Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2015 IMCA Annual Conference and Showcase Awards a success!
This year we had 160 registered attendees, 17 sponsors and 8 exhibitors. See a video of the highlights!
2015_IMCA_Showcase_Winners2.pdf (443 downloads)
Who is Talking About the IMCA Conference
To access the speaker presentations:
1. Log in as a user (click the link in the upper right corner)
2. Scroll to the very bottom of the page to the For Members section
3. Click on Member Downloads
4. Look for the presentation links that begin with "2015"
What People Are Saying:
It was great to meet everyone at the IMCA Conference. The board did an amazing job putting the conference together. It was wonderful to be involved and recognized for our work at Allstate.
Junnie Cross, Allstate
IMCA was a great experience to meet others in the field and learn. I'm glad I was able to judge awards as well, it provided some good ideas seeing all of the high quality work. I'm looking forward to getting more involved with IMCA in the future.
Charlie Riley, Lawley Insurance
Save the Date
Mark your calendars for the 2016 IMCA Annual Conference and Showcase Awards, which will take place June 19-22, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore on the Inner Harbor.
Event Details:Start Date: June 21, 2015
End Date: June 24, 2015
1808 West End Ave
Nashville, TN 37203
- General Sessions
- Break Out Sessions
2015 Presentation Descriptions and Speaker Bios
Presentation Title: Design for Action – A Blueprint for Content Marketing
Presentation Description: You invest so much time, effort and money on content marketing, yet it doesn’t seem to connect, or convert, the way it should. Why? Because you haven’t built your content around what your customers actually connect “with” — but only connection converts. Is there another way? Yes! Design your content around what you want customers to “do,” not what you want them to “know.” You will leave this session with a simple technique that will not only revolutionize how you look at your content marketing, but also help you plan messages designed to win your rightful share of customers’ minds… and wallets.
During this session, you will learn:
1. Why most content marketing fails… and what to do instead.
2. What “really” drives customers’ decisions.
3. Three questions to ask before crafting any message.
Speaker: Bill Ross, Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation
Presentation Title: Lessons You Never Thought You Would Learn From a Nonprofit: How the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Helped to Shape the Self Image of an Industry
Presentation Description: Bill Ross has spent more than a decade leading the strategic direction for growth of the insurance industry’s charitable foundation. Explore the lessons learned from their success and how a united industry strategy is changing the way an industry views itself and portrays its strengths and contributions broadly. This presentation will critically explore challenges facing the industry and how to drive new strategies and programs facilitated by the industry foundation to meet such realities.
Presentation Title: Maximizing the Value of Content Using Print, Television, Digital and Social Media
Presentation Description:Content may still be king, but delivery is a close rival today. Getting familiar with the vast array of media platforms now available is key to getting your message across. A look at what these are, and what opportunities and challenges they may spark.
Presentation Title: Finding and Engaging Today’s Insurance Customers
Presentation Description: Who are today’s most attractive insurance customers? What turns them on? What does this mean for your own marketing and communications activities? Insurance marketers have an ever-growing range of tools at their disposal. But, what works for one target segment may repel the next. Even the same customer may need to be managed differently depending on the customer’s immediate situation. This presentation will provide a look at how marketers can combine a better understanding of today’s insurance customers with data, branding and a comprehensive system of engagement to build compelling and consistent brand experiences with customers and prospects.
Speaker: Kevin Brandt, Director of Operations, Trusted Choice
Presentation Title: Effective Content and Analytics Strategies
Presentation Description: In today’s world, people spend less time engaged with traditional media and increasingly more time with content found online. In 2014, U.S. adults spent on average, 5 hours and 46 minutes per day consuming digital content. This figure surpasses the amount of time spent in any other medium by more than an hour. This dynamic presents an interesting opportunity for marketers as the focus begins to shift away from static advertising and towards relevant content that is designed to convert consumers into paying customers. Consumers have learned to pull the information they need to inform their every decision and unless your content is being found, or more importantly, found useful; you are losing valuable opportunities to grow your customer base and loyal brand followers.
This session will focus on several aspects of content marketing – including audience analysis, content writing, promotion and analytics. We’ll look at methods of identifying consumer behavior and how best to target those consumers with content that is relevant to them at a time that makes them most likely to engage. We’ll also discuss how to use analytics tools to track your efforts and identify opportunities and weaknesses.
Panel Title: Best Practices for Creating and Distributing Branded Content
Panel Description: Marketers and communicators are increasingly challenged to create more content in a widening array of channels. A panel of veteran insurance industry trade editors and content producers will share processes, advice and best practices they follow to create and distribute insurance-focused:
- Articles and essays
- Audio programming
- Video episodes, both short and long form
- Visual presentations, including integrated photography
- Multi-format re-purposed content, including newsletters, ebooks and short-form publications
Issues addressed will include:
- Topic selection
- Audience evaluation
- Working within confines of staffing and budget
Speaker: Sarah Pang , Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, CNA
Presentation Title: How Digital Strategies are Changing the Landscape of Marketing and Communications … It’s About More Than Just an App!
Presentation Description: Digital strategies are expanding the influence of marketing and corporate communications in organizations. From engaging employees and driving change management to leading successful engagement with customers and their agents and brokers, it’s about more than just an app … it’s about a restructure of your entire organization. Using real-life examples of how CNA’s digital strategy is changing the face of the company, and how CNA’s corporate communications department has restructured to include non-traditional marketing roles to meet the growing demands for compelling digital experiences, this presentation will provide attendees with key actions they can implement to monetize the impact of marketing activities and lead their organizations through today’s ever-shifting landscape.
Presentation Title: Welcome to the Inbound Revolution – How to Catch up to Your Competition, Generate Leads, Acquire Customers and Communicate Directly with Prospects, Opportunities and Customers
Presentation Description: Dan Tyre, an inbound marketing pioneer and executive of HubSpot, will explain the emergence of the inbound revolution and how you can leverage the fundamental change in business buying behavior to turn your insurance organization’s website into a lead generation machine. Although customer relationships are more important than ever, this presentation will explain what is inbound marketing, why it is important, five steps you can take to start inbound marketing at no charge and how to differentiate your competitive advantage online.
Presentation Title: Empowering Brand Momentum in Your Organization
Presentation Description: What do consumers think, feel and believe when they interact with your brand? In today’s competitive environment, building accountability around your brand is essential to building a great employee environment and a stronger customer experience. From the C-suite to marketing, public relations, communications, governmental affairs and sales, your brand needs to remain central to all employee actions, customer interactions and messaging. During his presentation, Jim will share strategies on how to discover who your organization is today, what you do differently, why you do what you do and what you are capable of becoming. He will discuss the common misconceptions about brand building—and walk you down the path necessary to lay the foundation to propel your brand forward. A powerful brand is the great driver of distinction and ultimately empowers greater clarity of vision, awareness, reputation and momentum.
Break Out Sessions
Breakout Description: Insurance firms worldwide seek to unlock the full potential of their biggest corporate asset – customer relationships. However, decades of operations and marketing siloed by product and channel have made this a distinct challenge. This session is focused on illuminating the capabilities that are the keys to unlocking the potential of customer relationships and to providing a practical roadmap for how to realize them.
Breakout Title: “Promise + Performance: How Well Is Your Brand Aligned?”
Breakout Description: Intentionality is at the core of high-performing Brands that deliver great value to their customers every day. In this interactive workshop, we will explore ways to evaluate your brand’s performance and make it more accountable. Whether you are global, national or regional, walk away with tools you can use to assess your brand’s performance across a variety of metrics:
Gain insights to think beyond your logo, beyond your most recent campaigns and beyond branding to better understand the core of your Brand story and delivery.
Please bring your mobile device or laptop to this session to take advantage of all this program has to offer!
Speaker: John Abbott, Director, Agency Communications, Allianz
Breakout Title: “Best Practices in Marketing Communications”
Breakout Description: Your marketing collateral may win an award, but is it as effective as it could be? Will your agency business partners be able to use it to drive sales, build relationships and outflank their own competitors? “Best Practices in Marketing Communications” is designed to help marketers at all levels of their organization improve their approach and results. Based on targeted research and 15+ years of direct industry experience, this workshop covers the entire value chain of marketing communications, starting with developing key messages and creating targeted distribution lists to responding to feedback and crisis situations. This interactive workshop is aimed at both B2B (carriers to agents) and B2C (agents to clients) audiences.
Discussion topics during this breakout will include:
- Developing key messages (“what’s in it for me?”)
- Identifying/segmenting the audience
- Managing distribution, Internally and externally
- Providing value-added materials (template letters, sales tips, talking points)
- Handling agent feedback (good and bad)
- Agency advisory councils and loyalty programs
Please note that while the focus of this workshop is on building stronger carrier-agent/broker relationships, anyone who is involved with the strategic development or tactical execution of marketing communications will leave with new tools, ideas and procedures designed to make them more successful.
Rachael Plummer, Channel Account Executive, HubSpot
Jim Flynn (@hultmaketing), President and Certified Brand Strategist, Hult Marketing
Karen Korsgard, APR, Director of Client Services, Hult Marketing
Breakout Title: “Turn Your Website into a Lean-Mean Lead-Gen Machine: Inbound Marketing Tools and Tactics”
Breakout Description: Is your company engaging inbound marketing tactics today…but you want to do better? Or maybe you heard Dan Tyre from HubSpot evangelize on the “Inbound Revolution” and you now know WHY inbound marketing is right for your business. In this workshop, Rachael and the HubSpot team will take you through some HOW-TO components for inbound marketing success. Join us for a hands-on workshop that will walk you through the current state of your own website using an insightful Inbound Marketing diagnostic tool. Every participant will have their own business website “graded” by the inbound marketing workshop team. The team will share best practices for inbound marketing success along with tips and tricks to transform your website into a lean, mean, lead-gen/sales machine. The workshop will focus on website optimization, creating effective marketing personas, the value of blogging and social media—and the creation of effective calls-to-action and insurance industry specific offers. The end result: more website traffic generating more sales qualified leads and more customers for your business. You will leave the workshop with tangible inbound marketing strategies customized to meet your business goals for 2015 and beyond. With these valuable tools, you will be positioned to start practicing BETTER inbound marketing immediately! Please come with your laptops ready for use!
Speaker: Kevin Brandt, Director of Operations, Trusted Choice®
Breakout Title: The Power of Cause Marketing
Breakout Description: According to Edelman’s annual Good Purpose study, 76% of the global consumers surveyed believe that it is acceptable for brands to support good causes and make money at the same time. And the majority of those surveyed also agreed that when quality and price are equal, social purpose ranks as the most important factor when selecting a brand. Capturing share of consumer’s mind grows more competitive every day in the insurance industry and in an environment where there is relatively little product and price difference, it’s important for insurance brands to look for opportunity to align with consumer’s growing affinity for brands that are socially responsible. These “good purpose” efforts can have profound impact on the consumer’s view of your brand and can be the determining factor in their decision to do business with you.
This session will take a look into the independent agent channel’s cause marketing efforts with Make-A-Wish America and the impact it has had on the channel’s Trusted Choice brand. We’ll discuss how to choose your charity of choice and forge a strategic alliance with that charity in order to build out your cause marketing strategy. We will look at specific examples of how this effort has garnered valuable consumer exposure through public relations, social media and various sponsored events around the country. We’ll also discuss how cause marketing can benefit your workforce and activate their participation with your cause marketing efforts.
Alternate Special Breakout Track
Breakout Title 1: “Begin With the End in Mind: How to Choose the Right Content for Your Content”
Breakout Description 1: Great communication relies on three key factors: having the right content in the right sequence with the right engagement. The problem? Most of us make two fatal mistakes during the very first step: choosing the right content. Instead of selecting content that drives action, we tell the story we want to tell. We also try to pack way too much information into our message, leaving audiences lost in a sea of details. What’s the solution? Put your audience first. Design around what they want, need and can act on, not YOUR story, features or benefits.
Building on Tamsen Webster’s Monday morning keynote address at IMCA’ 2015 Annual Conference, this session is a focused introduction to choosing the right (and only the right!) content for your communications.
In this session, you will learn:
- What drives us to make these two fatal mistakes.
- What you can do to overcome them
- Two tools you can use to make sure you get the right content in your communications every time.
Breakout Title 2: “Putting Your Content in Context: How to Get the Right Sequence for Your Content”
Breakout Description 2: To drive action, the content of your communications has to be in the right order. But too often the order that makes sense to us makes no sense to the audience that’s reading or listening. The result? At best, your content confuses your audience. At worst, it has no effect at all. To get the action you want, you need to design your content to work with, not against how your audience pays attention to and processes information.
Because this session builds directly on the information and tools shared in the previous breakout session (“Begin With the End in Mind: How to Choose the Right Content for Your Content”), only those who have attended that session should attend this one.
In this session, you will learn:
- Why working with the brain’s wiring is the key to getting the right sequence.
- A simple tool to make sure your content works with that wiring.
- The answer to how to always break through the noise and get your message heard.
Breakout Title 3: “Making Your Message Stick: How to Use the Right Engagement to Drive Action with Your Content”
Breakout Description 3: When we want people to act, we usually tell them all the reasons why acting makes sense. We give them the facts, the data and the statistics. We tell them what things ARE, but not what they MEAN. That’s all very rational, but people aren’t rational decision-makers. Solving this problem isn’t hard: we have to design communications to appeal to all the parts of the brain involved in decision-making. That means going beyond the basic facts to showing the big picture, both literally and figuratively.
This is the third of three sessions that build upon Tamsen Webster’s Monday morning keynote presentation. While it will be most useful to those who attended the two previous breakout sessions (“Begin With the End in Mind: How to Choose the Right Content for Your Content” and “Making Your Message Stick: How to Get the Right Engagement with Your Content”), attendance at one or both of those sessions is NOT required.
In this session, you will learn:
- Why engaging your audience’s “whole brain” is the key to getting them to remember, and act on, your message.
- Techniques for implanting your ideas most powerfully
- For spoken communications, how to maximize all the tools at your disposal — visual, verbal and written.
Our Wednesday Morning Roundtable Discussions Are Back!
Today, the insurance industry faces greater challenges than ever before. As a marketing and communications expert, you are faced with more options, more channels and more immediate feedback on how we communicate. The marketing and communications world and the constituents receiving our messages are rapidly changing. This year, we are bringing back the very popular Wednesday morning roundtable discussion sessions – allowing our members to interact and engage in a dialogue in an informal setting. In the past, our members have told us these are among the most valued sessions at the IMCA Annual Conference.
Topic 1: Marketer and Strategist Are the Same!
We all face similar problems. How do you prove to the C-Suite that you are a valuable member of the strategy team? We will discuss creating marketing plans with and for underwriting, claims, loss control and other internal clients to achieve corporate goals.
Topic 2: “Ripped From the Headlines” – How Will the Industry Face New and Emerging Risks?
Just pick up the newspaper and look at the headlines. Our world is rapidly changing – driven by the ever increasing pace of technology advancements. From driver-less cars, drones, the “Internet of Things,” to cyber fraud, pandemics and new forms of aggregation, the world of risk is changing rapidly. We will discuss that as an industry, we need to identify the new and emerging risks and how to understand and adapt our thinking to handle these risks.
Topic 3: “By the Time You Hear the Thunder…It’s Too Late to Build the Ark” – Crisis Communications
What may have taken a company years to build can be destroyed in hours. It’s not a question of if a crisis will arise, but when. The stakes have never been higher. Social media has changed the game – both in where the next crisis will arise but also in how organizations can respond. In this session we will share best practices, observations and ideas around crisis communications.
Topic 4: Is the Press Release Dead?
It depends who you ask. The larger question might be are we utilizing the right communications strategies to get our message out based on audience preference? During this roundtable discussion, we’ll talk about how social, print and web channels can complement each other and the advantages of having a flexible, multifaceted communications plan to reach an increasingly diverse audience.
Topic 5: LifeLock Discussion
Our 2015 IMCA Roundtable Sponsor, LifeLock, will be on hand to discuss identity theft and how it is affecting the insurance industry.
|Sunday, June 21, 2015|
|9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.||Exhibitor Set Up|
|3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.||Registration, Showcase Voting and Exhibits Open|
|6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.||Opening Reception||Sponsored by Lexis Nexis|
|Monday, June 22, 2015|
|7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.||Registration, Showcase Voting and Exhibits Open|
|7:00 a.m. – 8: 00 a.m.||Breakfast||Sponsored by Business Insurance|
|8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.||Welcome and Opening Remarks||by IMCA President, Mark Friedlander|
|8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.||Keynote Address||Design for Action – A Blueprint for Content Marketing by Tamsen Webster, Senior Vice President for Executive Communications at Oratium|
|9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.||General Session||Finding & Engaging Today’s Insurance Customers by Lynn Kesterson-Townes, Worldwide Commerce Marketing Leader, IBM|
|10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.||Networking break, Showcase Voting and Exhibits Open||Sponsored by The Co-operators|
|11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.||General Session||Effective Content and Analytics Strategies by Kevin Brandt, Director of Operations, Trusted Choice|
|12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.||Lunch and Torchbearer Award Ceremony||Sponsored by A. M. Best|
|1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.||Media Roundtable||Best Practices for Creating and Distributing Branded Content by Andy Simpson, Insurance Journal; Lee McDonald, Best’s Review; Rick Pullen, Leader’s Edge; Walt Gdowski, Rough Notes|
|2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.||General Session||How Digital Strategies are Changing the Landscape of Marketing and Communications … It’s About More Than Just an App! by Sarah Pang, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, CNA|
|3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.||Networking break, Showcase Voting and Exhibits Open|
|3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.||General Session||Welcome to the Inbound Revolution – How to Catch up to your Competition, Generate Leads, Acquire Customers and Communicate Directly with Prospects, Opportunities & Customers by Dan Tyre, Director, HubSpot|
|6:00 p.m.||Dine-Around Dinner|
|Tuesday, June 23, 2015|
|7:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.||Registration, Showcase Voting and Exhibits Open|
|7:00 a.m. – 8: 00 a.m.||Breakfast||Sponsored by Rough Notes|
|8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.||Welcome and Remarks||by IMCA President Mark Friedlander|
|8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.||Keynote Address||“Lessons You Never Thought You Would Learn From a Nonprofit” Leading Together: How the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation Helped to Shape the Self Image of an Industry by Bill Ross, Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation|
|9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.||Keynote Address||Maximizing the Value of Content Using Print, Television, Digital and Social Media by Kelly Evans, Co-Anchor of “Closing Bell”, CNBC|
|10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.||Networking break, Showcase Voting and Exhibits Open|
|11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.||General Session||Empowering Brand Momentum in Your Organization by Jim Flynn, President and Certified Brand Strategist, Hult Marketing|
|12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.||Lunch||Sponsored by Insurance Journal|
|1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Unlocking the Potential of Your Customer Relationships by Lynn Kesterson-Townes & Kara Bauer, IBM|
|1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Promise + Performance: How Well Is Your Brand Aligned? by Jim Flynn & Karen Korsgard, Hult Marketing|
|1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Best Practices in Marketing Communications by John Abbott, Allianz|
|1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Begin With the End in Mind: How to Choose the Right Content for Your Content by Tamsen Webster & JD Dietrich, Oratium|
|2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Turn Your Website into a Lean-Mean Lead-Gen Machine: Inbound Marketing Tools and Tactics by Rachael Plummer, HubSpot and Jim Flynn & Karen Korsgard, Hult Marketing|
|2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||The Power of Cause Marketing by Kevin Brandt, Trusted Choice|
|2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Unlocking the Potential of Your Customer Relationships by Lynn Kesterson-Townes & Kara Bauer, IBM|
|2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.||Breakout Session||Putting Your Content in Context: How to Get the Right Sequence for Your Content by Tamsen Webster & JD Dietrich, Oratium|
|3:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.||Networking break|
|3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.||Breakout Session||Best Practices in Marketing Communications by John Abbott, Allianz|
|3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.||Breakout Session||The Power of Cause Marketing by Kevin Brandt, Trusted Choice|
|3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.||Breakout Session||Turn Your Website into a Lean-Mean Lead-Gen Machine: Inbound Marketing Tools and Tactics by Rachael Plummer, HubSpot and Jim Flynn & Karen Korsgard, Hult Marketing|
|3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.||Breakout Session||Making Your Message Stick: How to Use the Right Engagement to Drive Action with Your Content by Tamsen Webster & JD Dietrich, Oratium|
|6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.||Showcase Awards Reception||Sponsored by SiteImprove|
|7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.||Showcase Awards Gala||With entertainment by #Project48|
|Wednesday, June 24, 2015|
|8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.||Breakfast|
|8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.||State of IMCA Report||by President Mark Friedlander|
|9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.||Roundtable Discussions|
|10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.||Networking Break|
|10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.||Roundtable Discussions|
|11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.||Closing Remarks||by IMCA 2015 Conference Co-Chairs Emily Hathcoat and Ryan Arndorfer|
Testimonials from past attendees:
“The 2014 IMCA Annual Conference was the second time I had been to this conference. As a new member, I found the sessions extremely enriching and helpful. I was able to implement several tips and techniques that I learned in my everyday work. It was great to make new friends with people who do the same thing that I do. It helps me validate what I do and pick the brains of some very intelligent people to learn new approaches and strategies.” – Paula Negro, Corporate Communications Director, Canal Insurance Company
“Marketing departments in insurance tend to be relatively small, so it’s easy to sometimes feel like you’re on an island. It’s gratifying to be able spend time and discuss ideas and challenges with people who have a similar role in your own industry. The content of the sessions is highly targeted and relevant to the insurance space, so it’s not like other conferences where the topics are only somewhat applicable.” – Leslie McNeice, Director of Group Communications & Advertising, AmWINS Group, Inc.
“I attended the Annual Conference in 2014. It was my first time back after a long hiatus and I was VERY impressed with the quality of the presenters, the strength of the agenda, and the networking opportunities. It was such a valuable experience, I’m bringing along a coworker to the 2015 Conference in Nashville!” – Laura K. Ditto, CPCU, CIC, Marketing Communications Manager, Central Insurance Companies
“This years conference has a dynamic agenda with a host of learning opportunities. And it’s in Nashville, the musical capital of the world! Come. Learn. Socialize.” – Jim Flynn, President/CEO, Hult Marketing, Inc. and 2015 Conference Speaker
Thank you to all of our 2014 Annual Conference Sponsors! If you are interested in being a sponsor, please contact us. For a list of of remaining sponsor opportunities, please contact our office at 952-928-4644.2015 IMCA Sponsor Brochure (331 downloads)