Telematics: Social Insights on Drivers and Barriers around Product and Service Adoption

“Spend a lot of time talking to customers face to face.  You’d be amazed how many companies DON’T listen to their customers”, is a quote made by Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems and Perot Systems.
It goes without saying that when a new product or service is launched to the market, you need to make sure you’re listening to your customer.  Sentiment is good, “I don’t like it”.  Looking granually at WHY they don’t like it is gold.
This is where social media, as the world’s largest source of unsolicited consumer data, becomes such a powerful platform for the modern business looking to truly understand HOW their consumers have adopted a new product or service.
Taking a real life example to illustrate the point, this post looks at the car insurance industry, namely consumers adoption to Black Box Telematics.  I hope, however, that anyone with an interest in knowing the drivers and barriers around a product or service adoption will find this post of use.
Which type of driver benefits from telematics?
Car insurance providers can fit a clever device into your car that measures how well you drive.  From the data received by the box, your premium is calculated based on how safe a driver you are instead of paying insurance based on the average driver.  Can’t say fairer than that?!?
So in theory the following type of drivers could benefit from getting a black box installed; young, new, low mileage, careful, slow and daytime drivers. There are numerous online articles of this profile of driver interviewed.  The vast majority confirmed the benefits driving with a box has; lower premiums and learning to drive correctly.
Nevertheless, as a business I want to hear from a larger sample than just a handful or couple of hundred. As a business, I want to know what consumers REALLY think.
Capturing the data
A quick search on Crimson Hexagon’s platform provides us with a plethora of unsolicited consumer reaction from various social platforms to the telematic black box over the course of a year;
Volume trend from 2014-03-31 to 2015-03-31 (2)
The drivers and barriers to telematic black box adoption
Before we dive into the deeper analysis, it’s important to remember;

  1. the question we’re answering; ‘do you like our new product and why (not)?
  2. the data is richer and more insightful because it is unsolicited.  We, as the business, are not demanding for this information; it is given voluntarily by the consumer.

The graph below, gives an illustration of the initial reaction to the black box adoption by those that have talked about it on social media.
Weekly Opinion analysis trend from 2014-04-01 to 2015-04-01
 
Opinion analysis from 2014-04-01 to 2015-04-01
Analysis


The tool tells us that early adoption of the black box has been received negatively.  Many complaining of the intrusive, ‘big brother’ nature of the device.
 
For teenagers, image is everything.  The “loss of street cred” caused by implementing a device designed to encourage you to remain at the speed limit is a massive pain point for many.
There are are clearly benefits to telematics, but these benefits are rarely mentioned in conversations had by consumers online.


Conclusions you could draw is that consumers do not value these benefits (lower premiums, reduced fraudulent claims, safer driving) as highly as the freedom they feel driving without the device.
It could, however, be a signal that these messages have not been conveyed well enough by the car insurers.  This stance could be supported by looking at the amount of consumers in the sample that are still searching for information on the device (and searching for it on social media!).


Conclusion
The device is currently suffering an image problem with its consumers.  To tackle the problem, car insurers need to better educate consumers on the functionality of the device and the undeniable immense benefits it can bring them.
Asking young drivers to adopt a device that scrutinizes the way you drive is difficult but positively conveying a message centred around saving money and cracking down on fraudulent claims could improve the device’s image, leading to a smoother adoption. By capturing the unsolicited drivers and barriers of adoption expressed by consumers on social platforms you can effectively plan, execute and evaluate a multitude of strategies time and time again.

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