« Inbound Marketing: Why Social Media for Insurers Will Get Easier » inbound marketing-this image shows computer keyboard with the words social media embossed on on key to represent simplicityImagine a world where insurance marketers enjoy large, comfortable budgets for social media initiatives. Also imagine staffing levels that make the labor-intensive work of social business more manageable. Such a future may not be too far off.

Social Business Maturity Level Is Key

Altimeter Group sheds light on this subject in its report titled How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets. For this report, Altimeter Group surveyed 140 corporate Social Strategists (these are primary business decision makers at large corporations) and found that social business maturity drives social business spending. In 2011, Altimeter data shows that investment in 12 discrete social business categories will vary greatly between three social business maturity levels: novice, intermediate, and advanced.

What Insurance Companies Can Expect

For me, the key take away from this report is that how much your insurance company invests in social media marketing depends on how long your company has been marketing in the social media space. There are big differences in social media spending and staffing the longer social media initiatives are actively pursued in large corporations, such as insurance companies.

The report does a great job of outlining what insurance companies and other types of corporations can expect and plan for in terms of social media budgets and staffing. Some valuable information for insurance marketing professionals includes:

Insurance marketing professionals can expect social media marketing budgets to to increase as social media business matures.

Based on data collected from corporate social strategists, the Altimeter Group report states, “ more corporations undertake social business efforts, and social business becomes embedded into the company infrastructure, a majority of corporations… will see average social business budgets increase significantly.”  Altimeter research indicates that social business annual budgets at companies just starting to establish a social media program (novices) averages just $66,000. But, for companies that have been engaged in social business for awhile (intermediate and advanced) budgets can increase (on average) to more than $1 million annually.

Insurance marketing professionals can expect social media marketing teams to grow and spread cross-functionally across their organizations as social business matures.

According to Altimeter, the average size of early-stage social media marketing teams (novices) at corporations is just three to four people. But at corporations that have been involved in social business for awhile (intermediate and advanced), team size increases to as many as 20 people. Large corporations, such as insurance companies,  that can support this level of staffing often utilize cross-functional teams. This means that successful insurance company social business teams in the very near future may be comprised of individuals from diverse disciplines, including marketing, sales, underwriting and claims.

Find Your Insurance Company's Social Business Maturity Level

Use this cool tool created by Altimeter Group to determine your insurance company's social business maturity level. Click on the form below to download your own copy. inbound marketing - this image is a digital copy of the social business maturity quiz created by Altimeter Group

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