Advisers should embrace innovation and “think like start-ups” so that they can meet the changing and increasing demands of consumers, according to former Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett.
Speaking at Zurich’s 'Blueprint' for life insurance advice roadshow last week, the former Tasmanian Premier and now keynote speaker on innovation and technology, said owners of advice practices need to be in touch with what tools are available to make their business more competitive.
Mr Bartlett explained that as start-ups enter the market place with the latest innovations available to build into their business, they are better equipped than those that have been in business for five or 10 years.
This, he explained, is how advisers should be looking to operate their business, by assessing what is available in the market place and how they can introduce new tools to better prepare them to meet client needs and even regulatory change.
“Culture can strain strategy, and if you have a culture in your business that allows you to have a conversation about new ideas […] then you are going to have a lot of strategic options available to you,” Mr Bartlett said.
“If you have a closed culture that says we do it this way and we have always done it this way you are going to have far fewer strategic options.”
Mr Bartlett also said that just as start-ups try to learn as much as they can about their target markets through analysing data, pre-existing businesses should also be looking to do the same.
“In Australia we have extraordinary publicly available data sets from the ABS, from our census of the population, and often it is not our customer data but it is the overlay of some of these free data sets that gives us a real picture of what’s going on in our potential customer base,” he said.
“This deluge of data and finding more ways to make sense of it is a real threat but it is also a real opportunity for a business.”
Mr Bartlett explained this is particularly the case for better understanding clients’ expectations.
“In everything we do, we are leaving a trail of digital breadcrumbs behind us and [that] is accessible in one way or another by industry, business and even the government to understand what is going on.”
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