SOCIAL MEDIA INSURANCE MONITOR 2016 BY ITDS
THEIR OWN PATH
MOBILE -FIRST APPROACH
A CHANGE OF THE BUSINESS
MODEL IS NEEDED
A SOCIAL COMPANY
ITDS MEASURES INSURERS’ USE
OF SOCIAL MEDIA ALL OVER THE WORLD
Conclusions: Active, but
many chances are not
yet being exploited
Johan van den Neste:
The personal approach
Olav Cuiper (RGA):
Frank van Wessel
Transformation is crucial
To survive with
nce again, we’ve taken the next step. Last year, for the first time, we presented
a study into the use of Social Media in the European insurance market.
And what you are now holding is a report of the first global survey. Within
the framework of our independent Social Media Insurance Monitor, earlier
this year we surveyed no less than 20 leading international insurers. We did so because, as
ITDS Business Consultants involved in this sector, we know that we are active in a rapidly
changing world. “To survive with Social Media” is the bottom line, and that’s something
that transcends all borders, in every which way.
Our initiative − which was launched six years ago in the Netherlands, extended to cover
Europe last year and went global this year − is highly appreciated internationally. This
year, for the second time in a row, we were nominated for Social Agency of the Year at
the annual Corporate Social Media Awards in New York. Nearly 500 leading companies
from around the world vie for these prestigious awards. Our Monitor and SoMe magazine
garnered the honour of “Highly Commended” during the awards gala. This puts us at the
international leading edge of Social Media, with our research being valued at an international
level, something we are justifiably proud of.
The insurer that achieved the highest score of all the 20 surveyed insurers to claim our top
ranking also has reason to be proud. The facts and figures lead to a number of conclusions
that will be of interest to everyone in the industry. Furthermore, I’d like to draw your a
ttention to the advice of Neil Hiltz, Global Head Financial Services, Facebook, which is to
“Think from the customer’s perspective”. In his opinion, and ours too, this is clearly still
not always the case. Our vision in this respect is unambiguous: a change of the business
model is needed. And this is why “Towards a Social Company” is the main theme of this
first global edition of SoMe magazine.
SOCIAL IS GLOBAL:
Social is global; in every country people are making extensive
use of Social Media. But our research shows that international
insurers are not effectively exploiting this to the full.
SOCIAL IS GLOBAL
ARE NOT YET
Looking at 20 major players in the insurance industry, spread across
11 different countries, we certainly encountered plenty of Social Media
activities. But digging a little deeper with our Social Media Insurance
Monitor it would appear that many options are going untapped. Here are
our conclusions, one-by-one.
THERE IS A LACK OF SOCIAL
Most insurers that are active on Social
Media have drawn up a Social strategy.
However, less than half (40%) of the
insurers that do have a Social strategy
have actually communicated it within the
organisation. This means that the strategy
is only being experienced from one place
in the organisation, thus blocking the way
towards becoming a really Social Business.
THE ONLINE ECO-SYSTEM
IS NOT CLEAR
Of those 20 insurers, 15 (75%) of them have a
content platform on which informative blogs
can be found. Insurers use these blogs to
derive SEO advantages and/or claim thought
leadership on a particular topic.
Consumers mainly access these content platforms
through blogs that the insurers share
on their Social Media channels. However, the
content platform is often difficult to find on
the insurer’s homepage because any throughreferrals
aren’t clear enough. In many instances
the online “eco-system” (online-socialmobile)
is not clear for consumers.
Of those insurers with a content platform,
consumers can respond to the blogs of
only 40% of them. Clearly, relatively few
opportunities for interaction are offered
through dialogue. A huge advantage of
Social Media is that it offers two-way
traffic, but this is being insufficiently
IS STILL SCARCE
Despite increasing amounts of content,
communication is still mainly one-sided,
from the side of the insurers. Insurers have
some catching up to do in this respect
because user-generated content is perceived
as many times more credible than content
created by the companies themselves.
of the insurers
MILLENNIALS ARE RARELY
Generally speaking, insurers are not proactively
capitalising on the behaviour of
Millennials, the generation that today
makes extensive use of messaging platforms
to communicate. Of the surveyed insurers
not one of them yet use WhatsApp as a
contact channel. This is despite the fact
that it’s been proved that WhatsApp hugely
increases customer satisfaction and transcends
all other channels. Most insurers
are accessible via Facebook Messenger,
although three of the 20 surveyed insurers
(15%) have actually disabled this option.
AXA’s Millennials label “Switch” is the first
to officially partner with Facebook Messen-
customer satisfaction but insurers
don’t use this channel.
ger. Similarly, no insurers are yet making
structural use of Snapchat, although two
insurers have deployed it in the context of
sports club sponsorship.
THE VALUE OF THE SERVICE
PROVIDED BY WEBCARE IS
All 20 insurers respond to questions via
Social Media. However, an average of only
30% refer to Social Media channels on their
contact page. On Facebook only 50% indicate
in their profile that webcare is offered on that
channel. On Twitter this drops to 35%. These
statistics demonstrate that Social Media is not
yet seen as a fully fledged service channel.
USER REVIEWS ARE NOT
ASKED FOR, OR SHARED
More than half of all consumers base their
choices on ratings and user reviews, but
the importance of these user reviews is
not yet being acknowledged by insurers.
Facebook offers the opportunity to leave
a review on the page, but only 10% of the
insurers enabled this functionality.
reviews on their
MOBILE-PROOF? YES. MOBILE ENGAGEMENT? NO.
Insurers have acknowledged the importance of mobile. Almost all insurers have a mobileproof
site: 90% of them have a responsive website, 5% have a separate mobile website and
5% have a site that’s not mobile-proof. However, the content that is created is often not
mobile-first. This means the content doesn’t appear well on mobile and consumers do not
get an optimum mobile experience.
DOESN’T FIT ALL
JOHAN VAN DEN NESTE, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR AT INSHARED
“I have a confrontational perspective that speaks volumes about my
ambition. How good would it be if we could offer everybody a personal
and bespoke insurance proposition. One that uses data and with which
we can serve our customers as optimally as possible.” So says Johan van
den Neste, commercial director of the 100 per cent digital InShared, part
JOHAN VAN DEN NESTE
ith InShared, Johan
van den Neste focuses
strongly on customer behaviour.
when coupled to data, defines how people
can be served and their needs exactly met.
The objective, he explains, is a marketing
strategy that’s focused on the individual.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY
There are a number of building blocks
for commercial success. At the heart of
the online environment it’s all about four
cornerstones, on which you can base that
able. How can you generate traffic to
your website? With Google and with SEO,
obviously. But you can also use Social.
And banners. A strong brand is, of course,
an indispensible prerequisite in all this.
You must make sure that people can find
you without any problems.
your site. Just how user-friendly is it?
Can consumers use it easily?
That’s all down to your content, your
storytelling. The message must always be
relevant. And without commercial hooks.
Before his current position as commercial director at InShared, Johan van den Neste was the digital
inspiration at Allsecur, part of Allianz. He is, without doubt, a pioneer in the insurance sector, one of
very few people who has identified and harnessed the potential of online and is continuously looking
to improve and optimise it. His vision and ideas about online marketing and strategy always come
from the customer’s perspective.
completely on the analysis of the
customer’s behaviour. There are many
differences in people’s search behaviour,
which say a lot about how they live their
lives. One customer might be looking for
convenience, while the other might be
price-driven. If you look closely enough
you can exploit this. Take the security
hunter, for example. He’ll visit your site,
leave it and then come back a bit later.
You’ll see that he’s checking out the terms
of the product. That’s how you’ll know
he’s looking for security. The third time
he comes to your landing page you’ll send
a personalised message. That’s when you
offer him that security and, based on his
behaviour, you make him a suitably adapted
offer. That’s where we want to be.
Because one size doesn’t fit all.
The behaviour on Social Media and
the website determine our
one-on-one marketing strategy.
AND WHERE ARE WE TODAY?
In the retail sector the use of data is more
advanced than it is in financial services.
That said, if you look at pricing, particularly
actuarial pricing, the insurance
industry is further. As an online insurer,
at InShared we are already applying some
retail concepts, but not yet in the form
that we really want to. We are 100% digital
so we don’t have the baggage of longterm
legacies that the big insurers do. Our
expertise and the IT platform that we
developed are what fuelled the recent
creation of OutShared. This new company
now serves as a platform to other parties,
partly thanks to demand from insurers
for flexible IT at a low cost per policy.
In the meantime, our first external
insurance label is already fully operational
on our platform. We still have a way to go,
but it’s a journey we’re making with our
AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN
We really scrutinise people’s behaviour
and we invest a lot of time in doing so.
We analyse web behaviour data, as well as
the combinations of CRM data. We want
to do more than just offer a product; we
want more and better quality contact with
people. So we explore how people seek
and establish contact with us. It can be
through chat, email or telephone, and
soon via WhatsApp too. Sales have to be
assimilated to that behaviour. Sometimes
you can send somebody a chat message proactively.
Other times people might want to
speak to a real person, because they want
to introduce a human component into the
business process. It’s this kind of bespoke
approach that we are optimising. The
behaviour on Social Media and the website,
linked to actuarial data, are what determine
the marketing strategy we’ll use for
an individual at any given time.
AND WHAT FORM DOES THAT TAKE
ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Again, data intelligence is an important
part of the equation. The more you know
about the customers in your target group,
the better you’ll know what they want. It’s
an opportunity to get your message across
intelligently. It even makes something as
potentially irritating as retargeting more
palatable. Here’s a retail example of the
wrong approach. Supposing I order a suit
online at Hugo Boss. If I then go to news
sites I’ll still get be pestered with Hugo
Boss advertisements, even though I’ve
already bought the suit there. Shame. But
if this retargeting is done more intelligently
and without being annoying, we’ll
also reach people who didn’t initially
have a preference for us. It’s important to
learn continuously from people’s behaviour
and invest heavily in it. An area in which
we want to be so much better in future is
having real relevance on Social Media.
INTERVIEW JOHAN VAN DEN NESTE
Agility is the key to the organisation’s
success and that calls for a different
By giving concrete tips to make people
more aware of risks, for example.
AND THE PRIVACY ISSUE?
It goes without saying that staying within
the law and strictly observing it is our
main departure point. But you cannot
really avoid this issue. If you do it really
well it won’t be a problem; but if you do it
wrong it will be. One customer might be
used to it and take it for granted. Another
might be much more aggressive in the way
he protects his privacy or even withholds
his data. You have to take both approaches
into account. Transparency, sharing excess
profit with our customers, is one of
our USPs as an insurer. InShared wants
people to be able to insure themselves
online. If you limit the damage together,
you can share the spoils together. There is
no small print. And this is something we’ll
continue to apply if we develop products
and services for which our customers need
to give us data.
WHERE IS THE BIGGEST
The biggest challenge is not one of
linking together all the data streams;
it’s making this data actionable and
facilitating a conversion when someone is
visiting the site. But it’s not just about the
conversion either; it’s also about being able
to make a profit. Sometimes customers want
products that don’t suit us. Here again,
based on behaviour and on our customer
groups, we’ll know instinctively which
people in the traffic may or may not
be of interest to us. Agility is the key to
the organisation’s success and that calls
for a different organisational structure.
The various disciplines, data analysis,
marketing, actuarial and IT must be
closely meshed. For traditional insurers
this can be problematic.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
We do everything in house and orchestrate
it all ourselves. We investigate the
real person behind the data. What does
he want? And how can we help him in a
relevant way, without being a nuisance?
Sometimes it’s not even about sales or the
settlement of a claim, but about offering
other support. We’re all in it together, with
the courage to move forward by trial and
error. It makes you increasingly smarter
and more effective and underscores
improvement, bit-by-bit. That’s the bottom
20 MAJOR GLOBAL INSURERS
US insurer State Farm tops our ranking. It uses social content to build
communities. Second place went to the Netherlands’ Aegon, thanks to
its integrated social approach. Number three, Germany’s Allianz, enters
into dialogue with consumers with its forum ‘Allianz hilft’.
1 State Farm (US)
2 Aegon (NL)
3 Allianz (DE)
4 AXA (FR)
5 Allstate (US)
5 Aviva (UK)
6 Geico (US)
7 Nationwide (US)
8 MAPFRE (ES)
9 Farmers (US)
10 Generali (IT)
11 Sun Life (CA)
12 New York Life (US)
13 Legal & General (UK)
13 Great Eastern (MY)
14 MetLife (US)
14 AIA (MY)
15 Zurich (CH)
16 AMP (NZ)
17 Chubb (US)
20 MAJOR GLOBAL INSURERS
FANS AND FOLLOWERS:
The insurers have a total of 10,023,979 fans and followers. Of these, Facebook commands
the biggest share, with 7,573,595 fans, then LinkedIn with 1,754,811 followers. On
Twitter insurers have 695,571 followers and last year Instagram secured the loyalty of
With a grand total of 2,274,555 fans, Farmers is the absolute winner, followed by the top
ranking State Farm, with 2,093,254.
The chart shown below shows the absolute numbers of fans per insurer. However, in
calculating the ranking on the previous page, differences in population have been taken
into account. To achieve a fair comparison, a correction per country has been applied.
Insurers gradually begin to exploit
the emerging channels.
State Farm (US)
New York Life (US)
Sun Life (CA)
Great Eastern (US)
Legal & Genarali (UK)
All insurers in the ranking are active
on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and
19 of the 20 surveyed insurers (95%) are
active on Twitter.
On average, insurers posted 5 messages
per week on Facebook, 12 on Twitter and
2 on LinkedIn. An average of 1 video per
week was uploaded on YouTube.
On Facebook, insurers received a total of
39,916 responses from consumers on their
50% of the insurers responded within
two hours after receiving questions from
consumers on their Facebook page. On
Twitter that was only 45%.
Insurers are gradually beginning to exploit
the emerging channels: 70% − to
a greater or lesser extent − are active
on Instagram, with an average of 2 posts
per week (not counting advertisements).
However, there is still little use made of
Snapchat, with the exception of a few insurers
who have experimented with it in the
context of a campaign.
At the moment, WhatsApp is still not
being used by international insurers as a
95% of the insurers link through from
their homepage to one or more Social Media
channels. However, only 30% (6 out of
20 insurers) link through from the contact
page to Social Media. In this case it’s often
limited to a referral to traditional contact
channels, such as email and telephone.
Only 5 of the 20 insurers (25%) show
consumer reviews on the website.
The opportunity to provide feedback on
the website or service is offered on the
websites of 9 of the 20 insurers (45%).
Only 3 insurers (15%) acknowledge the
importance of user-generated content and
have created a platform for it. These are:
Allianz, with a forum (forum.allianz.de),
New York Life, with Keep Going Good
State Farm, with Neighborhood Sessions
75% of the insurers have a platform or
page on which they can share blogs. These
blogs are typically shared through Social
RANKING 20 MAJOR GLOBAL INSURERS
Has an app
have an app
Has a mobileproof
Does not have
Nearly all insurers (90%) have a responsive website; in other words the website
is the same as the desktop site but it automatically scales down to the mobile device.
Furthermore, 5% has developed a separate mobile website, while 5% does not have a
Of all the insurers, 95% have smartphone apps, which are used by insurers for different
purposes. While one insurer might use an app as a news source, another might use it for
managing insurance policies.
This is the first and only independent
survey about the use of Social Media in the
global insurance industry. The survey takes
in 20 major global insurers from 11 different
countries. These insurers are leaders in
their field in the worldwide insurance market
and they wield considerable influence
on the complexion of global insurance.
The surveyed insurers each have a clear
brand name. Insurance groups that have a
variety of different brands have not been included.
We have also excluded insurers that
are part of a major bank, because they have
no separate social insurance channels.
To provide an objective view as possible,
and to compare insurers with one ano-
ther, we have looked at the Social Media
accounts in the respective countries in
which the insurers are active. In other words,
AXA in France, Aviva in the UK, Generali in
Italy, and so on.
Accounts that target other countries
or languages have had no effect on the
ranking. Moreover, communities that were
set by consumers, insurers and employees
have been excluded.
The measurements were taken between
January and June 2016. Changes that
took place after the final measurement
date have not been taken into account in
determining the ranking. In the global
Social Media Insurance Monitor 2016 all
insurers were allocated a score between 0
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
The final report of our Social Media Insurance Monitor is based on measurements,
statistics, a survey and desk research. The characteristics of the
20 insurers that were surveyed on their use of Social Media are given below.
STATE FARM (UNITED STATES)
By organising what it calls “Neighborhood
Sessions”, local concerts given by major
artists from the vicinity, State Farm works
both online − through the Neighborhood
Sessions platform − and offline on
its community. On Facebook, State Farm
shares many videos and links through to
its “Good Neighbors” blog.
AEGON (THE NETHERLANDS)
Aegon’s focus on Social Media is mainly on
dialogue. On both Facebook and Twitter conversation
management is deployed alongside
webcare, with the emphasis being on
online dialogue. From a special innovation
fund, Aegon invests in initiatives.
By using Instagram Allianz tries to appeal
to young people. And the online forum,
Allianz Hilft, gives Allianz in Germany an
additional platform for online services.
The cornerstones of this platform are the
community team, the role played by
gamification, and integration with Facebook.
With the lab Digital Accelerator Allianz is
preparing for the future.
AIA relies on Social Media primarily for
claiming a role for itself as a partner in
the area of care and health, in both the
private and business markets. AIA is the
biggest partner of the Vitality programme, an
integrated health and wellness programme.
Because its content often includes a call
to action, the Social Media community is
stimulated to enter into dialogue.
ALLSTATE (UNITED STATES)
Using Instagram and Pinterest alongside
traditional channels, Allstate is widely
represented online. It also has its own blog.
The blog offers external experts a platform.
Furthermore, the Good Hands community
platform provides user-generated
content. Allstate also offers the Good Life, a
platform on which personalised content
can be found.
AMP (NEW ZEALAND)
AMP helps people online with practical
content, such as blogs that provide stepby-step
advice on how to pay off a debt.
In addition to this, Twitter is used for
webcare. Every year AMP organises Life
Amplify, a festival of innovation and disruptive
technology. The festival is also extensively
publicised through Social Media.
AVIVA (UNITED KINGDOM)
This year, and in collaboration with Facebook,
Aviva has elected to create a global
page as a shell on which to build local
pages around. The content is more than
just audio-visual; Aviva also conducts
surveys on Facebook. In this way the
insurer isn’t just collating data; it’s complementing
the results by providing feedback
as to what the next steps should be.
AXA deploys Social Media and content for
specific groups, often under the umbrella
of “People Protectors”. The company also
focuses on the future and on innovation
by investing in start-ups such as Tröv and
AXA Switch, a separate proposition for
Millennials. AXA is also the first insurer
to integrate Facebook Messenger with its
CHUBB (UNITED STATES)
In 2016 Chubb’s Social Media channels have
been mainly characterised by its merger
with the Ace Group. The focus is on telling
people about the company’s new course.
As a sponsor, Chubb is active with content
related to Nascar races.
FARMERS (UNITED STATES)
Of the 20 insurers that were surveyed,
Farmers has, at 2.1 million, the highest
number of fans on Facebook. Its content
is characterised by humour. Example of
this is the “Hall of Claims”, in which its
most bizarre claims are presented in a
tongue-in-cheek manner, and JK Simmons
as the choice of spokesman. Farmers also
promotes itself through its association with
professional golfer, Rickie Fowler.
GEICO (UNITED STATES)
Geico is the only insurer that claims to
offer 24/7 webcare. In addition to
deploying Social Media for its blog Geico
More, on Twitter it mainly provides content
about the Nascar races, which it sponsors.
The insurer is also identifiable through its
mascot, Geico Gecko. Geico is the most
active insurer on YouTube.
Fans’ activities on Generali’s Social Media
channels are mainly visible because of the
high degree to which their messages are
shared. Besides Facebook, Generali is particularly
active on Twitter, with several posts
every day. For youngsters Generali uses
Instagram, with daily posts in its own style
focusing on events.
GREAT EASTERN (MALAYSIA)
Great Eastern uses mainly Facebook,
primarily for visual content, and enjoys a
great deal of interaction with its support
base. Furthermore, Great Eastern focuses
on vitality with Live Great, an integrated
online wellness and health programme.
LEGAL & GENERAL (UNITED KINGDOM)
Of late, Legal & General has mainly used
Social Media channels to set up a community
centred around pets, the aim being to
promote insurance for pets.
MAPFRE uses Social Media worldwide.
On Facebook it uses a global page with underlying
local pages. Its Spanish Facebook
page links through extensively to its website.
Moreover, MAPFRE uses a variety of
platforms, such as a channel specifically
aimed at young people, called Generación
METLIFE (UNITED STATES)
MetLife mainly deploys Social Media for
MetLife blog, in which tips and ideas are
broken down into easily digestible lists,
sorted into various categories. Outside the
US, “Light Up Your Dream” and “Dream For
My Child” provide a lot of user-generated
content. MetLife has introduced a tool that
facilitates one-on-one customers advice.
NATIONWIDE (UNITED STATES)
In addition to its regular website, Nationwide
has an extensive online ecosystem.
This comprises a blog, “In The Nation”, a
community, “Living on Your Side” and
various content pages, such as “Make Safe
Happen”. This platform is bursting with
parenting tips to prevent children having
NEW YORK LIFE (UNITED STATES)
New York Life mainly uses Social Media for
its “Keep Good Going” community, a collection
of user-generated content. The role of
its more than 12,000 agents is worth noting,
because they act as brand ambassadors by
sending personal tweets. New York Life has
also US$175 million available every year for
SUN LIFE (CANADA)
With its Brighter Life blog, Sun Life has
been building up an online community. It
offers tips and ideas, without laying overt
links to Sun Life products. The blog generated
about 1,900 leads per month for Sun
Life, which has integrated the service part
of its website into its Facebook page.
Using audio-visual content, visuals and
videos, Zurich connects with its community
at an international level. And to build up
local communities, Zurich provides relevant
content on Facebook pages and separate
Twitter and YouTube channels. In the area
of innovation, Zurich recently introduced its
so-called cyber policy.
POINT OF VIEW
NEIL HILTZ, HEAD OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL SERVICES STRATEGY FACEBOOK
“Two things stick out in a very big way and demand everyone’s attention:
completing the shift to mobile-first and the reintegration of the
customer experience from end-to-end for the entire life cycle,” says Neil
Hiltz, Head of Global Financial Services Strategy Facebook. “It’s not just
the social team, it’s not just the digital advertising team and it’s not just
the product manager. It’s everyone, channelling their energy into being
mobile-first and thinking about things from the customer’s point of view.
And finding ways to reduce friction between consumers and how they
interact with companies on their mobile devices.”
HAT DO YOU SEE AS
MENTS IN THE
We are moving from a traditional communication
model to what the industry
calls a digital or omni-channel model.
The first step is to become mobile-first.
If a person starts thinking of mobile as a
primary way of communication, it offers
a lot of opportunities. The second step
is to personalise the communication.
Insurance companies’ products are very
personal. How much you pay for your
car insurance, for example, is based on
the car, your age and where you live.
However, the communication around
this product tends to be less personal.
Contrast this to a bank, say 60 years ago
when business was done face-to-face.
With the rise of platforms like television
and radio we made a trade off, improving
marketing efficiency to find a broad
pallet of consumers. But now, with
mobile, we can focus on real people.
We have the opportunity to reinvent
personalisation and focus on highly
personalised end-to-end consumer
experiences. Because of all the things
happening on mobile phones we can
create experiences in which the media
and consumer paths are highly integrated.
LOOKING AT TODAY’S INSURANCE
INDUSTRY, WHAT ARE THE MAIN
ISSUES IT FACES?
I’d say that a common challenge across
all financial services, and one that we are
committed to helping the industry solve,
is completing the transition to becoming
global Social companies. Another challenge
is creating great customer experiences
on a global level across their entire
lifecycle and portfolio. There is still a lot
of work to be done to create the bestpossible
experiences. At the same time,
Social is evolving rapidly because it takes
all the previous best practices and implements
them very quickly. In the past, we
had services and we had communication
and they were distributed by very different
platforms. You’d see an advertisement
for an insurance policy on TV or
in a magazine, and then you’d talk to an
agent or call a call-centre for a quote. In
some cases it involved lots of paperwork.
That was the “old” model, but it was only
15 years ago, before the Internet took off
in earnest. Nowadays the focus for all of
us, as industry partners, is to create great
sales experiences from end-to-end. And to
be able to do that on mobile is a phenomenal
opportunity. A person can watch a
video, take action immediately and can go
through the entire conversion process on
a mobile device within minutes. It used to
take hours, days even. That’s what we are
CAN YOU GIVE INSURANCE
COMPANIES SOME SURVIVAL TIPS
IN OUR FAST-CHANGING WORLD?
They must make the move to mobile-first,
absolutely. That’s a foundational point that
everyone must move towards. Making this
a starting point enables you to reinvent
the entire customer life cycle. Think about
advertising and communication and
the opportunities for increased personalisation,
and what it all means for the
marketing and advertising departments. It
requires tighter integration between the
teams than was previously necessary.
Teams today need to work more closely than
The key to success is management’s
attitude and commitment to
drive innovation – their leadership.
they did in that old world. Tighter integration
between the media teams and the product
organisations will greatly improve the customer
experience. The media, product and
operational teams must also be on the same
wavelength as to how they develop their
services and communications. Something I
learned about Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership
approach at Facebook is how he does product
reviews. As a CEO, he regularly reviews
the mobile experience to establish
what a typical customer journey is. That’s
leadership. Putting yourself in the customer’s
shoes and seeing that experience
does create the possibility for change and
improvement. It helps to make things easier
and more personal, and it would accelerate
the shift to becoming mobile-first.
REGARDING INNOVATION ARE
THERE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
TRADITIONAL INSURERS AND THE
In the financial services segment there
are businesses that are very innovative
and want to try new things and scale-up
new communication channels as soon as
possible. They might be newer Fintech
companies or traditional companies
focusing on innovation and transforming
their companies. The key to success is
management’s attitude and commitment
to drive innovation – their leadership.
That said, it’s is easier to build something
new than to build something new around
changing functionalities. We recognise that
the amount of change management that’s
necessary in the industry depends strongly
on how the company goes to market and
on its business strategy. It all comes down
to the client level and their approach.
Insurance is an ageing industry that
employs many people over 50. Do you think
this transition can succeed with them?
Every successive generation grows up
with a specific information base available
to them. People of my age remember the
time before the Internet, but Millennials
don’t know any different. It’s more about
a person’s mindset and about providing
the opportunity to change it. If we were to
become a little more childlike in our everyday
approach it would really open our
minds to change. That’s actually the biggest
shift and it can happen regardless of age.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A COMPA-
NY TO PARTNER WITH FACEBOOK?
We have partnered with a number of insurance
companies around the world that are
stepping up to the plate and doing things
from an innovation perspective. What’s
great about working with clients like AXA,
Progressive and Geico is that when partnerships
like these are announced it creates a
sense of urgency within the organisation to
drive forward at a very rapid pace. Having
worked in the financial industry, I know that
INTERVIEW NEIL HILTZ
leadership alignment throughout the organisation
is very important for driving change.
It’s a clear signal to the market, but also to
their employees and to Facebook. It not only
says they want to work on innovative things,
but that they are really committed financially
to drive innovation forward. There must be
a commitment to drive innovation throughout
the company, from the top all the way
through to implementation. The difficulty of
driving change in companies is something
that must not be taken lightly, and neither
should a lack of alignment in them.
DO YOU AGREE THAT WHATSAPP
AND FACEBOOK MESSENGER OWN
THE FUTURE WHEN IT COMES TO
THE MOBILE ENVIRONMENT?
I am so excited that we have started to work
on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
There’s a real opportunity here to approach
people the same way that they approach
their friends and family. WhatsApp and
Messenger will be huge and transformative
in driving insurance companies’ efficiency
and profitability in all areas of the life cycle.
Just imagine what it would mean for sales
support and answering people’s questions,
and how it will affect the customer care experience.
When the Canadian telecom company
Rogers implemented Messenger they
saw a 50 per cent increase in customer satisfaction
in just a couple of months. So I think
that will be an opportunity for insurers too.
People use these messages platforms regularly;
so sending messages through these
preferred channels will increase the likelihood
that they will be acted upon. Furthermore,
the entire claim experience could be
facilitated with the use of images and videos,
from both the client’s side and the backoffice
side of the service provider. The most
exciting part is leveraging all the knowledge
that financial companies already have and
animating smart ways of communicating
it. This will be possible from the early stages
of building brand awareness all the way
through to the customer experience, such
as the claim process, for example. By doing
this we will increase the efficiency, longterm
profitability and scalability of the entire
financial services sector. It’s so exciting
that we can help save both time and effort.
And customers will get their answers in real
time, as opposed to being put on hold indefinitely
or having to wait for days.
Neil Hiltz: My role is to improve the financial wellbeing of the people who leverage our platforms, like
Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, and to help the industry improve its
efficiency, scalability and long-term profitability. It’s my job to identify the best pratices used by
financial services companies on our platforms today. At Facebook, we have successfully transitioned
from a desktop- to a mobile-device company. I worked in the financial services industry for 11 years at
Capital One, HSBC, Wells Fargo, and U.S. Bank. I’ve learned from both the consumer and the
financial industry’s point of view what the pain points are and I support our team’s to innovate and
solve these challenges and I recognise the challenges of grasping this huge opportunity to take the
business to mobile. In my spare time, I play and practice golf, support my wife as she builds her
company, Farmgirl Flowers, read, and spend time with my family and friends.
GLOBAL SOCIAL FACTS
To see insurers’ results in the Social Media Insurance Monitor in the right
context, it’s important to look at a number of generic statistics about the
At the beginning of 2016 there were 3.4
billion Internet users worldwide, 46% of the
total global population.
More than 50% of the global population
owns at least one mobile device: worldwide
there are 3.8 billion unique mobile users.
Worldwide, there are 2.3 billion active Social
Media users. This translates to 31% of
the global population and 67.5% of all Internet
Two billion people visit their Social Media
accounts via their mobile devices, which is
85% of the active Social Media users.
Facebook is still the most popular social
network, with almost 1.6 billion monthly
active users worldwide.
Facebook is the most popular social network
in most countries. Important exceptions
to this are Russia, China and Japan,
use of Social Media in the world.
where the most popular social networks are
VKontakte, Qzone and Twitter respectively.
83% of active users visit Facebook with
their smartphones, followed by desktops
and laptops with 50% and then tablets with
15% of active users.
Compared to last year, the number of
daily Facebook users has increased by 16%,
to over one billion.
Facebook is, by a long way, also the most
popular social network among Millennials (20
to 35). This group spends an average of 1,000
minutes a month on this social network.
Instagram has now attained 400 million
monthly active users, making it one of the
world’s biggest social networks after Facebook.
Compared to the beginning of 2015, the
number of active monthly Instagram users
has risen by 33%, making it one of the
fastest-growing social networks.
Instagram is popular among Millennials.
In the US, for example, almost half of all
Instagram users are between 18 and 34.
Twitter has 320 million active users a
month worldwide, following Facebook and
Instagram as one of the most popular social
With an increase of just 3% since the beginning
of 2015, the growth in the number
of active monthly Twitter users appears to
be slowing down.
Boasting over 400 million members,
LinkedIn is the biggest professional network.
However, only 25% of those members
are monthtly active users.
22% of active LinkedIn users log in to
their LinkedIn account every day, 32% log
in on a weekly basis and 34% do so less frequently
than every week.
Messengers and chat apps are becoming
WhatsApp has now become the most
popular messenger, with one billion
monthly active users.
Facebook Messenger is next, with 900
million monthly active users in April 2016.
Both WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
grew phenomenally last year, by 43% and
Other platforms are QQ and WeChat,
especially popular in China.
Along with Instagram, the popularity of
Snapchat has increased exponentially these
past two years.
Since the beginning of 2016, Snapchat has
had 200 million monthly active users.
Half of these 200 million users are active
on Snapchat on a daily basis.
In the US, 18% of Social Media users use
Like Instagram, Snapchat is extremely popular
among Millennials; 8% of the world’s
Millennials use Snapchat.
73% of Snapchat users are Millennials.
Snapchat is the most popular platform for
Generation Z (13 to 24) In the US 72% use
Snapchat, followed by Facebook with 68%
and Instagram with 66%.
YouTube has 1.3 billion users worldwide.
YouTube is the second-most-popular
search engine in the world, after Google.
More than half of all YouTube views are
from mobile devices.
On average, mobile YouTube users spend
40 minutes per session watching videos, an
increase of more than 50% with respect to
YouTube is very popular among Millennials;
81% of Millennials in the US use YouTube.
Through mobile devices alone, YouTube
reaches more 18- to 34-year-olds and 18- to
49-year-olds than all the cable networks in
Worldwide, Pinterest has 110 million
monthly active users.
The vast majority is female: 71% to be
Pinterest is most popular among 18- to
29-year-olds, accounting for 34% of its users.
wearesocial.com, statista.com, alexa.com
are the new
“If we continuously position ourselves in the context of our customers,
we’ll really be able to proactively add value to their financial circumstances,
exactly when it’s necessary. That just about sums up the
JESSICA NIEWIERRA, DIRECTOR DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT & INTERACTION
ABN AMRO BANK
emphasis of our digital efforts,” says Jessica Niewierra, Director of Digital
Development & Interaction at ABN AMRO Bank in the Netherlands.
essica Niewierra is working on
the increasingly far-reaching
digitisation of ABN AMRO Retail.
The bank wants to be relevant,
so she’s convinced that the customer’s
context is more important than it has
WHICH DIGITAL DIRECTION IS THE
BANK MOVING IN?
We’re continuing the development of
our mobile strategy. You can only stay
constantly relevant in the lives of your
customers if you are close to them on the
devices they always carry with them. We
started by doing everything we could for
our customers in configuring the daily
basics ‘mobile first’. By last year we’d
reached the phase in which we could
see how we could continuously add
value through the devices, if that’s what
customers wanted. For example, we
launched Alert & Check, an app that
allows customers to set six different types
of free push alerts to help them identify
real-time and relevant changes in their
financial environment. These can
include inadvertently being in the red,
or a sum being deposited in a specific
account, for example. The app is also
compatible with the Apple Watch,
meaning customers can link the app so
they’ll instantly feel a vibration on their
wrist if something they’ve set an alert for
Since June 2015 Jessica Niewierra has been responsible for sales and targeting, mobile and online
development, user experience, analysis and optimisation and content copy of the digital channels of
ABN AMRO Retail. The focus in this new portfolio lies on impact-rich digital change-processes and
the development and innovation of various digital sales, marketing and copy specialties.
actually happens. We’ve also launched a
beta version of an app called Grip. We’re
now testing it live with customers, with
a view to developing it further. This app
doesn’t just give insight into and an overview
of customers spending categories; it
also allows them to set maximum spending
targets per category. They’ll then
receive free alerts if they exceed those
spending targets. All this helps customers
to keep a better grip on their spending.
We launched this app with a Swedish
company called FinTech. It’s another
example of how we learn from others and
realise a quicker time-to-market.
WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTIVE?
Essentially, for those customers who
want it, we, as a bank, want to draw a
financial picture of a household or
company. We want to be able to proactively
add something for our customers,
when they want it and about the things
that interest them. That’s our ambition. We
work from the outside-in, guided by four
departure points: we have to be “always
connected” to our customers; the contact
for customers must be “quick and easy”;
content must be “personal and relevant”;
and we must “learn from the context” of the
customer. It’s all about the essence of the
customer’s story and how we can help. It
means having to position ourselves where
the customer looks for answers.
Our ambition is to deliver relevant
value to the way that people
do their financial housekeeping.
WHAT HAS BEEN CHANGED IN YOUR
APPROACH TO CUSTOMERS?
If you want to be relevant to your customers,
you simply have to listen to them
properly. That’s the true interpretation of
“don’t make the bank key, make the customer
key”. If we’re aware of the challenges
people face in their lives, they will, in
fact, have defined the content we produce
for them themselves. It means we are proactively
sharing themes with people
and really entering into dialogue with
customers. This is why, for example, we
communicate with entrepreneurs in a
business forum that we have created on
our website and why we’ve partnered
with a variety of parties to help answer
entrepreneurs’ questions. We can only
offer real value if we give people the right
content at the right time. And in a
different tone of voice than before, incidentally,
less formal and more personal.
WHAT ROLE DOES SOCIAL MEDIA
PLAY IN ALL THIS?
We rely heavily on digital to keep us
continuously relevant in our interaction
with customers online. Social media is
indispensable in this respect, because we
want to be where our customers are and
to serve them proactively. In addition to
innovation, experimentation also plays a
role. Last year, for example, we launched
a pilot with webcare via WhatsApp. You
notice that people really appreciate this
level of customer service.
IS THE BANKING SECTOR DIGITALLY
UP TO SPEED?
If I look around me I see that, in a digital
context, the Netherlands is doing pretty
well and is somewhat of a digital pioneer
in the world. Banks are very active in the
area of digitisation; they identified the
mobile trend very quickly, for example,
and launched several mobile banking apps
for their customers. From the high density
of contact moments you can also see that
customers have really embraced it. ABN
AMRO, for example, gets some 60 million
logins every month on its mobile banking
app. More and more players intent on
taking a slice of banking will be entering
the market. But because we’re a fullservice
bank that offers customers a
complete overview over their financial
situation, and because we’re proactively
capable of continuously adding value
across the whole spectrum, we can offer
our customers much more, so they will
stay with us. But it’s something that we’ll
have to keep up, and keep developing at a
quick pace. Taking it easy is not an option.
We feel a pressing sense of urgency.
If you want to stay relevant you have to show courage. Which is
why we’ve checked out a number of international initiatives of insurers
that are exploiting the potential of technological developments.
In 2015 substantial investments were made in international technology
start-ups, not only by venture capitalists but by insurers too. And more
money was invested this way in the insurance industry than in other
sectors. It’s all done with an eye on the future, particularly in rising to external
challenges and in response to meeting today’s customer requirements.
All in all, it’s resulted in a number of notable and inspiring innovations.
STIMULATING A HEALTHY
Vitality, an offering of South African
insurer Discovery, is a hidden gem of
the insurance industry. As we all know,
healthcare is a cornerstone of tomorrow’s
insurance industry, all over the world.
The Vitality programme capitalises on
today’s customer needs when it comes to
healthcare, for both traditional customers
and the so-called Millennials. It offers a
wellness programme, in which everything
from physical activities to nutrition
can be measured. It also boasts a strong
loyalty programme. It uses an app with
an unprecedented customer experience,
coupled with the new-generation of sports
batches and activity trackers. Customers
are given discounts if they buy healthy
products at major retailers such as Marks
and Spencer, and even for airline tickets
and hotel bookings. Thanks also to the low
premiums, customers are encouraged to
live a healthier lifestyle. Vitality operates
independently in South Africa and the UK.
In the US and Asia it operates successfully
through a white label and partners such as
AIA and John Hancock.
A COMPARISON SITE WITH
In the US, CoverHound has created
an online platform for comparing car
insurance. CoverHound has distinguished
itself by quickly delivering accurate and
actionable rates based on customers’
specific needs, either through CoverHound
itself or Google’s Insurance Search. Developed
by an experienced insurance
team, CoverHound offers superior
customer experiences with leading US insurers,
such as Esurance and Progressive.
In addition to comparing the various insurers,
CoverHound also offers service
during claims, meaning it earns commission
for a lead and for servicing the
policy. CoverHound is also entering into
partnerships with accelerators and
incubators to offer insurance products
to start-ups. It offers quick quotes and
sells products online to these start-ups.
The way CoverHound sees it, the insurance
industry is ready for change and
it is paving the way for a new generation
of insurers. Google has also discovered
CoverHound and is now one of its
partners. CoverHound scores an average
of 7.0 from its customers.
THE EMPLOYER BECOMES
By merging the best medical networks
on an online platform, new Silicon Valley
start-up Collective Health gives the
employer the opportunity to be the
insurer. The advantage for the employer
is that it can manage its own page, where
details of the insurer can be instantly
accessed. Collective Health makes it
easier for employers to circumvent the
continuous demand for information
from the insurer. Instead of having to
sign up for a traditional healthcare plan,
for which it pays the insurance company
a monthly premium, an employer pays
the cost of its workers’ healthcare from
its own pocket. The employer collects
monthly premiums from its employees,
but instead of this money going directly
to the insurance company, it goes to
an internal fund to cover employees’
medical bills. Employers have the
freedom to decide which medical treatment
and procedures they want to cover.
Given that employers do not have to pay
the full amount every month, companies
that self-insure in this way can save a lot
of money, thanks to Collective Health.
ALL ABOUT INNOVATION
Knip, a “digital insurance manager” and
user-friendly mobile app with which a
policyholder can quickly conjure up an
overview of all his insurance affairs on
his smartphone, has become a successful
innovator in Germany and Switzerland.
It started off in Zurich (with 10,000
customers) then expanded to Berlin (with
another 10,000 customers). And now, with
an investment of almost €14 million, Knip
is ready to cross the pond and conquer the
US. The app started out as an “insurance
concierge” giving users a quick and easy
overview of their various insurance policies
and the contractual deadlines of
different insurers, but without all the
paperwork. Since then, the service has
been extended. The app can now provide
bespoke advice for cheaper premiums,
push through claims and even completely
facilitate a move to another insurer.
And via the app, a team of advisors is at
hand to answer any questions customers
may have about their insurance policies.
With about 100 employees, Knip earns its
income through commission from insurance
companies, managing their policies
and generating leads. Knip’s app is a godsend
for consumers because it responds
to demand on mobile, circumventing the
need to sift through all the paperwork.
COMPARISON SITE AIMED
Why does taking out insurance have to be
such a frustrating experience? That’s what
the two founders of US PolicyGenius asked
themselves. It spurred the ex-McKinsey &
Co consultants to set up a comparison site
that’s clear, transparent and user-friendly.
PolicyGenius is aimed at Millennials, the
generation of young people who want to
arrange everything themselves, online,
and through channels they use extensively
in their daily lives. By the end of 2015
the site boasted more than 800,000 visitors,
over half of them Millennials. Thanks to
an online “Insurance Check-up” visitors
receive bespoke insurance advice. In a
matter of minutes they’ll get a premium
overview of 26 different insurance
companies that are affiliated to
PolicyGenius, including ING, MetLife and
Prudential. On Social Media PolicyGenius
keeps consumers informed through
insurance-related blogs. An investor in
PolicyGenius is AXA Strategic Ventures,
the venture capital fund of French insurer
AXA. This is in keeping with AXA’s
mission to invest in start-ups that
underscore innovation in the insurance
COMPLETE VIEW OF ITS
In just three months US insurer MetLife
has developed “MetLife Wall”, a datadriven
application that gives agents a
complete overview of their customers by
collating information from 70 internal
systems. On a user-friendly screen, not
unlike that of a Facebook timeline, agents
receive a 360-degree view of transactions
and contacts with customers. Moreover
it’s a view that transcends business lines.
It saves agents a great deal of time,
enabling them to respond quickly and
proactively to customers’ needs. Chief
Customer Officer Claire Burns introduced
special teams across all silos,
focusing on specific customer segments.
The insights into customers that “Met-
Life Wall” now provides have improved
the customer experience. Internal
forums have also been used to align the
customer journey and experiences.
MetLife is very active on Social Media.
Thanks to advertisements on Facebook
the insurer has boosted the lead-tosale
ratio by a factor of 2.4 and reduced
costs per lead by 49 per cent. Defining
different target groups on MetLife’s CRM
system has made it possible to reach
them in a very focused manner.
Spanish bank Caixa has launched the first
mobile-only bank in Spain for Millennials,
imaginBank. The new bank model can
only be accessed via a mobile app and
through social networks and offers a completely
new range of commission-free
products and services. The bank’s app
boasts a very simple design, one with the
mobile environment specifically in mind.
It makes it possible for users to browse,
sign up for a full range of products and
services, check their bank balance,
request transactions and monitor overall
account activity. In addition to the app,
imaginBank also runs a website, but this
is only meant as a source of information
and instructions on how to become a
customer. The bank has also developed
an application that makes it possible for
customers to enjoy interactive contact
with the bank without having to leave
Facebook, and thus in a completely
secure environment. Customers can
also communicate with the bank via
INSURANCE OF THINGS
Launched in Australia, Trov is the perfect
form of insurance for millennials and
the mobile generation. Thanks to this
on-demand insurer, personal things can
be temporarily insured, on a day-by-day
basis, through an app. Trov is simple,
flexible and transparent. The focus is
firmly on the user, who can easily decide
which possessions he or she wants to insure,
and for how long too.
Six investors have already invested
US$46 million in the Trov app, which was
successfully launched on the Australian
market in collaboration with Australian
insurer Suncorp. Together with AXA,
Trov will now be extended to include the
UK, with plans to do the same in the US
and other markets next year.
The app gives users a clear overview of
how long something is insured for. The
possessions that can be insured range
from mobile devices to musical instruments.
The claiming process via the Trov
app is also straightforward. If customers
have questions they can quickly contact
an employee, thanks to an integrated chat
function. In a nutshell, Trov is a bone-fide
innovator when it comes to on-demand
This year American start-up, Sure, launched
“Episodic Insurance”, an on-demand
insurance that you can take out via an app
to cover short-term risks, whenever and
wherever you want it. You can indicate
the type of insurance you want through
Sure’s Robo-Broker, which is a chatbot. Sure
kicked off by launching a life insurance
policy covering the duration of a flight.
Based on your flight number and your
passenger data, a price is calculated. If you
agree you can pay directly through the app
and you are then insured.
More than two million policies have already
been closed with the Sure app,
so the first few months can definitely
be seen as a success. The start-up has
already received investments to the tune
of US$2.6 million and the insurance
policies have been underwritten by some
of the world’s biggest insurers. During the
next few months Sure plans to introduce
new on-demand products. As a customer
you pay only for coverage if there is
an actual risk. The price that’s offered is
customised through artificial intelligence
and on the basis of information obtained
from your mobile phone or tablet.
AND WILL REMAIN,
OLAV CUIPER, RGA, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD OF EMEA
His vision is global. And now, especially for the benefit of SoMe readers,
Olav Cuiper (RGA) has flagged up some internationally significant trends
and themes in the area of insurance and Social Media. His main mantra
is: “Insurance is, and will remain, meaningful, because it’s all about the
protection of people and their families. But we will have to re-invent our
insurance industry to fulfill the needs and demands of future generations.”
SIGNAL 1 THE BASIS
Visit an average insurer’s office and chances
are you’ll see most of the employees working
with out-dated IT applications. What
this means is that insurers often require different
systems to issue and approve an insurance
policy, for example. Nowadays in the
year 2016 this can be considered as the ‘oldworld’,
as practically all consumers enjoy
modern Internet connectivity and they
expect quick and bespoke processing that’s
fully Internet facilitated. The office environment
itself, the work and customer journeys
in the insurance sector need to be modernised
in all these areas. Nowadays, for example,
it’s no longer realistic to offer customers
application forms with ‘one-size fits all’ PDFdocuments
and physical post-processing.
SIGNAL 2 OLD THINKING
What keeps me awake at night is the speed
of change of the world around us. We tell
ourselves that our market isn’t ready for
disruption because we operate in a highly
regulated environment. I personally think
this is a big mistake. Our thinking is still
bogged down in the traditional value chain
and discussing the role we should be playing
in that value chain. And the more I think
about it, the more redundant the discussion
seems to be. Wherever you are in this chain,
it’s nothing more than a collection of services
for the consumer. It’s no longer about the
value chain, its about who’s orchestrating this
collection of services to the end-consumer.
If you think less traditionally other
aspects will come to the fore. As an
insurer you’ll think: how can I stay
connected with my clients. It would be
cool if a customer – who checks out his
Facebook account 10 times a day, anyway
– occasionally sees something from his
insurer. It’s often said that insurance isn’t
sexy. Perhaps so, but insurance is certainly
very meaningful. By using it you are
THE AGEING INSURANCE WORLD
Discussions about distribution can often become very technical. In many parts of the world
consumers are not being served as a result of regulation, it’s not commercially viable for
insurance agents. In successful markets in Asia and Africa, for example, several steps within
applications processes have been eliminated and much more use is made of modern technologies.
On an iPad, for example, the consumer’s life cycle is taken into account to establish
what he needs. In Europe and the US we are dealing with an ageing insurance industry and
an ageing population. An ageing insurance agent from an ageing generation will be inclined
to sell ageing products to his peers. Many insurers haven’t yet found a way to bond with
the younger generation.But just how viable are current distribution models for this? And
what about distribution through banks? In some countries insurers no longer believe in bank
distribution, but in Europe we trust it completely. We are not making enough effort to
envisage what the world will look like in 10 years’ time. We have to separate reality from
perception. The facts tell us which direction the insurance industry is moving.
We will have to re-invent our
insurance industry to fulfill the needs
and demands of future generations.
protecting your family and those who support
you in difficult times. This makes insurance
a relevant product for consumers.
How can you make someone appreciate
insurance? For example with a product
that not only adapts to his or her lifestyle,
but pro-actively changes along with it too.
But nobody wants to see a chart in an app
if it doesn’t work properly, or if it doesn’t
correspond with the personal data. The common
denominator among the large successful
players is organising that collection
of services around consumers, in which
quality, reliability and excellent service are
anchored in the insurer’s DNA.
Wellness is hot at the moment, and, seen
from a marketing perspective, highly innovative.
A wellness insurance proposition forces
you to think from the consumer’s perceptive.
And because the consumer is prepared to
give data to the insurance company about his
health and lifestyle, in exchange for discounts
and other savings, it creates an entirely new
dialogue between the insurer and the consumer.
It’s a form of dialogue in which the insurer
is constantly in discussion with the target
group members and continuously receiving
information about how their lives are changing.
It actually enhances life-style changes.
Young people spend all day on mobile such
as Facebook, Instagram and other Social Media
channels. If, as an insurer, you don’t exploit
this you’ll miss the opportunity to connect
and communicate with this target group.
Vitality, which has enjoyed much success
in South Africa, is now also beginning to
make an impact in the UK, Europe and Asia.
But why not in the Netherlands yet? I put it
down to the “not invented here” syndrome.
But I reckon wellness can bring insurers closer
to their customers, particularly new ones.
THE POWER OF DATA
Slowly but surely the raw power of data is
becoming clear to everyone. And if insurers
don’t embrace this, huge anti-selection
will take place. The use of data is a very
important trend. And the player who is the
slowest to pick it up, organise it properly
and use it will draw the shortest straw.
The customer will soon know more than
the insurer. In several countries we are already
seeing that more small-claims with a
higher volume are being generated through
the deployment of STP (Straight Through
Processing) and automatic acceptance
alongside the inadequate and efficient use
of data. Online and STP are therefore a
given. Asking the customer three questions
for medical acceptance is OK, but it’s not
enough. The available data also has to be
used. Data must be used more intelligent-
INTERVIEW OLAV CUIPER
ly. Data such as postal code, occupation
and driving behaviour can play important
roles in this respect. In my opinion, data
like this is not sufficiently exploited in the
insurance industry. As reinsurers this is
something we are currently very focused
on. It’s something on which we are even
expanding our underwriting capability.
THE ELIMINATION OF STEPS
Nowadays, I see that a number of insurers
have launched novel insurance concepts,
but I cannot help wondering when these
initiatives will eventually make a substantial
contribution to the insurer’s income.
But, of course, I realise that new innovative
concepts often need more time and
learning-curve investments than you might
originally allow beforehand. However, as
an insurer it’s very important to remain
constantly in motion; stand still is not an
option. An insurer like AXA, does many
things well. As a big player it keeps things
moving and is, for example, very active on
innovation & Social Media. As an insurer
you have to keep responding to market
developments. The most successful companies
are the ones that are the most open
to change. That remains a problem in the
industry; we immediately want to develop
a new Airbus, rather than an aircraft that
gets us from A to B. It always has to be big.
SIGNAL 7 TWO WORLDS
As far as having a vision of the future is
concerned, the issue is how the legacy,
traditional, and the new, modern, worlds
will meet. Insurers that create a hip and
customer-oriented image for themselves
on the outside on Social Media are
often unable to meet the expectations on
the inside, with their policy-administration
process, for example. Should we see
those two worlds as separate entities, or
as an integral whole, complete with all the
challenges that would bring? Personally, I
would put the complex, legacy, world in
a separate company, supported by excellent
customer service. The new world
could then serve as the basis for all your
new policies and customers, based on
the latest technologies. I think a straightforward
marriage between the new and
old world will be difficult, the journey will
be how to adapt, adopt and improve.
In the context of change we have launched RGA X as a venture for new initiatives
and as an accelerator of innovation. Budget is reserved for investments, such as in the
technology that underpins micro insurance, for example, as well as in funds that invest
in FinTech and InsurTech. Ventures should not be seen as a fad. We genuinely believe
that “make or buy” should be a part of your new business model. As a large international
company, it’s an illusion to think you can do it all yourself. For me, a venture is not
a utopian pursuit. That said, if you identify a concept that you consider relevant, you
can develop it yourself or invest in a company that is already doing so.
They’re the future, the Millennials, also known as Generation Y,
young people between 20 and 35 and the first real Internet generation.
Insurance doesn’t really figure prominently in their priorities, so how
can insurers reach them?
t’s not that Millennials don’t
consider insurance important; of
course they do, especially when it
comes to insuring a new moped or
scooter, for example. But they don’t see it
as an obligation. And that’s certainly the
case when it comes to health insurance.
The bottom line here is that they have no
emotional bond with insurance and thus,
by definition, not with insurers either. It
means that insurers have to create more
relevant products, no nonsense content
and, of course, use mobile platforms.
So where and how can insurers interact
with Millennials? Well, these youngsters are
the first generation that grew up with the
Internet, which makes them inextricably
linked to Social Media. In the eyes of Millennials
the future of insurance is ‘mobile only’.
And that’s where you’ll find them, on Social,
on forums and on blogs. Insurers have to be
in all the places where Millennials express
themselves. By responding to them, asking
them questions and, wherever possible, giving
them expert advice.
To complement other channels, WhatsApp
and Facebook Messenger are the platforms
on which insurers should focus the
most if they want to reach Millennials.
Forget having to create an account, forget
logon details, it has to be easily and always
accessible. And not just to answer
questions or make proposals either,
but somewhere you can also take out
insurance and even submit claims. Remember,
photos and videos can also be sent with
WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.
A company’s brand values and experience
weigh heavily with Millennials, be-
cause they need to be able to feel a personal
bond with it. Worldwide studies
show that most Millennials agree that it is
important for them to find brands that
reflect their personality. Brands should
look at their Millennial customers and
create a brand personality that mirrors
that of Millennials themselves. A company
must take them seriously by listening
to them, being loyal and showing them
that they care about them. To gain their
trust calls for a personalised customer
experience. In the era of big data, one-sizedoesn’t-fit-all
when it comes to Millennials.
They are reluctant to pay every month for
blanket coverage, as opposed to actual
usage. Age aside, Millennials are also
different to baby boomers. They don’t
want the same products. Their households
are different and they are fans of
the sharing economy. All-in-all, insurers
are going to have to change a lot.
Millennials want to be approached completely
differently than previous generations.
Any communication must be
simple, quick and clear. If it’s not, they’re
gone. No nonsense then, certainly no
gimmicky content, just relevant information.
It’s precisely because their association
with insurance is driven purely by need
that means it cannot be complicated. Millennials
want to be helped simply, so that
they don’t have to concern themselves
afterwards. They live their lives online,
but they still love offline experiences.
Being online is a means of expressing
themselves via digital channels.
Decisions made by Millennials are
largely driven by what others say
elsewhere, which is why they mainly
rely on user-generated content. And,
remarkably, they take the reviews of
strangers more seriously than those of their
family or friends. And their willingness
to switch products is much, much higher,
because they have less brand loyalty.
his just underlines how important it is for
insurers to “play the game” on Social Media
and to increase relevance. Millennials want
to decide themselves about what they buy,
when it suits them, and where. On Social
Media, of course.
MILLENNIALS IN FIGURES
Qualitative and quantitative research
carried out during these past few years
have provided many interesting insights
into Millennials, namely:
87% of them keep their smartphones
with them, day and night;
they spend over three hours a day on
their mobile device;
71% of them use social media every day;
they spend an average of 2 hours and 20
minutes on Social Media every day;
of the social networking apps, the Facebook
mobile app is used the most;
they spend an average of 51 minutes a
day on the Facebook mobile app;
this is followed by Instagram, Snapchat
they have started to look further afield
than just Facebook, although it remains by
far the largest social network in the world;
84% of them say that user-generated
content on company websites has at least
some influence on what they buy;
33% of them rely heavily on reading
blogs before making a purchase;
93% of them check out online reviews
before making a purchase.
“In the event of a complaint I have experience
with Facebook, even though
I know it’s also handy to use Twitter.
I always hope to get a response within 12
hours, certainly within 24 hours, but the
sooner the better.”
“Price and quality are important. As far
as I’m concerned it doesn’t necessarily
have to be the cheapest; I want quality.
The website must be clear in what’s being
offered. No fine print and no nonsense.”
“The best way for an insurer to contact
me is through email. If I buy a phone, it’s
handier if an offer for phone insurance
is part of the package because you can
close the deal on it immediately.”
“An insurer doesn’t have to be cool. Sometimes
I see TV ads in which insurers target
young people using some semi-cool name
that simply doesn’t hit the spot. Not only is
this not effective, it makes us feel as if we
are not being taken seriously.”
“Communities are becoming increasingly
important and it’s mainly about
reviews. In future I think the opinions of
other consumers will become more and
more important. Because they are not
completely objective, comparison sites
will become a bit less relevant.”
“I’m becoming increasingly focused on
things that will happen in five years, so
with things that I should insure too. But
I know so little about insurance at the
moment. Like most young people, it is
something my parents are taking care of.”
Millennials choose their own path.
They are completely
linked with Social Media.
“I’ve just taken out health insurance
because my parents felt it was time to
do it myself. I checked online for quality
and good reviews. When I called it was all
arranged in just five minutes.”
“I’ll check reviews to see if sites I’m not
familiar with can be trusted, but I won’t
compare quality when it comes to brands
like Nike or Apple. Then it’s all about the
concept, the image. Functionality is also
very important. And privacy? It doesn’t
really exist any more, which is something
we just accept and take for granted.”
“Mail is more formal and clearer than
WhatsApp or Instagram and with mail
you tend to take more time to write a
better, more readable text. I prefer to
respond to mails with my laptop because
it’s easier. When you use your phone you
do things quickly and you don’t always
take enough care.”
“Based on all kinds of data, ads are placed
on your timeline and this irritates 95 per
cent of people. If you want to take out
insurance for your phone, for example,
that’s something you’re more likely to
do with an insurer and not with Apple.
‘‘An insurer has the necessary expertise
whereas Apple does it as a side-line.”
KARLIJN MUTSAERTS, MANAGER SOCIAL MEDIA PRACTICE ITDS
“When I carry out a Social Media Scan at an insurer I certainly notice that
the importance of Social Media is acknowledged by the management. But
in reality Social Media is often not being given the priority it warrants, and
its success depends entirely on the marketer who makes a case for it. Its
real importance is just not recognised enough.”
uring the past few years
Karlijn Mutsaerts, Manager
Social Media Practice at ITDS,
has come to know the insurance
sector in the field of Social Media like the back
of her hand. Using the Social Media Scan,
which she developed personally, she advises
companies how to embed Social Media in
their operations. Since the launch of the
Scan, she and her team have advised over
20 insurers in this area.
IS SOCIAL MEDIA TAKEN SERIOUSLY?
Not seriously enough, there’s no doubt
about that. At best, a company will appoint
a Social Media manager, but in less
favourable cases that won’t happen at all.
Insurers are struggling with good reports
that don’t emphasis its importance, so the
management style stays too focused on “old”
KPIs. They remain locked in a vicious circle:
no insight into results, so no priority.
CAN THE EFFECT OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Absolutely. Based on an attribution
model defined by the insurer it’s possible
to measure the role that was played by
Social Media in the conversion process
(such as a click, a premium calculation
or a new policy). Yet few insurers provide
insight into the results in this way.
HOW MUCH SALES POWER DOES
SOCIAL MEDIA HAVE?
Social Media gives you the opportunity to
make the customer key. Actually, the customer
puts himself at the centre; as the insurer
you just need to handle it correctly.
We’ve helped insurers to set up a “Social
Command Centre”, in which everything
literally revolves around the dialogue with
the customer. It’s a great way to get things
moving in an organisation and wake
people up to the possibilities. What the
customer says is displayed on large screens,
so the organisation can simply no longer
ignore it. By entering into dialogue with the
customer he feels as if he’s being heard,
which contributes directly to customer
satisfaction, as well as the perception that
people have of the brand in question. Using
messenger services, such as WhatsApp, also
clearly contribute to customer satisfaction.
I was allowed to implement it with several of
our customers and their customer satisfaction
has never been higher! Email and
phone calls can never compete with it. And
Millennials, in particular, are becoming
increasingly more accustomed to communicating
via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
But Social Media offers much more: it
presents so many opportunities to learn from
and learn about (potential) customers. Once,
you know how to play the game you can
establish a bond with your customers. That’s
sales, or call it retention, but that’s also sales.
ARE THERE MEASURING
INSTRUMENTS THAT CAN HELP?
Like I mentioned, insurers often remain in a
state of flux because the figures aren’t made
transparent, or because KPIs go no further
than increases in the numbers of fans and
followers. This perpetuates the problem of
it not being clear what Social Media adds
to the equation. The management dashboard
doesn’t exist yet, at least not with any
insurer I’ve ever seen. Everyone is struggling
with dashboards. Even in those cases in
which KPIs have been defined, there are
still no dashboards. There are the most
intuitive tools imaginable out there, tools
with impressive dashboard capabilities.
But if they aren’t properly configured or
embedded, they won’t help.
HOW SHOULD IT ALL BE TACKLED
In an ideal world it’s a continuous process:
1. define the strategy, 2. execute, 3. measure
and 4. learn and tweak the strategy. In
many cases, the first two steps are carried
out, and number three is sometimes done
too. But step four is one that’s rarely taken.
More often than not, it’s pre-digested for the
customer: what would work, what would the
customer appreciate. The point is, so much
experience and data has already been accumulated,
and these choices should be based
on this experience and data. Measure, learn,
adjust, measure, learn, adjust. I often come
across reports made by third parties. In the
most extreme cases 10 different reports can
be delivered about 10 different subjects by
10 different agencies. It’s hardly surprising
that nobody has a total overview!
SOCIAL MEDIA SCAN
Thanks to our annual survey into insurers’ use of Social Media, at ITDS we are often asked for our
expertise. The development of the Social Media Scan was a logical next step. Using this Scan,
we can show to what extent Social Media has been integrated in a company and how it’s used.
It’s much more than just advice about how to organise your Facebook page. It’s about choosing
the most appropriate channels, relevant content, clear KPIs, and the right reports. But most importantly
of all: it’s about embedding it in the company’s business processes. From Social Media
to Social Business. For more information about our Scan contact: email@example.com
“Digitisation is an essential prerequisite for succeeding in business. If you
don’t do it you’ll miss the boat. But it takes more than just a website or an
app. Digitisation calls for the transformation of the whole company. “We’re
working hard at it; but there’s still a lot to do.” The words are those of Frank
FRANK VAN WESSEL, DIGITAL OFFICER DELTA LLOYD
van Wessel, Digital Officer at the Dutch insurer Delta Lloyd.
FRANK VAN WESSEL
rank van Wessel is responsible
for digitisation at Delta Lloyd
and he’s an enthusiastic proponent
of the process. He flags
up any changes that are necessary, and is
constantly aware of challenges that his organisation
AMBITIONS IN THIS AREA?
Today’s customers are almost continuously
online. At night we put our smartphone or
tablet next to our beds and during the day
we’re not averse to taking them to the toilet
with us either. Customers want one-touch
service and a high level of user-friendliness.
And companies like Picnic and Uber are
meeting that need by using modern technology.
Companies like these are also setting
the benchmark for the financial sector. At
Delta Lloyd we’ve some way to go, but our
ambition is really no different. Customers
expect it, and it saves money. That’s why
we’re investing in digital programmes. The
two brands in our group are in a different
phase. Customers of our direct label OHRA
can already do a lot themselves online and
on mobile. For the most recent customers
there is no longer a paper option; they have
to accept digital service. Thinking digitally is
also ingrained in employees’ DNA, because
at OHRA they are used to having direct contact
with customers and, above all, offering
simple-risk products. Delta Lloyd’s products
are more complex. For customers it’s wise,
even mandatory sometimes, to be helped
by an advisor. Here, the digital ambition is
no different but the transformation process
is a bit slower.
We’ve not yet reached the
tipping point in the financial
WHAT ARE DELTA LLOYD’S
AND WHAT DOES DIGITISATION MEAN
FOR CUSTOMERS AND ADVISORS?
We’re seeing a shift in the behaviour and
the needs of both advisors and customers.
Advisors prefer to spend their time advising
customers, as opposed to doing administration.
Customers meanwhile, want to be
better orientated before asking for advice
and prefer to do the simple administrative
things themselves. The need for advice
is thus non-negotiable. Through digital
projects we are working hard on
providing digital support for the whole
customer journey, for both our customers
and our advisors. By the end of this year
Delta Lloyd wants to digitise 90 per cent of
all contact between customers and advisors.
WHAT KIND OF CHALLENGES DOES
THE INSURANCE SECTOR FACE?
A user-friendly digital process might seem
like a no-brainer, but even achieving
something relatively easy − like logging in
− can often be complex and requires a lot
As a 32-year-old Frank van Wessel belongs to the generation Y that grew up with the Internet.
As a trained economist he started up a web design company. Since 2009 he has worked for the
Delta Lloyd Group. Within the Group he worked for several brands: he joined ABN AMRO Insurance
and between 2010 and 2014 he was marketing manager with BeFrank. At the Young Professional
of the Year 2012 ceremony, he won an award for a marketing campaign that he developed.
of expertise. Straightforward is not necessarily
the same as simple. Above all, a digital
strategy entails more than just having a
user-friendly website and an app. Creating
a fully digital mindset and applying new
business models are real challenges. Ultimately
it’s about the transformation of the
whole company. “Digital” must be part of
the DNA of every employee. However, the
transformation of a company, that’s been
doing things differently for so long, calls for
a lot of energy. And it doesn’t make it any
easier if we continue to fall back on existing
business models, and neither does the mentality
of “doing nothing” does no harm in
the short term. But “doing nothing” when it
comes to digitisation is not an option; we’d
soon be out of business. It’s mainly about
being careful to find the right speed.
AND WHAT ABOUT ORGANISATIONS’
It begins with ambition and there is enough
of that. A digital strategy is translated into
a digital agenda, complete with concrete
projects and deliverables. Among other
things Delta Lloyd is working on the modernisation
of logging in and of its tooling,
the improvement of portals, and the further
development of mobile apps. For example,
at the beginning of 2015 we developed a virtual
assistant, a smart tool that can answer
context-relevant enquiries without the involvement
of employees. In the meantime,
between 800 and 1,000 enquiries a day are
being processed, with a success rate of 90
per cent. We’ve also introduced “My Delta
Lloyd” in The Netherlands, a digital counter
that brings together all separate portals for
our customers and advisors. Then in July,
we were the first insurer in the Netherlands
to implement Touch ID in the OHRA App. A
few months ago we started using WhatsApp
at OHRA. Customers gave us a 9.1 appreciation
rating for OHRA via WhatsApp, higher
than we dared to expect.
But if I look around, I still think we need
to go faster. We’re used to thinking linearly
so we tend to underestimate the impact of
digital developments until it swings the
other way. And then we’re surprised at its
speed and impact. But by then it’s too late.
I don’t think we’ve yet reached the tipping
point in the financial services industry.
WHAT WILL BE IMPORTANT DURING
THE COMING YEARS?
I think it’s crucial to acquire experience with
data, proactively identifying risks and notifying
customers. That’s why I’m interested
in insurance based on usage and behaviour.
It’s a fascinating concept because it marries
several developments. In it, customer
behaviour, digital services, data, technology,
privacy and direct feedback and the
application of insights all come together.
Customer demand is very strong, and as
soon as privacy can be guaranteed the
INTERVIEW FRANK VAN WESSEL
Asking for input has never
been easier. That’s the role and the
power of Social Media.
market will develop. Just look at the growth
of Oscar Health in New York. I also expect
a transition to “pay how you live” in the Netherlands.
WHICH APPROACH DO YOU
I believe in three development phases: inspiration,
testing and implementation. I think
an idea should be tested much more before
being implemented into our core systems.
We need to build prototypes, explain it to
customer panels and increase our skills and
knowledge through experience. If it doesn’t
work, we should stop, but if it does work
we should improve it and make it bigger. In
other words, we shouldn’t be too quick to fit
it into existing structures.
WHAT DO YOU MEASURE?
Like digitisation, taking measurements is not
a goal unto itself, but a key way of structurally
improving. My objective is to improve
our level of service, based on feedback received
from our customers and advisors.
One statistic doesn’t tell me much. I’d like
to know what customers and advisors really
appreciate, and what they think could be improved.
I prefer to measure real behaviour.
How many screens did the customer have
to navigate? How many clicks? How many
fields did he have to fill in? And what did he
think of it all? The responses we receive will
tell us which adjustments are necessary and
help us set priorities. Asking for input has
never been easier. That’s the role and the
power of Social. I regard Social Media as a feedback
channel, one that allows you to learn and
engage in dialogue. That’s what the technology
is for; advisors and customers want it, so
why shouldn’t we give it to them?
WHEN WILL YOU BE SATISFIED?
When customers and advisors are truly appreciative
of digital services, and see them
as the best option, of course. Another thing
I want to achieve is for employees to see
digital services as an intrinsic part of
business operations. I want to fuel a transition
from a focus on product to a focus on
digital services. Together with customers and
advisors, we want to develop products and
services and learn which risks customers
want to accept, reduce or defer. We want to
listen to customers’ needs and then deploy
modern technology in relevant ways. It
involves working structurally on user-friendliness,
improving service and reducing costs.
It means that people won’t just become
customers; they’ll want to stay customers.
Digitisation never ends.
TO SURVIVE WITH
Insurers are feverishly digitising their processes, but contact with the
customer on Social Media and mobile still lags behind. And that’s
exactly where the future lies.
Vision, by Arjen de Boer, CCO at ITDS
ARJEN DE BOER
New technology, changing customer behaviour and start-ups with
divergent business models will change the insurance industry. It’s only
by increasing and smartening their use of Social Media that insurers
will be able to survive in this brave new world. It’ll require a drastic
change in the internal organisation. The only chance of enduring is to be a
genuine Social Company. A few developments that play a role in all this
are sketched below.
STILL ALIVE, BUT…
The insurance industry will still be
around in 2020, but insurance companies’
business model will have undergone a seismic
shift. With local governments maintaining
legislation and regulation, the shift will be
slower than expected, despite insurers having
invested a lot of money in start-ups and
disruptors last year. Traditional distribution
models are still being used. In one
country the middleman is still very
much alive and kicking, in another many
old-school insurance agents are still used,
and in some parts of Europe much of the
distribution goes through banks. In response
to the threats, a lot is being done in the area
of digitisation. But there’s still not enough
focus on Social Media. Even start-ups are
not sufficiently exploiting the power of
Social Media. Hardly any company is taking
that vital step towards becoming a Social
SHIFT TO MOBILE, THE
FUTURE IS CONNECTED
Prospective, and even existing, customers
are going for absolute convenience. Not
four clicks, just one. But this calls for huge
investments in becoming familiar with a
mobile-only approach. The focus must
also be on Millennials; the elderly will
follow their example. Use Social to
generate quick methods of self-assistance.
Enhance agility and innovation. Go ahead
with innovation and implement it as
quickly as possible.
FROM SOCIAL HUB TO
SOCIAL COMMAND CENTRE
The big insurers are certainly all active
and they are investing heavily in innovation,
mobile and Social. There is also
activity on the Social platforms and
they are writing blogs. But as yet they
are nowhere near what you could call
Social Companies. While social is about
becoming a social business rather than
using social as a marketing tool. The current
business model is coming to an end.
Using Social Media doesn’t make it more
expensive. On the contrary, using Social
renders certain processes unnecessary,
so you can skip them. There is a huge
amount of ignorance about Social Media.
THERE IS NO “SOCIAL STRATEGY” ANYMORE,
JUST STRATEGY IN A SOCIAL WORLD
If the industry is to survive in future, insurers will simply have to change. The question
is whether old insurers will be able to reinvent themselves. Start-ups and new players
only employ young people and they adopt a “mobile-only” approach. Through social
they corporate trust and brand love. But does this all mean that these old insurers will
need to ring-fence the traditional parts and start new organisations alongside them?
Big players like AXA and Allianz are investing in start-ups, but they are also renewing
and sometimes dismantling the older parts. In some countries insurers are selling old
distribution channels, like working with banks and agents, to third parties and starting
a new organisations under their established brand.
VISION ARJEN DE BOER
Making the organisation Social demands
a lot of focus. More often than not a
company’s management comprises shortterm
thinkers with other KPIs in their
sights, whereas the focus should be on
the long term. Many players have installed
a Social Hub, which again comprises
no more than a small group of believers.
There is still not yet a social command
centre. And if that small group of believers
walk away, Social falls by the wayside.
THE CUSTOMER IS BASHING
THE SILOS INTO ONE
That small group of believers is often
spread over the whole company, in different
departments, such as marketing,
online, branding, customer service, or
communications. An excellent customer
experience depends on the cooperation
between these departments. The customer
sees the insurer as one company and isn’t
bothered about its separate departments.
LEARN THINGS ON SOCIAL
MEDIA THAT THE CALL CENTRE
DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT
Social Media should not be seen as an
extra; it must be part of the organisational
culture. Insurers must be present to
listen and learn on the most popular Social
Media channels. You’ll learn more about
your brand and your services on Social
Media than you will through a call centre.
As soon as WhatsApp and Facebook
Messenger are integrated in a contact
centre, customer satisfaction increases.
Millennials not only want to get in touch,
they actually want to do business like this.
This doesn’t just mean claims handling,
but also going to WhatsApp and Facebook
Messenger for insurance products. Within
the past few years, messaging apps have
surpassed social networks. Launching
messengers as part of customer service
app, will cause a noticeable drop in
public complaints. WhatsApp is the consumers’
response to the complex world that
insurers have created themselves.
MUST INCLUDE WHO
ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Nowadays a one-to-one approach is actually
possible. During these past few years big
data has been very much on every-one’s
lips, yet hardly anyone out there is actually
implementing it. Walk the talk and
get on with it. Only then will you be able
to see what customers want, measure it
and give customers service. It is now a
SOCIAL IS REINVENTING THE ENTIRE CUSTOMER LIFE CYCLE
Social activities must be embedded in the insurer’s core business. It’s more than
just a new way of communicating. It’s about deploying Social in the insurer’s
services, like using WhatsApp for claims handling, and maybe in future for actually
taking out an insurance policy. It calls for a new organisational structure. So fully integrate
social within your organisational structure and culture. You have to start internally to be
ARJEN DE BOER
Customers will make choices that are
based on peer-to-peer and user reviews.
given that the insurers’ business model
will have to change. Data must be used
in the interests of better customer focus,
for which the integration of CRM and
Social data is crucial. The customer’s
behaviour and his or her behaviour on
Social Media must be aligned, by increasing
the integration of online and offline customer
data and webcare data. To really get
to know customers and implement a oneto-one
approach, spray and pay is dead.
Install a data-driven culture to drive better
decision-making. Don’t look at your
audience just as a sales target, it’s about
building a relationship. Long term relation
has more value than the short term sales.
A NEW MIND-SHIFT
Why do insurers focus so strongly on
customer retention? Clients won’t walk
away if you are transparent, have a good
product and offer excellent service. Make
sure your products are attuned to the
needs of customers and go in search of
new clients too. All this is a mind-shift
that has to take place. Social Media is the
channel of which insurers will acquire
new customers, new target groups.
LTC − LOVE, TENDERNESS
It’s relevant to take the trouble to help
customers and to really care about your
customers, rather than just pretending to.
Insurance will never be sexy, but that doesn’t
mean it cannot be relevant. Social is
real-time, transparent and brutally honest.
Use it to showcase the human side of your
brand. The biggest pitfall is to terminate
the dialogue or undermine its importance.
Everything is also related to content. There’s
more to using Social than just webcare;
it’s also about conversation management.
Content starts with meaningful connections.
It must engage your target group.
All around us we see a shift to mobile and
video. Visuals and video are key to great
contentmarketing. Share positive, peoplecentric
content, co-created with your
customers, easy to absorb. Be authentic
and human, humanise your brand.
Millennials, in particular, will not thank
you for complicated and commercial
posts. At the same time you must pay
attention to user-generated content. It
opens doors to a real community, where
real discussions take place.
MILLENNIALS WILL DICTATE
Insurers have to become brand publishers.
It calls for a completely different skills set.
Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger
will turn the whole organisation
on its head, which will then need different
people to play different roles. The attraction
for school leavers to work in this industry
is minimal, yet it’ll be the well-heeled
Millennials that will dictate how the insurance
market will work in future, which
means that Millennials will have to be
deployed in the organisational embedding.
KEEP IT STUPIDLY SIMPLE
It all starts by improving the level of service
to the customers. Beware of window
dressing; customers will quickly
see through it. Customer service must
be simple and straightforward: keep it
stupidly simple. Insurers have made it far
too complicated. Be as open as possible and
be ready for a future in which everyone will
be connected. Develop on-demand insurance
and connected insurance. We’re
going to have to deal with the Internet of
Things, where premiums will be dictated
by behaviour and parameters that can be
measured. It will lead to different forms of
property & casualty insurance. The more
information that’s available about the customer’s
activities, the greater the impact
will be on future products. This is already
evident in the retail sector. In the life and
pensions sector, young people are already
buying less. These products will certainly
need to be adapted.
Under pressure from customers, particularly
Millennials, products will be quickly
changed or adapted to meet their requirements.
Millennials want insurance when
they need it and for as long as they need
it, such as when they borrow something,
for example. This will become one of the
pillars of the new insurance industry.
There will be much more short-term
insurance policies and, for the sake of
convenience, that calls for an excellent
customer experience. Most new insurance
models are to be found in the area of
property and casualty, but there is also
a growing market for life insurance
products. One of the cornerstones of the
future is wellness, a strong advantage of
which is that it’s also a loyalty concept.
STOP SELLING AND START TELLING
Social Media has become an integral part of the contact between customer and insurer,
but it’s continuously developing. New platforms achieve critical mass quicker than ever
before. And how should insurers respond? Stop selling and start telling. There are too
few reviews, ranking and ratings. And in those places where measurements are taken
there is insufficient transparency. In future, customers will increasingly make choices
that are based on peer-to-peer and user reviews.
ACTIVITIES OF THE 20 INSURERS IN 2016
100% 95% 100%
The rankings and charts of the Social Media Insurance Monitor were
established by taking measurements and doing desk research. The measurements,
taken across the 20 insurers featured in the rankings, were
taken on the first half of 2016. An infographic, complete with additional
statistics, is presented on the following pages.
ACTIVE ON ACTIVE ON ACTIVE ON ACTIVE ON
HOW MUCH CONTENT DID INSURERS POST IN 2016?
messages on Facebook,
Twitter and LinkedIn
Most Facebook posts - MAPFRE (ES)
Most Tweets - MAPFRE (ES)
Most LinkedIn posts - AXA (FR)
Most YouTube uploads - Geico (US)
5 12 2
Average number of
posts per week on
Average number of
posts per week on
Average number of
posts per week on
394 7.606 3.717
responses to consumers
consumers via Twitter
HOW POPULAR ARE THE INSURERS?
TOTAL NUMBER OF
TOTAL NUMBER OF
WHICH EMERGING CHANNELS ARE INSURERS USING?
60% 0% 70% 55%
WHATSAPP INSTAGRAM PINTEREST
TOP 3 FANS FACEBOOK TOP 3 FOLLOWERS TWITTER
HOW MOBILE ARE THE INSURERS?
2.157.790 1.837.867 670.310 236.586 82.494 74.859
has a mobile website
has a mobile app
Great Eastern (MY): most Facebook fans
compared to population density
Aegon (NL): most Twitter fans
compared to population density
90% 30% 15%
OF THE GLOBAL PLAYERS
HAVE A GLOBAL FACEBOOK PAGE
OF THE INSURERS HAVE
A CAREER TAB ON LINKEDIN
THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVES
OF DEPLOYING SOCIAL MEDIA
1 INCREASING BRAND AWARENESS
2 COMMUNITY BUILDING 3 HR / RECRUITMENT
refers to Social
Media channels via
gives the opportunity
feedback on the
offers Social Media
as a service
channel via the
website’s contact page
gives the opportunity
feedback on the
Special mention to:
Geico offers 24/7
service via its
offers chat on the
HOW MANY INSURERS GIVE CONSUMERS
THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK?
Special mention to:
Aviva gives the opportunity
on its website to
Arjen de Boer
Content and Research
Daphne de Groot
Media & Communicatie
Ingrid van Dijk (DN30)
Hans de Kort
A research-based report about the use of Social Media by
20 international insurers in 2016. An initiative of ITDS
The research was carried out by ITDS Business
Consultants in 2016. The results are based on interviews,
desk research and measurements taken among 20
insurers, from all over the world.
With offices in the Netherlands and in Poland, ITDS is a
specialist consultancy for financial institutions such as
banks, insurance companies and pension funds. Over 15
years’ experience in the industry have given us in-depth
expertise of a variety of products and processes in the
sector. We combine up-to-date knowledge of the insurance
market with a practical vision on information technology.
Information technology is playing an increasingly
important role for insurers, while Social Media and today’s
consumers call for a different way of communicating. ITDS
can help insurers draw up a strategy for the successful
implementation of Social Media.
With our Social Media Scan our experts can measure where
a company is regarding the deployment of Social Media, in
other words, how social their business is.
© 2016 - ITDS Groep B.V. No part of this publication may
be reproduced and/or published by means of printing,
photocopying, microfilm, or through any other channels,
without the prior written permission of the owner of
the intellectual rights, namely, ITDS Groep B.V. in the
Netherlands. This also applies to complete or partial
ITDS Groep B.V.
SOCIAL MEDIA INSURANCE MONITOR 2016 BY ITDS