Kicking off day two of the LIMRA Annual Conference (see our first day recap here), Scot Safon (EVP and CMO at the Weather Channel) continued the focus on how technology has changed the consumer culture.
Leveraging his knowledge built through a career in media at CNN and HLN, Safon shared his observations about how consumers have changed, and what that means for the life insurance industry. From Safon’s perspective, technology has changed the way we buy, discover, connect, and create. And, as businesses adapt to this, he suggests we must change the way that we advertise, present, target, and develop.
One key change Safon highlighted was that consumers today are “willing to buy anything online.” As an example, he pointed to Amazon’s transition from selling books to selling “almost everything.” Additionally, leveraging an example highlighted by Bob Kerzner on the first day of the conference, Safon described how Netflix adapted to disruption in the media space by essentially offering consumers a new way to consume movies and television shows.
Given his media experience, it’s not surprising that Mr. Safon talked in depth about how advertising has changed in an increasingly digital world. “Consumers have a great tolerance for contextually relevant targeting” he said, however noting “they’ll never admit it.”
Safon used a screenshot from his own Facebook homepage as an example of ad-targeting, highlighting five different advertisements that he said did not bother him because they were contextually relevant.
The second session of the day was lead by Erik Qualman, social media expert and author of Socialnomics and Digital Leader. With an engaging multi-media presentation, Qualman shared his take on the importance of social media and mobile to the life insurance business.
Qualman encouraged the audience to “Think outside the box. And by box, I mean computer screen.” He stressed the growing importance of mobile technology for today’s consumer. Sharing some impressive facts about the momentum of mobile, he demonstrated the ubiquity of mobile with the following video:
There is a strong relationship between the use of social media and mobile. For example, 90% of tweets come from mobile devices.