I had the honor to have a 3 hour key-note and discussion with a delegation of senior decision makers from one of the largest insurers in China. We talked about how to use modern tools and tactics to win the heart, mind and home screen of your target group and how to enter the European market (hypothetically).
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I was deeply impressed and learned the following:
In-Depth knowledge about the European and global insurance markets and global trends
I regularly ask the audience some questions about trends in insurance and technology. I rarely experience that all are answered. This one did. #respect. The one on one talks later underlined the deep knowledge of the audience. I am not sure if the same set of European decision makers would know the same about the Chinese insurance and finance market and customer trends.
Internal problems are often the same - everywhere
We talked a lot about how as multi billion company with a lot of employees to concretely could foster building digital and non-digital products and services that excite the customer, how to become part of their daily life and how to help them continuously gaining trust. I heard the same arguments I hear in North America, Europe and the Middle and Near East. “We have no budget” and. “Innovation is risky politically”. Corporate problems seem to be similar around the globe. That’s why solutions could also be similar too and learning from other ecosystems is so important.
Sales drive insurance organization
While we see in continental Europe former management consultants playing an important role in insurance and reinsurance boards in China it seems a lot decision makers come from sales (as a lot of middle management in Europe). This poses the challenge to enable a mind change in how to treat customer (provide products and services for free at scale to gain trust and not quickly sell insurance products) and how to develop sustainable monetization. The challenge is how to transform a sales driven into a tech driven and customer centric company. #superhard
Thinking one step ahead
I was excited to see that we did not discuss innovation as a nice to have pet project - like a trip of managers to Berlin or the Silicon Valley, but actually immediately exchanged ideas how to integrate successful pilots into the main organization and scale. And when we talk about scaling in China it means millions and millions of customers.
No doubt about that winter is coming
In contrast to a lot of conversations I still have in the West nobody - directly or indirectly - expressed doubts that the expansion of the internet is changing our life radically and also the insurance and finance industry. This was taken as what it is: a fact. We should do to.
All in all we had great discussions and I am still impressed and I think we all can learn a lot from each other. Why should not Chinese insurer collaborate with mutual from the mid west USA, large broker in the UAE, ai start-up from Israel and incumbents from Europe?
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