Archive for May, 2009


I added the following content as a comment on the previous podcast post with Steve Snell, but thought it might be better suited for a post all its own.  These thoughts are in reference to an insurance affinity/association Web site overhaul project.  The project ROI can be clearly seen by the business unit.  Now we’re making a case for executive sponsorship, and of course, IT sign-off.  Can’t go into all the details obviously, but the following notes will give you a glimpse into cost justification.  The same concepts hold on the agent-driven side as well.  (Btw, really appreciated the comments from Steve Snell, John Pogas and Mark Seghers on the ROI podcast.  Great reinforcement and added value.  Love to get more input.  Approaching 100 ‘listens’ already – must be a timely topic.)


I just did an ROI exercise for a client. Here’s what I came up with relative to overhauling a term life affinity distribution site and converting from PDF download to an e-app:

Tangible Revenue gains, so NEW revenue, that should come from the following sources as compared to the site in its current state:

  • Higher conversion rates from existing traffic flow with existing product set (this factor alone could fund the project)
  • New traffic, and possible enrollments, from new viral marketing components
  • Likely even higher conversion rates with the ‘new traffic’
  • Increased persistency rates due to automation – some proprietary ideas
  • New revenue from automated cross-sell and up-sell processes

Tangible Bottom-line cost reductions:

  • Straight-through paperless processing (HUGE cost savings – this factor alone could fund the project)
  • Automating the provision of ID cards and policy information – e-Issue (BIG cost savings)
  • Possible member self-service automation

There are also several significant intangible ROI possibilities. And as always, there are also significant positive ROI things that will become apparent post-launch.  One definite BIG intangible – collecting prospect/new client contact information, esp email., so as not to be dependent on the association for marketing contact information.


I attended an amazing and unforgettable event this week – one of those last-minute things that come up suddenly and completely blow you away.  As soon as I get a link to the recording, I’ll write a blog post on the event.  Let me put it this way – I was flattened by the talk.  Sneak preview of the talk in pictures here.



Got a chance to make a picture for Bernhard Langer, 2-time Masters Champion, last week, as well as Dana Quigley, Tom Randall, and Joe Coffey – 4 mighty men of God.  See the pictures here.



You can always count on good stuff from Steve Snell.  Recently rif’d by Cventry [sic] (as they position the company for sale, cut the best and brightest resources, eliminate all technology and innovation projects, and put thousands of people out of jobs in the process – geez, I wish I didn’t share the same last name with the culprit), Steve has about as deep of a resume with insurance technology, and the ROI there-of, as anyone I know.  I think readers/listeners will appreciate the reinforcement of knowledge as well as perhaps some less well-known concepts. Btw, Steve is ‘available’.  Anyone that ends up with him is going to ROCK! – if they turn him loose.  Meantime, have a short-term project?  Hire Steve as a consultant?!

Please come back to the blog and ShareThis on your Linkedin page and/or post a comment or two at the bottom of this page.  Let’s see if we can take the conversation even further and really nail the subject.

Steve’s background eAMS,, secure broker portals, automating contacting and appointing, etc.

Listen in here

My favorite points:

Often over-looked item – compliance and avoiding regulatory fines for failure to comply with a bullet-proof audit trail.

“A bad business process automated is just a bad business process made faster.”

Intangible ROI:

  • Perception of being easy to do business with
  • Don’t have to be the cheapest rate
  • Don’t have to pay the highest commission
  • Nimbility
  • What else do you think?  Comment below.

Tangible ROI:

  • Reduced headcount – 53 people on a process that should be done by 4-6 people.
  • Increased productivity of existing agents, selling more product faster in more states
  • Increased number of agents who want to do business with a savvy, not just a me-too, company
  • Nimbility
  • What else?

Problem: These sites are viewed as technology projects instead of ‘products’.  Listen to Steve’s take.  What’s your take on this idea? Might explain the insurance executive mentality of ‘expense’ versus ‘investment’ and the “sea of mediocrity”?

Agile versus Big Bang deployments – What’s been your experience?

“…very difficult to get that money back…” Yep

“The days of enterprise software are over.”  Amen, bro.

“Now is a good time to be investing in this technology.”  Several very valid rationales.  “…first out of the flames…forethought…vision…”

Please comment.  Lurking is lame!


Steve and I at a Tribe game couple years ago

Media mentions:

A.M. Best: Best’s Review See it here (Part 2 Page 2)  Btw, check out the stats as well.  Jaimie Pickles – awesome article.

Insurance Journal: Closer Look: Agency Technology – Social Networking, Web 2.0 Changing the Way the Industry Does Business

A flood of articles this week reinforcing the critical nature of the Web within insurance marketing.  If this is all true, why aren’t more insurance folks knocking the cover off the ball with new sales and profitability from the Web channel?  What’s “the catch” in your opinion?

Question:  Why would the board of directors of a very large insurance distribution company allow the leadership team to “cut costs” by RIF’ing the “do-ers”, retaining the mid-managers, and retaining the executive bonus structures?  Sure thing – such a strategy will increase the EPS for a couple quarters.  But then the bomb will explode as new revenue, innovation, and competitive advantage shifts with the disgruntled remaining employees who opt-out of the climate of rape and pillage and move to a company with a soul.  And when that bomb explodes, what’s left of the company will vaporize.  Help me understand:  How is this different from what Bernie Madoff did?  Looks like we’re sending him to jail.  How about these execs and boards that are intentionally and knowingly putting at risk thousands of jobs and potentially compromising hard-earned insurance policies – all so they can tell their Harvard or McKinsey buddies how much they made on the deal and retire in style in Naples?  All I gotta say is, What comes around, goes around.  As you sow, so shall you reap.  Enough of my rant.  Seriously.

I can’t wait for the world to see a few new sites we will be launching shortly.  I could be out in left field, and of course I’m biased (just hope I’m not blinded), but I think these sites will advance the ball like did last year.

What else -

A company that ‘gets it’…  American Collectors

Aartrijk Brand Camp in Chicago in September.  All I can say is, if you’re in insurance marketing, try to be there…

Three strategic partnerships pending.  Good to see some companies seem to be getting it.  “Watch out” to those still limping along with the IT department.  (Listen, I’m sorry to the IT directors out there that don’t outsource front-end, customer-facing Web development.  No disrespect intended, but you gotta focus on what you do best and outsource the rest.  The Web is extremely specialized – no more room for OTJ training.)

A bunch more, but gotta go.

Oh yeah, one of my pictures from last weekend made a national soccer Web site!

See the rest here.




What about product???

With all that’s going on with Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, Group Retiree Health, etc., etc., I thought it might be interesting to do an informal poll of conference attendees and get their takes on what going to happen with product.

Listen in.  Please comment below re your thoughts, not only on product, but also on the conference itself, the industry, and anything else.

Oh, while you’re listening, browse pictures from the conference here.



I’m SO excited to publish this content.  I could be way out in left field, but it just seems like a LOT of people are going to be VERY interested in these comments on Web usability, consumer behaviors, and best practices from an ex-Prgrssv subject matter expert, Tonya Busic.

Grab a note pad, listen in, and please come back and COMMENT on your thoughts below.  Tonya would LOVE to answer questions and ping ideas back and forth.

Archives to 2005