Data and Analytics Asia Q+A: Michael Lamb, CCW

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Ahead of the upcoming Insurance Data Analytics Asia 2014 conference in Hong Kong, Postonline interviews a key speaker.

Briefly describe your role and your company.
CCW Global is a comprehensive general insurance brokerage founded in May 2012.

The company aims to simplify the process of obtaining insurance cover in Hong Kong by offering high quality advice and in-depth educational services. We work with individuals and companies on the full range of coverage options with the exception of long term investment linked and MPF products.

I joined CCW in January 2013 from my position as marketing manager at Pacific Prime, and took over the CEO role at CCW in May of this year; succeeding David Herratt (former CEO of William Russell (Hong Kong)) who is still with our company as sales director.

The board gave me a mandate to drive digital growth for the company, and 99.9% of all our marketing activities are centered on the internet with very little traditional marketing or distribution being done (virtually no above the line marketing campaigns have been launched since the company has been in existence).

I'm working to further expand our digital solutions and we have several projects in the pipeline which will see CCW become a leading provider of internet based insurance broking services over the next 24 months.

Describe a key trend for brokers regarding data and analytics in broking in Asia
The internet is being seen more and more as a viable distribution platform. For example, in the Asian health insurance market seven years ago there were only one or two brokers actively focusing on the internet. Across the region now there are upwards of 10 major players.

Competition is increasing at a phenomenal rate, so brokers are having to get far smarter with their data.

Whereas conversion funnel analysis may not have been a priority even two years ago, today failing to understand where users are dropping out of the conversion process can completely derail an entire SEO (search engine optimisation) or SEM (search engine marketing) campaign whilst giving your competitors the edge they need to succeed.

We're really only starting to see big data make a play locally within the broking market. This may have been due to the limited resources brokers have in comparison to providers, and a data team would not have been a major hiring focus.

However, as data gives you the ability to eke out a few more percentage points in average conversion numbers, more brokers are looking at this as good ROI value moving forward.

Is the insurance industry behind the curve compared to other industries when it comes to data and analytics?
Hong Kong is less mature than the US or parts of Europe when it comes to digital distribution - of which data and analytics play a huge part.

If the insurance industry isn't looking at the internet as much as it should be then we're probably not looking at the mass of data offered by the internet either.

This can be seen in the relatively underserved aggregation space. Although there are a number of new entries on this front, overall the sector is severely lagging offerings like E-surance or Progressive in the USA.

I don't expect this current state to last for too much longer, but it is definitely the case right now.

You can hear Michael Lamb talk at Insurance Data and Analytics Asia 2014 in Hong Kong on 14 October. For more infomation see here

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