Last 4 to 7 November took place the 2019 edition of the iconic Web Summit in Lisbon, sometimes referred to as the “Mecca of Technology”. The figures speak for themselves: 70,000+ attendees coming from 160+ countries gather in one place for 4 days, to connect and hear about the digital world from globally renowned top speakers.
This year, Lombard International Assurance was part of the Luxembourg delegation, composed of representatives from 50 Luxembourg based companies. The initiative was led by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and Luxinnovation. Anthony Kukaj, our Digital Marketing Leader was part of the delegation. On this occasion, we had a chat with an inspired Anthony, who shared his impressions from the event.
What makes the Web Summit such an important global event?
The figures speak for themselves. Bloomberg qualified the Web Summit as being the “Davos for Geeks”. I like this comparison, though I think referring to “geeks” only may appear slightly narrow-minded and confusing. I, for instance, am the Digital Marketing Leader for a company providing insurance-based wealth planning solutions for wealthy individuals, families and institutions. Not the kind of “geek” company one would instinctively expect at such an event. At this event the audience is very diverse, from start-ups to politicians, from tech companies to banks, from universities to NGOs. They all come at the Web Summit looking for new ideas, new connections and insightful keynotes from so many inspiring speakers. Among them, we had Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, Katherine Maher, CEO of Wikipedia, Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Michael Kratsios, CTO of the USA - White House, or even Stephen Schwarzman, Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone. Each speaker and attendee brings something different from his/her background and experience. It is very eclectic and I guess this is what makes this event so unique and important as it truly brings some new ideas and fosters creativity.
Why did you attend the event?
Innovation is not a privilege of start-ups. In the financial services sector, we also need to be innovative if we want to meet the fast changing needs and expectations of our clients and their advisers. Lombard International Assurance is the European leader in wealth planning solutions via unit-linked life insurance. We are 500+ people strong and operate across 20 markets worldwide. Our leadership position means that we must be at the forefront on digital marketing and innovation in order to be able to provide our clients and partners with the user experience they expect nowadays. Even when considering subscribing to a life insurance policy, people want to experience the same fluidity and easiness as when they book a hotel or a flight on their smartphones; with security also being instrumental in our sector. That’s why we need to continuously nurture our knowledge with new examples of case studies, new ideas and new concepts to keep up with the new trends in digital marketing that will allow us to stay one step ahead in our "user experience" approach. I went there to get this inspiration and I was not disappointed.
How does innovation and technology fuel your “user experience” approach?
When we talk about innovation, we’re not only considering technology. Technology in its own does nothing to enhance our service delivery towards our partners and clients. This is simply an enabler of capacity, and innovation relies mostly on our talented teams of forward thinking people and in the deep knowledge we have of our markets. This is crucial. Too often, when talking about digital marketing, we see specialists focusing only on the word “digital”, forgetting it means nothing without a sound marketing. If you don’t know the market you are addressing, if you don’t have that local expertise that makes you not just a service provider but an expert in your field, then even the most up-to-date digital tool will be of poor help for you.
How do you evaluate Lombard International Assurance’s positioning in terms of digital marketing leadership?
I must say that we are far behind Apple, but far ahead of our fellow competitors. The insurance sector is not well-known for its cutting edge technology and user experience mindset. As an organisation, we are trying to change this perception, including in our marketing activities. Some recent examples include the launch, in France, of a new version of Connect, our digital platform that empowers our partners to onboard their clients with a fully digital process, thanks to a secure electronic signature enabled system. First feedbacks are excellent and very positive. Earlier in the year, we had launched a website dedicated to the French market, in order to provide our French partners with an informative platform where they can find relevant insights on our solutions and activities. We also launched a related quarterly digest which gives them a summary of all our activities and keeps us closer to them. It is not rocket science but it is highly effective and well perceived. I am a firm believer that the ability to provide the best user experience to stakeholders contributes to keeping us in a leading position in our sector.
Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist
Lombard International Assurance