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Case Study: IABC Golden Quill Award of Excellence & Best of the Best 2020 – Suncorp Group – Bringing Insurance the Suncorp way to life

The Suncorp Group is a leading Australian financial services organisation, providing insurance, banking and wealth solutions across Australia and New Zealand. The company has approximately 13,000 employees and serves over 9 million customers.

Business need and communication opportunity

In 2018, scrutiny of the Australian financial services industry was at an all-time high. The sector had been put under the government, regulator and media microscope, eventually culminating in the Financial Services Royal Commission.

Additionally, the internal environment had been challenging. Pockets of the business experiencing organisational change and changes to strategy had seen employee engagement dip in recent years, and there was concern that impacts of the external environment could potentially see engagement fall even further.
These external and internal challenges led the Insurance Communications team to develop a plan to reignite pride and confidence in our people, for them to withstand the “BBQ test” (i.e. to be able to talk positively and be proud of the organization in a social situation). The solution was a large-scale engagement and education campaign titled Insurance the Suncorp Way (ItSW), which was designed to help our people reconnect with who we are, what we do and why it’s important to our customers and the community.

Communication Objectives

The overall goal of the ItSW program was to capture the hearts and minds of insurance people across Suncorp and help them reconnect with the value of insurance. To build their understanding, enthusiasm and confidence around the impact of insurance in the community, including their individual roles.

  • The specific objectives the program aspired to a achieve were:
    Help our people feel proud to work in insurance and reconnect with the importance of being there for our customers in the moments that matter.
  • Educate employees about the different elements of insurance, and how every capability and collaboration across each team is critical to the success of an insurance value chain.
  • Protect or increase engagement across the Insurance function during a period of significant change across the industry.
  • Develop and deliver high quality, engaging campaign resources which build a sense of community across the insurance value chain.
  • Achieve high levels of campaign engagement through various channels

Key messages

  • As one of Australia’s largest insurance companies, improving our own understanding of the value of insurance and the role we play in our communities is vital to how we deliver for our customers in the moments that matter.
  • Insurance the Suncorp Way (ItSW) is all about helping our people reconnect to their purpose while building understanding, enthusiasm and confidence around the role insurance plays in the community. We want our people to feel a sense of pride that the work we do makes a difference to our customers when they need us most.
  • The program will help us get back to basics on some key insurance elements and see how our people bring it all to life.
  • It’s also about sharing the day-to-day stories that inspire us to be our best and make us proud to work at Suncorp.

Creative approach

In order to meet our objectives, stakeholder and audience analysis helped us establish the following communications guidelines for the campaign:

  • Information needed to be bite-sized to be able to fit into people’s day to day, ensuring continued engagement.
  • A majority of topics were complex so needed to be explained in a way that was understandable, relatable and engaging for a broad audience.
  • The program needed to be instantly recognisable to people with branding guidelines and icons developed and used throughout the entire campaign.
  • The tone and voice of the campaign were critical to the brand and in building connection with authenticity. We made a deliberate decision to use colloquial language, humour and slang to engage with a wide audience and capture their attention.
  • Content needed to be created with longevity in mind, so that artefacts could live on past the campaign period.

From these guidelines the Insurance the Suncorp Way program came to life. The cornerstone of the program was our Insurance Value Chain artefact – it became the road-map of the program, mapping out in a visual way the various components of the insurance lifecycle, unpacking each area/capability as a fortnightly topic and bringing it to life through a mix of curated, editorial and user-generated content. For each topic a set of artefacts was created – these different content types were conceived to meet our goal to educate (e.g. educational animations) and engage (e.g. people stories, user generated ‘Insurance Bytes’ and promotions) our audiences.

The campaign used a multi-channel approach so that employees could engage with the content in their own way. All content was integrated and delivered via Yammer, intranet, fortnightly topic wrap emails, leader update emails, Cognita (HR social learning platform), competitions and hosted on a specialised designed ItSW Hub for easy access. In addition, the team tapped into existing CEO, Functional and Group-wide communication channels, subsequently acquiring an audience outside our target areas. Proactive online community management was also key to the campaign.

One key success factor of the campaign was the People of Insurance (PoI) editorial series – this captured people stories from the team and their personal connection to purpose from across all areas of the value chain. The stories complemented each topic by adding a ‘human’ angle to each capability and putting it into context within the business. Interviews with each employee were conducted face to face, with a specific line of questioning to capture the passion employees felt for the industry, their roles and the communities they serve. The ItSW campaign was closed with a PoI video that brought the editorial series to life, including employees from across the series talking about their journey and purpose. The video was also shared across our social media channels to help our online communities and the broader public connect with our people.

The result

Overall, we not only met, but exceeded all our objectives and targets throughout the ItSW campaign.

At the conclusion of the campaign,

  • 95% of employees agreed the campaign made them feel proud to work in insurance (exceeding target by 25 percentage points).
  • 80% of employees agreed the campaign improved their knowledge about how insurance worked (exceeding target by 10 points).
  • Employee Engagement among team members was up between 1-4 points (achieving our stretch target).
  • Positive results across all channel metrics were also reported, including Yammer membership (up 25%); average 87% engagement rate of videos; and peak levels of editorial readership.

Following the success of the campaign, an ongoing program, ItSW Phase 2, was developed to integrate the philosophies and connections of the campaign into BAU business and communications. This included:

  • expanding the ItSW “tone of voice” (authentic, colloquial, down to earth) to all functional communications.
  • taking the branding look and feel of the campaign into communications, including communication of corporate strategy and financial results.
  • incorporating the educational animations into the curriculum for onboarding process of new recruits.
  • incorporating and building on campaign content into future conferences and communications activities.
  • The accumulated shared knowledge has been incorporated into numerous submissions to, and conversations with, external stakeholders which is assisting in developing a deeper understanding of how the insurance industry works and the value it provides.