We were in attendance for the 2012 IRI Marketing Summit, which took place at the Hilton Hotel in Manhattan from April 1 – April 3rd. Over 400 retirement industry professionals were present for three days of discussion surrounding the latest retirement and annuity marketing and sales strategies.
The opening general session and keynote address from Ken Dychtwald, President and CEO of Age Wave, kicked off the conference with a bang. Mr. Dychtwald delivered a presentation loaded with engaging video clips and visual representations of demographic stats on retirees, the lifestage demands of retirement and the importance of trust in the advisor to consumer relationship.
Another general session that we found particularly interesting was delivered by Joe Pine, Co-Founder of Strategic Horizons, LLP. Mr. Pine discussed the evolution of our economy from a 90% agrarian economy to a manufacturing economy, and most recently a service economy. Mr. Pine stressed that he views the new economy as an “experience economy”, citing the examples of several companies, such as American Girl, Rainforest Café, and ING Direct Café. Despite operating in different industries, all of these companies not only offer consumers products or services, but also a customized experience. Mr. Pine suggests that financial professionals must find a way to provide an experience for their clients; one that is both memorable and marketable.
The breakout sessions focused on a number of different topics, including social media and retirement income strategies and trends. The conference concluded with an address from Terry Jones, Founder of Travelocity.com and Kayak.com, focusing on exploring opportunities for innovation through online mediums.