Fra-gee-le’! Must be Italian! It’s a major award!!!!! “Christmas Story”

Very very cool. I found out Monday during the 2006 Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) MarkeTTech Symposium in Chicago. IdeaStar was awarded the “Best of PIMA Award” for IdeaStar designed and developed the Medicare Part D enrollment Web site for MemberHealth Inc. The site won the Gold award in the Marketing Methods competition, e-Commerce Web sites category, and then went on to win Best of PIMA against the other Gold winners.

There were 60 to 70 entries spread out over 11 categories. Six Gold Awards were given, and for the second time in three years, a Web site won Best of PIMA. The judges mentioned in their recognition speech that was cleanly conceived, cost effective, and very successful, with over 100,000 enrollments.

Other conference notes: The conference theme this year was the “Winds of Change.” One of those “Winds of Change” widely discussed was the use of the Internet for selling insurance products. At MarkeTTech last year, I introduced my blog – and nobody knew what I was talking about. This year, everybody was talking about the Internet, podcasts, blogs, etc. and how they relate to insurance products sales.

All this to say that insurance companies need to focus on their Web strategy. The Internet is not just for education any more. It’s grown to include sales and management too. If the Internet can work for Medicare Part D, clearly marketed toward seniors, it will work for main-stream products as well. But it ain’t easy – the slightest misstep and down you go.

FYI — Watch out, those of you who are doing things inhouse. During the conference, I had several meaningful conversations with well-known carriers in the health and life space who want to outsource Web development. They’ve already tried it in-house, and now they are ready to turn it over to somebody whose projects have already proven successful.