Section 3

The Seven Digital Capabilities That Drive Revenue Growth

So, which tools help highly digital agencies grow?

The Agent for the Future Index analyzed more than 20 digital capabilities. Among the digital tools and tactics analyzed, there were seven capabilities that were highly correlated with revenue growth. These opportunities span the range of complexity from fundamentals, to modernizations, to innovations.

7 revenue-driving digital capabilities

Hover over the pyramid to see the 7 digital tools most highly correlated with growth

Innovations

  • 7 Chatbots and AI
  • 6 Video quotes and policy reviews
  • 5 Paid social media advertising

Modernizations

  • 4 Live online chat
  • 3 Self-service portal

Fundamentals

  • 2 Online quotes
  • 1 Social media

Where are you in the digital adoption journey?

These seven capabilities provide a path forward for what agencies should prioritize on their journey to becoming an Agent for the Future.

However, as agents look at which capabilities to invest in, they should first think through where they are in their digital adoption journey. The tools build on each other, forming a hierarchy of digital capabilities.

The Seven Digital Capabilities That Drive Revenue Growth 4

Fundamentals

Fundamentals are easier to implement and have been widely adopted across the independent agent channel – by both high and low adopters. These include tools such as email, e-signature and texting, which have become table stakes for doing business.

The Seven Digital Capabilities That Drive Revenue Growth 5

Modernizations

Modernizations are slightly more advanced and may require more time and money to implement. These tools allow agencies to reach a wider audience of prospects and communicate with their customers in more personalized ways. In the modernizations section, there is a growing gap between high and low adopters. For example, 76% of high adopters used search engine optimization (SEO), compared with only 15% of low adopters.

The Seven Digital Capabilities That Drive Revenue Growth 6

Innovations

Innovations include the most complex, highest investment tools. Many of these tools build off other digital capabilities and may require some expertise to implement. For example, to effectively use paid social platform ads, an agency would need to have a strong social media presence and the tools to know how to create and target advertisements on each social channel. The tools in this category represent the most significant room for growth in the independent agent channel.

As the complexity increases, there is a larger gap between high and low adopters.

Digital tools used by high vs. low digital adopters

High digital adopters
Low digital adopters
E-signature
99%
83%
Social Media
97%
64%
Texting
93%
74%
Online quotes
92%
66%
Automated email/text
83%
28%
Email marketing
78%
15%
SEO
76%
15%
Video calls
72%
12%
Self-serve portal
70%
18%
Live online chat
65%
23%
Paid social platform ads
59%
8%
Marketing analytics
58%
3%
Video quotes and policy reviews
53%
7%
Google AdWords
50%
5%
AI and chatbots
29%
3%

The sheer number of digital capabilities available can feel intimidating, but the seven revenue-driving capabilities, coupled with the digital hierarchy, are a good starting point for agencies that want to improve their digital presence.

Home 2

Taking your agency digital may seem complicated,

but I wholeheartedly believe in keeping things simple and running on a lean budget … Once you have the core tools in place, the first step toward becoming more digital is simple: Stop putting it off. Customers will do business with you how you ask them to do business if you set the expectation and communicate the change.

Click here to read more of Erin’s tips for getting digital.

Erin Nutting
Owner, Integrity Insurance Services
Now that you know the different levels of digital adoption, click through to the next section to learn how to use digital to push your agency into the future.
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