I spent years co-ordinating direct marketing and communications materials for blue chip insurance companies. Which is why I’m so pleased to see the back of the Financial Services Authority.
Put in place to benefit consumers, the FSA managed to do quite the opposite. Instead of persuading insurers to make their products easier for consumers to understand, they complicated the situation beyond belief while dealing a deadly blow to clarity.
The FSA and marketing just didn’t mix
As a direct marketer I struggled to get approval for effective, easy to understand insurance campaigns and customer communications. Thanks to the FSA I was forced into gobbledegook, repeating myself, endless caveats, legalese and jargon overkill. The end results were often so convoluted and complex that they made very little sense.
Boring and baffling your audience is no way to explain concepts and sell stuff successfully. When you’re communicating about something as challenging as insurance, you need to make a very good job of it. That means focusing on the benefits, being succinct, authoritative, inspirational and crystal clear.
Let’s hope the financial services industry’s next regulator will have a healthy complement of direct marketers on board as well as nice, sharp teeth and balls of steel.