February 18, 2014
It’s one thing to say where you want to go, but you still have to know how to get there. If it’s a physical journey like a quick trip to the local store, a meandering trek across Europe, or a digital or business technology initiative that your company is after, getting to the destination or end state demands a road map. Maps show all the options to get a traveler to the destination; routes are a subset of options to get the mobile traveler there In a hurry? You’ll take the efficient and direct interstate. Want to explore and learn? Your route will take you on back and scenic roads.
We wanted to learn just how mobile insurance executives took to the mobile road after their strategic plans were approved. Throughout Q4 2013, we talked to insurance executives in the US, UK, France, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, and Turkey who were responsible for turning that mobile strategy into solutions that engaged with consumers and agents. Crafting a roadmap to guide the mobile journey, stood out as especially key because mobile initiatives are hampered if the execution teams fail to consider the myriad internal and external factors that impact delivery time lines.
One European carrier we spoke with put it best: “There’s lack of vision, a lack of focus, and too many people are playing around the edges. That’s giving mobile a bad name in terms of costing money and not giving any benefit for it. List out and create a road map, so you’re clear about what you’re focused on and why.”
Effective Road Maps Embody Three Elements
- Objective internal capability assessments. When you developed your mobile strategy, you identified the mobile services you would provide to your stakeholders and the capabilities needed to underpin those services. Compare these capabilities with the results of your assessment, looking where you have the necessary skills, existing functionality, methodologies, and relationships. Then assess current capabilities that you need to reshape and where you have large gaps
- A deep understanding of customer mobile behavior and expectations. It’s one thing to have the technical chops to deliver the mobile functionality on the roadmap, but it’s more important to have the execution grounded through a deep understanding of how customers interact with you in mobile touchpoints, what they would like to do, and how that might evolve in the future
- The means to communicate how mobile offerings solve customer problems. Your policyholders and agents won’t use your mobile apps or sites if they don’t know these helpful tools exist. Changes to your mobile apps and sites should be communicated to customers and agents, together with a clear message about what has been improved and what benefits this brings to them.
Keep in mind that the biggest challenge of the mobile road mapping process will be the obstacles you will face during execution: unanticipated technology gotchas, competitive pressures, internal politics, getting resources, persuading vendors to deliver in compressed timeframes, and reacting to delays in delivery timelines are just a few. All of these force mobile insurance teams to make some hard choices about what and when something is delivered, and that requires strong negotiation skills. Want to read more? Check out our recent report on mobile insurance roadmaps.