The acronyms SoMoClo and SMACK refer to the increasing intersection of various relatively new technologies and how they allow any business to become more efficient. According to a report from Vertafore, an insurance agency’s ability to integrate these new technologies into their business practices will be key to attracting a new generation of producers. The report points out that, according to the IIABA, within the next 10 years half of the current insurance workforce will reach retirement age. If even just a majority of those workers do actually retire, that will leave a large hole in many insurance agencies that will have to be filled by younger generations.
The Vertafore report contains a good general description of the significant differences between the three generations that are now of working age, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980). and Generation Y (born after 1980). In order for any business to continue to be successful, it is necessary to understand and appreciate these differences. One of the major differences between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y and to a lesser extent Generation X is the central role that technology has assumed in the lives of younger people. It has become their primary means of social interaction and they are used to conducting much of their activity over the internet. Another significant difference is that the younger generations are more focused on getting the job done than on how many hours they are in the office working.
So an agency that does not have the ability to allow its employees to work out of the office on their own schedules, while being connected to the office, will not be a place where the members of Generation X and Y want to work. That’s where SoMoClo and SMACK come in. The former term refers to the intersection of social media, mobility and the cloud and the latter to the intersection of social media, mobility, and big data analytics. How these intersections of technology are changing the way that agencies can, and some have argued must, do business going forward was the subject of an article in the January issue of IA Magazine.
In the IA Magazine article, a Kansas personal lines agency owner explained how he was able to use SoMoClo technologies to run his agency from China for two years, without any of his customers knowing he was there. Those technologies also let him run what amounts to a virtual agency, as all of his support staff work from their homes. The use of SMACK technologies permits the collection and analysis of huge amounts of data about an agency’s target customers and the development of a more targeted marketing approach that uses LinkedIn and other social media to deliver customer specific marketing messages. The ability to access this and other data remotely allows a producer to give an answer to a customer or potential customer’s question quickly and easily.
I would be interested to know what my readers are doing in these areas. Please feel free to share your experiences with me and my audience.