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Emma Sheard from Insurance Nexus on I2C: Insurance2Customer USA

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 14 July 2016

Head of strategy from Insurance Nexus Emma Sheard on the insurance marketing conference I2C: Insurance2Customer USA

I2C: Insurance2Customer USA logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do at Insurance Nexus and I2C: Insurance2Customer USA?

Emma Sheard (ES): Im Emma Sheard, the head of strategy at Insurance Nexus. Im responsible for keeping in touch with our community of insurance executives around the world to understand their pain points and challenges, and then putting together content and conferences that provides the information they need to meet those challenges.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about I2C: Insurance2Customer USA

ES: Insurance2Customer was born out of many insurance executives saying that the thing at the front of their mind is their customers. With massive shifts in the industry (including distribution diversification and customer-centric start-ups entering the market), focusing on the customer is critical. I2C is a two-day event that brings together marketing and customer insurance executives to deliver strategies for winning and retaining customers.

SMP: Who is your target audience and why?

Relevant across the insurance industry, including brokers, agents and carriers from P&C, commercial, life and health insurance. The audience will be made up of CMOs, Heads of Marketing and those responsible for customer experience, customer insights, omnichannel strategies, customer engagement and loyalty, social media, content marketing anyone looking to expand the customer base or retain current customers.

Photograph of Emma Sheard, head of strategy at Insurance NexusSMP: When/where is the event and what does it strive to achieve?

ES: The event is taking place at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront on September 19th & 20th, Chicago, USA. It strives to create an opportunity for the insurance industry to understand how they can better serve customers through hearing from marketing experts from insurance and other industries. It also provides a platform for cross-industry networking and sharing to create a stronger, more customer-centric insurance industry.

SMP: How long has the event been running and why is it important for the sector and industry?

ES: Insurance2Customer USA 2016 is our inaugural event focusing on insurance customer strategies. Its built upon our flagship annual events Insurance Analytics and Insurance IoT. They both consist of years worth of research, content tracking marketing and distribution trends in insurance. This is vital for the sector as it represents the shift from product-centric to customer-centric attitudes and is the first gathering of executives to focus on this area.

SMP: What do you hope delegates can take away from it?

ES: Im hoping our delegates are inspired by the opportunity for insurance to become customer-centric - whilst traditionally most insurance companies have a very low NPS, a negative customer perception and are seen with distrust; technology and innovation is paving the way for this to change.

Delegates will also walk away with practical strategies they can implement in their organisations immediately to reach this goal as soon as possible.

SMP: What are some of the standout keynotes and sessions?

ES replies with:

  • Stand out keynotes at this event include:
  • Brad Rutta, Vice President Marketing & Communications, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection
  • Emily Hathcoat, Vice President Marketing, CNA
  • Bradley Pitts, Regional Head of Customer Insights, AIG Americas Consumer Insurance
  • Barbara Ernst, Vice President Marketing, Prudential
  • Michelle Batten, President Elect, Chicago Chapter, American Marketing Association & Director, Emerging Channel Strategy & Programs, Amadeus

I2C: Insurance2Customer USA homepage speakers image

The unmissable sessions include:
  • Understanding Your Customer: Using Analytics for One on One Interactions
  • Measuring Up to the Cracking Customer Experience Pace Set by Data-Driven Industries
  • OmniChannel Distribution Diversification: Taking the Conversation to the Customer
  • Digital Storytelling Tools to Create Brand Awareness and Resonance

SMP: How can stakeholders get involved?

ES: There is a range of ways the sponsor community can get involved, through speaking on the conference agenda, networking onsite with engaged delegates or getting increased exposure through exhibitions or branding opportunities.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

ES: I think some of the high moments have so far been securing the involvement and support of the Chicago Chapter of the American Marketing Association, putting together a digital marketing playbook focused for insurance companies and seeing the discussion among our community already in the lead-up to the event.

 I2C: Insurance2Customer USA homepage image

SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities for your sector and the competition that you have?

ES: One of the biggest challenges I think is there are so many marketing conferences around, however, I see our opportunity is through providing the only digital marketing conference that is tailored to the insurance industry whilst still bringing together speakers from other industries to provide insight from companies further down the digital marketing journey.

SMP: What is the most challenging part of building upon your brand presence in digital environments?

ES: Whilst we traditionally have a strong email marketing presence, translating this to social media has been a labour of love for our team!

We use LinkedIn obsessively, and are continually putting together opinion pieces and trend watching reports, circulating these through our LinkedIn groups (along with our exclusive content produced alongside insurance leaders). The commitment to putting out fresh and exclusive content has in the beginning been the biggest challenge, but once we got started we realised we have endless things to say!

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding insurance marketing for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

ES: I think the most interesting thing is going to be watching the industry go through such a transition period whilst insurance has traditionally been bought and sold through intermediaries, technology and millennial expectations has necessitated digital channels and a more direct customer approach from some carriers.

SMP: What are your top five predictions for insurance marketing for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

ES replies with:
  • Insurance carriers will increasingly diversify distribution channels, combining traditional brokerages and agencies with online, mobile and other digital channels
  • Insurance will need to keep up with customer expectations with millennials preferring certain communication methods, and customers getting used to the service from companies such as Amazon, Uber, AirBnB
  • The rise of the Internet of Things and growing analytical capabilities will mean there is more customer data, and more accurate insights, which will enable product innovation, personalisation across the supply chain and better customer service and experience
  • There will be a more educational approach to insurance marketing, focusing on building a one-to-one relationship based more around risk management
  • Marketing will become more segmented to communicate to more niche customer segments, informed by more granular customer insights and lifestyle analyses

SMP: What are your top overall five insurance marketing tips and why?

ES replies with:
  • Define your brand and unique competitive advantage and tell your story in a compelling way over and over again to evoke an emotional reaction or engaging connection
  • Begin a customer-centric transformation get business leaders and evangelists throughout the organisation focused on customer-centricity, to ensure the voice of the customer is heard in every decision-making process
  • Coordinate marketing efforts across carriers and intermediaries share customer insights, marketing materials and information both ways
  • Try new things whilst they might not always have an immediate impact, or work at all, getting the attention of consumers is very difficult, particularly with insurance. Think outside the box with communications and advertising messaging to grab attention
  • Make the customer experience as seamless as possible, from researching products to policy purchase, claims, and policy renewal. Make it simple and consistent, and make customer service a priority

SMP: Is there anything else we should know, or is there anything that youd like to share?

ES: SMP readers are entitled to a $150 discount on registration to attend Insurance2Customer. Simply quote SMP150 at the SMP website.

SMP: Best way to contact you and I2C: Insurance2Customer USA?

ES  replies with
Emma Sheard
Head of Strategy, Insurance Nexus
+44 207 422 4349

I2C: Insurance2Customer USA homepage sponsorship image

Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

ES: I had some cereal, a peach and a coffee for breakfast this morning.

SMP: Whats the last good thing that you did for someone?

ES: Woke up at 4am to overcome time difference when Skyping my brother for his birthday.

SMP: If you werent working at I2C: Insurance2Customer USA what would you be doing?

ES: Scuba-diving instructor on a beautiful island somewhere.

SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

ES: I went for a weekend break to Lisbon a couple of weeks ago to escape the London rain.

SMP: Whats the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

ES: Make a coffee and chat through the morning news with co-workers.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

ES: Teleporting.

Got an interesting story you want to share? Get in touch.

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