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For 30 years, LIMRA MarketFacts has been the premier publication for financial services executives worldwide. Our mission is to bring the latest, most pertinent industry information to our readership — whether it is derived from industry research, company best practices, or insightful thought leadership. LIMRA MarketFacts offers unmatched content by inviting authorship from representatives of companies in LIMRA’s vast member roster, as well as from LIMRA’s internal subject matter experts and global thought leaders impacting the financial services arena.

Why is LIMRA MarketFacts different from other industry trade publications? Because we concentrate on developing in-depth, insightful articles devoted to the critical issues of the day impacting financial services industry decision-makers. By blending exclusive perspectives from LIMRA’s renowned research team and marketing experts with the industry’s top thought leadership, LIMRA MarketFacts provides the latest information on how companies can maximize their marketing and distribution effectiveness in an ever-evolving environment.

In these turbulent times, it is imperative that you have access to the best thinking on the forces driving change in the financial services industry. LIMRA MarketFacts is the vehicle that industry executives turn to most for LIMRA’s longstanding brand in research excellence.

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MarketFacts 2 - 2015

LIMRA MarketFacts

Number 2, 2015

by Jafor Iqbal, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute; Cecilia M. Shiner, FSRI, FFSI, ALMI, ACS, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute

The LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute recently conducted a study that lays important groundwork for devising an attitudinal market segmentation schematic that can help firms and advisors successfully deliver customized offerings to affluent pre-retirees and retirees. It provides “frames” for those solutions in a context that leads to greater levels of investor receptivity and higher adoption of sustainable income strategies that can improve investor outcomes in retirement. This article shares some notable findings.

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by LIMRA's MarketFacts Quartely

In this View From the Top feature, we talked with Mike Concannon, Executive Vice President of Group Benefits with The Hartford. Here, he shares his perspective on today’s employee benefits landscape, what the industry must do to stay relevant, and how The Hartford is taking action.

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by Neal Shah, LIMRA

With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the United States, small-business owners (SBOs) have been struggling to figure out how the legislation will affect them. This article highlights key findings of a study LIMRA recently conducted with SBOs to gauge their knowledge of the ACA and assess how beneficial or detrimental they think the changes will be. It addresses medical benefits, use of exchanges, knowledge of SHOP exchanges, perceived effect on the business, and exchange enrollment.

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by Michelle Jones, LLIF, National Life Group

In this article, Michelle Jones, Assistant Vice President of Marketing with National Life Group, reflects on the extensive branding “refresh” her company recently experienced. What does it mean to be a brand in our industry? Why is brand important? What impact has social media had on brands? Who builds a brand — the company or its customers? She shares necessary elements for success and emphasizes that people (specifically, employee actions and customer perceptions) ultimately define a brand.

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by Kristen Gillis, ALMI, LIMRA

In recent years life insurers have found success in many Latin American markets. These markets also still represent some of the industry’s greatest growth potential worldwide. To take advantage of these opportunities, it is beneficial to get to know exactly who will be purchasing the products and understand what drives their attitudes and behaviors. This article addresses some of those questions by sharing highlights from LIMRA’s Life Market Assessment study conducted with Latin American consumers.

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by Anita Potter, LIMRA

This article explores the definition, objectives, popularity, and benefits of financial wellness programs through the lens of both today’s employers and employees. It shares recent LIMRA research on full-time employees’ state of financial wellness, their opinions on programs they have attended, and types of financial education programs they would like to see their employer offer — and how this all may impact benefits providers.

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by LIMRA's MarketFacts Quartely

In this interview, we talk with Jeffrey R. Brown, Ph.D., the William G. Karnes Professor in the Department of Finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Director of the Center for Business and Public Policy in the College of Business. He also serves as Associate Director of the NBER Retirement Research Center and previously was an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors (2001–2002). Here, he discusses his various roles and initiatives, shares his views on whether we face a retirement “crisis,” and explains how his research is currently being used in Washington.

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by Breana Macken, LIMRA; Emily Tracey, LIMRA

For the industry to maintain its sales capacity, many companies will need to shift from only recruiting tenured financial professionals to also recruiting inexperienced candidates — the majority of which are Millennials, a generation that merits attention for many reasons. This article covers how companies can invest in recruiting and training more young advisors now and benefit from focusing on “quality versus quantity” hiring practices. They can begin to achieve this by spreading awareness of the career, educating Millennials about its benefits, working with higher education institutions, and creating formal internship programs.

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by Polly Carpenter, Carpenter Group

Companies today are driven to find new ways to “slice and dice” their markets and hone their competitive edge by identifying and targeting specific segments. It’s no wonder, considering two factors characterizing the current environment: the increasing prevalence of Big Data and consumers’ demand for messages and offerings tailored specifically to them. Thus, it is axiomatic that you can’t achieve that level of personalization by treating your customer base as a single, undifferentiated mass. Segmentation is essential, and this article provides a valuable perspective on its application to financial services.

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by Clara Shih, Hearsay Social

To avoid being “disrupted” (made obsolete), advisors need to embrace and apply new technologies and tools across multiple channels. In this article, Hearsay Social Chief Executive Officer and Founder Clara Shih discusses how though today’s advisors will face competition from a growing threat of “robo-advice” firms, direct online channels, and Big Data automation, they don’t have to experience a decline in their client base.

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by Ann B. Glover, Voya Financial

In this article, Voya Financial’s Chief Marketing Officer Ann Glover describes the journey of her organization’s recent rebranding effort and shares best practices and principles they applied along the way. She discusses the naming process, their commitment to research-based messaging and targeting, key factors that bring the new brand to life, and Voya’s rebranding imperatives.

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by Emily Tracey, LIMRA

Recent LIMRA research finds that more than half of today’s financial professionals found financial services terms confusing when they first started in the industry. Of course, these professionals strengthen their understanding of the terms and products and, with industry training and experience, they learn how to simplify the life insurance conversation with clients and to effectively communicate product information. This article highlights key insights and themes financial professionals conveyed in the study.

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by Richard I. Kolsky, Kellogg School of Management

While the road to defining and clearly communicating a winning brand can include many potholes, it is still a road worth traversing, as strong brands not only command price premiums for comparable products, but they also guide companies to spend money far more wisely. This article lays out a three-step journey to help companies build a stronger brand: First, clearly articulate brand positioning. Second, objectively evaluate your brand. And third, focus brand-building tactics to meet specific marketing challenges.

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by Jennifer L. Douglas, LIMRA

This article shares recent LIMRA research around the issue of brand awareness in the industry and answers the following questions: Are insurance companies top of mind among Americans? What types of consumers are more or less in tune with players in our industry? How long — and how concentrated — is the list of companies that come to mind? And why do these companies come to mind?

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by Neil Marcus, MetLife

We all know that insurance — both the product itself and the process of researching and purchasing it — can be complex, confusing, and overwhelming. As a result, many customers are unsure about where to turn for help and how to act on what they need to do to protect themselves and their families. For these reasons, the relationships insurers have with their customers must be more than just transactional. Here, Neil Marcus, Assistant Vice President of Market Intelligence with MetLife, shares a powerful approach they have taken to understand what motivates consumers.

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Mary-Beth Selby


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