PIMA MarkeTTech 2009 at the Loews Philadelphia hotel this week – definitely worth the trip.  Several neat stories:

1. Best of PIMA award went to Marsh.  More on that in a future podcast (I hope).

2. IdeaStar’s client, Forrest T. Jones, won the top Gold Award for E-Commerce Web sites, surpassing some great sites by AON and others.

Ftj.com is absolutely a ground-breaking site.  See the White Paper I helped write here.  Phenomenal site.  Kudo’s to the entire team that worked on.  From the early e-business readiness consulting work that Mark Seghers did, through the diligent, competent, and persevering efforts of the FTJ team (Fred & Debbie and others), including the IdeaStar team (Mary, Brent, Phil, Wayne and others), all the way to winning the award and beyond.  Simply outstanding efforts and results.  Matrix-driven architecture with content management is a great solution for multi-carrier, multi-product, multi-association, multi-state education, quoting, and enrollment.  Only way to go circa 2009.

3. A long-time attendee approached me and said, “Mike, I’m finally ready to do a blog.  And I want my CEO to do one also…”  Cool.

An amazing event on several levels.  I found it remarkable that something I brought up at the Stoweflake resort in the summer of 2007 finally yielded some fruit.  And I’m flattered and gratified that he came to me.  Very very cool.

4. Favorite bit of content from the podium – Randa Zalman from Redstone

The decision is not ‘whether or not’ to participate in social media.  It’s HOW to participate.

Social Media is a marathon not a sprint. – good quip for the book I’m writing.

Great story about customer service and addressing the customer through social media, turning the relationship around, finding out about a service issue with the rep and a management issue with the rep’s boss – all because they were monitoring social media and then addressed the issue that was raised by the customer.  Great story.

Anything more than 2 minutes is boring.

5. Sound bites for a music video to open a panel discussion at the next PIMA Annual Meeting called “Demystifying Social Media”

The audience at the annual meeting will be the executives, so in general the bosses of the folks at MarkeTTech.  With notable exceptions, the exec’s are generally crossing their arms and rejecting social media and social networks.  But their people are using the tools and definitely see opportunity for insurance marketing.  So my hope is that with sound bites and corresponding images, we’ll arrive at a short (<2min!), punchy opener that grabs the execs.

Any comments on this post are welcome.  Do you think Social Networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) and Social Media (Blogs, YouTube, etc.) are relevant to the distribution of insurance in the affinity and association markets?

PIMA MMC Gold Award with FTJ copy

Grace Parrish, Rick Jones, me, Fred Hron

missing: Debbie Hamilton, Mary Zupancic, Phil Hall