With the many potential customers now shopping online for their health insurance needs, both products will rely increasingly on the online channel for distribution and sales.

When Sales and Marketing Director Tony Wood was asked to take on the Digital Channel in March 2012, he was alarmed by the significant underperformance in the digital channel and set about taking steps to improve performance.

“It was clear that the online channel was not delivering results and I was concerned that our offer was not fit for purpose. I was interested in the Good Growth approach to the challenge, particularly with the focus on sales performance and their original thinking”.

As an organisation, BUPA was facing twin challenges in terms of improving the online offer in terms of both a governance and sales point of view and it was the latter that Good Growth were engaged to tackle.

Following an initial meeting, Good Growth was engaged to carry out a Customer to Action review, which Tony describes as “a short, sharp and very intensive piece of work that would help us identify where we could immediately make positive changes”.

Good Growth engaged with the BUPA team at every level over a 12-week time frame, assessing a series of reviews of the business’s online capability. “The response that came back at the end of this was brutal and fairly damning but, in fairness, it was not a surprise. What it helped us do was to crystallise our thinking and highlight the low hanging fruit as a first step on a much longer journey”.

There were an extensive number of areas highlighted. These included obvious opportunities missed, the need to improve metrics reporting and the fact that priority had been given to measuring the wrong things. Looking in huge detail at the sales funnels, the report identified many improvements that could quickly be made – at no cost – to optimise performance.

Added to this were performance and alignment issues and a culture that lacked a sales orientation. In commercial terms, Good Growth identified two key opportunities: an £18 million opportunity for BBY and a £4.5 million opportunity in the SME space if BUPA improved conversion from existing levels.

Immediately following the Good Growth engagement, BUPA embarked on a major business re-structure which saw major changes to the UK marketing function. The main recommendations have been taken forward and the business is confident that the appointment of two key senior personnel – an overall UK marketing director and a new digital director will deliver the improvements identified.

Tony gave an insight into working with Good Growth: “they are a highly focused and driven team and they delivered an assessment of our online capability that was spot on. They were extremely responsive to our needs as a business and there was a clear alignment in thinking between us. They challenged each and every one of us throughout and asked some very tough questions in what wasn’t always an easy process”.