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January 15, 2018

3 Ways Agents Should Market Digitally

Summary:

While agencies use social media and email to connect with prospects and clients and actively update websites, the language they use is key.

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It’s no secret that digital advancements have fundamentally changed the way consumers shop. The steps that a prospect takes from the first point of contact to making a purchasing decision have altered dramatically—potential buyers now visit websites and social media networks, considering all positive and negative reviews, before deciding to buy. In fact, according to Forbes Insights, the majority of customers (82%) conduct research online for major purchases.

Insurance products are no exception, and savvy agents and brokers who are mindful of this evolution can take advantage of the opportunity it presents to digitally market to potential clients, without getting lost in the clutter.

The Digital Marketing Landscape

Digital marketing allows insurance agencies to better communicate with prospects on a large scale. Consider that 63% of smartphone users look at their devices every 30 minutes, according to a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Among luxury shoppers, two-thirds say they prefer to shop via mobile, according to Content Square. Add the fact that 2.34 billion people regularly visit social network sites, eMarketer says, and it becomes clear that digital channels are a prime opportunity for insurance agents to reach prospects.

See also: 5 Accelerating Trends in Digital Marketing  

Digital marketing is a rapidly changing environment, and, for independent agents and brokers, who typically are not marketing professionals, keeping pace may feel daunting. Additionally, with increased investments in digital promotion, consumers are now bombarded with advertising across all digital channels—from search engines to social media, and everywhere in between—so more brands are competing for consumers’ limited attention.

How can independent agents and brokers cut through the clutter and meaningfully use digital marketing to reach prospects? While many agencies are embracing social media and email to connect with prospects and clients and actively updating their websites, the language they use matters, as well.

The “Successful” Market Opportunity

According to research, while nearly 80% of consumers say they are satisfied with their current insurance carrier, only about 40% would actively recommend their coverage. With 8 to 10 million “successful”—or high-net-worth—households in the U.S. (an estimate using publicly available data from the U.S. Census Bureau), the pipeline of prospects for agencies specializing in high-net-worth clients is much richer than some may believe.

The single largest growth opportunity for independent agents and brokers and insurers serving this market is in using digital marketing to make prospects aware of the service they can—and should—expect of their agent and carrier. This means elevating digital marketing language, so that prospects notice.

Three Digital Marketing Language Tips for Insurance Agents and Brokers

Chubb’s research with Maslansky + Partners is focused on teaching independent agents and brokers how to build trust with prospects and current clients through digital marketing that establishes an emotional connection with consumers. What are some practical changes that agents can implement now?

  • Relate to Success, Not Wealth: Direct appeals to prospects’ socioeconomic status may have inadvertent consequences. To some, the phrase “high-net-worth” holds stereotypical status connotations that may be viewed in a negative light, unintentionally backfiring against independent agents and brokers who specialize in this market. Instead, agents should consider using words such as “successful” and “accomplished,” as prospects are likely proud of their achievements.
  • Lead With a Better Experience: Because many consumers claim to be satisfied with their insurance, focusing on coverage is not an effective method of getting them to switch carriers or move to a specialty provider. Additionally, many prospects don’t define themselves by what they have—it’s about what they do. Agents should lean on the unique experience that prospects will receive by working with them, rather than focusing on gaps in property coverage or the negative experience they may have with another agent and carrier.
  • Show the Differentiated Value: While knocking the competition may feel satisfying, it may make agents and carriers appear to have a hidden agenda. Instead of outright highlighting competitors’ shortcomings, agents should simply focus on their differentiated value, allowing prospects and clients to draw the conclusion for themselves.

See also: Future of Digital Transformation  

Regardless of prospects’ stage of life—retired, building a family or building a career—the research shows that successful prospects and clients react to relatable stories that demonstrate they will be treated with care and empathy, as people, not claims. Independent agents and brokers can evolve the way they market themselves to successful prospects by making simple changes to their digital marketing. Chubb aims to invest in agency partners’ growth by providing resources that help them do so, including educational opportunities, digital marketing guidance and content creation.

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About the Author

Ori Ben-Yishai is executive vice president and chief marketing officer, North America personal risk services, at Chubb. He oversees marketing and client experience for the personal lines property and casualty business that serves affluent and successful clients in the U.S. and Canada.

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