The story that Ben & Jerry’s are dropping email marketing in favor of social media hit something of a sweet spot with me. Not only do I not like trawling the ever-increasing mass of emails each day, but I also have a keen interest in how the Internet is evolving as well as a highly developed sweet tooth.

The story is quite interesting, as it tracks some of the trends Celent observed in our Digital Marketing in Insurance report. For many insurers, email marketing and communication is the primary digital method of reaching consumers, however most insurers saw social networks and social media as becoming an increasingly important channel to market. Perhaps Ben & Jerry’s move is both a little early, and a sign of things to come.

This also comes at a time when rumours abound regarding yet another social network set to come from Google, possibly to be called "Google Me." Indeed there are stories that disenfranchised companies working with Facebook may already be signed up to work with Google Me. A slide show published by a user experience researcher at Google offers some insights into the key issues with current social networks, how the new social network will look and the features it will offer businesses.

For insurers looking at social networks as a medium to customers or looking at how they can expand their use of social networks, Celent’s report on the subject may well be of interest.

Addendum: Also making waves in social media is the Old Spice campaign on YouTube. Effective use of this style of campaign is discussed in our report, but it is particularly well executed here.

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