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l'intermédiaire d'assurance du futur sera digital ou ne sera pas

shutterstock_363775298Associés à Molitor Consult, nous avons eu le plaisir d’accueillir une quarantaine de professionnels de l’assurance à la Maison du Danemark, à l’occasion de la présentation de l’étude « La Transformation digitale de l’intermédiaire d’assurance du futur », 1ère étude réalisée en France pour comprendre l’usage des outils digitaux par les intermédiaires d’assurance.
A l’heure où beaucoup opposent digital et distribution physique, voire prédisent que l’intermédiaire est amené à disparaître dans ce monde numérique, il nous semblait fondamental de comprendre comment les agents et courtiers abordent cette digitalisation ! Pour réagir aux résultats de l’étude, nous avions réuni un panel de 4 professionnels : Hedwige Carré-Fiessinger, Directrice des ventes et de la distribution régionale chez AXA Prévoyance & Patrimoine, Karine Lazimi, Agent général Allianz France, Bruno Olivier Bayle, Agent général GeneraliFrance, membre du groupe de travail Digital de l’AGEA, et Eymard de Charry, Directeur digital et multicanal de GAN Assurances.
Le panel n’a pas été surpris par l’utilisation massive, à 92%, des outils  par les intermédiaires. Le chiffre est venu confirmer les efforts importants de formation et de communication entrepris depuis plusieurs années par les réseaux pour inciter les intermédiaires à se digitaliser. Des exemples ont été donnés sur l’utilisation « au quotidien » de ces outils digitaux, par exemple l’envoi de SMS pour prévenir directement les clients en situation d’impayé et éviter ainsi une rupture de leur couverture. De manière plus générale, l’accent a ainsi été mis par certains membres du panel sur le digital au service du client ou de l’intermédiaire, avant même la dimension commerciale, d’autres faisant remarquer que cette dimension commerciale est souvent privilégiée pour justifier un financement et un investissement par l’entreprise. D’ailleurs 13% des intermédiaires estiment que les outils digitaux contribuent à leur performance opérationnelle.
La discussion a ensuite porté sur les conditions du succès pour que les intermédiaires tirent profit des outils digitaux. 49% des intermédiaires considèrent que les outils digitaux contribuent à leur performance commerciale, avec les mots clés sur Google (50%) et le site agence (42%) comme les 2 outils les plus efficaces pour gagner de nouveaux clients, et l’emailing local (82%) et le SMS local (77%) comme les 2 outils les plus efficaces pour fidéliser les clients. Tous les membres du panel ont insisté sur le facteur clé de succès de l’accompagnement, certains citant l’exemple d’apps clients dont les agents n’ont aucune idée du contenu et dont ils font du coup mal la promotion. D’ailleurs seulement 35% des intermédiaires sont satisfaits par les outils que les marques et réseaux leur mettent à disposition, le chiffre tombant à 27% pour le site web d’agence. Mais ils reconnaissent aussi que l’efficacité de ces outils digitaux pourrait s’améliorer très fortement avec le support approprié (de 34% à 58% pour le site web d’agence pour gagner de nouveaux clients, de 13% à 24% pour les réseaux sociaux).
Enfin, la situation spécifique des courtiers a été discutée, car la digitalisation de la relation client pose la question de l’affichage de leur marque vs la marque de l’assureur qui couvre le risque. Les courtiers ont estimé être moins avancés sur la voie de la digitalisation que les réseaux d’agents du fait notamment de leur moindre capacité d’investissement. Les opérations de sensibilisation ont été démarrées il y a 6 mois – 1 an.

Télécharger le rapport complet.

How Big Financial Services Firms Can Beat Google’s Similar Result Filter

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Competition is stiff for the top spots on Google local search – and financial advisors and insurance agents know it. Since the first five results on Google get 67.6 percent of all clicks, it’s extremely important to show up there. Companies with multiple locations will want to go even further and get multiple results in the top five spots – an even more difficult challenge – especially since Google will filter out similar results and not show them at all.
Recently, the SEO community has been discussing this issue and the ensuing challenges. In a recent post from the Moz Blog, Joy Hawkins called out three actionable steps companies can take to beat Google’s filter. We would like to expand upon her three points and discuss how they can be applied specifically to financial services companies which face many of the same challenges as other local businesses and a few unique ones of their own.

1. Make the pages for your locations more different

Google gives users a variety of choices by removing results that are similar. They do this filtering by analyzing a website using algorithms that look at the content, layout and domain of the results. The more similar the content is on site one to site two, the more likely Google is to filter out site one, and so on.
Joy talked about how certain websites being filtered were 77 to 81 percent similar. Our recommended approach is for them to be at least 50 percent unique, and to strive for the 80 percent gold standard. But this can be problematic for the financial services industry, where modified content must meet specific compliance, archiving and branding standards.
Hearsay Sites gives corporate teams the control to set just how much website content advisors can modify so companies can balance their corporate and local brand. For instance, corporate teams can create custom themes to reflect the brand’s look, feel and messaging while creating a consistent flow of corporate assets. At the same time, advisors can customize their sites by uploading office photos, writing bios, linking to partners in their community, sharing local events and commenting on local news, all while working toward hitting the coveted 80 percent mark. As with other content, any website content modifications from advisors will go through an archive and retention process.

2. Take advantage of targeting zip codes or community names

Often companies think of targeting cities and towns, but advisors are often concentrated within specific zip codes and communities. The good news is that the types of communities with the density to justify multiple advisors also tend to be communities that can differentiate themselves from the others.
Many financial services companies try to automate this process by using fake local content. The trouble is that Google’s computers can smell the lack of authenticity all the way from their datacenter. The way for companies to get real local content is to allow their field reps to update their sites. Do they call their neighborhood “South of Market” or do they say “SoMa”? Or, do they indicate they’re located in “South Park,” a very specific area within SoMa? A corporate system might optimize for the term “San Francisco,” or the zip code 94107, but if that isn’t what a user searched for, it could be a waste of resources. Users look for words they really use to describe where they live. So do advisors. Companies can leverage that knowledge by letting advisors customize the content on their websites.
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3. Try to get more links to the individual location pages so they’re more authoritative

If companies are going to put an emphasis on advisor and agent websites, getting deep links to their sites is important. Advisors are likely already partnering with their local Chamber of Commerce, community programs, religious groups and volunteer organizations. When local groups partner with each other, the partnerships often surface on the internet in the form of deep links – links from one website to a specific page of another.
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Though corporate sites might have thousands of links pointing to them, it will help local SEO in Harrisonburg much more if the Harrisonburg Chamber of Commerce links directly to advisors based in Harrisonburg. Those links build authority on the advisor’s page and will help companies’ local ranking much more.
There are many ways to build links properly and just as many ways for advisors to get in trouble. In fact, there are many horror stories (ask any local SEO expert) of a single individual acting out of line and causing an entire company to get penalized by Google, often resulting in lost business up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
We recommend taking a guide-rails approach to local linking. Allow advisors to operate freely, within certain boundaries. Never encourage local advisors to buy links as it’s a quick way to hurt the SEO of not only their site, but the corporate site as well. Instead, companies should allow advisors to focus on natural outreach in the community. A great first step is the ability to link from their website to relevant local websites. This will strengthen local relationships, provide value for visitors and often result in other websites linking back to them.
By enabling advisors to share unique content, use their neighborhood knowledge and build link relationships naturally, companies can give their distributed web programs the best chance at having multiple locations rank highly and avoid Google’s similar results filter.

Related Resources:

5 Simple Steps to Make Your Local Business More Findable on Google

shutterstock_172855088Being findable is core to any business, but it can be especially challenging for local businesses to be findable online when they have to compete for search ranking with national and  global brands. Given that more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers, it’s no wonder that local search volume is increasing. This increase in local, mobile search creates a great opportunity for financial advisors and insurance agents that are strongly rooted in their local region and community.
Here  are five  simple steps for making your business more findable online.

1. Claim or Create Your Business on Google and  Google+

Google controls almost 65% of the online search market and if you haven’t listed your location and created your business on Google+ you are missing out. Google tends to favor businesses with local listings. Google doesn’t automatically pull business information from websites, however the steps are easy. Google MyBusiness offers self-explanatory tools to claim or create your location listing. From there, you can expand your Google presence by also creating a Google+ page to connect with people.  Make sure that these listings include accurate business information (that matches your website) and include a link to your local website to close the loop.

2. Add Structured Data to Your Website

The practice of adding hidden SEO keyword tags to your website is a thing of the past. Today, one of the best ways to boost your SEO is to insert structured data into your website code. . Structured data should include the important details of your business, such as business type, location, phone number and hours.  To test whether your website includes the appropriate structured data, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. If you don’t seeing results like the one illustrated below, you’ll need to insert the appropriate structured data code into your website using the guidelines from Schema.org.  You can also check with your website partner or technology provider to get their help in creating and managing structured data to make your business information more findable.

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3. Include Dynamic, Local Content

We’ve heard it a million times, “content is king.”  When your business is connected to a national or global brand, it’s fresh and personal content that is going to help you stand out. If your website has exactly the same content every other advisor or agent at your company (save for the name and address) that is going to hurt your search ranking. The search engine crawlers look  for unique and fresh content. So, make sure your website has content that  represents your unique community business. In addition to having high quality content, your  website should have fresh content and new sources of information  to rank better in search results.

4. Be Active Across Social Networks

Social pages and profiles are your secret weapon for being findable online. More often than not, search results containing a name include listings from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter that show up at the top of the page. Take a look at the results for one of our local financial advisors below.  Right after her business listing, Misty’s  LinkedIn and Twitter pages show up next.
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Step one is creating complete pages and profiles that accurately represent your business. In order to best support your findability, make these pages public, so that the search engine crawlers can see all of your information. By using the same name, address and other information as your website, you are reinforcing that the information is accurate. In addition, adding links to your social profiles from your website helps browsers see that the different web properties are all representing the same business, improving credibility and findability.
Finally, just having complete social presences is good, but actively keeping the content on them fresh is even better. Share tips and thought-leadership across the social networks and update your profile as your role or business changes in order to get even more benefits from social media.

5. Be Mobile Ready

In May of 2015, Google announced that search volume from mobile devices surpassed desktop search activity in the US.  Around the same time, Google also started penalizing websites that are not optimized for mobile viewing. Adapting to the rise in mobile web browsing is important for every business, but it is especially important for local businesses because according to a ComScore study, the majority of mobile searches have local intent.
To be more findable in this mobile era, it is imperative that your website is mobile-ready. Start with testing it out on your phone, and/or using the the Google Mobile Friendly test.  If your website needs some work, your website partner or technology provider should provide some solutions to improve the mobile experience, and optimize for mobile-first activity
If you’ve had a website for a long time, you may have noticed that times have changed.  There used to be all types of secret tips for SEO, ways to essentially trick search engines to rank your page at the top of the results, but todays search engine optimization is much more straightforward.
Search engines are continually getting better at filtering out spammy websites trying to game the system, and improving the rankings of business pages that consumers actually click on. If you have an up-to-date website, and follow the five tips above, you’re well on your way to improving the search ranking and findability of your business.

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Have a question about the future? Ask Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih and Google X founder Sebastian Thrun on today's NYTimes Facebook chat

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 10.12.17Last week the New York Times published an engaging infographic exploring the toughest, most fascinating questions about the future: What far-off technology will be commonplace in a decade? Which technology will seem antiquated in a decade? What is tech’s role in reducing income inequality?
The graphic featured the best answers from seven of Silicon Valley’s most accomplished visionaries–including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Hearsay Social CEO and founder Clara Shih, Google X founder Sebastian Thrun, and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams.
Today the New York Times is continuing their coverage of these impressive topics with a live Facebook chat where you can ask Clara and Sebastian any of the biggest questions on your mind. At 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET today, head overhead to The Upshot’s Facebook page to join the chat!

Unveiling a new dashboard and compliance enhancements to help you grow business on social media

Over the past several years, we’ve closely collaborated with the largest financial services companies in the world, honing in on the tools and strategies that best help advisors grow business through social media. We then took this knowledge and developed a best practices methodology that focuses on the essentials to being successful on social:

  1. Get found
  2. Grow your network
  3. Research and act on social signals
  4. Build credibility through thought leadership.

Today’s new social business dashboard from Hearsay Social directly incorporates this methodology through its interface and features. Key enhancements developed in the past year include:

  • Advanced compliance capabilities: Dedicated to serving financial services organizations, which are regulated by FINRA and the SEC, we’ve streamlined compliance and supervision–not only to help compliance teams but also to help advisors. Today we’re launching a seamless LinkedIn profile review and publishing experience through the Hearsay Social interface. Over the past year, Hearsay Social has doubled the information it collects for archiving from social networks, streamlined the user interface for supervision, and improved integration with industry-leading archiving tools, all to enable significantly more efficient compliance capabilities.
  • Advanced Social Signals: Through Hearsay Social’s unique Social Signals offering, which uses natural language processing to alert users to important life events of people in their networks, users can now track alerts and follow up on an individual level. This allows agents and advisors to effectively manage lists of current and prospective clients and respond to social signals at scale.
  • Enterprise-level integration: Hearsay Social has released new enterprise APIs, making it even easier for global businesses to integrate the Hearsay Social platform into their business-critical enterprise and compliance systems. This enables further customization with system-level integration for global companies and streamlines the deployment process, helping agents and advisors to start using social media more quickly.

Of course, we won’t stop there. Every day we work closely with the social networks, the regulatory bodies, and you–our customers–to continually improve upon Hearsay Social, the leading social business platform for the financial services industry.
Read the full press release here and learn more:

4 incredible Internet trends you need to know about

Mary Meeker, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and respected technology analyst, is back this year with great data and predictions on digital, mobile, social, and emerging markets. Last week she released the latest edition of her annual Internet Trends report, highlighting once again incredible growth in the online world.
Here were some especially interesting highlights:

  • There are now 2.4 billion global Internet users, and that number is still growing. In the U.S., there are 244 million U.S. Internet users, making up over three-quarters of the population.
  • Facebook, after Google and Microsoft, is the third most visited Internet property around the world, with over 800 million unique visitors in February 2013.
  • Over 90% of social media users report using Facebook, still the most popular social network. The other top five most used social networks include YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
  • Mobile traffic as a percentage of global Internet traffic has been growing 1.5x every year since 2008; this year, mobile accounts for 15% of all Internet traffic. Mary predicts the yearly growth will either maintain its current trajectory or accelerate in the coming years.

Below is the presentation Mary presented at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital last week in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. It’s 117 slides but a quick read and worth perusing.

4 social media trends every real estate agent must know

Are you a real estate agent new to social media? Or maybe you’ve been on social media for a while and want to keep up with the industry trends. Here are a few real estate trends that will help you be social media savvy.

Mobile photos

As an agent, you’re always on the go—showing houses, meeting with clients, and searching for the hottest new listings. That’s why mobile is so important for real estate agents today. Mobile helps you share content, listings, articles, and tips over social networks while you’re on the move.
Here’s one great practice: As you arrive at your new home listing, snap a picture using Instagram and post it to your Facebook page so that your connections can see the latest houses on the market. You can also capture stories, share neighborhood information, and other tips while you’re driving through your local area. For the most mileage, post these ideas and pictures when they are relevant and recent instead of waiting until you get back to the office. In addition, Instragram allows you to turn these photos into a postcard that you can send to your clients or use in your marketing materials.
Don’t forget you can also share content and upload pictures to Hearsay Social from your mobile phone by logging in to Hearsay Social from your iPad, iPhone, Android, or other Web-connected device.

Communities

There are many types of communities online that you can join through LinkedIn GroupsGoogle+ Communities, and Yahoo! Groups. These services allow people to connect to communities who share common interests.

Try joining a community about real estate, creating a community about your local neighborhood, or joining a community that is involved in city event planning. All of these types of communities will help you connect with potential customers and convey you as a credible resource in the industry. Remember: don’t advertise through these communities. Simply answer questions and contribute to the conversation so that your new connections come to you for advice about real estate. Brand yourself as the go-to person.

Networking via Social Media

When you look at your News Feed on Facebook or your homepage on LinkedIn, do you ever look for new life events?
For example, when someone has a baby, gets married, or experiences other significant life moments, many people share that information over social media. The great thing for real estate agents is that it gives you a glimpse into the important things happening in your network so that you can reach out. Chances are high that a new baby, a new spouse, or an upcoming job move could mean the person has to look for a home. Track the feeds on your favorite social networks to find out what major life events are happening and congratulate your contacts so that they remember you’re there to help when they need to move.

Google+ Local

Do you have a physical real estate agency office? If so, the new Google+ Local feature would be great for you. It allows agents like yourself to list your physical office details and collect customer reviews. Since this is all housed within Google+, it allows clients and prospects to be able to find your physical location and listing on the Web through various services, like Google Maps and Google search. Try it out!

What Google+ Local means for social marketers

In an effort to bring all social data under one roof, Google yesterday launched Google+ Local, a new tab that merges Google Places into the Google+ platform. We are thrilled to see our vision become a reality and feel that this presents a real opportunity for all of our customers promoting locations on Google+ Business Pages and through Google Places.

Consolidating the local experience on Google+ puts the user experience first, as it simplifies the process of finding information that may have previously been strewn across Google+, Google Maps, and Google Places. Integrating Places into Google+ ensures that the user can find trusted first- and third-party information about local businesses, in addition to highly relevant word of mouth recommendations from their circles. The result of this new social lens is not only heightened relevance, but it will also make these pages more engaging and shareable, ultimately driving more sales for local businesses.
In anticipation of Google+ Local, here’s how local businesses owners can get started:

  • claim your place page if you haven’t already
  • ask for recommendations from your customers
  • collect and post photos that tell a story and bring your brick and mortar business to life online

Integrating Places into Google+ Local puts the social experience of your location back into the hands of business owners, and fosters a true two-way relationship with customers and influential supporters.
As Google moves forward with this launch, Hearsay Social will continue offering the most robust platform for monitoring, publishing to, and tracking analytics for all social interactions across Google+, in addition to the other major social networks.
Feel free to ask any questions about Google+ Local in the comments.

What the Facebook IPO means

Ed. note: The following post, penned by Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih, originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

It’s electrifying here in Silicon Valley this week, even more so than usual. Normally, many of us are heads down, focused on our own companies, but right now, even in the land of “what’s next?” all anyone can talk about is the Facebook IPO.
This week marks the dawn of a new era. Facebook going public — with a billion users worldwide and $3.7 billion in revenue — confirms that Facebook is doing to Google today what Google did to Microsoft nearly a decade ago. It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since the Google IPO.
What’s changed since Google was the new, hot company that toppled Microsoft in consumers and investors’ hearts?
For one, consumer behavior has changed. In the Google era, people learned to search for information, products, and businesses. But over the last five years, Facebook has altered online behavior. In the Facebook era, people now choose to share and discover rather than simply search for information.
A growing number of people worldwide now get their news as well as learn about products and services through what their friends are reading, liking, and buying — all this, of course, is broadcast through the Facebook news feed, Twitter streams, and LinkedIn Today.
As a result, Facebook replaced Google as the most visited site in the U.S. in 2010, according to Experian Hitwise. Now, Facebook is even overtaking Google in the amount of traffic it drives to third-party sites, including Guardian UK. By establishing trusted graphs of friends and brands one likes or follows, social networking sites have transformed the way people are making important decisions such as what to read, what to buy, where to buy, and whom to hire.
Hence the $3.7 billion in revenue. And this is just the beginning.

The future is bright

Indeed, Facebook’s best days are still ahead. There is strong near-term upside in the new ad formats they have created. New Facebook ad products like Sponsored Stories and Reach Generator, which broadcast Business Page “likes” and posts to wider audiences, are already showing great promise by driving conversion rates higher for marketers.
In the medium term, Facebook is well positioned to monetize on mobile, payments, and international growth. Over 55 percent of its 901 million users are active on Facebook Mobile, and this number just keeps growing as more people get smartphones. In its S-1, Facebook disclosed it already generates nearly 18 percent of its revenue from payments generated from the 30 percent “tax” it charges for transactions involving virtual or digital goods (think vegetables in Farmville — the broccoli adds up!). On the international front, Facebook has had great user growth but only scratched the surface in terms of monetization.
Long term, the possibilities are endless. The convergence of Facebook and well-established online business models such as search, commerce, and ad networks could be very compelling for consumers, in addition to being lucrative for Facebook. For example, why couldn’t search be social? If I search for “digital camera,” why should I see the same organic and paid results as my 11-year old niece who would respond much better to a lower-end model that’s pink? And why should she or I see the same results as my husband’s friend who is a professional photographer and would clearly be interested in a very different kind of digital camera?
Facebook could also partner or compete head-on with traditional offline channels such as TV, digital dashboards in automobiles, and smart billboards enabled with near field communication that tailor their displays to whomever may be nearby.

In conclusion

Silicon Valley is roaring again. From LinkedIn, Zynga, and Yelp to Facebook and its rapidly expanding partner ecosystem, innovation is alive and well. A heartfelt congratulations to the team at Facebook on their IPO and, indeed, for changing the world. Stay focused and keep shipping.
Image courtesy of ABC News.

Why you need a social CIO

“With the experience our employees have as consumers, I believe it is important for me as CIO to understand the experiences they are enjoying and how to bring those same experiences into the workplace in a ‘fit for business’ way.” — Jeanette Horan, Chief Information Officer of IBM

LinkedIn is now a publicly traded company, and the professional social network is accessed by 150 million people every month. Facebook, which is going public very soon, is accessed by a mind-blowing 901 million people every month. Other social networks, like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, are likewise seeing record engagement rates as consumers continue to crave a social experience with everything they do online.
These statistics are startling because they illustrate the “consumerization of IT,” or an increasing tendency for new technologies to first be adopted by mainstream consumers before businesses. If organizations today want to keep up, they must look to the behaviors of their very employees for insight into which technologies can help them build a better business.
Forbes recently published an article discussing the new era of the social business, which must be led by a “Social CIO” that understands the importance of social media and social networking to their organization. Their perspective falls much in line with our own:

For CIOs, managing is about understanding an organization’s people, information and technologies. Their task is to make people capable of exceptional performance, to enable teams to collaborate and to prepare an organization to be more effective. This is what the true role of the CIO is all about, and it is the reason that she is critical to building a social business.
To understand that LinkedIn is important for networking and identifying subject matter experts; to see that Twitter can be used to communicate ideas to a broad audience; to grasp that Facebook is a valuable tool for connecting friends and family through shared interests; to appreciate that Google+ represents a new break-through in long form communication and collaboration are all important to understand when designing the information flow and technologies for the social enterprise.

It’s a challenge, but every organization will need to rethink themselves as a social business. From hiring to marketing to sales, everyone at your organization is a brand ambassador, and it’s up to the CIO to put the infrastructure in place to make that happen.
Looking for a good role model? Here’s a graphic highlighting the top 25 Social CIOs in the Fortune 250, as identified by harmon.ie:

Curious to learn more about the new role of the Social CIO? Check out some of these posts: