Enterprising Developments

3 Strategies for Adapting to Tech-Savvy Consumers

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, July 11, 2013

There's no question that the digital economy is drastically altering the way insurers are reaching out to their customers. Social media, the Web and mobile devices are just some examples of channels that now dominate the interaction cycle between insureds and insurers. But we're only just starting to understand how this can all work.

In a recent article, Peter Dahlström and David Edelman, both of McKinsey & Company, say developments being seen today — “the growth of mobile connectivity, better-designed online spaces created with the powerful new HTML5 Web language, the activation of the Internet of Things in many devices through inexpensive communications tags and microtransmitters, and advances in handling big data” — demand new understanding and rethinking of the way companies reach their intended audiences.

In the near future, get ready for consumer interfaces powered by “image, voice and gesture,” the authors predict. We are entering a world in which consumers can “automatically participate with others by taking pictures or making transactions; and discover new opportunities with devices that augment reality in their field of vision (think Google glasses).”

To prepare for this brave new world, Dahlström and Edelman have the following recommendations:

Design interactions across the consumer decision journey: While companies have been successful so far at interacting with customers across new and existing channels, organizations need to start to delve deeper into the process. “What they need to be designing is the entire story of how individuals encounter a brand and the steps they take to evaluate, purchase and relate to it across the decision journey,” Dahlström and Edelman state.

Make data and discovery a nonstop cycle: Collect and analyze data that better understand on-demand customers. “Data lies at the heart of efforts to build that understanding — data to define and contextualize trends, data to measure the effectiveness of activities and investments at key points in the consumer decision journey, and data to understand how and why individuals move along those journeys.”

Deliver with new skills and processes: Marketing or IT departments cant handle this new level of engagement alone. Members from all disciplines across organizations need to collaborate to better “manage campaigns and communities, measure performance, provide customer support, and interact with outside agencies.”

Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Joe using the “Add Your Comments” box below. He can also be reached at joe@mckendrickresearch.com.

This blog was exclusively written for Insurance Networking News. It may not be reposted or reused without permission from Insurance Networking News.

The opinions of bloggers on www.insurancenetworking.com do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News.

Comments (1)

Thank you for this tech-savvy article on how insurers need to align technology with the consumer experience.
I have seen some 'early starts' on how not to do this well. There is a growing pattern of follow-up surveys for all internet interface events -- asking how did we do? How did we do? How did we do? -- like a mad parrot that does not move the evaluation into the event itself and also reflects total lack of respect for the consumers time, who is being barraged by such requests. If a consumer is asked for feedback, there has to be some reward for it along the way and when this interaction is recognized during the event -- not later through a mind numbing request for feedback - then all the better.

Posted by: carol.smith | July 12, 2013 1:19 PM

Report this Comment

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

The Software-Defined Health Insurer: Radical But Realistic?

Can a tech startup digitally assemble the pieces of a comprehensive, employer-provided health plan?

Data Governance in Insurance Carriers

As the insurance industry moves into a more data-centric world, data governance becomes more critical for ensuring the data is consistent, reliable and usable for analysis.

Fear This

Just days before this Issue, which contains our security cover story, went to press, we got some interesting news: 1.2 billion unique usernames and passwords and 542 million email addresses were reportedly stolen from 420,000 websites, according to The New York Times. The websites ranged from Fortune 500 companies down to small online retailers.

Should You Back Up Enterprise Data to the Cloud?

Six questions that need to be asked before signing on with an outside service.

Modernizing Information Management

While better reporting and actuarial analysis help to support financial decisions, improved analytics and decision making greatly assist the rest of the organization.

Strategic Planning: Here and Now

Insurers’ annual strategic planning efforts can benefit from an infusion of tactical reality.