- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Insurance Marketing 2023: Is A ‘Minority Report’ Scenario Different Than What Brokers Do Now?

In 2023, will insurance ‘marketing’ include a capability for consumers to provide data directly and through sensors to allow insurance representatives to detect new or changed insurance requirements and modify insurance programs dynamically? If so, is this really different than what happens now?

‘Smarter Marketing’ 

On her blog, Forrester Senior Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps points out that the discussions of new data sources – such as sensor equipped devices (think Google Glass, the anticipated AppleWatch, or Insurance Telematics devices in automobiles and smartphones) – usually conjurers up visions of Tom Cruise’s character in Minority Report walking though a mall where “billboards show him ads based on his mental state (stressed out) and context (on a journey).”

In Epps’ view of the world 1o years hence, this is possible but is really “a pretty dumb vision of the ‘smart’ future. Smarter marketing goes far beyond advertising.”  If marketing changes at the same rate as the supporting technology, Epps contends there will be “a different approach to marketing, an approach focused on delivering services and utility rather than just advertising.”

In this world, the sensors anticipate needs and, with the permission of the user, deliver products and services that “actually help customers change their own behavior to the benefit of the customer, not just the marketer.”  Technolgy is the easy part.  The tricky bit is getting the the consumer to have a deep trusting relationship with the marketer based, presumably, on reputation for integrity and past experience.

Where do We Find Trust, Experience, and Integrity Now?

If we go to the IBAO My Insurance Shopper site,  are we seeing a 2013 manifestation of this?  By selecting “Get a Quote”, and adding location,  the consumer will be able to “choose the best quote from a local Independent insurance broker.”  The consumer will get ” Insurance As Individual As You Are” because the broker “won’t suggest products or coverage not appropriate for you”.

Of course, there is no indication that the consumer will be fitted with any device.  In fact, most brokers will strongly argue that their service is personal in nature.  But what if the consumer agrees to have certain data provided that would allow the broker to make better suggestions?  And what if some of those suggestions were based on algorithms developed based on the broker’s past experiences?

The principle is the same, the methods are more sophisticated.  (Again, think Telematics.)

Turning the Calendar Ahead to 2023 ….

There is little doubt that analytics and data will be playing a greater role in all facets of our lives, including insurance.  Using these data and tools will require the existing knowledge and skills of brokers to apply in the best interests of their clients.  As well, brokers will be required to develop new skills to understand a much larger range of data.

Epps advises: “Sensor devices produce an enormous amount of data — up to thousands of data points per minute per person. …Acting on this data in a way that benefits the user and the company requires an enormous shift from the way they used data in the past.”

 What Do Y0u Think?  Do You Want To Learn More?

How do you see insurance marketing developing over the next decade?  Can sophisticated data and analytics be melded with the ‘personal touch’?  We’d like your comments below.

If you would like to hear from the experts in the intelligent use of data and analytics, consider the Insurance 2023 Forum in Toronto on October 3, 2013.