Cover Story: In the Right Market
In order to find that 20 percent, AIG Travel Guard first needed to qualify the data points that distinguished buyers of its travel insurance from the rest of the pack. The nature of the product meant AIG Travel Guard’s customer database already housed a wide range of information about the individuals who had purchased insurance coverage and their travel habits.
“We’re pretty robust in the type of data that we collect because it’s an insurance product,” explains Mueller. “We’re able to get information on the individual, but we’re also able to get information on their trip and where they’re going, the type of trip they’re taking [and] if they’re getting a rental car.”
Ruf Strategic Solutions’ analysis of the AIG Travel Guard database focused on people who had done the “right” thing, notes Terry Berggren, the agency’s director of destination marketing. “In different tourism communities, the ‘right’ thing means different things to different people,” he adds. “In the case of Travel Guard, a trip insurance provider … they had to travel and they had to buy.”
Data was evaluated according to Ruf’s proprietary “cluster” system, which segments the United States’ 124 million households into 144 unique groups or clusters. Each is defined by demographic, lifestyle and credit traits derived from the Experian INSOURCESM Database, the U.S. Census Department and Simmons Market Research, and by how the cluster’s dominant traits compare to national averages.
“Cluster analysis identifies similar subgroups, or clusters, of a population,” explains SallyAnn Gray, marketing manager, Ruf Strategic Solutions. “Ruf does this at a household level, meaning we group similar households together, as neighborhoods and ZIP codes do not offer the granularity of household [segmentation].”
According to Berggren, the analysis yielded positive results. “Many of the [client’s] suspicions were confirmed and many more lifestyle traits were identified. We have been able to isolate prospects that are likely to engage in a trip where trip interruption insurance would be desirable.”