Carriers need to have a mobile strategy ready News added by Benefits Pro on December 3, 2013

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By Dan Cook

A lack of tech savvy among large carriers frustrates account executives, recent surveys have found. These execs are trying to keep up with the latest trends in identifying and contacting prospects but many are still waiting for the tools, including mobile apps, to become available to them.

That’s going to be a big problem, Google’s head of industry and services told an AHIP audience in Chicago, because increasingly, Google is seeing potential insurance customers shopping on their phones.

The Accenture study cited above reported that three-quarters of respondents to a survey about carriers and tech integration said their companies had mobile solutions in some stage of readiness. But eight out of 10 respondents said a lack of data integration — including mobile — was leading to lost opportunities.

The time to start addressing a mobile strategy is immediately, said Google’s Bill Lan. He said that some 30 percent of all Google queries related to health insurance are sent from mobile devices, according to Healthcare Payer News.

“If you don’t have an engagement strategy around mobile, you’re basically missing out on a third of that traffic,” he said.

But before mobile messaging novices go after their target markets, they’ll need to work on that messaging. Lan said the key is to make contact and offer products and services without annoying potential customers, who then look elsewhere for a solution to their problem. Different customers need to be communicated with in different ways, he said. Lifestyle preferences and generational communications preferences must be understood before messaging is created.

“If you advertise on CNN and a user watches yoga videos and then types in Type 2 diabetes,” or a user “is drinking Red Bull and searching for ‘ACA penalties,’” Land said, “those are two different types of conversations you want to have,” Healthcare Payer News reported.

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