Archive for October, 2008


New LinkedIn stuff

Did you see the raft of cool new Applications released on Linkedin this week? I’ve already embedded my Blog posts into my Linkedin profile. I have also joined a private Huddle Workspace – seems like a Wiki. Also like the Travel tool and the Reading List tool sponsored by Amazon. Might be time to upgrade my account. Can’t recommend Linkedin highly enough.

AMA Webinar on Communities

According to Groundswell, Communities solve one of four marketing problems in today’s world – accessibility. If you have a hard time reaching your audience with your message, building a community for your audience seems effective according to a couple case studies in the book. So when I got an email blast from the American Marketing Association called, “10 Reasons to Build an Online Community in 2009″, it caught my attention. Here’s a link. Sounds helpful.

My Webinar w/AMBest

Working on a Webinar for A.M. Best about how insurers are using the Web. If you have any insights that might be considered especially innovative, I’d like to hear from you. If you get a chance, check out the first EFusion presentation (should be posted here shortly) – some REALLY good stuff.

Interesting article. LOVE the picture. The article makes a point: Due to economic turmoil… wrt the insurance company’s IT spend… “It’s not freezing IT projects, but it’s less tolerant of risk. ‘The bar goes a little higher,’ John says.” Read the article for the whole context. I’m GLAD they’re raising the bar and being less tolerant of risk. So before selecting the internal IT department for a high-stakes Web site, does it make sense to assess their credentials and recent track record? Is it less risky to do a Web front-end project using in-house Web developers versus outsourcing to a Web development company? I have my own opinions for sure, but curious on other opinions.

Next week: PIMA MarkeTTech – SOLD OUT in the midst of travel bans, etc. Very cool.


Today’s podcast with Danielle Knopf, Vice President, Social Media Consulting Services at Deep Focus might whet your appetite to hear more at MarkeTTech, perhaps even do some of the preparation work Danielle suggest in the podcast. Looking ahead to MarkeTTech, my hope is that PIMA members will pick up some golden nuggets from the Panel called “Demystifying Social Media”, a discussion on Social Networks featuring opening Keynote Kristin Brewe with Esurance, Aimee Higgins with MySpace, Danielle, and moderated by Sara Holoubek, social networking consultant.





Come with questions and comments – this seems like one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Click here to hear comments from Danielle.


Quick story: On Saturday morning, as a favor to a dear friend, I took pictures of a junior high soccer game up in Cleveland. The plan was to then meet my freshman-in-college daughter at the house and immediately head to southern Ohio to shoot/watch my sophomore-in-college playing soccer. I know, it’s a lot to bite off, but these days are short. As I drove in the drive way, my daughter excitedly waves a greeting, then goes to get her stuff out of the car. Her carefree smile turns to a look of frustration as she realizes she has locked the keys in the car – no windows open, no hope.

No problem. I keep an extra key to my cars on my dresser. Not there. Dang. Call AAA. For some reason, they are not showing my annual payment – sorry, gotta pay before you can play. But I paid it – got the history right here on my bill-pay history online. I’m sorry, sir…. I finally get that straightened out 45 minutes and several call-transfers-repeat-the-situation-to multiple-people-while-I’m-on-a-deadline-good-grief!!!

Then I notice outside there goes my daughter to the car with an old left-over piece of floor-board molding from the basement and my heavy-duty, L-shaped nail-puller. She proceeds to wedge open the top of the driver car door where it meets the roof and the rear-door, and stick the piece of wood through the opening down to the auto-lock. Minutes later we’re on our way, calling AAA to cancel the service call.

“How’d you know what to do?” I asked. “I googled ‘breaking into a locked car’. There were several YouTube video’s showing how to do it,” she answered with a big smile.

So what does this have to do with insurance technology? I think it reinforces the point that the Web is where it’s at. To reach younger generations with insurance messaging, perhaps the best place to find them is online. Perhaps Esurance/Geico/Progressive should sponsor a site that’s all about user-generated content about cars – locking your keys in there, wet spots on your garage floor, noises from the back tire, how to avoid common rip-off’s at the car-repair chains, simple stuff which Joe the Plumber and Jane the single-mom can use to save money, save time, save frustration. And oh, by the way, Get-A-Quote and save money on your insurance, too.

A story to stimulate some thought – and reinforce other thoughts. I’ve been saying it for a while now. If you’re and insurer and you don’t have an aggressive Web strategy, I can almost guarantee you will be one of the ones that are left standing when the music stops… Call me – happy to help.


If you would be so kind, please click here to participate in a survey my co-presenter is sponsoring for our A.M. Best E-Fusion Webinar titled, “Is the Web Out of Control?: Social networking, instant communications, blogging: They’re all important but huge threats to corporate security and consistent delivery of strategy. Managed poorly, these technologies can become strains on productivity. Hear how companies use communication technology to their advantage and reach customers they might never have otherwise.”

Feel free to Share this page as well.  The more the merrier.  Thanks a million.

Oh yeah.  Register for the Webinar, post comments, and ask questions as well.  Always interested in a good story.


I’m excited! PIMA MarkeTTech is only 4 weeks away. Can’t wait. So I took a few moments to catch up with our opening Keynote speaker, Kristin Brewe. Have you heard of Erin Esurance, the female action hero from the TV commercials? Quote-Buy-Print, solving crime and selling insurance! It’s a very cool and savvy campaign that has kicked Esurance up to the same category as Geico and Progressive – on a MUCH smaller budget. Couple interesting points… “Each impression has to count for 20 for us.” “We in the insurance business have to let go…” Check it out.

Looking ahead to MarkeTTech, my hope is that PIMA members will pick up some golden nuggets from Kristin’s talk, as well as the following panel discussion on Social Networks featuring Kristin, Aimee Higgins with MySpace, Danielle Knopf with Deep Focus, and moderated by Sara Holoubek, social networking consultant. Come with questions and comments – this seems like one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

Click here to hear comments from Kristin Brewe, Director – Brand & Public Relations, Esurance.

By the way, here’s the picture I mention in the podcast!

One more thing… One of my son’s ROTC buddies snapped this picture last week – a download from Facebook. Zach Wise is the one looking back at the camera. Love that shot! Proud of you, Zach! ;-)

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