Why brokers must embrace digital innovation

More Canadian brokers are recognizing the value of technology, but a certain few risk being left behind

Why brokers must embrace digital innovation


By Joe Rosengarten

Finding ways to optimize marketing and communication functions should be a top priority for any modern insurance broker. The digital transformation that’s occurred over the past 10 years has created a wealth of data, which is invaluable from a broker perspective. Often derided for being behind the times, the insurance industry has caught up and most forward-thinking brokers now understand the value of tech innovation, but a certain few do risk being left behind.

“So much communication is technology driven these days and, in many cases, it’s what enables customers to find and then contact brokers,” says Ed Meiering, vice president of business development at Aviva Canada. “Technology is playing an integral role in driving marketing and communication and, as the distribution channel for the industry, that is 90% of what brokers do.”

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Although Meiering has noticed more brokers recognize the importance of using tech to improve their communications and marketing, he does concede that each broker approaches tech and tech investment with a distinctly unique perspective.

“Because of that, the Aviva Digital Marketing Consultancy (DMC) has developed a customized approach: in-house experts meet with brokers, analyze their digital offerings and recommend a strategy based on the broker’s capabilities and objectives,” Meiering says. “It starts with us providing two or three choices that can help create some quick wins. Then, if that goes well, we may build a full marketing plan together and assist the broker in choosing a vendor and funding their SEO or SEM marketing.”

The modern consumer expects to be able to conduct the majority of their business online, from doing their banking to shopping for groceries, and, from that aspect, the insurance industry has some catching up to do. The majority of brokers recognize that embracing technology is important, but haven’t taken the decisive step of making an investment. Meiering encourages those brokers to have faith in their beliefs and take the next, natural step.

“Those brokers need to know that they are not alone: there are carriers out there who are willing to help them when they make their digital investments,” Meiering says. “There are some really simple things that all brokers can do to get started; some safe investments that do not cost a lot to secure or implement. If you’re using a smartphone to do business, then your clients are too; brokers can’t ignore what is happening in the industry.”

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