My wife and I had our first baby one month ago. The excitement and awe are slowly giving way to pragmatic concerns. Like, what’s the downside of using a pacifier? Is it really necessary for Baby Weber to live in organic cotton clothing? Isn’t it time to start a college funding plan? And where are we going to buy the extra life insurance that we ought to have?
While random thoughts on pacifiers and baby clothing are now—somewhat incredibly—interesting to me, the issues most relevant to this audience are the latter two. And my perspective on them in week four of my newborn’s life is that insurers are strangely absent in helping me to think about financial products.
While the insurers sit idly by, my wife and I have received direct mail offers from photographers, clothing stores, umbilical cord blood banks, and even a local private school. (He’s a month old, and I’m supposed to enroll him in private school already!?) Babies R Us e-mails me weekly specials. I’ve put myself on some of these mailing lists, so I’m not mad. I appreciate the attention, for once.
I’m thinking insurers must be able to access the same databases as everyone else, in which my name now has a checkbox in the New Parent columns. But if they do, they aren’t working those databases very well.
Come to think of it, I didn’t even get any insurance material in the baby welcome kit from the hospital where he was born. Formula and diapers yes, insurance no. The story on life events marketing in insurance is age-old, but at least in my home town no one seems to be acting on it.
The good news is that many carriers appear to be building out infrastructure in a way that supports life events marketing. For example, needs analysis solutions are getting very good at teasing out the customer’s story. Web-based self service is generating tons of data that can be mined for relevance. “Practice management” tools are integrating the workflows and data across front and back offices. Now if someone aims those tools at the thousands of birth announcements appearing in newspapers every day, I might get the offers for financial products that every new parent needs.
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