Statewide Mutual Strategic Marketing

The Client

Statewide Mutual is Australia’s largest local government self-insurance pool. Owned by its members, the discretionary mutual provides cover for the vast majority of NSW councils’ major insurable risks.


2013 – 2017

The Project

In 2013 Cuckoo successfully tendered for a contract with Statewide Mutual to undertake a strategic review of their operations. Soon after, they engaged us to deliver our recommended brand strategy project and following that we were engaged as their full service marketing strategy team, a relationship that lasted over 3 years. It is a testament to the value we bring to our clients and quality of the work that we do. After 20 years of operation, Statewide Mutual’s board came to us late 2013 to confess they had never focused on marketing and they wanted to change that. Their brief was broad – to conduct a strategic assessment aimed at improving their image and profile. After a thorough assessment that included interviews with key stakeholders, a review of business vision, strategy and objectives, a brand audit, and competitor analysis, we recommended a full brand strategy project be conducted, which the board approved and we delivered in 2014. We started with an extensive quantitative research project to unearth member views and motivations. Armed with this data, we began work on target market analysis and profiling, brand positioning and key message definition. Our investigations had unearthed a dull brand in dire need of attention and communications requiring immediate improvement. The board of Statewide Mutual were right behind us and we began to implement our recommendations. We launched the fresh brand image, logo and a tagline that reflected the underlying values of the organisation. We created brand guidelines to ensure consistency of application and rolled out MS Word and PowerPoint templates throughout the organisation. Uniforms, stationery and merchandise built excitement and ownership amongst the team for the new branding. In tandem, we relaunched the client’s redundant e-newsletter to address the communications challenge and created an entirely new website that was seamlessly integrated with an existing extranet portal. We created a rolling 18 month marketing plan including launch campaign, public relations, events, sponsorship, communications, social media and advertising components; a format they continue to implement. Thanks to the strong foundations on which the brand was established, we were in a great position to progressively refine the strategy. We periodically released an 18-month plan to guide integrated marketing activity towards evolving objectives and dynamic industry conditions. We kept our finger on the pulse of target market views with regular benchmarking surveys to member councils, feeding results back into strategic plans and using the learnings to guide future activity. Let’s face it: being Australia’s second largest self-insurance pool was something we weren’t going to let happen.

The Interesting Bit

The Statewide Mutual account gave us the opportunity to flex our full-service agency muscles in clever planning and integrated execution across a multitude of marketing tactics; from corporate identity through to advertising, PR, sponsorship, digital, events and communications. The team also became subject matter experts in the many aspects of local government operations and complex insurance constructs overnight, as well as gaining a solid understanding of the unique environment in which local government operates and its diverse communities and residents.

The Results

The new Statewide Mutual brand received an overwhelmingly positive response from members and employees. Statewide Mutual’s relaunched e-newsletter has been distributed quarterly since May 2014, achieving a 40% average open rate – well and truly above the 10-15% industry average. It’s not unheard of for other ad-hoc electronic direct marketing activity to reach well above 45%. Thousands of Statewide Mutual branded pieces of merchandise and collateral have been distributed through events and sponsorship activity since we were engaged. The feedback we received regarding the copy, design and overall finished product of successive annual reports, brochures and flyers were consistently positive and appreciative – a satisfying result indeed.