Andy Couchman on Protection Review and the launch of the I Mark – MAF197

On the show this week, I talk to Andy Couchman, co-founder of Protection Review.

We chat about how the Protection Review Conference, Dinner and Awards has grown to become one of the premiere financial services events of the year and the new “I Mark” which seeks to recognise true innovation.

Welcome to episode 197 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Andy Couchman on Protection Review and the launch of the I Mark - MAF197

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • How Andy started Protection Review with another financial services luminary, Peter Le Beau
  • The process Andy goes through to write product reviews and how he scores them
  • What innovation really means in financial services
  • The reasoning behind the launch of the I Mark
  • What companies will have to do to receive the I Mark.

Who is Andy Couchman?

Andy started his career in product marketing roles in various large UK financial services companies.

After leaving corporate life he made a success writing about financial services topics. Together with Peter Le Beau he started Protection Review back in 2003. What started as a paper publication and an annual dinner has turned into a prestigious annual Conference, Dinner and Awards event and a popular website.

Although he has retired from the day to day running of Protection Review, Andy still writes the reviews published each month.

Summary of our chat

In his reviews Andy always remembers that teams of people will have worked hard on launching the product or service he is reviewing. They’ll be looking for the highest score possible. But over the years he’s developed a method of setting a benchmark for the products and services he’s reviewing.

He rarely gives a 10 out of 10. In fact this may only have happened a couple of times.

Until now, Andy has always acknowledged innovation in his reviews. Thinking back to the launch of Critical Illness Cover in 1986 he acknowledges that it was real innovation back then. However the current practice of adding new illnesses and conditions, whilst a good thing because it improves the product, is more evolution than innovation.

That’s why he’s please Protection Review is launching the “I Mark”. It will recognise and promote true innovation in the protection segment of UK financial services.

He’ll still mark his reviews on a scale of 1 to 10, but from now on he’ll also award the I Mark to products and services that offer something different.

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Recommended business book

Andy likes Damon Hill’s Autobiography. The racing driver faced many mental health challenges over the years and Andy thinks this is sobering reading and reiterates how important it is for insurance companies to take care of people with similar issues rather than simply rejecting them for cover.

He also recommends Lucian Camp’s book about financial services marketing. Lucian was my first ever guest on the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Links and contact details

They have a limited number of $500 dollar vouchers available to listeners in America and Canada to spend with the company – either mention the Marketing and Finance Podcast in the chat facility or contact Natalie directly.

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Emma Thomson on promoting positive protection insurance stories – MAF140

My guest on the show this week is Emma Thomson.

We talk about building LifeSearch, promoting positive protection stories, and the Protection Distributors Group.

It’s a great interview full of insights and ideas about company culture and customer engagement.

Welcome to episode 140 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Emma Thomson on promoting positive protection insurance stories - MAF140

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • The success of LifeSearch, one of the UK’s biggest protection insurance intermediaries
  • How company culture is important in developing a true customer focus
  • Making sure people see positive PR stories rather than focusing on the odd negative one
  • How real stories about the experiences of real people are the best way of broaching a dull subject like insurance
  • How creating your own awards event can improve products and service in your industry
  • The development and successes to date of the Protection Distributors Group

Who Emma Thomson?

Emma is Life Office Relations Director at LifeSearch.

She consults with financial services product providers on the strengths and weaknesses of their offerings to help them increase their business. Externally she provides advice on Product, E-Commerce and Process development and is a member of the F&TRC Protection Forum, the Income Protection Task Force and the Protection Distributors Group.

She also has a regular column in Money Marketing Magazine.

Links 

If you enjoyed – Emma Thomson on promoting positive protection insurance stories – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Andy Philo on Serious Illness Cover and rewards for understanding and improving your health – MAF122

In this show, my guest is Vitality’s, Andy Philo.

We chat about how Vitality developed Serious Illness Cover.

And we look at how they’re encouraging people to understand and improve their health.

Welcome to episode 122 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Andy Philo on Serious Illness Cover and rewards for understanding and improving your health - MAF122

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • The development of Serious Illness Cover as an alternative to critical illness cover
  • How Vitality created a new marketing approach to insurance using sausage dogs, Olympic athletes, brand discounts and rewards
  • What they’re doing to encourage people to understand and improve their health
  • Offering value for money for people with diabetes and high BMI

Who is Andy Philo

Andy is Director of IFA Distribution at Vitality.

He’s a passionate advocate of meeting the protection needs of customers and encouraging advisers to make protection a priority. A Dad of 2 he’s a Spurs supporter. You’ll see him out and about throughout the UK hosting Vitality’s many adviser roadshow events.

Andy’s links:

If you enjoyed – Andy Philo on Serious Illness Cover and rewards for understanding and improving your health – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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