Customer Experience (CX), Customer Relationship Marketing, Voice of Customer Research, Customer Engagement

Transforming Customer Engagement


  1. MassMutual is a division of MassMutual Life Insurance Company. Founded in 1851, ranked among the Fortune 500, they are a leading provider of employer sponsored voluntary benefits, including retirement plans (401k, 403b, 457, etc.), life and disability insurance. Their mission is to help American workers retire on their own terms, with choices, and protect the ones they love.


Marketing Challenge

  1. Per VoC research, MassMutual's customers were saying...

    "...this is my life you're talking about! I'm not looking to be marketed to. I'm looking to make life decisions. Help me."




Kris Gates, 
VP Customer Experience

"Based on the learnings from the VoC research, we have redesigned the way we look at relationships with customers. Taking a Learn 'Pilot' Scale approach to our marketing efforts, we launched several VoC research-based initiatives. These range from redefining how we view the customer-focused value of CRM platforms and our data, to campaign targeting and preference based communications."


One of the findings from the VoC research indicated that our customers wanted communications driven by their preferences and interests. We used the rollout of our new educational video series SmartView, to measure the difference in response between mass emails to an entire list versus preference-driven offers to those who had opted in and told us their preferences and interests.
— Kris Gates, VP Customer Experience at MassMutual



increase in response


 higher open rate



How MassMutual used human data for deeper segmentation, greater results/engagement:


Product Suitability 

Segmentation by life stage to determine appropriate product offering


Compelling Messages and Offers

Develop messaging and offers for each consumer with relevant content and imagery to address their likely concerns/ questions

Barriers to Engagement, Purchasing

Within the life stage, determine consumer attitude toward category/products


Personalized Media Mix

Deliver these personalized offers via the consumer's preferred mix of channels and frequency.



How MassMutual implemented their human data strategies

Customers were very specific about the types of personalized communications they wanted to receive. They wanted to know what information was available to them so they could pick and choose what, when, and how frequently they received it. Additionally, customers noted that they did want to receive reminders at a prescribed period of time. Most customers said that they welcomed occasional touches by MassMutual focusing on education and information about their accounts, processes and policies (i.e. how to change their savings amount) and retirement planning in general.

What customers receive

Opt-in to e-newsletters, videos, tips, updates, notifications, etc.

Where they receive it

Specify preferences for home email/address or work email/address.

How they receive it

Specify preferences for email, postal mail, texts, etc.

How often they receive it

Specify the frequency of delivery.

Lack of engagement was a considerable barrier for customers. Mass Mutual found that reaching out annually with an offer of a personal meeting helped to break through the inherent apathy and forge a stronger connection with customers. It also reminded customers, at least annually, about MassMutual and their retirement account.

 Channel and content relevance:

  • Images of people who look like them.

  • Headlines that are relevant and compelling.

  • Body copy that answers their specific questions.
  • Delivered via the channels they prefer


"SmartView" Results

MassMutual created an online "edutainment" talk show, "SmartView," which discussed the personal financial issues customers said were important during the VoC research. Each episode combined humor and important tips and recommendations.



Results of VoC-driven Segmentation and Personalization

Look at the difference in response rates between:

  • Year 1, with one segment and generalized messaging

  • Year 2, with 24 segments and personalized imagery

  • Versus Year 3, with truly personalized and segment specific content and imagery. This resulted in a 5X increase in response.


3 Key Takeaways


    Measure and test everything. Customer outreach should be at the frequency and in the channel your customers prefer.


    Set up organized "listening posts" with client facing areas of the business for real time voice of the customer feedback.


    Analyze how you are onboarding (welcoming) your new customers. Invest in this touch, it may end up saving you long term.