Last week’s 2016 PIMA MidYear Meeting was off-the-charts good. As a returning member, I went about my business talking to people about amazing new Social Tech opportunities, which by the way got more traction than ever before by a wide margin. As promised, along the way, I asked attendees at random what their Top 2-3 Challenges are today.
Winner: Most Amazing Slide by Greg Bailey, Denim
- “…professional association membership decline…maybe some newer associations will help…”
- “…regulatory disruption…”
- “What is distribution going to look like? What products and services do we invest in?”
- “…traditional association group space is becoming tighter and more rigid…”
- “…AARP is a group and individual hybrid and perhaps the most successful…is there a stronger affinity and how long did it take to get there?”
- “Many Association Directors are not keeping up with changes in technology.”
- “…reluctance to reinvest in technology…legacy platforms that don’t talk to each other…working on tried-and-true margins and profit and not investing, but we could save FTE’s…”
- “…a large group of people in the business that are set in their ways, not receptive to change…”
- “…no R&D budget… no ‘Let’s try this’ and fail fast…do what we’ve always done, get what we know, except the returns are diminishing…”
- “…addressing conversions, demand and driving traffic…”
- “…managing distribution and opportunity with a limited staff…raising money for new MGA’s…more than we can handle…”
- “…integrating tech with underwriting process…”
- “…internet competition…direct-to-consumer carriers…carriers exiting the business…”
- “…insuring that growth doesn’t adversely impact our service goals…”
- “…market is moving a lot…what do we invest in? New business models? We need to be nimble enough to adapt but not chase everything…”
- “What is the healthcare market going to throw at us in October? Our members purchase off the exchanges. Some of our Carriers release rates at the last minute… or pull plans…or don’t offer the needed plans…”
- “There was so much going wrong last year that on one particular day, our director of member services was on the floor of her office crying!”
- “How can we become relevant? We need to bring in-house the expertise to help our distributors.”
- “Our small business members get no broker support because they are too small. They need new products. We can help support the brokers. But how do we find them using Social? How do we help them find us? A junior person at the brokerage is using Social.”
- “We’re trying a lot of new technologies and taking little things to continue to make progress…”
- “We need to improve the Web user experience.”
- “…playing catch-up with continual regulatory and compliance changes…”
- “…more efficient and effective ways to market…it’s a huge investment up front, but over time, we should see return, just like in the old days when we built agent sales forces…”
- “…reduced costs for 3X premium with online marketing…”
- “…the tech challenges due to acquisitions – CRM, back-office, etc. … marketing to employer groups who don’t have skin in the game…”
- “…educating the Association Directors to build membership and revenue…”
- “…currently just hawking product through the associations…we want to drive strategy…need to be more directive like an ad agency…”
- “We want to target professional and trade people that are NOT members of associations…today we have to turn them away…we need products and process for non-members. Can we target them online?”
- “We’re going to have to become great at Content Marketing…we need to clear some space for our staff to focus on that…need a managing editor, develop a calendar, the analytics, who does what…how do we re-use content…how do we integrate with other channels…”
- “We need a self-service portal… tech to make it as simple as possible for the customer so they can cut down the complaints from the members… How can we use tech for vendor management and transparency for our client companies?
- “Tech can help us with compliance, awareness and education, at a much lower price point. It can help us support the customer acquisition model…”
- From a Marketing Methods Competition Judge: “Globally, not a lot of Social…just starting…still a lot of Direct Mail, Email, Website…people are still struggling with how to do it… Not very many submissions around multi-channel…”
These are totally off-the-cuff comments with no leading questions on my part. Clearly a few patterns in play here.
Curious on your take? Perhaps think about it before reading the other comments below.
Btw, if you want to browse the key points of the event, here’s a linear timeline of what was shared by a few attendees.
Not to distract, but perhaps for later, here’s a link to all the images. Some cool sunrise and sunset pictures. Feel free to download.
PS. If I get a chance, I’ll do a video version of this post.
Sunrise over L.A. Harbor