E-Commerce with an emphasis on Social Technologies
OK, the word is out. The next 12-18 months are not going to be pretty no matter who you are or what corner of the business you’re in. It’s going to be rough going. Time will tell, but my guess is that those that made persistent progress with the latest Web technologies on the sales and marketing side over the last five year will likely see better non-acquisition revenue gains than those that didn’t. In either case, the investments made in 2009 (and remember, the traditional EPS #’s are going to stink no matter what) will DEFINITELY set the stage for the winners and losers when the economy picks back up.
Check out this article – it makes two excellent points.
“Encouraging agent attendees to incorporate the next-step technology into their offices, she shared ideas, such as: providing chat capabilities on Web sites [easy]; using text messaging [yup]; creating special Web sites for niche marking [microsites]; providing customer- access portals on agency Web sites [a lot to bite off for an agent]; using Web presentations with small-business clients [easy, excellent]; and researching and communicating with clients using the social networks Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn [absolutely - got to get in the game though].”
“…and keeping up to date with new technologies.” I know I’ve been saying this for a while, but I’ll say it again. For the vast majority of players in this game, outsourcing the insurance technology development, hosting, and maintenance to experienced professionals is critical. In-sourcing is often more expensive in the long run, especially when you consider lost business opportunities because of small but nagging issues with the Web sites. Remember, people make a bale/no-bale decision on a Web page in 6-8 seconds.
Shot the coldest soccer game, hobby-to-date. NAIA National Tournament first round in Cleveland. In this picture, I narrowly missed getting wammed in the face by the ball. But, hey, I got the shot! I know – I’m nuts. See more here.
We’re a week and half down range from PIMA MarkeTTech. Too many thoughts. Too many conversations. All good, well mostly all, just a lot of stuff.
In that time, I’ve seen a TON of activity among PIMA members on Linkedin – none too soon. That’s good.
I also shared, with her permission, some of the essentials of Kristin Brewe‘s talk at PIMA with the AM Best EFusion Audience in a Webinar called “Is the Web Out of Control?” See and hear my talk here. You’ll even see my office. Yes, that’s AM Best EFusion artwork in the background from 2004. I know – I’m nuts!
Speaking of AM Best, one of the recent presenters, John Pogas with AON Affinity, gave a great talk on Value-Centric E-Commerce. The thing I want to mention is the comments he made about IT Departments. “The biggest mistake a lot of organizations make is they tend to use the expertise from the IT department.” Read and listen to the point he makes on that. I’m really feeling ‘done’ with being frustrated with IT departments inside insurance companies. Instead, I’m going to make a new effort to start reaching out to them, partnering on insurance technology projects, even if they want to host in-house. Look for more posts on that down the road.
In an unrelated comment, heard this on a conference call today – stopped me. In describing the current state of the insurance industry: ” Male, Pale, & Stale” -PvA YIKES! Ummm – yeah, I guess so. I feel like Randy Quaid in Independence Day when the aliens finally show up, “I’ve been saying that for 10 DAMN YEARS!” LOL .
So much more to say… More later… Hey, we had the first snowfall this week. Should be a white Thanksgiving.
Kristin Brewe absolutely hit a grand slam with her opening Keynote talk at PIMA MarkeTTech about Erin Esurance and leveraging the social Web. Suffice it to say that, with an advertising and marketing budget that is a fraction of its competitors, Esurance is in solid third place with brand recognition and online quotes. They’ve merged online and offline marketing events (and vice-versa), they’ve leveraged their hard-core fans to solve customer service problems, and they’re getting tremendous buzz in MySpace and YouTube. Check it out. IT WORKS!!!
So I took a moment between things to go a little deeper on a subject near and dear to my heart – conversions. Once you get someone’s attention, what are some of the keys to consummating the sale? Kristin had some interesting things to say. As expected, it all kind of works together.More pictures from MarkeTTech
Click here to listen to Kristin Brewe’s thoughts on conversions.
Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) MarkeTTech Symposium happened in Baltimore this week. The conference seemed to be well-received. In the middle of things, I sat with Sara Holoubek, a corporate strategy consultant to growth firms and investors. Sara moderated the panel discussion on the social Web, something very new for most of the conference attendees. Listen in at the link below for a few take-aways…Deep Focus), Eric Tisch (MySpace), Kristin Brewe (Esurance) More pictures from MarkeTTech
Click here to hear comments from Sara.