Many agencies look at marketing campaigns, activities, or promotions as one-off events and don’t consider the complete sale cycle. Launching a contest on Facebook, beginning to sell a new type of insurance, or partnering with a local non-profit for a charity event should have more in common than you might initially think. If agencies are interested in growing their sales, branding themselves in the industry, and delivering high-quality marketing campaigns, there must be consistency.
What happens in most agencies is that people focus only on the next promotion. When launching the Facebook page, it’s all everyone can talk about, as if an agency Facebook page alone is going to cause explosive growth in sales. After the excitement from that dies down, the staff is on to the next new thing, maybe a referral program. CSRs are excited and on the phone asking for referrals, producers are chasing leads that come through, and the owner is looking at that one metric to measure success. The following week someone throws out the idea out that the agency needs to be utilizing email marketing, and an email campaign is launched.
The highs and lows of this marketing approach are toxic to an agency’s success. Agencies must outline a strategic approach to their marketing efforts to maintain the momentum of their sales team’s energy. Agencies must take a multi-channel marketing approach, utilizing all channels available in a consistent and cohesive way. What’s happening on an agency’s Facebook page should not mimic, but support the email marketing efforts and other marketing activities.
Though, not every agency needs to invest time and money into every channel that exists. Business owners often feel the need to do everything: Facebook ads, local newspaper advertising, email marketing, etc. The do-it-all approach can yield just a handful of results, especially if it is unorganized. An agency’s marketing efforts should be trackable and measurable so that owners can know what is working and what is not. Utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is a perfect way to track data about prospects and customers.
If you’re reading this and thinking that implementing a cohesive and consistent marketing plan and utilizing tools to track the marketing efforts sounds like a commitment, you’re right. Agencies must understand that the landscape has changed, and customers are no longer content with purchasing services from a company who lacks a strong brand and a quality, customized customer experience. Marketing is the core of any company’s success, and independent insurance agencies need to understand that they are behind the curve in embracing marketing as a general concept, never mind digital marketing and new technologies. To be successful and thrive in today’s insurance industry your agency must:
- Have a dedicated marketing/sales manager
- Embrace technology to track marketing and sales efforts
- Outline and implement a marketing strategy that embraces all available and relevant channels
- Provide a personal shopping experience for each and every customer
It’s easy for agencies to get discouraged with a particular campaign or marketing activity based on poor results or engagement. An experienced marketing manager knows that it takes time for campaigns to saturate, and a lot of strategy to launch campaigns that drive direct, immediate results. Stay focused, maintain a positive, yet realistic mindset, and maintain the momentum you build with each new initiative. The sum of the parts is what will drive your agency’s success, not the one-off attempts to get new business.