As we enter into the summer months, we find ourselves listening to great music and pondering the future of our businesses. This week, I found myself taking some insights into the digital distribution of insurance. Specifically, applying lessons learned from the Grateful Dead and Rihanna.
The Grateful Dead was the most iconic band of the Bay Area and had an almost rabid fan following. Yet they have only ever had one # 1 hit. No super bowl ads, no celebrity sponsorships, no partnership with industry giants.
Rihanna, on the other hand, cranks out #1 hit after #1 hit, has had super bowl ads, celebrity sponsorships, and industry partnerships.
So which would you say is the more applicable model for the digital distribution of insurance? The artist who cranks out #1 hits, or the band that has a zealous following?
You might think the answer would be Rihanna, but I see the Grateful Dead model working more successfully, in terms of the digital distribution of insurance.
Why is this?
Today, the most successful digital distributors are on the cutting edge of the customer experience, acquisition, and retention.
A marketing partnership that generates 5 leads per month would barely excite the smallest local agency in the country. However, systemizing that lead generation opportunity to get 5 leads over and over again, consistently, from multiple sources, leads to ongoing and continued success.
Insurance giants like Geico or Progressive are based more on the “hits” business model. Their focus is solely preoccupied with how to market whatever new product to their client base, and not at all on the client base itself.
Not everything can be a hit. Nowadays “misses” can actually be just as lucrative as hits. You could even call them niches. The Grateful Dead demonstrates this concept fairly clearly.
The Grateful Dead tailored their shows to the preferences of the fans in a certain geographical area. They had a song catalog that numbered well into the hundreds, and would play specific songs depending on where they were–for example, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Tennessee Jed, El Paso. They tailored their songs around their shows and not the other way around. A ticket to a Grateful Dead show was a ticket to an experience.
Rihanna and other pop stars are considered the tastemakers of the music industry. Rihanna is probably already working on the definitive sound for summer 2019 right now. If Rihanna doesn’t crank out hit after hit, her fan base will move on to the next big thing–from a new influencer or tastemaker.
Certain digital distributors are going after the hit model of insurance, but as of yet have been unsuccessful. But they’d better get their checkbook ready, because Superbowl ads cost money.
Digital distributors who are able to provide the ultimate customer experience are going to attract and maintain a loyal clientele. Meanwhile, a company who seeks to crank out a “hit” but fails to cater to their customers and what they need will be at a loss when the next big thing comes around.
In summary, success is based upon long-term, measurable achievements, not a short-term flash in the pan.