Trans­for­ma­tive Ef­fect

Digital Insurance - - COVER STORY - By Nathan Go­lia

In­sur­ance isn’t the only in­dus­try that’s been rocked by changing cus­tomer ap­petites and at­ti­tudes. The me­dia world was ar­guably one of the rst to see ma­jor changes in how its prod­uct was con­sumed. It was in that world where Farm­ers’ head of dig­i­tal, Amanda Reier­son, honed skills that she brought to the in­surer. Be­fore com­ing to the in­sur­ance in­dus­try, Reier­son worked for the Los An­ge­les Times, DirecTV, and Ya­hoo in b-to-b and b-to-c mar­ket­ing roles.

At Farm­ers, she is re­spon­si­ble for all the com­pany’s dig­i­tal as­sets, as well as its CRM strate y and cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. She says that there’s lots of op­por­tu­nity to im­prove in­sur­ance’s rep­u­ta­tion.

“We’ve moved to a real on-de­mand, 24/7 en­vi­ron­ment for all kinds of brands,” Reier­son says. “Cus­tomers are used to hav­ing what they want when they want it — its a self-serve world.”

That doesn’t mean that Reier­son came into Farm­ers like a whirl­wind up­end­ing the es­tab­lished agent chan­nel. A ma­jor part of her job, she says, is en­abling agents to fo­cus on what they’re best at, and let cor­po­rate pick up other tasks.

“Our agents re­ally thrive on the oneon-one en­gage­ments with cus­tomers,” she says. “We’re an­swer­ing cus­tomers’ needs as far as self-ser­vice, but the beauty of dig­i­tal is that it takes some of the sim­ple tasks o an agents desk.”

Through­out Reier­son’s ten­ure, Farm­ers has recorded an in­crease in leads gen­er­ated on­line. From there, she says, it’s about the hando to agents and mak­ing sure that they have the ma­te­ri­als they need to suc­ceed in the dig­i­tal world. Reier­son re­cently launched an ini­tia­tive to de­liver new, stan­dard­ized web­sites for 14,000 Farm­ers agents, and has guided a uni ed so­cial me­dia strate y from the brand down to the agent over the course of her four-year Farm­ers ca­reer.

“If I’m do­ing my job right, I’m getting all those dig­i­tal tools out there so agents can do what’s right for them,” she ex­plains. “We nd that so­cial me­dia re­ally hu­man­izes our agents, and we have a pro­gram around it where we pub­lish con­tent that agents can use to push out to their own cus­tomers. When we’re re­ally de­liv­er­ing on that brand prom­ise and try­ing to give cus­tomers added value, that is a whole move­ment big­ger than just so­cial.”

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion isn’t just about new tech­nolo­gies, Reier­son says. It’s also about culture, and she is work­ing to de­velop an in­no­va­tive one at Farm­ers.

“Through that culture of in­no­va­tion not only are we mov­ing into more ag­ile de­liv­ery mod­els, but also look­ing at the startup com­mu­nity and where we see po­ten­tial tech­nolo y in­no­va­tors we can bring in to help achieve our goals,” Reier­son says. “We al­ways want to be one of the rst movers. The great thing about dig­i­tal is that it’s a great test-and-learn plat­form”

On the pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment side, Reier­son is part of Farm­ers’ Women’s In­clu­sion Net­work of men­tors and role mod­els, and is one of the group’s most soughtafter men­tors. Re­cently, she cre­ated and led a work­shop on build­ing a per­sonal brand and pro­vided women at Farm­ers with her per­spec­tive on how to build the con dence to push their ca­reers for­ward.

“I’m re­ally im­pressed by the in­vest­ment in not just women’s ca­reers, but ev­ery­one’s ca­reers, for that mat­ter,” she says. “If I look at my sta , I have a good hy­brid of folks that have been at the com­pany for a long time, and new fresh tal­ent that you’re bring­ing into. The com­pany re­ally in­vests in its em­ploy­ees.”

De­spite the fact that her job tech­ni­cally falls un­der the mar­ket­ing um­brella, Reier­son is aware of the im­pact of its ini­tia­tives on the larger tech en­vi­ron­ment and works closely with Farm­ers’ IT de­part­ment.

“If you’re go­ing to be a good mar­keter, you need to un­der­stand your sys­tems,” she says. “We are all driv­ing to­ward shared goals.”

Amanda Reier­son,

Head of Dig­i­tal, Farm­ers In­sur­ance

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