By Jacques Coetzer, General Manager of Strategy & Transformation at SanlamConnect
2022 was not for the fainthearted. We haven’t fully recovered from the domino effect of the lockdown on the economy, consumers remain under pressure on the back of rising food and energy price increases, and loadshedding undoubtedly continues to impact the South African economy. Furthermore, as local elections draw nearer, we are likely to experience continued, and heightened political and economic uncertainty.
Yet, amid the local and global uncertainty and turbulence, we see glimmers of hope. Unemployment stats in the third quarter showed a full percent decrease. In several economies, we’ve also recently seen a reversal of inflation trends. We are cautiously optimistic that the rising inflation trend will slow which could translate to lower interest rates.
While it will take some time for this to translate into benefits to consumers – and the first part of 2023 may remain particularly difficult – it gives us a reason to remain hopeful, even though we’re certainly not out of the woods.
From a strategic perspective, as a business we need to double down on the things we are good at. Essentially, in our world, that is financial planning and advice. No matter how much the world evolves, financial management and strong client relationships remain critical. At the same time, we need to remain steadfast in continuously focusing on our intermediary value proposition for both tied and choice agents.
Digital enablement doesn’t have to wait.
Today’s business communications need to be more than just clear, relevant and actionable. They also need to talk to a new generation of digitally enabled customers.
GhostDraft delivers modern, cloud-based customer communication and digital experience solutions that power insurers to quickly transform communications into engaging experiences.
We’re intent on ensuring we continue to innovate. This is particularly relevant in an increasingly ‘phygital’ world. This includes continued technology enablement of all our business processes and the way we engage with the market – both direct and intermediated.
We’ve seen that these two factors are largely intertwined. The one drives the other: consumer expectations are driving what’s happening in the digital world, while the digital world creates opportunities in the consumer world that didn’t previously exist. And this is what I would say is the ‘megatrend’ that is driving all aspects of business in every industry, including ours.
It’s generally accepted that communication will increasingly be more digital, intelligent and personal. Many companies cite ‘customer intelligence’ as the most important predictor of future revenue growth and profitability. But the human connection will remain irreplaceable.