How do you market a complex, heavily regulated product that people don’t believe they need?

FloodSmart, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's marketing and education campaign for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), was created to educate the public about flood risk and insurance. In addition to marketing a complex product, FloodSmart had to overcome another major barrier: denial.

How can you convince people to buy flood insurance when they simply don’t believe they are at risk for flooding? FloodSmart also didn’t have control over the entire sales process. As a public and private partnership with insurance companies, the NFIP had to rely on an external distribution channel that often had their own barriers to offering flood insurance to clients.


Efficiently crafting a more personalized flood risk conversation.

While efficiency isn’t always exciting, it’s a crucial first step to managing a campaign of this size with relatively limited funds. Our program directors managed a team of nearly 40 people working on hundreds of projects across 5 companies by developing processes and templates that drove the entire team to execute their tasks more effectively and efficiently.

And what were those tasks? We knew we had to engage people who were not only unfamiliar with our product, they didn’t understand their true flood risk.

Our integrated marketing and outreach plans focused on raising awareness in three key areas: flood risk, the consequences of flood damage, and the benefits of flood insurance. Research helped us better understand barriers to accepting personal flood risk. This data, along with in-depth knowledge of the various causes of flooding, was essential in developing messaging and materials. From there, and perhaps most important consideration, we localized the content. Once we mapped messages, creative, tools, and resources to where communities were in the consumer journey, we could truly personalize the conversation.

But we couldn’t do it alone. Having influencers to help carry the message increases your chances of changing audience behavior. In FloodSmart’s case, that was the insurance industry and other stakeholders, such as floodplain managers. The key here was to make it as stress-free as possible. Our templates, talking points, and other collateral engaged these influencers and made it easy for them to share our messaging.


A Commitment to a More Resilient America.

Managing a program like this means immersing yourself in your clients’ world. The Yes& team became experts in flood risk, flood insurance, and all the regulation and legislation that came with it.

Paring that intimate knowledge with our commitment to understanding and serving our audiences paid off. FloodSmart tripled the number of agent leads from 550,000 to more than 1.5 million annually, reduced the cost per lead by 60 percent, increased website traffic through paid search by 67 percent, and nearly doubled the website lead conversion rate to 31 percent.