Kevin Kraft and I spoke with Best’s Review in an interview about the parallels between the insurance industry and the retail industry.
Insurance, retail and the fight for shelf space
While it may seem strange to compare insurance and retail, both industries are in the business of competing for customers. That is, how to attract the right consumer, target products to that consumer, get their attention and convert leads into purchases.
To use language from the retail industry, insurers are fighting for shelf space.
Insurers are fighting through different channels: banks, employer plans, agents and online channels. Insurers use these channels to find the right consumer at the right time. With so many channels available, it is critical to select the right platform for the target audience.
Three questions insurers must ask
Once the retail channels have been identified and mapped, insurers must ask themselves three questions.
- Is my product in the right stores? Am I using the right channels and delivering information in the most appropriate way for my target market?
- Do I have the right product for the stores that I want to sell through? Have I matched the right product with the right features to attract my target customer?
- Are my stores and my company doing enough to promote sales? Am I gathering data and using analytics to understand my customers and their needs?
The role of technology in insurance
Technology is critical when it comes to selling insurance products. Insurers must understand the role of analytics to understand customer behavior and habits.
Further, insurers must understand and leverage technology to listen to customer preferences. People are talking about their lives on social media channels, providing an opportunity for insurers to dial into these events and reach out to customers with appropriate products.
Finally, people in the insurance industry are known for being good networkers. New technologies encourage collaboration and provide an excellent opportunity for companies to advance their brand as a good networker. By leveraging technology as a networking tool, insurers can connect their storefront to the right customers.
What do you think? How can insurers derive insight from lessons learned in the retail industry?