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Are Predictive Journeys moving beyond the hype?

4 minutes, 42 seconds read

Predictive Analytics is disrupting the business-consumer dynamic. To improve engagement with their customers, organizations have begun identifying potential segments (predictive audiences) that are likely to convert with them. Modelling data to learn about the potential ‘new’ customer, their preferences and spending behaviour has already proven demonstrably higher conversion rates and lower churn rates. In fact, the market value for these types of services is expected to touch $12.4B by 2022.

As we transition into a semi-connected world supported by global IoT sensors and devices, the real-time analysis of past and future-probable events is evolving business actions more prescriptive in nature. Every touch or interaction triggered by an individual customer is a data point that is captured, stored and examined for insights. Data is an interminable asset that continues to grow exponentially while storage likewise is getting cheaper each year. With nearly infinite cloud computing and scaling it becomes much easier to process these extremely large amounts of data.

But, are customer journeys actually getting better? Are these journeys still reactive? How much of the world has moved to a predictive-first approach? and, has it really helped CXOs address their business goals? Let’s evaluate the state of real-time predictive trends that are being put to use by global enterprises. 

First, let’s look at some easily identifiable use cases that have some verifiable results.

  • Identity Resolution — understanding the individual persona consistently and accurately across -domain, -device and -channel, while maintaining stringent privacy compliance. This approach typically gives you a singular view of a potential customer. (ex: LiveRamp, Full Contact)
  • Customer Journey Data Integration — data integration transcends the siloed view of traditional web analytics. For these multiple integrations like web, mobile app, email, social media, CRM, call centre, device, etc. are essential to understand customer flow across channels. (ex: FirstHive)
  • Customer Segmentation and User Experience Recommendations — It is done using clustering models to perform highly accurate segmentation creating micro-segments and tracking each customer as they shift from one segment to the other. (ex: Lattice-Engines)
  • Personalization — It marks which marketing campaigns, channels, touches, and behaviours users are responding to, and contributing to a business outcome, using a machine learning-based attribution. (ex: Everage)
  • Lead Scoring, Prioritization & Allocation — It helps identify which leads will convert, churn and which customers will buy one or more products for a cross-sell or upsell. (ex: Mantra Labs LCA, Pardot
  • Automating Prediction & Rule Setting — Use automated machine learning for predictive modelling. Enables rapid iteration cycles. (ex: Nokia, DataRobot)

The total number of journey interactions the world over is an unquantifiable number. It is predicted, though, that there will be nearly 2MB of data created by every individual in 2020, every second. With all this data to go around, why are companies so invested in them? It’s because customer experience has become the number one marketing activity of 2019, and will continue to rank highly over the next five years. 

In fact, Gartner predicts by 2019 more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations. For SaaS enterprises, there is a lot to gain. Research indicates CX initiatives can double an organization’s revenues within 36 months, and this extra share will come from the customer’s wallet. Good CX will create real value for your customers, which means they will spend more.

According to Accenture, 87% of organizations agree on traditional experiences no longer satisfy customers. To counter this, Businesses are now investing in customer journey management. Interestingly, insurance (39%) is showing the highest adoption rates outside of retail (42%). The tech industry comes up third behind them at 7%. 

Customer journeys are orchestrated into three: Acquisition, Conversion and Growth. Majority of journeys are identified as growth journeys (64%), and typically run for nearly 34 months on average.

Has it made a difference in Experience?

Yes, and there’s data to support it.
The predictive journey allows businesses to place real-time marketing bets on the behaviour of the customer. We don’t have to look any further than the example of Netflix and its impressive predictive recommendation system. Almost 80% of the content watched on Netflix is attributed to recommendations. A robust predictive analytical engine working behind the scenes is able to perform two critical aspects of the customer life cycle: Needs forecasting and churn reduction. The system is estimated to save Netflix at least $1 billion each year in customer retention.

What about the Impact to Business Goals?

The short and long answer is yes.
According to a salesforce study, the key to building highly personalised journeys begins with predictive intelligence. The report found on average, predictive intelligence recommendations influenced 34.7% of total buys. The lift in conversion rate within the first 36 months is around 23%, which is significantly high. Imagine what 23% more in conversions can do for any business. The real value from predictive intelligence is that it gets more intuitive with time. After 36 months of implementation, there is 40.3% more influence in revenue from this technology.

Continuous Predictive Learning Model
Continuous Predictive Learning Model

For future engagements, customers want businesses to proactively reach out to them and offer them tailored products and services that will be highly relevant to their needs. On the other hand, businesses prefer to study their consumers by looking at their data under the strict regulations enforced in data privacy laws — because it will certainly avoid long term risk to their business models. The results are clear: A predictive journey is the only way forward. 

Mantra Labs is an Insurtech100 company creating AI-first products and solutions for the evolving digital enterprise. To learn more about how we are using predictive journeys to create the Internet of Intelligent Experiences, reach out to us on hello@mantralabsglobal.com


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[Interview] Mr. Horacio Sanchez- Granel – Latin American Insurance Industry amidst COVID-19

7 minutes, 50 seconds read

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is expected to shrink by over 3 percent in 2020 – the steepest slowdown since the Great Depression of the 1930s. To understand the impact of the COVID crisis in the Latin American Insurance Industry, we interviewed Mr. Horacio Sanchez- Granel from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Insurance & Reinsurance Consultant.

Mr. Horacio has been Chairman and CEO of Boston Seguros, P&C and Life Insurance company for 21 years. Previously, he held senior executive positions in three insurance companies and has several years of experience managing financial service institutions. He has also held other executive positions in an Argentinian oil company and a tractor and industrial machinery international company. Currently, he is a Board Member and part of the Executive Committee in Nacion Seguros, the state-owned insurance company. He also works as an insurance and reinsurance consultant for Argentine and Latin American markets.

Connect with Mr. Horacio – LinkedIn

The excerpt from the interview:

Customer Relationship during the pandemic

Insurance companies play a pivotal role during times of economic stress by helping companies and individuals manage risks and cushion against losses. How should Insurers respond to their customer’s needs, especially since there will be scrutiny about how they respond during this critical time — and it will dictate public perception for many years to come?

Mr. Horacio: Insurers must safeguard the interests of their clients and advise them on the scope of the coverage. They must communicate that the coverage is not infinite but rather has limits in terms of the risks covered, amount insured, and the origin of the claim. There are doubtful cases but insurers should be flexible enough and protect their client from damages. It was not possible to predict COVID-19. Both Life and P&Cs have been affected and have huge arrears to be paid. 

On the other hand, claims processes need to be more transparent. They should adhere to the compliances of the insurance companies. In these times, selling agents and insurance brokers should be more flexible and build close relationships with the clients. They should explain to them the possibility of the claim they are trying to reimburse. In Latin America, we don’t have many claims related to business interruption. That coverage is not very common here. 

Especially in Argentina, businesses have slowed down due to lockdowns. The claims ratio in this area is going down but claims in life insurance policies have increased a bit. However, the impact here is not as big as the USA or Europe.  

Business Continuity in the time of Pandemics

What are some new business models that Insurance Carriers are considering to meet the expectations of life in ‘The New Normal’? More specifically, where is the new business going to come from, for Insurance, over the next two years?

Mr. Horacio: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of work culture, human relationships, and daily routines. Many companies including insurers are adopting digital solutions within their operations. Organizations are reimagining their business models to adapt to new paradigms to be more sustainable and profitable. 

The New Normal has given rise to new coverages in various insurance lines to cover risks originated by this pandemic or any possible future pandemics. 

For example, new clauses such as Loss of Profit due to business interruption and pandemics in Life and Health insurance, and worker’s compensation will now be included in the respective policies. Interruption of business processes entails new set-up and investment. Some other new coverages will also be introduced such as the cost of maintenance due to the non-use of offices, premises, or industrial facilities. Cyber Insurance will now be a must as most of the workforce is working remotely. The rate of cybercrimes was much higher in developed countries before the pandemic, but now even the developing countries are at risk. This will accelerate the need for Cyber Insurance in developing countries. 

Road to recovery

Many General Insurance lines are hit- Travel, Motor, Home – what will be the road to recovery for these Insurance lines?

Mr. Horacio: Since people are avoiding travel altogether, the travel and motor insurance industry are hit badly. Many customers in Argentina are asking Insurance companies to give some discount on the premiums. We will see some big changes in these insurance lines. Going forward, on-demand or pay-as-you-use policies will prevail more in these insurance lines. 

Role of AI in pandemic crisis management

Before the Pandemic crisis began, technologies like AI have been instrumental in modernizing the business of insurance and advancing their digital transformation. Where are some of the biggest gaps being exposed to insurance organizations, and How is technology going to solve these problems?

Mr. Horacio: Going forward, AI along with IoT and other technologies will play a crucial role in the Insurance industry as a whole. They will rely on statistical analysis of large databases to predict future behaviors. The new challenge is how to incorporate unknown risks into the existing models to be able to properly underwrite and price risks, anticipate client behavior, facilitate complex operating processes, manage complex claims and detect possible frauds.

Financial assets are the main asset of an insurance company. They are under the influence of the volatility of financial markets. Technology here can help by analyzing different scenarios but the ultimate decision is in the hands of the banks. 

Challenges & opportunities in adoption of AI

Why Insurers hesitate to invest in AI?

Mr. Horacio:  Companies were investing in technology earlier, but now it has accelerated due to the unprecedented change brought about by COVID-19 pandemic. Not just the developed countries but in developing countries such as Latin America, I see a big wave of new investments in technology. Technology companies are also looking forward to this change. Insurers will eventually overcome their hesitation and invest more in AI and other technologies. 

[Related: 5 Challenges in AI implementation for Insurers]

Which area will see max Investment in AI- claims, underwriting, fraud detection, marketing in Argentina, and Latin American Insurance markets?

Mr. Horacio: Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, investment in AI was more targeted towards claims, fraud, underwriting, back-office operations, etc. Going forward, predicting future scenarios will be a challenge. Historical data might not be useful here. Therefore, in the New Normal, all aspects of an Insurance company will have to be developed under the umbrella of AI.

Product Innovation

Consumers, now more than ever are seeking value-added experiences with the products & services they buy. How will these expectations amidst this Pandemic backdrop impact new product innovation within insurance? 

Mr. Horacio: Customers want a more palpable relationship with their insurers. Customer Experience is going to be a fundamental aspect during the purchase of insurance coverage. In addition to being simple, the purchase and subscription process will have to be perceived as a service that accompanies the client at every moment they need it. These additions will help insurers gain more information on their customer’s actions and behavior. Based on this data, they can dynamically adapt the coverage and pricing of the product. I call it — Dynamic-on-demand coverage. 

Challenges in Latin American Insurance industry

What are some of the technological challenges faced by Insurers in Argentina and Latin American markets operating in the New Normal? 

Mr. Horacio: Insurance industry for many years has been static but now is moving forward in many ways. The world including the Latin American Insurance is witnessing rapid development in terms of technology. The InsurTech industry is parallel to the Insurance industry. It aids in the development of the insurance companies. The whole world of insurance is making advances in technology. Different economics have different buying patterns for insurance products. One such insurance product that should develop is Microinsurance

Microinsurance needs technology, without which it is very difficult to manage. In a sense, the outbreak of COVID-19 was beneficial in accelerating these technological developments.   

[Related – AI can help bridge customer gaps for microinsurers]

Insurance buying behavior in the post-pandemic world

In a post-pandemic World, will insurance ever be bought offline? Or have we crossed the threshold for now buying policies purely online? 

Mr. Horacio:  Personal line insurances such as car, accident, personal, travel, microinsurance are mostly purchased online. In Argentina, 60% of the insurance policies are sold by traditional marketing and sales through brokers. However, in commercial, industrial, energy, transport, and large companies in general, the marketing and sales will continue the traditional ways but through electronic means. The use of IoT, sensors, drones dynamically monitoring the facilities and processes in different industries is increasing. Argentina, which is an agro-based country already has technologies such as drones and IoT which monitor the crops in place. AI will surely be crucial here to analyze the data and enable quick decisions in case of a fire or an accident.  

Wrapping up

Summing up — Mr. Horacio Sanchez-Granel shared valuable insights on the challenges in the Latin American Insurance Industry, how AI technologies can aid in policymaking and rise in dynamic-on-demand policies in the post-pandemic world.

AI is going to be essential for Insurers to gain that competitive edge in the post-pandemic world. Check out Hitee — an Insurance specific chatbot for driving customer engagement. For your specific requirements, please feel free to write to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com.

More InsurTech insights from the industry stalwarts:


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