To meet the digital consumer from a marketing and lead generation perspective, the strengths and weaknesses would lie in the agent or agency’s ability to prospect digitally, the agent’s digital savviness, and ultimately the digital tools the agent has access to—and therein lies the importance of a carrier providing its own tools for the agent to use. Here are the different distribution models and their respective strengths and weaknesses when it comes to supporting digital:
Figure 4: SWAT of Distribution Models
Another model carriers are increasingly leveraging is the Pseudo-Direct Model (Direct-to-Consumer processes augmented by agent assignment with reduced commissions). While the strengths, weaknesses and threats are largely the same as “Direct to Consumer with no agent” above, the commission is no longer zero; however, this is often offset by agents providing service resulting in a smaller call center and reduced call center costs; channel conflict may be reduced.