Archive for May, 2007

30th

Last week John Kelly, association sales manager, Prudential Insurance Company of America, stopped by IdeaStar. John was the co-chair of the 2007 Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) Annual Meeting.

We had a great conversation about insurance financing and technology. John spoke about why health care costs so much and shared interesting insights about the culture of America and how it impacts the cost of health care. He even offered a few solutions.

John also shared a few thoughts on why health and life companies, in general, are a bit behind the times when it comes to front-end Web technology and what’s at stake if they don’t pick up the pace. Click here to listen. I especially relate to his very last comment.

John (far left) at the 2007 PIMA Annual Meeting Golf Outing (click to enlarge)

30th

By Mike Wise, VP IdeaStar Insurance Technologies

I’ve got some hot news for you! As some of you already know, I’m one of the chairs for the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) 2007 MarkeTTech Symposium, November 11-13 in Chicago.

This is the exciting part…. I’ve arranged for Jon Kaplan, Industry Director of Google’s Financial Services channel, to be the keynote speaker. In addition to his Web experience with Google, he has a strong history in the finance vertical, including a stint with marketing I’ve got some hot news for you! As some of you already know, I’m one of the chairs for the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) 2007 MarkeTTech Symposium, November 11-13 in Chicago.

This is the exciting part… I’ve arranged for Jon Kaplan, Industry Director of Google’s Financial Services channel, to be the keynote speaker. In addition to his Web experience with Google, he has a strong history in the finance vertical, including a stint with marketing and advertising with The Economist magazine.

  • He’ll be talking about two topics. One is how to use the Web to leverage affinity relationships to buy insurance products.
  • The other is the integration of search for online and off-line marketing, again with a focus on insurance and affinity relationships.

Jon will bring a lot of strategic and tactical advice to the conference. I met with him at the Google office during a recent trip to Chicago. We did a little warm-up podcast recording for the conference.

Click here to listen. And while you are at it, visit the PIMA Web site and learn more about the conference.

That’s me on the left with Jon Kaplan on the right.

And by-the-way, the downtown Google offices are, as expected, very cool – ultra-modern workstations every where. My favorite part is the fully-catered lunch served every day. Very nice.

Which reminds me, can anyone identify this piece of art? Hint: Randolph & Clark. Just click the comment box below to share your thoughts.

28th

My wife Diane and I were invited to the recent Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy end-of-the-year awards ceremony under the guise that one of our children (Zach or Kelle) would be receiving an award. Imagine my surprise when they announced the recipient of a special State Award — Mike Wise! I turned to my wife and said, “I think they said my name!”

Throughout the school year, I photograph school sports events and make the pictures available for students, families, and friends on smugmug. It is great fun and I truly enjoy doing it — and best of all, it’s very low cost. What the heck — I’m there anyways, might as well take some pictures and post them to the Web site, right?. [If you want to know the "rest of the story", the hobby stems from a tendency I have of yelling exhortations from the sidelines -- good stuff (most of the time), but my son especially much prefers me taking pictures. :-) ]

A baseball player shot through the fence behind home plate (click to enlarge)

When I went up for the award, the athletic director asked all the people who had their picture taken by me during the year to stand up. It was awesome. I turned and clicked a picture just for fun — it almost came out pretty good!!! Crazy.

23rd

Just a few brief notes this week. I’ll be speaking at the Second Annual Medicare Supplement Conference in Dallas Oct. 4 and 5. The subject will be Web-enabled agent management. My co-speaker is Steve Snell, who did an incredible job with WellCare’s new Brokerage channel. IdeaStar Insurance Technologies worked together with Steve to develop an agent appointment and agent portal system for WellCare. I hope you’ll join us for what should be a great discussion.

In other news, congratulations to an IdeaStar client. Solon, OH-based MemberHealth Inc. is being acquired by Universal American Financial Corp. for $630 million. UAFC just happens to be an IdeaStar client too! For MemberHealth, we developed communitycarerx.com, a Medicare Part D enrollment site, for which we earned a Best of PIMA award as well as Finalist in the A.M. Best E-Fusion 2006 competition. For Rye Brook, N.Y.-based UAFC, we developed a very successful online agent appointment system. Best wishes to both companies.

Totally unrelated but interesting… a few neat pictures from recent shoots:

What a difference 4 weeks makes in NE Ohio? 2 shots – exact same position (click to enlarge)

Couple shots at the Tribe/Reds Inter-League game… Hafner homer; Phillips breaking up the double play.

17th

Our final serving of Gumbo-Cooking Up the Organization of the Future — a 3-Part podcast with author and industry consultant Mike Manes — will focus on the “Stock”.

The Stock is Communication. Applying it to this Blog, I see it relative to the new ways insurance executives need to communicate. It seems critically important to understand this concept. Not only does the concept apply to internal communications, but external as well, like how well the insurance company or marketing organization communicates through its Web site. Mike makes some great points. He then concludes with the intangible aspects of doing business, including the spiritual and philosophical components of a successful enterprise. Great stuff.

During the podcast recording session, we spoke about Mike’s general impression about podcasting and the medium, and I rattled off a few statistics about this Blog. As a seasoned insurance veteran, Mike said he appreciates this opportunity to reach out to Generation X and Y’ers, the up and coming generation of insurance executives. We hope his thoughts, reasons, and visions will be of value to them now and in the future.

As I mentioned, this is our last of three podcasts. I found the experience to be positive, glad I did it, and appreciate Mike making himself available. I hope people grab his book and implement his ideas. It’s a good bet that the concepts will help the health insurance industry move in a positive direction. At the end of the day, that’s what I’m after.

Click here to listen.

Archives to 2005