The content preferences of risk managers (survey)

Posted by Mark Wellings | 04-06-15

Our survey showed that 95% of risk managers value analysis and advice provided by trusted service providers. But it also showed that service providers’ content does not incorporate risk managers’ views and experiences nearly enough. 

Risk managers care about and trust the views of other risk managers more than they normally do brokers or insurers.

Once accepted, this knowledge can be used to elevate your content marketing above that of your rivals.

In early 2015 Grist surveyed 60 risk managers from large corporations across Europe and the US to gain a deeper understanding about what information they wanted, and how they wanted it delivered.

Our Risk Manager Survey found that:

  • 46% of risk managers appreciate receiving news, and 51% appreciate receiving in-depth research on emerging issues. Yet
  • 82% appreciate receiving best practice/case studies provided by their industry peers. And while 26% of risk managers appreciate country/sector risk analysis…
  • 77% appreciate receiving benchmarking data.

Are these preferences reflected in your content marketing? Are you producing too much news, and too many analyses of emerging issues and specific countries and sectors?

Conversely, are you providing enough case studies or benchmarking data? Do you know exactly why you are producing each piece of content and what results you expect to achieve?

Risk managers’ desire for benchmarking data shouldn’t come as a surprise. The ability to compare insurance policies, claims, etc., against similar companies is of growing interest to risk managers as they are increasingly required by internal stakeholders to demonstrate efficiency of spend and an analytical approach to risk management and transfer. Their desire for best practice/case studies stems from a similar motive – to ensure they are not missing out on any practices that could improve their company’s risk profile.

Press the flesh

Risk managers’ desire to know what their peers are doing was also apparent when we asked them where they found information that helps them do their job and keep abreast of industry trends. While e-newsletters (67%) and research reports and white papers (56%) were popular, risk managers’ top-two choices were:

  • 89% – interaction with other risk managers
  • 77% – face-to-face events.

If you organise insurance events, or participate in industry events, such as Airmic, FERMA, RIMS, etc., then think about how you can create the strongest possible relationship between these events and your content marketing, and how they can feed into the other.

Don’t just pay for an exhibition booth and think that’s job done. Sweat the opportunities that events present, in particular the heavy concentration of risk managers.

Become an enabler

Insurers and brokers have a great opportunity to facilitate communication between risk managers, enabling them to acquire a richer and broader sense of insurance policies, pricing, claims and general risk management issues and practices. This could be done through conducting several risk manager profile interviews, smaller case studies, vox pop videos or in-depth benchmarking reports.

But why would I want to do that, you might be wondering?

If you produce content that genuinely benefits clients and prospects, they will appreciate it and respect you for doing something different, which puts them first. They will also associate you with genuine insight and useful practical advice, rather than the same old sales puff dressed up as ‘thought leadership’.

Make the effort

Granted, this might sound easier said than done. Getting your clients and other risk managers to contribute to your content marketing is often difficult. Any input a risk manager provides might have to go through their company’s Kafka-esque comms department, arriving out the other end as an insipid list of platitudes. And sometimes your own client-facing colleagues won’t want to provide access to their clients.

But by planning far in advance and engaging with lots of risk managers on a collaborative, longer-term basis, you can gradually cultivate a pool of risk managers whose contributions can provide profiles and case studies, as well as feeding news stories and feature articles.

While some risk managers hate being interviewed, there are many (believe it or not) who do it regularly and find it useful – so take advantage of them. Your readers will appreciate it…


Mark Wellings

Written by Mark Wellings

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