Archive for the ‘Web 2.0’ Category

Reporting from LOMA Distribution Technology Conference

February 19, 2009

I’m down here in sunny (but cold) San Diego attending the LOMA Distribution Technology Conference.  There have been some very interesting presentations so far.  Most of the sessions I’ve seen so far are looking at the power of using new internet technologies to drive marketing.

There’s a lot of buzz during the breaks about the sessions on how to use social networking tools, when to use aggregators, and which web marketing techniques are best for driving production.  One session focused on techniques for implementing new technology to agents, and another focused on generational differences in preferred methods for interacting with insurance carriers.

Whether it’s utilizing web 2.0 to design new products, or using straight through processing on the web to expand your distribution channel, it’s clear that carriers are doing more than just thinking about emerging distribution technologies.

The key is making sure that an appropriate ROI is being generated from moving into these new areas.  That means setting appropriate goals for new marketing initiatives, choosing the right technologies to enable initiatives, and implementing the initiatives appropriately.

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Manage Your Reputation Online

February 10, 2009

With looming layoffs and a declining economy,  reputation management is an area that is getting more attention by Marketing VP’s.  It used to be commonly thought that a person who has had an unpleasant experience with a business would tell 9 or 10 other people.  But with the rise of social networking, that can quickly become thousands who hear a negative message.  And if that message rises to the top of a search request, it can spread like a virus, quickly escalating into a brand marketer’s nightmare.  Launching a solid reputation management strategy may utilize a variety of techniques.

Blogging or utilizing social networking through forums such as Twitter, Facebook and MySpace are clearly tools that can be used to build an online reputation.  But other tools such as community building, link strategies, search engine optimization, online publicity, online editorials, and even product reviews are all tools that can be used to help manage a company’s online reputation.

We’re seeing increased interest from insurance carriers in utilizing these techniques. Look for Twitter accounts with insurance in their name and you’ll find 105 Tweeters.  Check out Facebook and you’ll find over 500 profiles.

Marketers will come to IT for advice on how to get started in these areas.   Check out some of the research that we’ve done on Web 2.0, Website Optimization, and Tips for Tweeting.   Got a question about Web 2.0?  Ask it through the comment field or send me an email at

Social Media and Engagement

February 4, 2009

The February 2009 issue of Best’s Review has a cover story, “Crashing the Party,” about how some insurers are using social media as an effective marketing tool (specifically, Allstate and Esurance).

Karlyn Carnahan has touched on social media strategy as well, both on this blog and in her recent report.  Even low-investment tactics, like adding widgets to allow customers to share website content via Delicious, Digg or Google Reader can have an impact in growing your brand and increasing engagement with existing and potential customers.

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Five Tips for Tweeting

January 23, 2009

Mashable had an interesting article out this week on Twittering for corporations. 40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them

Interesting that no insurance carriers showed up as one of the best Twitter brands. But it is still early days. How would an insurance company use Twitter? Think of it as PR or advertising.It’s a great way to build loyalty and shape your brand.Think of tweeting safety tips, commentary on current events, or use as a customer service tool. If someone tweets with a problem, Twitter provides a great tool for demonstrating fast response in a very public way.

Here’s some tips for getting started:

  • Secure your Twitter name – remember the lessons of the early days of dotcom – don’t let your company twitter handle be swiped up by someone else.

  • Delegate a full time ambassador. Being able to communicate directly with someone who has a face and a name in the company can be very powerful.

  • Be sure your Tweeter is someone who understands your corporate brand. Don’t let your Twitter usage conflict with your current brand identity.

  • Remember to keep it light. “Tweeple” like Twitter to be fun and engaging And keep it personal. People bond with companies whose tweets feel like they came from a real person rather than simply a restatement of the corporate line.

  • Respond quickly to Tweets. Remember that it’s public so when a customer posts a complain or asks a question, the entire twitter community can virtually see it. Response time is critical for building brands.

Innovation and Agility Summit

January 22, 2009

The second quarterly meeting of members of the Novarica Insurance Technology Research Council was held yesterday in our NYC offices, featuring presentations from James Knight, CIO of Chubb, and Patty Lewis, strategy consultant from Allstate’s Innovation Lab.

Much of the discussions centered around improving communications — between business and IT through metrics, social networking technologies, and staff mixing; and between insurers and their solution providers. Driving Innovation and Agility, like so many other issues faced by insurer IT groups, relies on facilitating effective communications among stakeholders. This is an area where wikis and blogs are starting to have impact.

A meeting report will be published next week, stay tuned.