personal experience in technology to create an integrated and fresh approach to marketing at Novidea. Novidea was founded in 2009 and today provides its technology platform to 90 brokers and MGAs in 20 countries.

There are some great lessons here for anyone wanting to learn about best practices and new techniques.

Listen here or on any decent podcast platform, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts and Podbean.

Topics include:

  • Best-practice learnings from working in Adtech and other sectors
  • B2B insurance marketing – examples of techniques that work
  • Differences in marketing approaches between the US, UK, and elsewhere
  • The benefits of an integrated multi-channel approach (podcasts, webinars, LinkedIn, PR, etc)
  • How to convert marketing activities to sales leads

Clarity, confidence and great communication – Episode 93 highlights 

Can you start by giving us some background on Novidea? 

Novidea is really about changing the way people work. We’re a global broker management platform. A typical broker today uses a system of record, a place for key information, to generate invoices, make renewals. Novidea developed an end-to-end broker platform on the cloud on Salesforce. We give brokers and MGAs a single place to do their business.

Novidea launched the broker platform in 2013, at the beginning of the whole insurtech concept. How do you think of insurtech in relation to what you’re offering with Novidea?

I look at it in two ways. On the one hand, the answer’s yes, we are an insurtech. If you look at the positive connotations of an insurtech company, innovation, game-changing, agile are some of the words I think about. On the other hand, insurtech also has negative connotations associated with it. The start-ups, a lot of risk, here today and gone tomorrow.

Novidea’s not a start-up. We have big technology built on Salesforce, we have 90 customers in 20 countries, a list of notable global brokers like Hyperion, and we have seven years of proven experience. We have the innovation and pace of an insurtech, but we have the stability and proven capability of a major player in the insurance industry.

There’s a lot to be said, particularly in these times, for having real clients and real revenue, and also having that global coverage. 

Absolutely. The relationship with Hyperion, for example, started early on in Israel but has continued to grow across EMEA and APAC over the last seven years. Today Hyperion has implemented Novidea in 16 countries and we added another three European countries to the list in the last month. Having them as a testimonial of how we’ve changed their business makes it easy for me when it comes to marketing.  

We’ve also recently signed a deal with SRG in London and we’ve just kicked off a big project with a large broker that’s in three different countries. 

It’s always interesting knowing what brought people into insurance, particularly after having interesting careers outside of the industry. What made you make the switch to an insurance company?

I was introduced to Novidea after eight years in adtech. That was a dynamic new industry where I did global rebrands and built up a great thought leadership segment. We were doing loads of benchmarking and research papers and really having to push the envelope because my prospects and customers were creative agencies and media agencies. Crazy young people with coloured hair and piercings that weren’t interested in doing the same old things. It was very exciting, very cool, very sexy.

When I came into insurance, not much had changed in the last 30 to 40 years, but the industry was on the brink of major transformation and disintermediation on the b2b side. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to bring my learning and breathe life into a bit of a stagnant industry.

State of the art insurance marketing in the UK seems to have been meerkats and opera singers in recent years, but there’s lots of scope, particularly looking at what technology companies are doing. What ideas have you brought from adtech to Novidea?

Before the pandemic, a lot of the work in the UK was around personal relationships and networks. Everyone knows everyone and leveraging subject matter experts and the networks out there, like InsTech London, gave us the credibility we needed as a newcomer to establish ourselves.

Now we are bringing the visual side into it and breaking through on digital marketing and automation. Better engagement with the right content, to the right people at the right time. We’ve been running a whole new marketing ballgame with account based marketing. We’re using LinkedIn Ads to target individuals in specific companies and take them through a very robust cross-channel journey. We’re using social, blogs, and emails to generate leads through very consistent messaging.

You’ve always done high-quality events. The important thing with those is to choose very good venues and guests. That makes a big difference in this space because it’s quite competitive. You’re looking at different ways you can reach out to people, whether it’s through the live events we do together, or things like LinkedIn adverts for thought leadership. How do you make a strong connection through your digital marketing? 

It’s all built on intent. Our team can measure people that are actually in the middle of a funnel, where they’re already in that buying process. With LinkedIn or personalised, targeted ads there is a better chance of finding the right people. 

We ran a campaign in the US over three weeks and didn’t give much information, but it generated 80 leads. There’s a hunger out there for new, innovative solutions. Companies know that they need to change, they need new technology. I work very closely with the sales team to understand who our customers are and what they are looking for, then we produce our deliverables based on this.

Research has shown that 60% of people who contact a technology company already know what they’re looking for, but they have questions that need to get answered. The challenge is that even the best salesperson in the world is not going to convince someone to change their system just because they make a good sales pitch. You’ve got to identify what the customer is looking for and encourage them to spend more time with you as you build up that relationship. How are you using technology to identify if someone is actively looking to make a purchase?

There’s incredible technology today, including some impressive US companies that are part of the account-based marketing tech stack. We use EverString, which works really well in the US because you’re able to identify your TAM, your total addressable market. It includes the contacts for each company built according to your ideal customer profile.

With Novidea’s platform, clients can easily integrate those technology pieces through LinkedIn, through your email marketing. Our sales team can identify potential customers that are already in the process using LinkedIn, or Google Ads, or SEO because it’s measuring based on topics, where you can see what they are searching for. It’s delivering quality leads, so our team isn’t having to spend a lot of time sorting them to find who is relevant.

Are you helping Novidea’s clients with new technology? Can you give us some examples of that?

We’re integrating a lot of SMS text messaging and ePayments and AI chatbots. We have a customer using chatbots for their renewals and something like 55% of renewals were done automatically. The world of insurance is going digital and it’s automated. Novidea automates all the processes and the front office to the back office.

With Salesforce our clients can also easily integrate into the platform and create pieces that weren’t possible before. Before, they would have to go to their vendor and ask them to integrate with a new tool on the market, and 18 months later the integration might get done. Being built on Salesforce on the cloud gives us the ability to integrate very easily with text messaging, ePayments, digital signatures. It’s a new world out there.

There’s certainly a race going on now between technology companies, some from insurance and some looking in from outside of the industry. Salesforce has got a very large presence across different industries and is starting to double down on their strategy for insurance. LinkedIn is also dominant in many areas, but not everybody wants to use LinkedIn. What other alternatives are there to tap into communities that are engaging together?

It’s all about personal relationships and finding the right people and experts to work with. We started working with InsTech London last year and have just started with a PR agency, NextGen Communications, whose focus is purely on insurance. When you build relationships and people start understanding who you are, it just makes it a whole lot easier.

My advice is to look to create a path between all your marketing channels so they work together, where one feeds into the other. Not everyone’s there yet and there is a lot of trial and error. But the mindset is changing for sure.

We’ve been delighted to have Novidea supporting InsTech London as Gold Members. What was the motivation for that and what have you found useful?

It was the passion and enthusiasm that you (Matthew) and Robin shared with me and this vision of being instrumental in making a change in the industry. You’ve got this loyal following, with an extremely impressive network of people looking to you for a fresh aspect on what can be done and what should be done. 

You’re bringing together mature companies, insurtechs, the technology side, and innovation leaders like Google. You’re driving all these connections, so for me, it was a no brainer to align myself with you. I see InsTech London as a partner where you bring a lot of value to Novidea. It’s far more than just a contractual relationship, I feel like you’re part of our team.

You’re on our Live Chat series on BrightTALK, which is now attracting people from a whole different area than our traditional network, plus a lot of people from insurance. You’ve also got a video series coming up in the next few months. Can you tell us a bit more? 

We’ve done a new thought leadership video series and there’s some great material in there for brokers around Lloyd’s and Blueprint One. We’ve also got a great case study that we’ve just put into production where the time to produce policies was cut from an hour to 15 seconds, and reporting cut down from two weeks to 30 minutes. 

I’m just trying to keep thinking about what else we can do, and we’ve got lots of ideas. We’ll keep going and at some point, we’ll all get to meet each other again eye to eye. 

For more information on Novidea, go to https://www.novideasoft.com/

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