I had the pleasure of traveling to London and Stockholm this week for business. I gave a speech at Forrester's EMEA Marketing Forum, and spoke yesterday morning to group of insurance internet executives in Stockholm. After my speeches, I had a chance to speak with many insurance executives to discuss their views on trends and problems their firms are facing. It was both refreshing and disappointing to hear that insurance eBusiness, marketing and IT executives face many of the same challenges across the globe. This blog is less about consulting recommendation, and more about a humanity check and introspection on how interconnected we are within this industry.

That concept is probably obvious to many of you, but it was poignant for me —a Midwesterner born and reared (chickens and cows are raised) in Urbandale, Iowa. My first job was as a database marketing specialist for GuideOne Insurance based in West Des Moines, Iowa working on agent lead generation programs (3x5 direct mail leads sent in the mail to agents—what a concept). I have been with Forrester now for over a year. We have access to consumer and IT spend data across North America and Europe. We analyze differences in consumer behavior related to researching and purchasing insurance across channels and countries. Many of you are aware of such differences, such as the UK's preference to purchase auto insurance online and through comparison sites. Spain continues to lag behind other EU countries with online insurance, distributing much of its insurance through banking channels.

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