Decoding the Future of Insurance Marketing: IMCA Ignite 2023


I am gathering my thoughts about the IMCA event I attended this week in Nashville. A lot of great and valuable industry insight and knowledge was shared. To me, maybe the most important thing is that I was able to talk with people who have the same or similar challenges and struggles as I do. Being a part of the marketing department in an insurance industry company carries one (ugly) truth – you will never be a part of the core business. It might sound discouraging, but thanks to the conversations I had and experiences I heard and exchanged with my peers, I feel great about being in the position where I am right now. My key takeaways from this year’s event are:

  1. Adapt to new technology, and don’t pretend it is not there (because there is a whole bunch of others who are already using it). ChatGPT is equally capable of producing generic text as Canva or Photoshop are capable of producing generic designs. But also, if you infuse ChatGPT with personality, as you would with Canva when creating a design, it can work wonders. It was amazing talking to other early adopters of AI and how it makes our lives better.
  2. Be honest about your ESG (environmental, social, and governance), and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives, actions, and practices. The only thing that is worse than not having statements and reports on these topics is being dishonest about them. There are a lot of things the industry needs to learn and start to practice to make sure we are on the right path. The more different voices we hear, the better the perspective is. Nurture cultures of kindness, understanding, support, and growth. Everything else is passé.
  3. Marketing will never be a part of the core business in the industry. Sure, our authority and seat at “the table” might vary from organization to organization, but in a time of crisis guess whose budget gets serious cuts first. Bingo, it is marketing. I have heard from many of my peers who are constantly questioned by senior management about results and returns. They often struggle to clarify the role of marketing in all of this. Marketing results are simply not always measurable or clear, but they are there. One of our main tasks as marketers in the industry is to educate others on marketing. I don’t understand accounting and always appreciate education when I have uncertainties with money (usually it is where did it all go from my account). The same is for marketing, take time to educate your executives and decision-makers on your vision and what you think will be a positive outcome of your ideas and activities.
  4. Network, make connections, create friendships, and then network some more. This was my second IMCA event. Last year in Orlando I felt very lost between not knowing anyone, being jet legged, and trying to figure out who is who. Once the event was done I nurtured all my new contacts and friendships and joined an IMCA Promotions & Communications committee. So this year, I felt like I know I am with my people. Knowing a lot of them, not just for “Hi, how are you?” but for long and meaningful conversations. And then those people introduced me to the new people so the network is constantly growing. And the feeling is great.
  5. Things are changing, and so should we. I had a chance to talk with a lot of people who are in marketing departments, agency owners, and seasoned marketing professionals, and we all agree on the same: The change is coming. Ride the wave from the beginning, don’t come last to the party. It will be a challenge to shift the industry away from its old ways (as things are working for a long time the way they are, right) but it will happen. Biologically it will happen. Boomers will clock out one day soon. Gen X will play golf or cruise the Mediterranean. Then it will be on us to steer the ones that come after us. So let’s start the change now and be the ones that will lead the next generation.
  6. It is important to work hard/smart, but it is also important to have fun. Not all the time, but have fun as much as you can. We do have reports, plans, and strategies that we need to put together just so we can redo them 5 times before we see them through. But in all honesty, a few days ago while at the conference I was catching up on emails, and several chat correspondences and trying to connect all the dots I missed. There was only one thought in my head: god, I love this so much. I hope it is the same for you.

So there you have it, my two cents on IMCA. If you made it this far in reading, thank you from the bottom of my heart.