The fall 2009 edition of LIMRA’s MarketFacts featured an article by Mary M. Art on the future of technology in the insurance industry. The article reported results of a survey of various industry experts. They were asked to give their opinion as to whether various trends were going to have extreme, considerable, moderate, or little or no impact on the industry over the next five years.
Social media was one of the topics covered. The following is a summary of the LIMRA article.
In general, most experts believed that social media would have a considerable, but not extreme impact on insurance marketing over the next five years. Four social media trends were considered (listed below from highest impact to lowest). Roughly 50% to 60% of industry experts agreed that these trends would have considerable to extreme impact:
* Financial companies’ need to monitor what consumers say about them online in blogs, social networking sites, etc.
* Consumers’ use of social media (e.g., blogs, discussion forums, social networking) to validate their ﬁnancial company choices
* Availability of streaming video, podcasts, and interactive games for marketing
* Use of social media in general by ﬁnancial companies
Experts in North America felt that social media would have more impact than their counterparts outside North America. However, producers’ use of social networking is expected to have a larger impact outside of North America. One North American expert stated that “unless compliance restrictions ease, it will be difficult for producers to fully leverage social networking.”
Regarding younger generations, one expert noted that “we’re already seeing [consumers use social media to validate financial company choices]. It will become greater. This is how Gen Y communicates.”
The top social media challenges listed by experts are:
* Finding business benefits from creating a social media presence
* Lack of understanding of social media
* Fluidity of the medium and the resulting need to continuously educate oneself about current social media
* Losing control of your company’s brand through the use of social media.
Do you agree with the consensus view of industry experts over the next five years?