CEO Krishen Iyer Shares Insight into the Value of Customers Over Tech
There are some principles of marketing that never change, like always paying attention to your customers or clients. This approach is followed by marketing expert Krishen Iyer, CEO, and founder of MAIS Consulting, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based company that helps the insurance industry with marketing, contracts, creating policies, and strategic growth.
Krishen Iyer has been working in this industry for more than 20 years and has held a variety of positions including agent and owner. He follows trends in the insurance industry closely, and he has learned how important it is to help clients develop strategic partnerships, provide impeccable service, and create strong marketing agreements.
He also is a strong advocate of creating opportunities for mentorship within this industry, since there are always so many new people entering the business as well as others who have been at it a while and are excited to share their strategies for success and providing good customer service.
This approach, combined with good marketing, can have all sorts of benefits. Insurance agents with these skills can have a better chance of keeping their current customers happy and coming back for more services and products. At the same time, new customers can find out what a particular company or agency is all about and be convinced why they should invest their money with one agent over another.
In this case, everyone wins, and agents skilled at marketing can create satisfied customers for life.
As good as this classic customer-friendly approach is to marketing executives like Krishen Iyer and others, there are sometimes other methods that come and go. Or practices that may have been good ideas or good practices, but aren’t as effective anymore.
One of these is the value of data.
Modern digital tools let us learn quite a lot about everything, including who is visiting our site, how long they’re spending. Businesses now can keep track of details of their customers, including their age, salary range, and purchase history.
The customer may get things like a birthday card or occasional coupons in the mail or on the official site, which are usually appreciated, but in return, the business can help build a profile of their ideal customer. This can drive what products they stock, what shopping options are available, and their prices.
Employees who focus on these little details can track all sorts of info to the point that it can be overwhelming. There’s even a term for it: ABCD, or Always Be Collecting Data.
But with access to all sorts of specifics on customers comes the challenge of making sense of it. You’ll need people in your organization with skill sets of being able to analyze the data and then communicate what it can mean to the rest of the business.
If he or she is buried in analytics, it can cut down on their ability to help the company in other ways. If they see that their work isn’t used in any meaningful way, it could reduce their interest in serving the company well.
One study talks about the CDP Institute, which showed that about a third of marketers, 31 percent, believe they have too much data to analyze, and 63 percent are not able to create anything unified to learn about their customers beyond basics like name and email address.
Using technology to drive marketing efforts may seem like a modern approach and something you can wow clients with. They may think you’re magic.
But successful marketing should really change things around: have a unified customer-friendly focus, rather than letting technology drive decisions.
Krishen Iyer’s approach
In past interviews, Krishen Iyer has talked about how he likes to spend a typical day (hint: it’s not crunching numbers.)
The first half of the day is usually reserved for meetings. He checks in individually with each client to discuss their current situation and any marketing needs. These meetings are important for newer customers since it gives him a chance to get to know them and learn about them personally and professionally.
With the morning meetings out of the way, Krishen Iyer switches to afternoon mode and starts to brainstorm how to achieve some of the specific solutions that were discussed earlier that day.
This customer-first perspective has been with Krishen Iyer most of his life, even though he never actually set out to focus on what he’s doing now.
He was born in California and attended Bullar High School in the Fresno area. After graduation from high school, he attended San Diego State University where he studied public administration and urban development.
After graduation from SDSU, Krishen Iyer began to work in the insurance field. This includes direct management as well as promoting affiliate insurance distribution centers, where clients can access a variety of specialty products that may work well for them.
After several years in the insurance field, he decided to take an entrepreneurial route. He created a company called MNP Insurance that also went by Name My Premium. In 2015, this company was picked by Inc magazine as one of the top 5,000 businesses on an annual list.
Following this effort, he began a company called Managed Benefit Services, or MBS, which is a full-service licensed agency and marketing agency. As CEO and founder, he’s active in working with a variety of roles by reaching out to various insurance companies and independent agencies.
MBS also generates a series of sales leads based on demographic research. Clients can receive info targeted at potential customers.
Krishen Iyer later sold MIS and created MAIS Consulting, which helps clients grow in all sorts of ways. He assists with everything from increasing customers to building partnerships. He even can advise a company if they’re interested in selling to potential buyers or investors.