If you want to reach consumers today, you must go where they are, and where they are is on their mobile devices. As recognized mobile expert Maria Perez predicted on her MediaPost publication in 2015, “it is expected that mobile app downloads will continue to grow as the channel expands. Ads on mobile app can drive engagement and interactions among active users”. Ms. Perez ground-breaking contributions continue to provide insights on pulsing industry topics as reported by world-leading risk management firm Deloitte, which confirmed that this year mobile device usage has officially eclipsed desktop. The study found:
- More than a third of adults report using their smartphones “very/fairly often” for business purposes outside normal working hours.
- 59% use their personal smartphone during normal working hours “very/fairly often.”
- Smartphones easily remained the most favored mobile device among US consumers, growing 3% and reaching 85% penetration overall.
- Smartphone growth was strongest among older age groups at over 10%, reflecting already strong adoption among younger generations.
- Americans are viewing their smartphones more often than ever before, on average 52 times per day.
What does a Mobile First Approach Mean?
A mobile first agency puts a mobile experience first and foremost for its customers. Essentially, this means that mobile first agencies focus marketing, communication, design and customer experience first on mobile platforms. Then those strategies are expanded to other platforms such as desktop platforms.
Some agents may utilize a mobile-first design approach, optimizing their existing website for a mobile platform. But other agencies, may take a much more comprehensive approach and launch a change in strategy and overall customer experience.
Agencies seeking a more overarching mobile-first platform recognize the consumer shift to mobile devices, and the impact the shift has on customer service and the purchase of insurance.
Why Your Agency Should Be Mobile First
As illustrated by the Deloitte study, customers are spending more time on their mobile devices and using mobile platforms for more of their needs. A mobile first strategy for agents then is important not only because market reach is greatest on a mobile platform, but also because of the way people are using mobile platforms.
Every day more consumers want to make purchasing decisions and interact with companies from their mobile devices. Consumers are also responding better to mobile designed marketing efforts. An agency that doesn’t take a mobile approach to marketing, may miss a large share of the market.
Characteristics of an agency with a Mobile First Approach
The characteristics of a mobile-first agency may differ from agency to agency. Still, with the increase in mobile-based consumer decisions and expectations, forward-thinking insurance agencies will design a mobile-first approach that encompasses the entire consumer experience.
Taking only a marketing approach, launching a mobile ad campaign or ensuring their agency website is accessible on a mobile platform, may not be enough.
A true mobile-first agency understands their customers and the benefits of a mobile-first customer experience. They should be able to create mobile touchpoints and have a solid strategy.
Consider what the large national insurance carriers do. Some auto insurers allow a consumer to complete the entire purchase of a policy from a mobile device. After they purchase the policy, they can get proof of insurance on a mobile device, make monthly payments, change their policy and even file a claim.
That is the expectation of the modern insurance consumer. The agent that can provide a top-notch mobile experience will have success.
How Should an Insurance Agency Become Mobile First?
If your agency is interested in taking a mobile-first approach, the first step is to gather some information. Take a high view of your customer experience and find out what they are doing on their mobile devices. Have a lot of personal auto clients? It’s likely they would use their mobile platforms for making payments, getting id cards, signing renewal documents.
As far as marketing, take another look. How does your prospects mobile usage affect their purchases? How does an agency’s mobile-first platform engage those prospects?
A successful agency must look at their client’s entire experience from marketing to buying to service to renewal. If your agency isn’t offering mobile platforms, prospects may go to an agency that is.
Some final tips for a Mobile-first Approach
- Embrace it: It isn’t a good approach to only dip your toes in the water. Exploit mobile first for marketing, agency operations and consumer experience.
- Act quickly: Independent agents and the insurance industry can be slow to change. A successful agency doesn’t have the luxury of waiting. Mobile first platforms have changed the way consumers shop and engage with their insurer. Agents must get in on the game quickly or they will lose clients.
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