Based on the new report by eMarketer: Shopping for Insurance Online: A Multichannel Quest, it’s clear that the insurance industry has finally gotten on the digital bandwagon. And, it’s about time. While much of what eMarketer measured was likely personal lines insurance marketers selling easy to price auto and home policies (like the GEICO and Progressives of the world), it is important to take note of the shift in marketing tactics—whether you are a consumer or an insurance agent.
So why are they on the digital bandwagon? Their market is of course! This research does present some good news for agents—that is that much of the insurance market still wants them involved and they remain the main go to method for buying insurance. I have seen this in my research as well, though the reliance on the agent channel is much stronger in the commercial lines business than the personal lines business.
Here are some interesting stats from a Sept 2010 CMO Council Study:
- According to the CMO Council, agents (both captive and independent) are the predominant channel for purchasing insurance policies (62%) among US consumers.
- Only 12% purchased their policy online
- Only 2% bought through email
So if you are an insurance agent, what does this mean? First, a small sigh of relief; but second a need to get on the social bandwagon. An old adage in the marketing world (and other places) is “fish where the fish are”… it is clear that some parts of your market can be reached and “netted” through your online and social media presence. Why not fish where the fish are today and tomorrow?