Thoughts, real-world observations, and anonymous examples – good and bad – regarding the use of Web/Social/Mobile technology in the insurance industry. Follow Mike Wise, President WebWisedom LLC, for the latest in Social Technologies.
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Terrific new group on Linkedin! Social Media – Insurance and Reinsurance
I commented on the thread about helping Executives take a more active interest in Social Media. Thought I’d share the comments here as well… Interested in what you think? Please Comment at the bottom of this thread.
From Nico Conradie in Johannesburg Area, South Africa… “I find it an interesting challenge: how to persuade others (key decision takers) within a large international company to take a more active interest in social media. Any experiences in this respect that can be shared? Any tips? Any pitfalls to avoid? I would be interested in learning from others who have had success in this respect.”
“This is the million dollar question for sure. Like Mairi says, data is critical. There are simply tons of data-driven case studies that establish the value-prop of Enterprise Social Tech. What I’m finding most successful is two 2-hour small-group, executive sessions that drill down into what Social Tech is, why it’s important, and how to leverage it – IN GENERAL. If you can start the session with a flip chart page called “Expectations”, it’s incredibly powerful on several levels.
Here’s the real key from my perspective – Keynote (TM – iWork) slides. For some reason, kind of like seeing Avatar in 3D, these .Key slides are so different than standard .PPT, that they are helping execs ‘see’ the new concepts of ‘Social’ in a new way.
Small group is key as well because it helps the exec’s cough up their preconceived notions in the safety of their board room with the peers. I absolutely LOVE it when an exec says something like “I just don’t get tweeter [sic]. Why would I want to know what someone had for breakfast?!?!?” Usually everyone in the room laughs in agreement. But it’s a PERFECT setup for talking about effective streams of information, Listening, and within 5 minutes I can have the group understanding why that cliche is so destructive. That then leads to more myths being dumped out on the table, etc. etc..
A deep dive into Enterprise Social Tech facilitated by an outsider with incredibly rich visuals and powerful case studies in a small-group, interactive setting. It’s tough to carve out the time, and people usually come kicking and screaming with their arms crossed and skeptical frowns. But if you have the right stuff and can push through the resistance with whimsy yet credibility, you can break through. Of course implementing the resulting strategies, like any other business endeavor, is what will separate the wheat from the chaff in the months and years to come.”
Interested in what you think? Please Comment below the picture.
Recent picture from a wedding I attended
Have you heard this term yet? If not, I’m honored to be the first to mention it, but I guarantee I won’t be the last. I consider Crowdsourcing to be one of the most compelling aspects of Web2.0 and Enterprise Social Technologies. (Btw, if any of this resonates, perhaps use the ShareThis button below and pass it along to your network).
What is Crowdsourcing? Hear’s the deal… There’s 1.6 billion people on the Internet. Each one has a talent or capability. Crowdsourcing is putting all that intellectual property and talent at your disposal, if you know how to tap into it. Crowdsourcing combines the concepts of bidding, rating, outsourcing, user-generated content, free-lancing, and viral sharing. Crowdsourcing can be used to accomplish virtually any business function, but circa 2010 Crowdsourcing is especially useful for professional services.
Here’s a simple example: Logo development. Today, if you need a logo for a new product, a campaign, a new business or unit, an event, what does your process look like? Use the Comment section below to briefly describe your last logo development process. In general, it likely took at least a couple weeks, generated 5 or so logo’s that were ‘decent’ but not brilliant, and cost several thousand dollars.
Compare that with LOGOTOURNAMENT, a Crowdsourcing site just for logo development. What you do is put up your specs and a ‘bounty’. The specs describe what you’re looking for and the bounty is what you will pay the ‘winner’ of the Crowdsourcing ‘contest’. Depending on how well you communicate and dollars involved, THE NEXT DAY you will start to see 10′s of logo’s, REALLY GOOD LOGO’S. Pick one and pay the bounty, perhaps only in the 100′s of dollars.
So everyone’s always asking about the ROI of Social Tech. Do the math on Crowdsourcing. Again, you can use it for almost any business purpose, but especially professional services. In general, I’m finding the following metrics: 1/10th the cost, 10 times as fast, and high quality. And yes, the work is likely being done, today anyway, in another country like India, China, Russia, South Africa. But you don’t pay unless you are satisfied, the ‘vendors’ are rated so there is accountability, and oh yeah, there’s no ‘politics’. :-) Doesn’t that sound good? I’ve heard it said, and I’m starting to believe it, that Crowdsourcing will dwarf Outsourcing.
If you need help with Crowdsourcing, let me know. Meantime, here are a few resources. And remember my first point: Crowdsourcing is a part of Social Tech that EVERYONE can do. No need to be held back by legal and compliance departments, government regulators, etc.
My take: Enterprises are missing SO MUCH opportunity because they don’t want to publish. That’s fine, but what about research, inbound flow of information, Crowdsourcing, and so much else? Don’t throw Social out because of a few barriers.
“A company’s fans spend more, are more likely to be loyal and will recommend the brand to their friends, according to the firm’s research.”
Doesn’t this say that creating Fans is the first step toward referrals, traffic, e-word of mouth, etc.? Seems like a no-brainer to me. So you’re in insurance and you don’t think anyone will be a “Fan” of insurance? How would you like to be in Batteries??? Take a look at what Rayovac is doing on Facebook – they’ve got 17,000 fans! My guess is they’re probably making money with this.
Really good article that validates a lot of my content.
Social Tech and the C-suite – “Our case studies outlined below show that having your CEO visible on social media can bring tangible results to your bottom line.” I had this very conversation yesterday with a CEO. (Yes, I sent this article). If you are a C-Suite Exec and this is the first you saw this, now you know. And this is why my presentation in KeynoteTM on Enterprise Social Technologies is SO appropriate for an intimate session with Executives. [I always appreciate referrals (click ShareThis below and pass it along).]
I’m helping a company re-engineer their corporate Web properties to adapt to Web 2.0 and Social Tech. The Web property is the “Destination”. The Social Tech architecture fosters the “Conversation”. Your constituents want CONVERSATION. Think of it this way – Lecture or Lab? Would you rather sit through a Lecture from a didactic, seemingly out of touch prof, droning about sanitized, philosophical concepts? Or would you prefer a Lab with a teacher that you can ask questions of, with fellow students you can share and dialog with, and with interactive ‘stuff’ you can learn from? Do you see the difference between a static Web 1.0 site and a dynamic Web2.0 Conversation?
Read the 2nd para if you read nothing else.
Favorite thing from the last week? Of course Soccer and the World Cup. Unfortunately, the U.S. Men’s National Team lost ignominiously to Ghana in the next game (seriously, those were the best defenders we have in our entire country?!?!? Ridiculous ‘system’ we have…) But BEFORE THAT, we has a moment of tremendous glory that I will forever treasure. I hope these links stay active for a long time, but here are my two favorites following Donovan’s stoppage-time goal.
Really love the Speed Matches: USA Vs. Algeria ESPN video – extremely exciting!
And then this companion link – the reaction video from a bar in Seattle, fans who had suffered through 90 minutes of frustration, and then watched the game-winner. Just phenomenal! Watch especially the guy on the right side of the video in the first 5 seconds. I laughed until I cried when I first saw this.
(Btw, this post took an hour to create.)
Favorite recent picture… see more here.
Why a Professional Blog? Let me count the ways… But first, let me break TWO BIG MYTHS.
“No time…” We’re talking an hour a week (depending on how fast you organize your thoughts and type). And you can always dictate the post to an admin and have them load it into the editor. ‘Time’ is not the issue.
“Who cares what I have to say?” First of all, it’s not just about the human audience. Search Engine Marketing is a big part of it. Second, your network cares what you have to say. Your customers. Your prospects. Your business partners. Heck.. Your Mom!
What’s your other reason for not doing a professional blog? Comment below and perhaps the crowd can give advise.
So Why Blog? What the ROI? Here’s my take… And this is by NO MEANS everything. Just off the top…
Are you blogging? Post a link and share your ROI stories? If you’re not, hope you get started. You’ll be glad you did. Caveat – gotta do it right.
Btw, I’m working on Part 2 of my last podcast. Nibby and Chris share thoughts on their blogs. Couple great case-in-points.
Oh yeah, awesome event listening to Ken Blanchard last week. Phenomenal teaching. Terrific stories. He laughed, he cried… Unofficially recorded the talk on my ipod. Pretty compelling stuff.
Qwik pics shot this morning. Love Spring and Summer in Northeast Ohio.
Took 45 minutes on this post, btw – including the pictures.
The game seems to have changed. The art, process, career – call it what you want – of selling is being changed by Social Technology, even in the lagging industry of insurance. Skeptical of this? You have only to look at your most recent sales – or losses. Whether B2B or B2C, do you have a sense that the buyers, BEFORE they decided whether or not to buy, engaged in an effort to “check you out online”? In this due-diligence process, what did they find out about YOU (B2B) or your product reputation and/or brand reputation (B2C)? Was this act on behalf of the consumer as common just two years ago (2008)? How about 2005? Even if it was common in those days, did it carry as much weight in the purchase decision? I think if you really look at the trends, you’d have to admit that the selling process has changed.
Think about it. How would you characterize the most recent selling paradigms we’ve seen over the past few decades. As a B2B sales guy since 1988, I’d say I’ve seen three distinct era’s in 20+ years, certainly with convergence and overlap. Generally speaking…
What do you remember about the pro’s and con’s of these earlier phases? What struggles did you have adapting to the changing paradigms? Any funny anecdotes that come to mind relative to this? How would you characterize what we’re seeing now with Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs and their impact on sales? Consumer/Client rating? Retweets, ShareThis, Recommendations? Email marketing? Podcasting? Viral video? Content syndication?
My own funny story… I remember when I was selling for ADP in Phoenix around ’91/92, a couple years into it, I got my first laptop and bought a copy of ACT! That year I made President’s Club for the first time – a really big deal for me just starting out trying to establish myself as a capable sales guy. Relative to my small patch in east Mesa on the rural areas to the east (Globe, Payson, Show Low) the tools definitely helped me get to the next level. But I now had a new challenge. “Where the frickin’ OUTLET around here???? I need a POWER SUPPLY for my laptop!!!” :-) So much for McDonalds – not outlets!
Selling from a hotel room at a conference.
Many are asking what I’m up to these days… Howzitgoin’ with WebWisedom… etc.
It’s actually amazing. So much has happened in the first 4 months of business…. I’ve spoken at a couple conferences, attended a couple others, worked on a couple insurance e-Commerce projects, helped a client get a blog up and running (not quite public yet), made some mistakes, had some victories, put thousands of miles on rental cars (with a few exceptions, I despise the airlines and the whole airport scene), rebranded the blog, have a 2nd blog/e-com site in dev, worked on my first book and working on a chapter of a crowd-sourced book, invested in a MacBook Pro and so learned a bunch of Apple tools, created a viral video for an association – and oh, yeah, helped my wife with some major work on the kitchen, and helped the kids with college stuff. Lot to bite off, eh?!?!
Here’s how things have netted out and the opportunities for YOU, my clients and partners. My focus is on Social – Social Technology education, Social Tech strategies, and Social tactics. I’m helping clients assimilate Social into their enterprise, their on-going sales efforts, and their marketing strategies. Any Comments?
Getting every level involved, speak with one voice, common language and vocabulary
Executive – Develop into Online Thought-leaders
HR and Ops – research candidates, listen, learn, share
Sales & Marketing – Socially Facilitated Selling versus Socially Directed Buying
Policy development to govern SM habits
Executive Coaching – access to my tools, my monthly tips, my stream, and my schedule
Brand, Reputation, Conversations – You… and your Competitors
Research into You, your Clients, and their customers
Create a Plan
Ongoing accountability and coaching
More on this later. Very special.
- Strategy development
Authors and Content Strategies
Technology Implementation, including Social Net integration
Promoting and Marketing
High-Beam/Low-Beam Leadership Training
Building a River of Information
Socially Facilitated Selling and Socially Directed Buying
E-Word-of-Mouth and Viral Marketing
Online Reputation Management
“Listening” tools and strategies
Concepts and strategies for Online Reputation Management
Collaboration tools and strategies – Wiki’s, Crowdsourcing, etc.
High-beam v. Low-beam Leadership and the impact on Enterprise Social Tech adoption within the enterprise
- critically important and perhaps the most needed today
Constituent-based Web design
- the vast majority of Web properties are designed incorrectly
Social CRM – this is really getting at the heart of things. And this is where our customers and clients want us to go – for THEIR benefit.
Any Comments about any of these things? What struck you about or within this list of Social Tech stuff? It’s a lot. Curious.
Kelle, my daughter, celebrating her 20th birthday. Phew! I made it through the teens!
Love this shot!