Showcasing innovation to insurance companies is easier said than done. But living through the experience resulted in valuable feedback on what decision makers are (not) looking for.
Remember the scene from Gladiator? Marcus and his fellow captives stand chained in pairs in the Zucchabar province arena, waiting for the doors to swing open. One guy pees his pants. They know what’s out there, but when the moment arrives, the sudden flood of light and noise and movement still disorients for a few seconds. Get through that (and avoid the guy swinging the spiked iron ball at your skull), you have a chance to make it. Falter, and a quick horrible death awaits.
At 10:10, it was our turn to go on stage for eight minutes of fame. Or shame, as the Show & Tell format of the Digital Insurance Agenda event is both relentless and merciless. Next on stage… AcceptEasy. Ok, go. Lights on. Mike on. The clock starts ticking, a thousand people stare at you, and the demo better work while you try to confidently rattle off all the key points that the crowd must understand about your disruptive proposition. No Powerpoint as your shield.
This is not just getting up to say a few words to the bride & groom. This is the moment of truth after getting your insurtech selected, paying good money to be there, weeks of meticulous scripting and rehearsing, firing up the marketing machine, getting strangers to like you with forty-nine other cool vendors also competing for their attention. And we saw people falter: one company couldn’t get their demo to work until there were thirty seconds left. Imagine standing there, nowhere to hide, staring at the laptop that decided to abandon you at the worst possible time.
Ours… went fine. Or so I think, until we see the video in a week or two. The gladiator’s sensory overload did hit me at first, making me stare at my notes for a second or two before getting back on track. Ehhhhmmm. Here, look:
I love how Arjan – my chain partner - can only stare helplessly at me: come on Jeroen, you can do this! Right??
After that, it all came off as planned with about seven seconds to spare in the end. More importantly, loads of insurers visited our booth during the subsequent breaks, complimented our session, and wanted to know more about innovating (bill) payment interactions.
A common theme? They appreciated a vendor who wasn’t pitching an app or a platform. Let’s start with apps.
Consumers got tired of downloading apps years ago. Too many apps filling up their phones, wanting access to your location and God knows what else, sending push notifications and making them go through elaborate registration steps after waiting for the download to finish. For some marginal improvement to their daily lives. The trouble for insurtechs is that many wonderful toys enabling insurance innovations (iBeacons, photo analysis, movement sensors etc.) can only be harnessed with yet-another-app for the best home insurance. Travel insurance. Car insurance. Health insurance. And so they hope that theirs will be different, the exception to the rule. Some make it, many won’t.
“Being frictionless is not just about the experience once all the prerequisites are in place. It’s also about avoiding prerequisites in the first place.”
While insurance apps fight for supremacy on the consumer’s smartphone, platforms want to dominate the insurer’s IT landscape. We’ll call all your systems legacy systems, they all suck, ours is great, so let’s stick that on top of everything. See how easy it is to configure this, set pricing for that, add this policy there… The future is here. In the meantime, the large insurance company looking on just got through a 200 million euro ERP migration while learning to work with Salesforce and being quite happy with its credit management software. Systems get big to support the complexities of real-world requirements, some of which are impossible to anticipate. Today’s shiny clean platform is tomorrow’s bloated legacy system.
With so many vendors requirement big commitments from either the insurers or their customers, our solution was apparently a breath of fresh air. AcceptEasy embraces whatever IT landscape is there, whether systems can call our API or not. And we enable smooth experiences from the apps that people already have and use, like email and chat (but working seamlessly with apps and portals as well). Being friction-less is not just about the experience once all the prerequisites are in place. It’s also about avoiding prerequisites in the first place.
Are you not entertained!? To read more about the Show & Tell solutions that got people excited, read this blog.