Enterprising Developments

What Keeps CEOs Up At Night?

Joe McKendrick
Insurance Experts' Forum, May 27, 2010

IBM just released its latest annual study of CEO attitudes, and an interesting new trend seems to be emerging from the corner office. CEOs are very concerned with engaging in more intimate conversations with customers—in fact, a full 88% are focused on this.  Last year, “change” was the main thing keeping CEOs up at night.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean the top chief should be spending the day milling about, striking up chatter with customers. But what is on their minds is the ability of their organizations to better understand what customers are saying. Social networking, of course, is the vehicle for making this happen in some way.

But the depth of understanding is more than simply talking to customers through Twitter or Facebook. What companies need is to be able to capture and analyze the data that is flowing from these channels. This is important for insurance companies seeking to offer new products that cater to new customer groups.

Interestingly, IBM parsed out those CEOs and organizations that seemed to be leading the pack, and examined where they stood in regard to customer engagements. “The most successful organizations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes,” the report states. “They are adopting new channels to engage and stay in tune with customers. By drawing more insight from the available data, successful CEOs make customer intimacy their number-one priority.” Among this standout group, CEOs were 18% more likely to be focused on insight and intelligence to achieve strategy. “The emergence of advanced technologies like business analytics can help uncover previously hidden correlations and patterns, and provide greater clarity and certainty when making many business decisions.”

Looking to the customer as a resource for new innovations and approaches is also another emerging trend.  The watchword for many forward-thinking CEOs is to “co-create” new product and service innovations with customers.  Interestingly, a few months back, I heard the CEO of the UK's largest retailer put it in similar terms. Essentially the best management consulting in the world is free, he pointed out – because it comes from your customers, and their ideas and suggestions.

New consumer groups are emerging in rapidly developing markets, but their attitudes about price and value are largely unknown. Standout organizations are 38% more likely to be pursuing greater insights into this trend. Standouts were also 13% more likely than others to be focused on developing new and different channels.

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 (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

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

Strategic Initiatives for 2015: Making Sense of the Shifts

Insurers must choose between embracing innovation or just continuing with business as usual and run the risk of becoming a casualty in the new competitive battle.

To Stay in the Game, Insurers Must Aggressively Embrace New Consumer Technologies

Emerging technologies displayed at the CES could be some of the greatest change agents since the introduction of the Internet, offering breakthroughs that could challenge many businesses.

The Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) Short Cut

Developing a usage-based insurance program has now gotten easier.

Marketing: The Insurer’s Shadow IT Department

Marketing executives continue their march into the insurance data center.

Digital Failings

We live in a brave new world now with digital devices and equipment surrounding us in a sea of capabilities that (generally) improve the quality of our experiences.

Life in the Cloud – Vendor Activity is High

Celent surveyed 41 vendors about their cloud applications, pricing models, platform investments and their expectations of where the market is going.