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Live updates from the LIMRA Distribution Conference

We are thrilled to be here in Orlando for the first day of the LIMRA Distribution Conference. Please check back here for real-time updates from the most interesting sessions and conversations.

Distribution Design: an Executive Perspective
Rand Harbert, Chief Agency, Sales & Marketing Officer, State Farm Insurance
Catherine L. Honor, President, RBC Insurance Services, Inc.
Duane M. Morrow, CMO and EVP, Primerica Life Insurance Company
James W. Kerley, LLIF, Moderator, President, LL Global Services, Inc.

The opportunity to insure North Americans remains an enormous opportunity, according to learnings from this panel. Around 70 million North Americans  have no life insurance at all.
At the same time, the industry faces a distribution crisis: the American population continues to grow, but the American agent population has declined and is aging. Increasingly, agents are not diverse enough to match population growth in the general population, particularly among women and Hispanics.
Rand Harbert, EVP and Chief Agency & Marketing Officer at State Farm, specifically spoke to the “rise of the consumer.” In the mobile and social era, consumers want to be served how and when they want, meaning the industry must adapt to serve. Specifically, insurance organizations should focus on strengthening their multichannel efforts to reach and connect with this new brand of consumers.

Better, Faster, Stronger – New World of Predictive Analytics for Insurance
Richard Berry, Deloitte Insurance Practice

Marketing, technology, and service in the insurance and financial services industries are changing in substantial ways thanks to a new world of predictive analytics, according to Richard Berry, Deloitte.
Underwriting is the first major area to be affected by predictive analytics. Traditionally, data sets used to predict insurance risk include demographics (age, gender), face value and duration of policy, alcohol/tobacco use, adverse medical history/family health, annual income, and MIB. Today, traditional data can be combined with “new” data sets such as household data and consumer purchase and financial investment behavior. The most innovative data sets today can also tie in social media behavior data and friend network behavior.
Predictive analytics can be used not only for calculating risk in pricing but can also be used upfront to save time, money, and client disappointment. For example, some data sets such as personal medical history are costly to obtain; upfront analysis identifies factors that may have a bigger impact than medical history for a particular client, giving the insurer the option to skip medical history altogether. This saves the insurer and producer both time and money. Coincidentally, it’s also better for the client: if the client qualifies, they still appreciate a shorter, less onerous application process. In the case of non-qualification, we can reduce client disappointment since advisors won’t then sell clients on policies for which they are likely to be declined.
Second, predictive analytics is also immensely valuable in marketing because it helps with client segmentation. Data helps predict which insurance policies a prospective customer is likely to be interested in, enabling you to focus on marketing those policies alone. Conversely, insurers can avoid marketing to anyone who is not likely to qualify for a policy, saving time and effort on all sides.
Third, predictive analytics can be used to identify which customers are most likely to lapse as well as whether the insurer needs to focus retention resources on keeping the customer. On the other hand, if a customer is at low risk of attriting then fewer resources need to be used for retention.
In the IA market, predictive analytics can be used to identify which independent agents are most likely to sell the most. You have the best data on your longest-standing, top-producing agents, allowing you to identify unique attributes that might indicate which newer agents have the same potential.

Thanks for reading! If you’re attending the LIMRA Distribution Conference, please take a moment to stop by the Hearsay Social booth and say hello.

5 stats you should track to be successful on social media

Measuring the impact of a social media engagement program can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are just getting started. With a seemingly endless supply of social data at your fingertips, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Don’t stress! Stop, and take a deep breath. Social media measurement is more manageable than you think.
The key to success is to start small and establish a few important bases before you try to tackle complex social media ROI models. Whether you are brand new to social media or can tweet in your sleep, we have compiled a few of our favorite metrics below to help you kick off (or extend) your measurement efforts. What makes these metrics so special? Three things: they are specific, they are easy to measure over time, and they are actionable. So take a look, and get going!

1. Reach (Facebook): How many people saw your post

No calculations necessary. See the number of impressions on your Facebook posts by simply looking at the number that appears under each post on your page. Additionally, if you have more than 30 fans on your Facebook page, you can click into your Facebook Insights and monitor the “Reach” for each of your posts. (“Reach” is the same thing as “# of people saw your post”.) For even more insight, sort them to see which of your posts gained the most views.
Action: Look for a theme in your most viewed posts and capitalize on this theme in future posts.

2. Engagement (Facebook): People talking about this (PTAT) / Likes

Find these stats under your Facebook page name. Dividing your PTAT value by the total number of Likes on your page will give you a sense of how engaged your base of fans is. This percentage, which typically ranges between 2-5%, gives you an up-to-the-minute view into just how many of your fans are interacting with your page through any variety of interactions, including likes, comments, shares, mentions, and tags. While it’s not uncommon to have a 2% engagement value, shoot for 5% for a truly stellar Facebook business page.
Action: Pay attention to any peaks or troughs in your engagement metric. Re-engage fans by sharing photos, asking a question, or celebrating your fans’ milestones.

3. Time (all networks): Hearsay Social Metrics

Do you ever wonder when you should post content? Should you post at 9am or 9pm? On Tuesdays or Thursdays? The answer is unique to every business, every page, and every social network. With Hearsay Social’s “Engagement” data, found under “Metrics,” you can determine which day of the week is the best to share content and even what time of day will earn you the most engagement.
Action: Craft your engagement strategy around these metrics. Schedule content for popular times and make sure to respond to your engaged fans.

4. Shareability (Twitter): Search “@yourtwitterhandle” at

Creating content for your social media audience is a good thing. Inspiring your fans and followers so much that they decide to share your content with their audiences is a great thing. To measure this in Twitter, simply search your handle (or use Hearsay Social Metrics) to see exactly how many mentions and retweets you’re receiving. Are people retweeting what you have to say?
Action: If you get lucky, you might just find your brand enthusiasts through your retweet search. Think about engaging them directly by thanking for them for their support in a tweet.

5. Relevance (Twitter): Total You Are Following on Twitter / Total Twitter Followers

If you’ve ever wondered whether your tweets are resonating with your follower base on Twitter, wonder no more. Divide the number of accounts you’re following on Twitter by your total number of Twitter followers to calculate a relevance percentage. If you get a value around 30% or lower, you are doing very well. As a thought leader, you’re like accumulating a healthy following by sharing great content. Having a relevance value around 50% or higher, on the other hand, might not necessarily be a bad thing. Perhaps your strategy is to simply follow back anybody that follows you, a policy that many Twitter users have adopted.
Action: Follow people who you would like to follow you back. Consider tweeting at prospective followers to invite them to follow you.
That’s it! With five easy steps, you can start tangibly measuring your social media efforts to track exactly how your posts and conversations resonate with fans and followers. Each of these metrics lays the groundwork for you to analyze the business impact and ROI of your social sales and marketing efforts.