Good things happen when passion meets work
Employee Amelia Fitch has a passion for market research, and it's being recognized by the Society for Insurance Research.
She was a marketing major in college, but when American Family Corporate Strategy Consultant Amelia Fitch “stumbled into the field” of market research, she had no idea her career choice would evolve into a lifelong passion.
Amelia has spent the last 17 years with American Family, and she’s conducted market research on our competitors for 10 of them. Last year, she switched to the internal side of things, and now consults leadership on industry trends, still working closely with her old team. “The best part of my job is that there’s no endpoint in market research – it’s always changing and evolving,” says Amelia. “There’s always something new to learn.”
Doing her homework with the Society of Insurance Researchers
Outside of work, Amelia is a member of the Society of Insurance Research (SIR), which lets her collaborate with researchers and strategists from other insurance companies – yes, our competitors. Annual conferences and workshops – as well as quarterly teleconferences – all provide opportunities to hear from others in the industry and bring what she learns back to American Family.
The teleconferences provide an interesting dynamic. On the phone with many of our competitors, participants can always contribute to the discussion – unless it’s their company that’s being discussed. So while Amelia can share her thoughts on Allstate, she must remain silent when American Family comes up in conversation.
“Hearing from others in the industry – especially those who work for our competitors – is really intriguing,” says Amelia. “I hear what they’re doing, whether it’s the same as or different from us, and am able to use that information to help American Family.”
Hard work doesn’t go unnoticed
While collaboration is certainly a big part of the SIR, it isn’t just about sharing ideas. Last year, Amelia conducted a research study with colleagues from the SIR about innovation in technology. She and her group surveyed 1,000 customers. The goal: Find out how they felt about innovation in their insurance company versus innovation in their bank or other financial-service institutions.
“We asked about specific types of innovation and how they felt about each one,” says Amelia. “One interesting thing we found: ‘Familiarity’ often scored lower than ‘appeal.’ So, even if a customer wasn’t familiar with a certain innovation, they still might find it appealing. That told us there’s a definite need for education and communication when it comes to new innovations.”
Amelia’s research didn’t go unnoticed. After presenting her group’s findings at one of the annual conferences, Amelia received the President’s Individual Award – directly from the president of the SIR. The award recognizes an individual who has contributed to the SIR’s mission of “promoting research-driven decision making and developing insurance research professionals into industry leaders,” … the same mission Amelia brings to American Family.
About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance group is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 315 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, primarily through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General and Homesite) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the internet or by phone. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam.