Archive for June, 2008


By Mike Wise, VP IdeaStar Insurance Technologies

Social networks – Possibly the next frontier of affinity and association marketing… Some interesting stats:

  • MySpace – 1 billion visits/month (did not even exist 5 years ago)
  • Facebook – Traffic ranking among all websites increased from 60th to 7th from 09/06 to 09/07 (source: Alexa)
  • Linkedin – 700% growth in 2007, 11 million visits/mo as of 04/08
  • misc –
    • 91% of consumer use social network for information
    • Social networks are 21st Century word-of-mouth
    • Considered “most reliable source of information”
    • 67% of purchases influenced by word-of-mouth
    • Real people, real lives, high level of trust
    • Promotes exceptional ‘virality’

Source: Building Your Brand in the World of Social Networking
Webinar by American Marketing Association and Ramius Corp.

Did you get your copy of Groundswell yet? Some more stats from the book… I only wish it showed associated growth percentages for the last couple years – and sheer numbers of users. Might be an eye-opener.

Participation in groundswell activities (page 42)
Watch video from other users 29%
Read online forums and discussion groups 28%
Visit social networking sites 25%
Read customer ratings/reviews 25%
Read blogs 25%
Update/maintain a profile on a social networking site 20%
Add comments to someone’s page on an SN site 18%
Contribute to online forums or discussion groups 18%
Comment on someone else’s blog 14%
Post ratings/reviews of products and services 11%
Publish, maintain, or update a blog 11%
Use RSS 8%

Some recent pictures:

If any Boomers can identify this house, I’d be impressed. Hint: it’s from an after-school TV show in the late 60′s, very scary… located in Oradel, NJ.

Zach Wise, my son, playing volleyball..

Latest soccer favorite…

Copyright © 2008 Mike Wise
All rights reserved.

Postlude to the Social Networks series: Interesting article on Corporate Blogging and how it can lead to NEW BUSINESS! I’ll go further than that. I got a call this week from a major player in a major insurance category who found me via a Google search on ‘online insurance quoting’. I came up in third place on his natural results. I was happy to get that call.

We had a major launch three weeks ago now. (Been busy!) Check it out. I’m in the process of writing a white paper on the underpinnings of the site because it seems to be ground-breaking. It really seems like we have moved a category to a higher ground with this site. I could be out in left field, but I haven’t run across anything quite like it yet.

Here are some stats:

30+ carriers
80+ associations
100+ products
thousands of members

All of this complexity is being administered through the site. Online, e-signature enrollments are available in core products. Other products have links to fillable pdf’s, standard pdf’s, brochures, or external links – with tracking for commissions. Of course, best-practices were used for high-conversion rates on the e-signature workflows. Almost everything seems to be in place. And Phase Two has some very interesting ideas. I must say that even though this site took almost a year to develop, test, and launch (with adversity of course), I’m not sure there’s another company out there that could have pulled it off in the timeframe and budget we did, especially not the IT department, no disrespect intended, just candid observations.

On a personal note, saw my youngest graduate from High School last weekend. Been working on a music video, a collection of accumulated pictures set to three sound-tracks. It’s a bittersweet time.

The Graduate

A long time ago...
Copyright © 2008 Mike Wise
All rights reserved.
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