Archive for January, 2007

25th

Ed and his wife Laurie (a favorite picture of mine)

I caught up with Ed Miltenberger, Vice President and savvy veteran with GILSBAR. I asked about the Web and the insurance industry and received some interesting remarks.

Disaster recovery talk: GILSBAR is located in the New Orleans metro area and successfully navigated the post-Katrina disaster-recovery scenario. It’s a compelling story that we heard last summer at Napa. Ed thinks that table-top scenarios are must-have’s for any enterprise. For example, the potential Avian bird-flu pandemic — employees might not be able to get to the main office. What do you do? Web-enabling business processes is key.

What about health and life carriers and Web-enabled insurance processes? This is an issue across the board. Some carriers have made huge investments in static technologies. Perhaps the better solution is to partner with specialists that can help you do business in a lot of different venues so that you are not necessarily dependent on carriers to make that investment.

Click here for Ed Miltenberger’s talk

Thanks Ed! And thanks again for the dinner with Laura Bush!

25th

Now this is really interesting. I caught up with two veterans of the insurance direct marketing industry. Fortunately, John and Brian were in one place at one time.

Brian Mulconrey, Scenario Strategist — Presented: Four Futures of Personal Information Management, and the impacts on direct marketers and all of us on how we manage our information.

John Harrison, insurance direct marketing legend, founder of Keystone Equities About carriers and the Web:

John: The entire insurance process can be digitized. We don’t need to really have anything tangible. Distributors will drive carriers to adopt the Web process — or else….

Brian: Carriers price distribution and then pay for it. The carriers that will do well will be those that understand how to plug into distributors who have made their own investments in insurance technology.

Cost of not doing these things:

John: Entrepreneurs are developing technologies for agents that carriers are piggy-backing on. Seeing a lot of leveraging new technology for leads and immediate contacts. The agents will drive the changes, carriers will have to adapt to those changes.

Brian: The smartest and most progressive carriers are trying to integrate with the Web. A lot of talented producers with the right technology can share in tremendous productivity increases. Carriers must get up the learning curve quickly; and not just the senior management — the whole group within the carrier.

Click here to hear more from Brian Mulconrey and John Harrison

23rd

While I was at the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) Annual Meeting last week in Florida, I caught this bird hanging around the golf course. At first I thought it was a swan, but it can’t be. So if somebody could please let me know what it is, I would appreciate it.

The conference was great. I talked some insurance, took a few pictures, talked a lot about the Web and the future it holds, and I did A LOT of PODCASTING. People seemed excited by that. Take a few minutes to listen to the podcasts posted on this blog. There were some great presentations, and the comments add unique insights.

I also became the unofficial official photographer for the closing on Saturday night after the official photographer had to go to the Bears game. Take a look and see if I caught you or somebody you know in any of my shots. No, I’m not going to consider a career change. ;-)

I’ll be doing more podcasting and picture-taking at the Inter-company Marketing Group (ICMG) Annual Meeting next next week. (Yep – it’s back to sunny Florida for this snowy-Cleveland boy.) I’ll be talking to a lot of people there about the best ways to use the Web to market insurance products.

A special note, IdeaStar’s famous Wayne Largent and Jane Hudeck will also be attending. Stop by the IdeaStar booth and say “Hi!” I know many IdeaStar clients have e-mailed and talked to Jane and Wayne on the phone. Now’s your chance to meet them in person.

Jane and me at the ICMG Annual Meeting in 2006

Don’t forget to look for our booth. And remember, we’ll be giving away a “major award” leg lamp to a lucky winner.

19th

Following a talk about how smaller marketers can compete with the larger companies, David Olsen, Account Executive with AMA Insurance speaks about the David and Goliath opportunities in insurance marketing. David comments on the importance of setting up an account team to service all aspects of the business: claims, underwriting, etc… Also, David sees the opportunity to contact prospective clients at multiple levels of the organization – knowing the strategic needs at the executive level, as well as the tactical issues facing the marketing and sales departments and solving their problems.

I also asked David to comment on the apparent lagging nature of health and life carrier adoption of the Internet in the quoting and enrollment of their insurance products — so-called front-end processes. What’s at stake for the insurance companies? Insurance carriers are laggards and conservative by nature. That being said, if we can’t leverage the Web, we as direct marketers will be at a disadvantage against brokers and agent forces.

Click here for David Olsen’s thoughts

Thanks, David.

Go Bears!

19th

Shannon, 2nd from right

Welcome to the first in a series of podcasts live from the 2007 PIMA Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, FL. Up first is a brief interview with Shannon Warner of AIG. I spoke with Shannon during a break after the opening keynote talk by Mike Manes of Square One Consulting, an engaging talk about the future called “Handrails for a Flat World”.

In addition to talking about Mike Manes’ insights, I asked Shannon to comment on the apparent lagging nature of health and life carrier adoption of the Internet in the quoting and enrollment of their insurance products — so-called front-end processes. What’s at stake for the insurance companies? Listen in — very interesting.

Click here for Shannon Warner’s thoughts

Thanks, Shannon. I appreciate your insights and inspiration.

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