Case Study

Financial Services Study: Foresters


Foresters is a leading international life insurance provider that is member based, family focused and community spirited. As a fraternal benefit society that offers financial services, Foresters not only sells life insurance but also endeavours to improve the well-being of its one million members and their families through unique member benefits and inspiring community activities.


At Foresters, the goal is to have members become increasingly engaged as customers, active members of their communities and, eventually, participants in the governance of the fraternal benefits organization. But how can the company best move members up this ladder of engagement? How can marketers connect with customers in an efficient way in the three countries where they operate: Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom? And how can they build life-long loyalty among their customers?


To better engage its members, analysts turned to PRIZMC2 segmentation and data analytics to identify the key differences between its everyday members and those more involved in their communities and Foresters’ fraternal purpose. For instance, research showed that the members most engaged tended to be more affluent, educated, ethnically diverse and have more children than everyday members. They tended to be concentrated in upscale PRIZMC2 segments like Pets & PCs, Asian Affluence and Exurban Crossroads. After correlating the members’ lifestyle segments with behavioural data from PMB and Simmons, marketers developed differentiated content for the company’s newsletter and web site to promote engagement with member groups. For older members with little Internet know-how, the company launched a series of “how-to” articles in its paper newsletter about web use and security. It profiled members living in Foresters’ 50 branch boundaries and used EA’s ENVISION micromarketing tool with the leading segmentation systems in the United States (Nielsen PRIZM) to identify membership and engagement opportunities that would resonate with their interests and values. 


By identifying its customers along a continuum of engagement, Foresters brought segmentation analytics to other audiences in the organization—from the front lines to the corner office to the IT room. The membership department used marketing’s core target groups to mail prospects most likely to respond to a promotional pitch. The Social Values data helped copywriters fine-tune their target marketing efforts for existing engagement initiatives—like volunteering in schools and building playgrounds—which resulted in cost savings and better aligned programming opportunities. And the analytics showed that engaged members had similar lifestyles in Canada and the U.S., allowing insights to drive similar marketing initiatives on both sides of the border. (The U.K. effort was just beginning in the past year.) With a consistent analytical framework for both countries, executives in Foresters’ management team used the response analysis of results to make its budgets go further. “Before we had only vague ideas of membership and engagement in all of our countries,” says Stephanie Warner, Senior Marketing Manager of Loyalty at Foresters. “Now we have great insights that help us communicate with members and build programming on both sides of the border.”