As insurers strive to become more social and leverage more from social media data, they must remember that long-term change requires effective governance.

Over the course of this blog series, we’ve highlighted four core tenets of a social insurer: being customer-centric, requiring tangible ROI, having robust analytics capabilities and establishing a test-and-learn approach. However, an insurer that embodies these four tenets will not necessarily succeed in its transformation—not without effective governance, the final tenet.

Governance is key to success with social

Successful social transformation requires changes to people, processes and procedures. And it may entail long-term change that affects governance processes throughout the enterprise. In some cases, insurers may even have to redefine established structures, roles, responsibilities, processes and measures to create an organization-wide, well-defined approach to integrating social.

Effective governance is especially important because in many organizations, social initiatives are often outsourced to marketing firms. This can be a cost-effective strategy; however, insurers must be sure that social initiatives are tied to business objectives, and establish a framework and rules to guide social initiatives.

Example: AIG takes social initiatives in-house

For example, AIG started working with a major multinational media property, but soon found that there were gaps in the customer experience. Instead, the insurer took back its marketing reins, addressed the gaps, and adopted a test-and-learn approach to its social investments. By taking marketing—and social—initiatives in-house, AIG was able to increase web traffic, optimize its content and better address customer needs.

The value of social

Without a cohesive social strategy, insurers may expose themselves to brand and reputation risk, data privacy and security risk, decreased customer retention, and lost sales and service opportunities.

On the other hand, social done well can increase customer intimacy and an insurer’s relevance, and create a tipping point for a customer to buy a product or remain with its current insurance provider. Keys to success include tying social activities to business objectives and adopting a test-and-learn approach.

Many thanks to my colleagues at Accenture Digital for their research: Rob Harles, Alex Naressi, Kris Bober and Aneesh Desikan.

To learn more about the trends driving social expansion, especially the Internet of Things, download Boil a Better Ocean: Five core tenets for creating the social enterprise (PDF).

Learn more:

  • Email me to discuss how Accenture can help insurers establish effective governance structures to become more socially savvy.

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