iSelect Evaluates the “iSelect Guy”

 

John McMurtry                                                                                                                          214374722

 

Who is iSelect

iSelect operates in “the online product comparison sector and compares private health insurance, life insurance, car insurance, broadband, energy, home loans and personal financial products.”  It caters to consumers of the above products who don’t want to spend hours shopping around.  With iSelect they can compare competitors’ offerings in one location.

iSelect started its comparison business with an initial focus on health insurance, but has grown organically and through acquisition to now include other insurance products, broadband and energy.

iselect-desktop

Image sourced from designaddicts.com.au

 

The Jason Geary marketing campaign

Jason Geary aka ‘the iSelect guy’ was the face of iSelect marketing for five years.  He brought a combination of information about iSelect and its products along with an eccentric personality. His character would regularly say inappropriate things or wear outlandish outfits or be in awkward situations such as sitting in a spa in the office.

The iSelect guy began by informing viewers how iSelect allowed them to evaluate private health funds, and with time he became synonymous with both iSelect and the iSelect Health comparison product.

iselect-female-colleague

Image sourced from designaddicts.com.au

 

iSelect’s Change in strategy

The 1 July 2014 purchase of Energy Watch, cemented iSelect’s charge into non-health insurance markets including energy, telecommunications and financial products.  iSelect management saw this as a way to drive margin by utilising iSelect’s core competency of product comparison in markets other than private health insurance.

In response to a challenging first half of the 2015/16 Financial year, iSelect announced on 11 January 2016 that it was undergoing a strategic review of its operations.

iselect-pants-down

Image sourced from film-headquarters.com.au

 

Why Evaluate Marketing Performance?

Evaluating marketing performance lets managers know how the brand and business are performing, and can provide diagnostic information on how to improve things (Sharp 2013).

A reason to evaluate marketing performance is to assist in the control of the marketing process, and to evaluate how the marketing department is performing relative to the corporate and marketing strategy (Kotler 2009).  This is about ensuring that marketing is aligned with corporate objectives.  In iSelect’s case, it invests 25% of group revenue into brand and marketing, this makes it is vitally important that it’s campaigns are regularly reviewed to ensure they are achiving their objectives.

Another reason to evaluate marketing performance is to recognise what impact the marketing activity is having on Brand Equity, which is the intangible marketing asset (Ambler, Kokkinaki & Puntoni 2004).  Brand equity takes into consideration the longer term impact of marketing on the value of the brand.

iselect-handsome-guy

Image sourced from campaignbrief.com

 

Which marketing metrics?

It is generally agreed that a suite of metrics is ideal to evaluate marketing performance (Ambler & Roberts 2008).  These can be organised as a marketing dashboard and could include:

  • Financial metrics such as Profit Contribution, Profit margin, Return on Investment (marketing investment) or a measure of Customer Value, though these will only give part of the picture (Mintz & Currim 2013).
  • Behavioural Metrics such as Sales, Market Share, Market Penetration or Share of Category (Sharp 2013).
  • General metrics such as Brand Awareness (Mintz & Currim 2013).
  • Customer Profile details such as demographic data (age, gender), customer income or customer geographic location could also add value.

iselect-gym-tights

Image sourced from campaignbrief.com

 

Results of Marketing Evaluation

The iSelect strategic review, and in particular the evaluation of its brand and marketing indicated that not all was well.  Although revenue was generally growing, iSelect marketing was not as effective as hoped in emerging markets such as energy.

iSelect Chief Executive Scott Wilson summed the situation up nicely when he said that “Last year we spent $5 million advertising our energy business and our health sales went up.”  The Jason Geary character was so firmly associated with health insurance, that he was not effective with other products.  It became evident that iSelect’s marketing was not aligned with the company’s strategic directions.

headinsand

Image sourced from adelaidenow.com.au

 

Implications of Marketing Evaluation

Evaluation can lead to tweaking of marketing campaigns or to drastic changes being made.  In iSelect’s case it was the latter.

iSelect decided to tailor their marketing towards multiple product comparisons.  This was an attempt to realign the brand to be associated with energy, financial products, telecommunications in addition to health insurance.

iSelect announced on 18 April 2016 that they were launching a New Brand Platform, sadly this meant that iSelect and Jason Geary parted company.

Jason Geary will no longer front iSelect adds, but the memory of the “iSelect guy” will remain.

iselect-spa

Image sourced from campaignbrief.com

 


References

 

Ambler, T, Kokkinaki, F & Puntoni, S 2004, ‘Assessing Marketing Performance: Reasons for Metrics Selection’, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 20, no. 3-4, pp. 475-98.

 

Ambler, T & Roberts, JH 2008, ‘Assessing marketing performance: don’t settle for a silver metric’, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 24, no. 7-8, pp. 733-50.

 

Kotler, P 2009, Marketing management: A south Asian perspective, Pearson Education India.

 

Mintz, O & Currim, IS 2013, ‘What Drives Managerial Use of Marketing and Financial Metrics and Does Metric Use Affect Performance of Marketing-Mix Activities?’, Journal of Marketing, vol. 77, no. 2, pp. 17-40.

 

Sharp, B 2013, Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia.

 

 

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