How Networked Consumers are Changing Marketing & Communications

CHUBB Versicherungsgruppe

Vortrag vor internationalen CHUBB Partnerunternehmen

Hintergrund: Chubb ist ein weltweit tätiges Schweizer Versicherungsunternehmen, das vor allem in den Bereichen Direkt- und Rückversicherungen tätig ist.

Ziel des Vortrags: Zum Auftakt eines internationalen Partnertreffens wurde im Vortrag auf unterhaltsame Weise dargestellt, wie sich die Kommunikation unter Konsumenten verändert hat. Anhand von ausgewählten Beispielen wurde die Relevanz für die Versicherungsbranche aufgezeigt.

Even for supercomputers it can take a very long time to compute complicated questions. Most of you now one of the most famous super computers from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Deep Thought. It took him 7½ million years to come up with the „Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything“. Anybody knows? The answer is 42. Ladies and Gentleman, of course, I never started a talk with anything even close to the „Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything“. The reason I did this today, is that the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Douglas Adams also formulated a „set of rules that describe our reactions to technology.“ If somebody has an answer for everything and the universe – he couldn’t be wrong with the Internet. I think his rules still describe the way that people view technology.“


„Ladies and gentlemen, It is an honour for me to discuss with you today the development of online-consumers and how they are challenging todays marketing and communications. I will introduce the development of a new type of networked consumer that uses the Internet to exchange information about products and services. A type of consumers that make recommendations, exchange experiences or participates in the development of new products. This new type of consumer has evolved into an independent actor, that is pushing companies across industries to change existing practices and to transform their organization. Based on my practical experience in more then 100 industry projects, I will present selected examples and present some recommendations on how companies can respond.“

„Let us start with looking at the classical definition of Marketing that was shaped by the American professor Philip Kotler, we can see that networked consumers are changing all four Ps of the Marketing-Mix. In 1967, Kotler published his first Marketing Book that is now the world’s most widely adopted textbook in graduate schools of business. In 2010 – more than 40 years later, Kotler wrote a book called Marketing 3.0: „As consumers become more collaborative […]marketing has shifted to inviting consumers to participate in the company’s development of products and communications.“

3 Layers of Digital Transformation – As a framework to analyze the current development, I use a three-level-model of online-communications. The first is the individual level as a the starting point for most of the current developments in online communication and for a major part in what we call digital transformation today. Relevant questions on the individual layer: o How has the Internet changed the customer behavior? o How does it influence the process of decision-making? o What are the most relevant contributions of individuals? o How can we group people according to their degree of activity The second level is the technological level. It is based not only on actual software and available applications but also on how customers are using this technology. Main characteristic: dynamic websites and open interfaces allow new ways for exchanging information and products allow the Co-development of technology and user behavior The third level is the reason, why we are discussion the topic today. It is called the socio-economic level and it includes direct and indirect effects on social and economic structures – and on business.“

Internet as an example for Montessori – Last year I red a book on how the Internet is changing education. In this book the authors refers to the Internet as an example for Montessori education. The basic idea is that students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction. I can help you to help yourself. In this context it is interesting to have a look at some famous Montessori-graduates: Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia. Lary Page and Sergey Brin from google and Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon.“

„In the book Marketing 3.0. that I mentioned earlier Philip Kotler describes networked consumers as follows: „Consumers are no longer isolated individuals, rather they are connected with one another. In making decisions, they are no longer unaware but are informed. They are no longer passive but are active in giving useful feedback to companies“ (Kotler 2010) Maybe not always very useful. „Marketers today no longer have full control over their brands because they are now competing with the collective power of consumers „