This week was the week of marketing. We had several great agencies across the US reach out to us with questions on marketing. What I find is that your marketing plan from 3-4 years ago is no longer valid. The idea of creating a checklist for your marketing once worked but today marketing has evolved. What we need to do is retire the checklist and move to a strategy.
Your marketing checklist may look like this:
- Write blogs
- Send e-newsletter
- Post on Facebook
- Try to understand Twitter
- Beg producers to be on LinkedIn
- Send welcome kits
- Coordinate a YouTube Video
What we need to do instead is become strategic. What does that mean? When you start with a strategy you back your tasks into your marketing with clear goals, objectives and results.
A strategy means you are pin pointing exactly what you want and aligning all of your resources to get there.
So what should you be focused on with your strategy? We recommend starting first by clearly identifying you and your brand. Let’s face it, we all have to buy insurance. Your job is to clearly tell your target market why they should buy it from you and not a direct writer or your local competition. Please stay away from talking about how many years in business and number of markets. Most people do not care about this. Your brand needs to speak to your target. We have a few branding guides we have coordinated that you can review (Let us know if you want one too!)
Next you need to consider 5 stages for your marketing strategy:
- General Brand Awareness: How are you creating buzz in your community? This stage includes community events, networking events, sponsorship, social media, contests, charitable donations. You want a brand that when people see you they think, these guys get it and I think they would be fun to have our insurance with. You basically want to be the cool insurance agents on the block
- Prospecting: In order to prospect you have to know clearly who you are trying to target. So if you want growing families, that’s great! Start up businesses, awesome! Once you identify who you want to target you can start pin pointing your marketing. Where do they spend time? What’s important to them? During this phase you really want to take a hard look at your business to identify if the way you run your business caters to this market. For example, you want to write the personal insurance for growing families. Well if your hours are 8:30-4:30 and you don’t have e-sign you need to consider how you will best serve them. It’s critical you can tell your target prospects how you will BEST serve them not just give them good service.
- Sales Process: We know many agencies lack a true sales process. Leads come in and some get sold. We email quotes, often there is only a generic proposal. We need to consider our sales process as a marketing opportunity. Insurance is competitive. This means we need to compete to win. Your marketing needs to change during this phase to case studies, testimonials, reviews, how you meet your target’s needs.
- Current Client Marketing: All too often agencies forget to market to their current clients. This is a hidden gem of account rounding, referrals, increased coverages. Yet we want the phone to ring with new business. Agencies need a strong onboarding process and client communication strategy to keep and develop clients into new business.
- Lost and Unsold Nurturing: You have a great list of unsold and lost targets right under your nose. When we don’t sell a piece of business or lose a customer, it should be our mission to win them back. Strategic marketing strategies can help you earn them back as a client.
In order to move from checklist marketing to strategy marketing you need to clearly outline your brand, your target and then craft your plan around them, not your checklist!