Go Digital (as Long as the Fries are Hot)
Robert Regis Hyle | August 26, 2014
Are you still wondering if digital capabilities are worth the effort for your company? If so, consider that fast-food chain McDonald’s recently announced the hiring of a vice president of digital. Julia Vander Ploeg left Ticketmaster and joined McDonald’s to work on customer engagement, e-commerce, service delivery, and digital content.
Now McDonald’s is a Fortune 500 company and that’s bigger than midtier insurance carriers, but when you consider how restaurants do business and how insurance carriers need to do business, it’s time for carriers to make the leap. They don’t have to create a new title, but they better have someone that understands the new digital culture.
The service delivery aspect of the McDonald’s article on the CNBC website caught my attention. A McDonald’s executive explained the fast-food company wants to revolutionize how it interacts with its customers by “removing physical boundaries to allow our customers to connect to and order McDonald's any time or place, globally.”
If I buy a burger and some fries from McDonald’s, I can’t imagine a more effective way than to get in line at the drive-thru or inside the restaurant. I say this for one simple reason: The food quality at McDonald’s and its competitors is at its apex within the first two minutes of being handed to you on a tray or in a bag.
Really, is there anything worse than getting fries from McDonald’s that aren’t piping hot? Some people look through their bag at the drive-thru just to see if everything is there. I taste the fries. If the grease does not burn my tongue I tell the clerk I want some new fries and they invariably comply.
McDonald’s likely will find more value from a digital strategy in ways other than ordering Chicken McNuggets. Identifying the nearest restaurant for customers craving a Big Mac is certainly important in an age where GPS systems are at everyone’s fingertips.
For insurance carriers, though, the digital future needs to be all about transactions. As The Nolan Company’s Chad Hersh told ITA contributing editor Michael Voelker for an article in the September issue of ITA Pro magazine, insurers shouldn’t get carried away with the non-transactional arena.
“Non-transactional capabilities are great for driving adoption or policyholder stickiness, but failure to offer transactional capabilities will cost carriers customers,” says Hersh, who recently joined Nolan as senior vice president after leaving Novarica. “In terms of whether or not ROI matters, that’s a great debate,” says Hersh. “Frankly, in many cases, mobile apps are simply a competitive necessity.”
McDonald’s is wise to understand that traditional brick and mortar companies have disappeared over the last decade and they don’t want to be left behind. So maybe we’ll see a McDonald’s food truck roaming the streets and handing out Big Macs. Just so long as the fries are hot, I won’t mind.
- How Mass Personalization Will Open the Small Business Benefits Market
- At Year End 2017, Will Your Organization Be Protected from Cyber Risks?
- Do Insurance Bots Dream of Mitigating Risk?
- Conditioned to Respond
- Managing & Mobilizing Insurance Data in a Connected World
- Race to the Finish Line
- New Tools, New Opportunities in Claims
- ITA LIVE: Reaching Insurance Industry Crossroads
- Advice to Insurance IT Leaders: Keep Your Eye on the Ball
- New Date, Venue for ITA LIVE 2017
- Guidewire Makes Major Push to Small and Midtier Market by Acquiring ISCS
- Insurance Disruption is Happening Right Now
- Insurity Adds Strategic Investment Partner, General Atlantic
- Beyond Transformation: The Convergence of Finance, Risk, and Actuarial Functions
- The Rapid Evolution of Consumer Protection Regulation
- Talent Hunt: Finding, Attracting, Retaining Top People
- Insurers Flexing Their Distribution Models
- Technology Driving Disruption in Insurance
- Fear of ‘Next Bubble’ Challenges Life, Annuity Carriers
- Technology Allows Commercial Lines Insurers to Stand Out
- Single Sign-on Viewed as Biggest Tech Challenge for Agencies
- ISCS Observes 20th Anniversary; Scurto Predicts Major Changes Ahead
- Policyholders and Their First Impressions
- Progressive Making Progress on the UBI Front
- High and Dry: Insurers Search for Disaster Recovery Plans
- Insurers Sign The (Un)Dotted Line
- Reflections of a Retired Insurance CIO
- Mobile Device Management Just One Answer to BYOD Issue
- Lessons from GEICO and Progressive on Winning the Critical Buying Stage
- You Are a Target for a Cyber Attack
- Web-based Systems are the Next Evolution in Claims Technology
- Gaining a “Wow” Experience from Web Users
- Time to Shift from Business/IT Alignment to Business/IT Alliance
- Healthcare Insurers Changing to Consumer Model
- Organization is the Key for Selecting Software Vendors
- Analysts Expound on the Needs of the Mid-tier Insurance Market
- Finding the Cure for Obamacare’s Website
- New Software Solutions Benefit Insurers on the Inside and Outside
- Products, Market Impede Investment in Systems for Life Insurers
- Combatting Cyber Threats: Predict, Prevent, Persist
- The Future of Telematics Heads Beyond Insurance
- The Shame in Cyber Security Lapses
- Building Policy Administration Systems for the Future
- Insurers Look Into The Eyes of Their Policyholders
- It’s a New Dawn for the ITA
INSURANCE IT NEWS
- Western Reserve Group Deploys Guidewire Systems for Claims Management and Digital Engagement
- Frederick Mutual Goes Live with ValueMomentum’s BizDynamics Digital Solution and iFoundry Rating Engine
- Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Completes First Year Under StoneRiver’s PowerSuite® Enterprise
- Insurance Veteran Lou Geremia Joins Bold Penguin as Chief Revenue Officer
- The County of Los Angeles Expands Use of PCIS’ ClaimsVISION
- Sirius Group Selects Insurity SIMS Claims and Oceanwide Bridge with Cloud Deployment
- Sapiens Announces Catholic Life Insurance’s Expanded Use of StoneRiver Solutions for Life and Annuities
- New York State Insurance Fund Selects Majesco Billing on Majesco CloudInsurer
The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
ITA is pleased to present the 2014 Webinar Series. We have many topics for you to choose from and attendance is open to all ITA members. The webinar topics are current and exciting — ranging from predictive analytics to telematics and will focus on the direction insurance carriers need to follow for the future. All webinars are presented by insurance IT professionals along with some of the leading analysts and consultants in the field. There is no cost to attend an ITA webinar. For more information and to register for the webinar, click the “title” of the webinar below.
BLOGS AND COLUMNS
You have surely heard it said that small businesses are the growth engine for America. Today, the phrase has a special ring to it for benefits... READ MORE
With stagnant growth and lingering low interest rates, the life insurance industry faces a challenging future... READ MORE
Finding insurance carriers willing to write commercial lines risks has always been a challenge for producers... READ MORE
As Guidewire Software prepares for the start of Connections, its 11th annual user conference that begins on Nov. 2, Brian Desmond, chief marketing... READ MORE
The core systems replacement cycle is speeding up. Twenty years ago, even if you spent your entire career working at the same insurance company, you... READ MORE
- Partner News