Real-Time is more than a slogan for inter-connectivity between insurers and brokers. It has become a marketing imperative which insurers as well as brokers need to include in their business and technology plans. The 2014 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference will be the place to be to understand these developments and the roles that need to be played by Marketing and IT.
We’d like your input on real-time marketing and its implications.
A new definition for Real-Time …
‘Real-Time’ has been a mantra for independent agents and brokers seeking effective inter-connectivity with carriers using industry standards (see, e.g., our post on Broker Connectivity earlier this year.). There is, however, a bigger world of ‘Real-Time’ that goes far beyond operational transactions.
eMarketer produced a report recently entitled “Key Digital Trends for 2014” which defines real-time in customer terms:
The rapid emergence of the everywhere, always-connected consumer places new demands on marketers, … Specifically, it raises expectations about the speed with which marketers need to respond to expressions of interest across the customer journey, from the consideration phase all the way through to post-sales service. Gone are the days of 24- or 48-hour response times. Consumers expect instant interactions, whether it is a relevant offer or an answer to a customer service query, and the ability for same-day delivery of items purchased through digital channels. (emphasis supplied.)
According to industry and marketing experts, insurers and brokers will find the transition to serving customers with these expectations to be a challenging journey towards a new business and marketing model. Writing on the Accenture Insurance Blog, Jean-Francois Gasc contends that the insurance Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) needs to be the navigator on this road:
For insurers, this change is going to be even more significant because it will be combined with far-reaching change in the overall business model—a change that marketing will lead or for which it will act as a prime catalyst. This places huge responsibility on the insurance CMO.
It’s not just marketing …
This has implications for the relationship between Marketing and IT in insurers and brokers. Coincidentally, it also dovetails with broker definition of Real-Time. eMarketer notes:
Marketers anticipate that greater immediacy will yield a host of benefits not limited to gains in efficiency and transparency. They likewise expect to see benefits in marketing effectiveness in terms of more precise targeting. But when it comes to real-time efforts in particular, marketers hope to drive increases in engagement with their often-elusive audience. (emphasis supplied.)
To succeed, insurers must bridge whatever gap exists between Marketing and IT. In a blog devoted to relationships between Marketing and IT in insurers, Gasc writes: “the 2012 Accenture Interaction CMO-CIO Insights survey shows that only one in 10 marketing and IT executives believe that they collaborate at the right level. In fact, at present they both spend more time cultivating relationships with other members of the C-suite, with the improvement in marketing performance a casualty.”
There is no room for a gap in the Real-Time world.
At the Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference 2014, there will be several leadership sessions, including an executive panel, specifically focusing on the new consumer requirements and the roles of Marketing and IT. Stay tuned for details.
Meantime, we’d like your thoughts. Do you see consumer expectations forcing changes to business models. Are marketers positioned to take the leadership role required? Is there alignment between Marketing and IT?
It’s your time to comment on Real-Time.