The report released today by The CII, Konsileo and PKF considers the future of broking.
The conclusion is similar to that of other sectors when it comes to the use of digital channels:
Online prospecting is a huge opportunity for individual brokers and broking firms, particularly given the increase in freely available data online. Individuals and firms able to adapt lead generation efforts and to maximise what the internet has to offer will reap the benefits.
We were warmed up this week by The Instech London Event where a number of organisations and individuals in the sector showcased how a range of digital platforms are leveraged to their advantage for business.
The general consensus associated with 'social media' or digital channels is that for the individuals in B2B you need to utilise these platforms in parallel with your target accounts and individuals (Account based marketing).
If you expect to cast a net across the internet and for the business to come to you then you will be mistaken. It needs to be a lazor targeted harpoon! Similarly you arrange meetings with the highest value influencer in an account you can, this should be your starting point online.
That said, the issue around the future talent within the sector certainly requires a level of amplification. This is where utilising your staff's networks to amplify your brand will be hugely beneficial, at the least it shows your staff enjoy their place of work! Getting them to share however is another task and you need your senior leaders to set the example. John Legere, T-Mobile CEO is a great example of leading from the front.
It is important to remember that the majority of people have a digital brand and similarly to presenting yourself in person why not add some value online? The search engines are becoming more attuned to value-add, real news and authenticity will be the winner.
Whilst not everyone will certainly be contributing, regularly listening can be equally as important. There is a short post here that examines how digital selling starts with listening. Most would listen to their clients needs before contributing face to face and there are some fantastic ways to do this online too. If you do create content why not create it around your target accounts interests? Figure 22, page 45 has a great timeline demonstrating this.
As John Moore MBE focuses on, being a trusted advisor and providing value is more important than ever. If Deloitte are correct the majority of your clients are glued to a screen (with internet) consuming content online and being part of that resource is essential.
If you are looking to maximise your digital channels for business, LinkedIn have created an index that guides you towards best practice. Whilst not an exact science (and good example of content marketing!) it can certainly point you in the right direction. You can be measured with one click here.
All the above is commonly known as account based marketing. Here are 6 steps by Freddy Dobinson that dovetail this report to get started.
John Warbuton, Konsileo co-founder and report co-author, added: "One of the key roles of this report is to help individual brokers understand how the profession is changing and what they can do to equip themselves for the future. John Needham, head of financial services at PKF Littlejohn and report co-author added: "There is considerable scope to further enhance leadership and management at broking firms in order to attract and retain the best staff, particularly the next generation of talent. It will become increasingly less tenable for brokers to rely on the transaction-enabler role in the insurance buying chain to provide them with a decent income. Advice will become the product even more than it is today."