If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody there to hear it, did it really make a sound? If you expend your best efforts creating customer communications, but nobody “gets” them, has any message been conveyed?
The second question feels easier to answer, but harder to think about for marketing, communications and product executives in the insurance industry. It’s even hard to think about for compliance and IT people. After all, this is their livelihood.
Think about that. What are all these people paid to do? How is success measured? How is it rewarded? The emphasis is all on output, not outcome.
Ouch. This hurts me too. I’ve spent many years on the marketing side of insurance, probably also guilty of the wrong paradigm.
Think about what’s driving communications today and where it needs to go in the future. Today, it seems to be all about disclosure, that is, the amount of information we convey, how complete and balanced it is, and also, most importantly, how defensible it is in case there is a dispute. The major motivation is protecting the company. This is understandable. One class action lawsuit will make any large brand a bit gun shy.
From defensible to intentional
However, new consumers aren’t searching for disclosure. They are searching for relevance. How useful is this information to them? Does it help them make better decisions? Does it make them smarter?
What does that mean to the future of communication?