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Progressive places mobile at center of consumer engagement strategy

January 4, 2011

Feeling the Flo

Feeling the Flo

The Progressive Corp.’s car insurance group is expanding its mobile offerings to meet current customers’ growing demand for information on the go and to engage and attract prospects.

According to digital measurement company comScore Inc., one in four mobile users now have smartphones, and by this time next year, Nielsen estimates the number will be one in two. Progressive is augmenting its mobile offerings by launching new applications for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.

“At Progressive, our goal is to bring distinctive mobile products and services to our customers as well as prospects, and these new apps complement our core apps for iPhone and Android,” said Matt Lehman, mobile business leader at Progressive, Mayfield Village, OH.

“We’ve added the roadside assistance feature, something our customers were looking for, so they can now submit claims via mobile,” he said. “We brought mobile quoting to the apps for about 13 states, and we’ll continue to broaden the high level of utility and functionality that we bring to customers and prospects.

“We are actively seeking to meet the needs and requests from all segments of our customer base, so we will continue to broaden our core mobile offerings as well as releasing apps for additional mobile platforms.”

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies claims to be the fourth-largest auto insurer in the country, the largest seller of motorcycle insurance and a provider of commercial auto insurance.

Enhanced mobile offerings
Mr. Lehman said that Progressive has improved its core car insurance applications to bring even more useful tools to customers.

In addition, the auto insurer has added a couple of new applications, one targeting fans of Flo, a personality featured in Progressive’s television commercials, and the other to share the company’s art collection, which is displayed in its offices nationwide.

Drivers can now get Progressive car insurance quotes through any mobile browser at

Mobile quoting is available in more than a dozen states and will expand to more states throughout 2011.

Customers can also add roadside assistance to their policies and call for help with Progressive’s applications for the iPhone and Android.

And, users can access helpful safety tips and how-tos, such as how to jump-start a dead battery and how to change a flat tire.


Progressive’s mobile Web site

The new Flo-isms application, available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices, features amusing quips, or “Floisms,” uttered by Progressive’s always-happy-to-help sales clerk, Flo.

The Flo-isms application featuring Flo’s voice includes 48 of her popular sound bites from Progressive’s commercials.

Mr. Lehman said that Flo fans have tweeted them, repeated them and laughed at them. Now, the applications let them listen to them anytime, anywhere on their smartphones.

The application takes advantage of the device’s accelerometer to enable the shake-and-say feature.

The Progressive art collection application features select pieces from Progressive’s contemporary art collection, which is intended to inspire innovation and creativity within the company.

Users can view 40 pieces of art, learn about each piece and the artist that created it and share links to it with friends through email and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The application is available on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Progressive plans to use a multichannel approach, which includes mobile advertising, to get the word out about the new applications and features.

“We’ve been fairly aggressive in the whole mobile marketing space, and we will continue to do some campaigns in the mobile arena, both around the transactional apps and the new brand apps,” Mr. Lehman said. “We will continue to explore ways to get that message out via various ways throughout the year, including print, TV, direct mail and online, and we will integrate mobile into those campaigns.

“We have used a number of different ad networks in the past, the usual suspects, and will continue to do so in a fairly broad way,” he said. “We’re going to continue to evolve the process for how customers get new quotes and look at additional service offerings for customers.

“Clearly there is a high demand for using mobile devices for many aspects of an insurance customer’s life, so we will continue to evolve those—we’re looking to innovate and use the mobile context, the things that make mobile unique from other delivery mechanisms.”

Final Take
Progressive’s Flo

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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