TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2018 best financial and banking: FMG

FMG has been around for a long time, offering advice-driven insurance to the rural community. But, when competition from brokers was affecting business, it knew it needed to remind New Zealand's rural communities of its unique service. We take a look at 2018's best financial and banking.

By StopPress Team | January 21, 2019 | news

The Challenge

Farming insurance company FMG is a brand that built its reputation on strong rural relationships. It sets itself apart from other insurers because it offers advice to its clients, to help them reduce risks on the farm, leading to fewer claims, and therefore less pressure on premiums with value being funnelled back to service and experience.

Despite the premium service it offered, FMG found growth was slowing as the brand reached out to the harder half of the rural market – the half dominated by insurance brokers.

The brand lacked differentiation beyond an affinity with rural New Zealand and there was a lack of awareness from potential clients that FMG was a direct insurer, not available through brokers.

Non-clients, mostly insured through a local broker, rated FMG lower on market knowledge and customer service. They assumed their broker was searching all the options, including FMG.

They also assumed brokers understood the complexities of the rural insurance they were selling and would advocate on their behalf come claim time. The reality was that brokers didn’t have the knowledge or control to act as real advocates.

FMG, on the other hand, had rural managers talking daily with the risk team, drawing on analysis and new trends relevant to the region and their clients’ operations.

The Response

FMG decided to reassert what it did best – offering valuable and honest advice to its clients. It settled on three goals to fix its business problem.

The first was to differentiate – shifting the brand from insurance sales to an advice- driven partnership; the second was to disrupt – challenging the middle-man model, assumptions of advocacy, and the perception that FMG was offered through brokers; and finally, the third was to deepen relationships – putting more effort into client relationships by getting on the farm more often and offering a richer, more hands-on experience.

To achieve its goals and to reassert its position in the market, FMG decided to launch a brand campaign.

Before launching the campaign, and to convince its internal stakeholders to get behind it, a strong, single-minded message was needed to support its appeal.

So, FMG talked to customers about the campaign and pre-tested its concepts with FMG’s customer panel, allowing the company to fine-tune its message across the campaign.

This was particularly important given FMG was using television as the backbone of the campaign. A medium that had, in the recent years, been regarded with skepticism in terms of its efficiency. FMG needed confidence that giving the brand a more emotive medium to express itself would deliver the reach it needed without the wastage.

Feedback from its customer panel gave the wider business the confidence to move forward with the campaign and creative strategy. It also developed a suitable tagline to sum up the business – ‘Advice worth listening to’.

FMG’s campaign kicked off on 9 April 2017 across television, digital, radio and print. It told current and prospective customers straight-up that they couldn’t get FMG’s advice through a broker, and attempted to do so with humour, not arrogance.

The Result

The campaign re-asserting FMG’s brand positioning turned out to be just what the company needed. Campaign research for advertising effectiveness showed 58 percent of all audience groups recalled the campaign.

Crucially, 22 percent of the targeted ‘harder half’ (who were more likely to use a broker) switched to FMG; and having seen the campaign, 34 percent of respondents said they were more likely to consider FMG as a result of the advertising. Non-clients ‘future intent’ to insure with FMG sat at 33.4 percent, and 57.2 percent for rurals.

One of FMG’s main objectives was to increase public knowledge of the company as a specialist, advice- driven service in comparison to its key competitors. Among non-FMG clients, it improved its rating from 3.7 to 3.9, beating its closest competitor Aon for the first time for ‘provides risk management advice’. Furthermore, 24 percent of respondents told the company its campaign had changed their perception of FMG.

The digital layer of the campaign also performed well, delivering 68.7 million impressions, 39,238 clicks through to FMG’s website and ‘request a quote’ page.

FMG successfully proved that staying true to core values, and championing them, could go a long way.

Financial and marketing
Advice worth listening to
MediaCom, Research First, Nielsen
TSB Bank

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