The Dig-In: Digital Future of Insurance conference was held recently in Austin, TX, and for the more than 700 attendees the major themes of the conference were transformation, innovation and optimization. These themes resonated loudly through the show’s content and networking events during the week.
For insurance carriers, investors and “insurtech” companies alike, the focus is to identify, implement and use technology to gain efficiencies and develop competitive advantages. This means delivering new and innovative products and services (enable safer cars/homes), and improving the consumer experience.
So how do you do that? Let’s explore the conference content and explore what some of our industry’s key leaders and influencers recommend:
- AT Kearney launched the show with a pre-conference workshop where the main perspective was that “differentiation will come from strategic use of data, turning that data into insights and leveraging actionable tools to enable better decision-making.” You can view their presentation slides here.
- In her keynote session, Jennifer Marshalek, SVP, Enterprise Digital Experience at Nationwide Insurance, discussed Nationwide’s ongoing digital transformation and how she views it as an opportunity not a challenge. She explored three ways that she sees companies using digital: 1. Creating efficiencies in core opportunities; 2. Evolving current products or solutions; 3. Transforming business models into something new.
Because resources are limited, Jennifer advised attendees to think like an investor and focus on the biggest value, while simultaneously delivering quick wins. She stressed the need to think like a problem solver and enable that mindset. And she concluded by saying, “digital is not ‘one and done’. It’s not a project. It is a product that must be nurtured all the time, so think like a change agent.” You can view her presentation slides here.
- In his session, “Becoming a Digital Insurer,” David Connolly, Partner at Ernst & Young, stated, “The Digital Insurer capitalizes upon the power of technology to revisit their business models, acquire customers through new channels and create the essential user experiences.” He provided several examples of “insurtech” companies partnering with insurance carriers to bridge the digital gap. You can view David’s presentation slides here.
- In her session, Glynda Gill, Senior Digital Strategy Director at Guidewire, reminded the audience of a McKinsey study that concluded, “insurers in the top quartile of technology investment are growing twice as fast as less advance peers while delivering better profitability.” You can view Glynda’s presentation slides here.
- In one of the more interesting panel sessions, Jon Cholak, Investment Director at USAA, said, “USAA has a 25% market share in its total addressable market; therefore, we focus on investments that address servicing and back office operational efficiencies.” Drew Aldrich, Principal at American Family Ventures, said, “the demise of agents will take some time. Insurance is a complicated product that needs a human. American Family is not bearish on the future of the agent because there is a need for a human on insurance. Over the next 10 years, agents will need to look at a faster way to talk to more leads, how to extend themselves and get scale.” Well said Drew!
- Numerous presenters touched on the idea of mapping the lifetime customer journey and finding better ways to use data to understand prospects and customers. They discussed how Millennials, Gen Z and others are demanding an easier, more personalized, and more fluid interactions with brands. And with rising prices and increased competition, carriers are focusing on leveraging data to improve retention/cross sell metrics.
- In our breakfast briefing, we echoed many of these ideas, discussing the importance for insurance marketers to understand their consumers’ journey – collect the dots, connect the dots and enable actionable tools to make smarter marketing decisions and mitigate TCPA compliance risk. We also explored what Jornaya and its clients have learned about insurance consumers’ journeys, how our unique data is used by our clients, and what we see in store in the future for insurance marketers. You can view our presentation slides here.
Overall, Dig-In 2017 was a great event for Jornaya and the insurance industry. As we look toward the upcoming events in the late summer and fall, we will continue to discuss and explore these topics in future blogs.
If you are interested in learning more about Jornaya’s approach to supporting our insurance clients, I would recommend the following: