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Where Opportunity Rocks: 3 Insights from the LIMRA Conference

Fri, Jun 16, 2017

“Where Opportunity Rocks!” That was the theme of the most recent marketing conference held by the Life Insurance Marketing Research Association, or LIMRA, in Nashville, TN this June. And opportunity was not just part of the theme, it was a key part of all the great sessions and presentations.

We have a tendency to think of the insurance industry as dull. This could not be further from the truth. Maybe it’s the pressure of how sales of insurance are down (LIMRA says sales of life insurance are off 40% since 1980), or the disruption of new technologies and companies entering the space, but those who represent the traditional insurance companies were totally on point on how to energize their business and create opportunities for growth.

I was fortunate to be asked to present the Keynote on “Winning New Clients with Science”. Thanks again to LIMRA for asking and for the great audience for listening. It was a fun talk.

As much fun as it was to speak, listening was even better. Each session was better than the last. Topics ranged from digital to social, engagement to journey, generations to incentives. It’s always a shame when sessions are concurrent, because as great as the sessions were that I attended, I know I missed sessions that were equally as good that were happening at the same time. The folks at LIMRA did a fantastic job putting this together. Too many take aways to name them all, but there were three that stood out.

1. Make the complex simple

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There were so many great quotes, but one that stood out was from Lincoln Financial. Patrick Ohlin, VP, Head of Brand said that “the insurance industry often uses the shield of complexity, when they should be using the sword of simplicity”. So true! And it’s not just true of this industry, you see it everywhere. We, as marketers, need to work hard to remove jargon and work to make the complex simple. Without an effort to simplify, we lose our audience.

2. Do more with less

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The session on Digital Success, included a panel of digital executives from Prudential, Guardian and NY Life. All of the speakers were doing great things with small teams. The idea of doing more with less is alive and well in insurance marketing today. Erin Meijer, Director, Thought Leadership and Content Strategy from Guardian talked about the need for collaboration between digital and the rest of the organization and the hurdles of compliance, all of which should be part of the strategy for engaging customers through social.

3. Educate, don't sell

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Generational marketing is a hot topic, as Millennials and GenZ become popular targets for financial and insurance products. Brett Myers, Next Door Program Director at State Farm described an incredibly unique approach to “marketing” to the younger generation through education and connection with the broker network; not to sell, but to learn. Taking the long term view pays off. The best part was when asked by the audience how to sell annuities to this audience, Brett said “they don’t!” Good answer!

It’s always gratifying to gain insight from not just people in the industry, but those that are in the thick of making it happen every day. LIMRA, again, did an excellent job of bringing together a great group to bring that insight. The conference Rocked!


John Sisson is a prominent thought leader in business development and marketing management, particularly in the data-driven space. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

We also encourage you to follow the professionals mentioned in this post: Patrick Ohlin on LinkedIn and Twitter, Erin Meijer on LinkedIn and Twitter, and Brett Myers on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Universal Wilde is a leading full-service provider of data-driven, technology-enabled marketing communications solutions. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more news and insights.


Categories: Insurance Industry, LIMRA

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