As part of our series looking at what firms did to win accolades at the UK Pensions Awards 2016, PP speaks to Capita Employee Benefits head of Creative Sparks Louise Harris about how the firm won the Communication Innovation of the Year category.
Video: Capita Employee Benefits head of Creative Sparks Louise Harris
PP: What does it mean to win this award?
LH: It’s wonderful to get external recognition for the great work we’ve been doing to build genuine engagement with pensions. I’m really proud of my team, who are delighted to be getting tangible results from their innovative ideas and creativity.
PP: What do you believe sets you apart from your peers and contributes to this success?
LH: We believe that three elements create successful, sustainable engagement: data, design and digital:
• Data: Working with our data scientists, we carry out in-depth data analysis and run focus groups and language labs to make sure that communications are relevant to each and every member.
• Designed to last: Engagement comes from having a well thought out communications strategy, one that targets clearly defined objectives and incorporates a robust approach to segmentation and personalisation. We want every member to feel as if they are an audience of one. We take them on single seamless journeys that combine communications with online administration. And design in terms of an engaging brand, one that supports the employer brand, is essential to grabbing attention and reinforcing the employer and trustee’s commitment to the pension scheme.
• Digital by default: We can’t ignore the fact that we’re living in a digital world. The way we communicate with each other has changed. Marketers were quick to capitalise on the benefits of technology with deep data analysis and integrated targeted campaigns that persuade us to buy or get involved. We’re simply applying the same techniques to pensions to encourage people to pay attention and take action. We use email marketing campaigns supported by promotional tools, like augmented reality, that drive members to rich websites and digital content, such as interactive videos, as well as to Orbit, our award-winning employee benefits portal.
PP: What are the key challenges facing your pension scheme clients and how are you helping them address these issues?
LH: Our industry has set some stringent demands on pension schemes:
• The DWP’s New Minimum Governance Standards means that, for the first time, trustees must make sure that their ‘products’ are designed with the end users – their members – in mind.
• The Pensions Regulator expects trustees to demonstrate whether – and how – the scheme offers ‘value for money’ and delivers ‘good member outcomes’.
• And the FCA requires schemes to prove that they have listened to the ‘voice of the member’.
PP: How will you continue to improve your services to pension scheme clients over the coming 12 months?
LH: Along with the challenges set by our governing bodies comes endorsement of the approach we know works. To help our clients fulfil their obligations, we will help them improve relevance through more sophisticated data analysis and targeting of communications – putting members at the centre of all we do and say.
And we will continue to challenge trustees to think beyond the pension scheme they manage, and become more comfortable talking about pensions as part of a broader financial plan. We need to normalise pensions, like an ISA, or a mortgage, or a bank account.....where improved technology is the enabler to easier, more regular monitoring of their retirement savings.
Extract from Capita Employee Benefits' original UKPA submission
In 2015, Capita Employee Benefits' in-house creative communications agency, Creative Sparks, supported over 200 clients in producing engaging employee benefits campaigns to increase employee participation.
The cornerstone of its approach is to help employers to deliver an ‘audience of one’ experience – developing targeted and highly personalised messages that are relevant to the recipient’s circumstances as opposed to generic broadcasts of information to the workforce as a whole.
This approach is shown in some of the projects it has worked on in 2015. During the year it developed an augmented reality app for one of its clients, allowing users to turn their smartphones or tablets into interactive tools.
The app was loaded by scanning different types of printed material – posters around the building, desk drop leaflets – even floor transfers and coasters, so that at any point in the employee's day, they could access information quickly and effortlessly via the AR app and their device.
Capita has also used web technology to help its clients. In January 2015 it launched a pension website for one particular client using gamification and parallax web build technology.
Capita has also used digital communications to boost engagement. During the year it implemented such an approach for one client – using seasonal branding and integrated digital marketing campaigns – and achieved an overall increase in engagement of 700%.
In addition to this, Capita launched its Atlas Master Trust in 2015, a scheme founded on three key pillars, one of which is engagement – and Capita provides a structured five step journey to help each member create a personalised financial journey through life, breaking it down into a relevant appreciation of their current life circumstances to boost member understanding.
The UK Pensions Awards 2016 Winners’ Series
- How Hymans Robertson won the Actuarial / Pensions Consultancy of the Year award
- How Capita Employee Benefits won the Employee Benefits Consultancy of the Year award
- How LCP won the DC Consultancy of the Year award
- How Hymans Robertson won the Investment Consultancy of the Year award
- How Travers Smith won the Pension Lawyers of the Year award
- How LCP won the Risk Reduction Adviser of the Year award
- How B&CE won the DC Pension Provider of the Year award
- How The People’s Pension won the DC Master Trust of the Year award
- How Hymans Robertson won the Third-Party Administrator of the Year award
- How LCP won the DC Innovation of the Year award
- How Hymans Robertson won the DC Investment Innovation of the Year award
- How Capita Employee Benefits won the Communication Innovation of the Year award
This week's top stories included Cardano announcing plans to acquire Now Pensions from a Dutch pension fund later this year.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) faces a £102m impact on liabilities as a result of equalising guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs), according to its annual results.
Malcolm Mclean says getting the channels of communication right and engaging more openly is a good starting point