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Know your customer, and other key themes from McKinsey Direct Forum 2013

We recently had the pleasure of joining McKinsey & Company for their Direct Forum 2013 in Munich, bringing together CEOs and other top executives from companies like Allianz and Direct Line to discuss the future of the Direct Insurance market as well as the impact of digital trends on the industry.

The day included one session on “Digital Frontline Capabilities” and another on “Ensuring Profitability.” Throughout the event, a number of key themes came out of the sessions that apply to both the Distribution & Direct models:
Compete on more than price. In order to stay relevant in both the Distribution & Direct channels, organizations need to find ways to stay top of mind and educate prospects and customers. Social media will be a valuable source to passively provide information where customers and prospects already exist.
Direct is established. Though Direct has historically been seen as the pesky competitor, there has been a clear shift in the market that shows top Distribution organizations like Allianz continuing to invest in their agent force while also building out a Direct Model. These companies have simply realized they have to meet customers where they are. In the UK, for example, over 50% of all motor policies are sold via Direct Channels.
Customer-centricity is key. The better you know your customer, the bigger your advantage. Customers expect a personalized sales cycle and personalized service throughout their time as your client. Insurance organizations at the McKinsey event were quick to point out that retention, not acquisition, is their core problem today. It’s critical that organizations develop unique content and response strategies to meet the customer where they are.
Guest speaker Davide Passero CEO of Genertel, an insurance company based in Italy, provided an exceptional session on the key areas of focus for Genertal:

  1. Superior Customer Insight
  2. Sound Branding
  3. Multichannel Management
  4. Friendly Product Offer
  5. State of the art service
  6. Smart People Engagement

There’s a clear opportunity in the market for Direct, Multichannel, and Distribution organizations if they remember to keep the focus on serving the customer best.

Social Technologies Unlocked: Hearsay Social CEO speaks at Churchill Club

Would you believe that social media and social networks are mostly untapped across both the enterprise and consumer landscapes?
That’s the finding of a McKinsey Global Institute report entitled The Social Economy: Unleashing Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies. In advance of the report’s publication, several of the best minds in social media met in San Francisco for a panel discussion hosted by the Churchill Club, which has organized events for a quarter of a century with big names like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, and Arianna Huffington.
For the social technologies-focused session, Hearsay Social CEO Clara Shih sat on the panel amongst esteemed leaders in the social media space, including Wendy Arnott, VP of Social Media, TD Bank Group; BJ Fogg, Founder and Director, the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University; David Gutelius, Chief Scientist, Jive Software. The panel was moderated by Michael Chui, a Senior Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute.
View the discussion in its entirety in the video below and check out some of the best live tweets from the event: