For some time the debate has raged over whether traditional insurance agents will be put out to pasture by technology or gain a shot in the arm by it. Some answers were given at the inaugural Agency Innovation Conference in Bangkok with the theme: 'Thriving in the Digital World'.
Some of the region’s most successful insurance agents revealed their personal winning strategies for leveraging technology in an opening panel discussion. AXA Insurance financial services director Calvin Lee said that social media must be used as a precision marketing tool, “depending on your objectives and who your target is”. Facebook, for instance, should be used to target potential clients up to the age of 30 – and targeting prospects in their early-20s to mid-50s would require a sophisticated blend of Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
finexis advisory executive financial consultant Tay Kah Lok – and Digital Agent of the Year winner 2018 - revealed that while his clients ranged in age from 29 to 60, “the majority are in the 30 to 40 age group”.
AIA Thailand financial adviser Thanathon Karnjanisakorn confirmed that she found that “20- to 30-year-olds tend to come to me from Facebook or YouTube” but older customers tended to come from Line, the instant messaging app popular in a number of Asian countries.
Short videos only
The use of video as both a branding and selling tool for insurance was emphasised by all panel members. Mr Lee said, “We used to use a lot of text but now we do a lot of videos. This helps me differentiate myself from other people. But anything longer than one minute in duration is too long.”
Ms Karnjanisakorn further emphasised the importance of posting to social media at the same time every week – and that consistency in timing of posts was of vital importance in building up a prospective client base.
Mr Tay also uses video heavily and said, “I mainly do video content. You should have as little friction as possible and so I post it to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn,” in order to make sure that watching the video is effortless for the viewer. Each video post, he revealed, takes him 10 hours to complete – from scripting, filming and editing to posting.
Mr Tay did not seem dispirited that “95% of my clients don’t watch my videos” – but he uses a WhatsApp group to alert people when his new videos are posted - and this helps keep him top-of-mind even though his videos are not watched by most of his prospect group.
What emerged from the discussion was a clear picture of successful insurance agents today leveraging all new technologies – with a special emphasis on social media – to help augment their business growth and help lower the protection gap.
All the panellists revealed that becoming expert in the use of social media was simply a question of trial and error – but Ms Karnjanisakorn was keen to stress that the most important thing was to be yourself – and to play to your own strengths, whatever they may be.
The Agency Innovation Conference was held on July 2019 in Bangkok and was organised by Asia Insurance Review, Asia Advisers Network and LIMRA and was sponsored by AIA, Comarch, as well as Muang Thai Life and Thai Life Insurance.
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