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Insights from the 2014 ACLI Executive Roundtable

ACLI logoThis week, I was honored to participate in the ACLI Executive Roundtable with 120 insurance industry CEOs. I’d like to sincerely thank my hosts ACLI President Dirk Kempthorne, ACLI Chairman Johnny Johns, and State Farm CAO Joe Monk for including me.
From attending the event, it was clear that everyone deeply cares about the industry’s collective mission to provide financial security for everyday people to live their lives without having to fear for the worst. Hearsay Social couldn’t be more honored or more proud to contribute in whatever small way we can to such a noble purpose.

The Rise of the Social Economy

In less than a decade, the social network economy has gone from zero to over $150B in revenue. The implications for the insurance industry are immense. For example, Facebook is now the online directory for everyone, becoming the ‘Yellow Pages’ of our time.
Agents need to have a presence on social media because that’s where their customers and prospects are. Clients actively use services like Facebook to learn about and engage with their friends, products, brands and current events. But simply being listed or having a page on Facebook isn’t enough. Industry representatives also need training on how to become effective Social Advisors. They need to understand how to be proactive, continually foster new connections, and listen and react to important events in the lives of their customers and prospects.
During my keynote, we took a real-time poll of the audience. We found that for a whopping 90% of CEOs, social media has elevated to a board and management team-level discussion.

Has the topic of social media for business come up in meetings with your management team or board of directors?

To succeed, social business initiatives need cross-functional coordination and planning. And all too often, social media initiatives get stuck in marketing or compliance where there’s not enough insight into the organization’s overall business strategy. Today, more and more CEOs understand that the push towards social business needs to come from the top down and are getting directly involved in driving adoption forward

Social In the Real World

This was the viewpoint shared by New York Life CEO Ted Mathas and AXA CEO Mark Pearson who joined me in the latter half of the discussion. Each took turn describing how they’ve made social business a company-wide priority and to foster a culture of innovation.
In my next blog post, I’ll talk more about the insights we shared and how financial services companies can embrace social to reinvent the industry.