Emerging Trend Analysis Shapes Strategic Planning Process

The Challenge

emerging_trendsA leading insurer and retirement plan provider engaged Corporate Insight’s Consulting Services team to identify emerging trends and issues that could impact the firm at the enterprise level over the next three to five years. Our work was intended to help shape strategic planning efforts across multiple divisions.

The Solution

To develop our analysis, the Corporate Insight team considered a broad range of political, economic, social, technological and environmental factors, focusing on their potential effect on the client firm and the broader competitive landscape. These trends emerged from our experience tracking the financial services industry for over two decades, our own proprietary surveys of consumers and financial advisors, numerous in-depth interviews with subject matter experts and clients, and third-party research.

Through a collaborative effort with the client, we identified 10 key trends that could have a direct impact on the client’s business before the end of the decade. These included such concepts as the rise in partnerships between financial institutions and fintech startups and the growing demand for more flexible products and on-demand services. We provided background information and evidence supporting each trend, discussed its potential implications for the client firm and included any responses from competitors. We also identified several other noteworthy trends with a less meaningful effect on the client’s business, like the increasing adoption of biometrics for client authentication. Our comprehensive report collected all of these trends into a single document that was circulated among senior strategy professionals within the firm.

We presented our analysis to the client’s strategy team on-site and engaged in a lengthy Q&A with participants to help stimulate discussion of the strategic implications of our findings. We then conducted several small group activities designed to narrow the list of 10 key trends down to the three with the greatest potential impact on the firm. Our consultants then helped guide participants in a business model canvass exercise to develop three basic business models to capitalize on each of the three trends.

The Impact

Our research helped the client firm’s strategy team to better understand some of the longer-term trends that could affect their firm over the next several years. The workshop enabled participants to achieve consensus on the most impactful of these trends and to explore new product and service models to take advantage of them. Based on this work, the strategy team was able to communicate a clear and compelling vision of the future to senior management and secure additional funding to explore the implications of these key trends further.