When’s the last time you took a fresh look at your at your insurance agency marketing plan? Market conditions change rapidly, so re-examine and tweak your plan annually to be sure you’re on track. Here are some best practices your plan should encompass.
Start by analyzing your current book of business. Take a deep dive into your metrics and assess your strengths and weaknesses. What business is growing and delivering and what’s dead weight that should be jettisoned? What are untapped opportunities that could be mined? Set your insurance agency’s marketing goals based on where you want your book to be, not where it is now. Keep your book balanced with multiple revenue streams: Personal lines, commercial lines, and niche programs in multiple industries. Share your goals with your team and define their individual goals to roll up into the agency’s goals.
Build your brand
Your brand is not a logo, a name, or a tagline. Rather, it’s an amalgamation of all those things, plus everything that you are and say and do: your service, your people, the voice on the phone, your website, and your presence in the communities you serve. Jeff Bezos once said that, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Given that definition, it’s much like a reputation – something that you earn. You can help to earn your brand by establishing your unique selling proposition and a mission and value statement that you continually share with and reinforce to your staff. How are you different? Who do you want to be? Your mission, values, and differentiation need to permeate everything that you do. Be authentic to all parties in your value chain, not just your customers but also to your employees, your business partners, and the communities in which you operate.
Develop a deep sales & service culture
Everyone in your agency, no matter their title, should primarily be in sales and service. Everything in your agency should be focused around producing sales and delivering superior customer service. Train your staff to have a service ethic with customers, colleagues, partners, and the communities you serve. Build a passion for service and a comfort level with sales as service.
Invest in your people
Hire for the digital skill set that the next generations bring to the table and pair new staff with experienced and seasoned staff. Train, mentor, motivate, and reward. Invest in the hardware and digital tools your people need to succeed. Younger people align with organizations that offer more than a salary. They seek a sense of purpose, personal growth, a work-life balance, and organizational values that they believe in.
Know your clients/prospects
Define your target market and know what their problems are, what motivates them, and their communication preferences. In marketing terms, this is referred to as developing a buyer persona. Commit to understanding and reacting to your buyer’s needs and service expectations.
- Communicate when, where, and how they want to – email, snail mail, text, phone, online meetings, or a visit to the workplace. Ask for preferred communication methods and times and keep a record of their preferences.
- Meet them where they are. If your target market is an industry segment, immerse yourself in that industry. Understand their risks and problems, their supply chain, and their language. Read the literature, attend trade shows, and visit and interact with industry social media groups.
Build a strong web presence
Insurance agency marketing is no longer just about having a good website, that’s table stakes. Having a clean, contemporary site that shows well on any device, contains useful content, and is optimized for search engines is only one component of digital marketing. You need a web presence.
Enlarge your digital footprint with social media. Implement a content strategy and social media to amplify your reach. Ongoing, fresh content production that demonstrates your expertise and solves customer problems can be deployed across your various marketing channels, ensuring that all search benefits accrue to your own proprietary site. Communicate over multiple social channels: LinkedIn Facebook, and Twitter are the basics. If you have photos and video content, consider expanding to Instagram and YouTube. Again, focus on meeting your customers where they are.
Go digital and maximize technology
You and your staff should always be looking to the highest, best use of your time, which should revolve around sales and service. Automate what you can and use technology as a force multiplier. Maximize everyone’s comfort level in the digital arena. “Old school” marketing strategies and techniques – PR, mail campaigns, sales collaterals, networking, meetings, proposals – are all still valid but are made more efficient and scalable when adapted to the digital environment.
Build deep partnerships
Networking should be a continual process, with a goal of building strong and lasting strategic business partnerships: with your insurers; with your key vendors; and within the communities and industries you serve. Build referral partners in the community – realtors, car dealers, contractors, key industry influencers. Participate in mutual events and promotions.
For more tips and strategies related to insurance agency marketing, sign up for our blog and see some of our prior posts: