2 Overlooked Marketing Keys for Agents

Agent and Brokers Commentary: July 2022 

two insurance agents sitting on a couch in an all white office together. There is a white bookshelf in the back containing binders, organizers and plants.

With their massive ad budgets, personal lines insurers can beat their names into our heads -- yes, yes, Flo, I get it. But what are agencies supposed to do? How can they put themselves in front of the right customer at the right time with the right product, in a way that piques the interest of that customer?

I asked Joel Zwicker, industry evangelist at Agency Revolution, which helps agencies with their marketing. Although I'm sure he'd be more than happy to help you spend a massive budget, he had two much simpler and less expensive ideas about how to market more effectively. 

For one, Zwicker says in our interview that agencies don't focus enough on renewal customers. He says there is so much cachet associated with bringing in new customers, that agents don't spend enough time on the massive numbers of leads that they have for additional business with existing customers. He says many agents worry they'll bother those customers by asking for more business but dismisses that worry out of hand and offers an easy way to broach the topic: Ask customers to assign you a Net Promoter Score -- then follow up with the fans.

For another, Zwicker says agencies need to focus more on niches so they can develop and demonstrate the sort of deep expertise that will draw clients. He says agencies often understand the need for a niche but don't go deep enough. For instance, he says, "Some people focus on contractors, but that’s a broad area. Specifically, do you do roofing contractors? Okay, let’s go deeper. Just commercial asphalt, or are we talking about hot tar?"

He says niches don't all need to focus on the product, either. For example, he cites agencies that provide a particular type of experience -- perhaps giving wealthier customers the sort of private-client experience that they get from their financial advisers, or arranging for all touchpoints with the customer to be digital.

Zwicker's approach to marketing won't get you all the attention that Flo does, but you won't have to spend billions of dollars, either. And you won't annoy me the way she does.



P.S. Here are the six articles I'd like to highlight for agents and brokers:

Agents Must Practice and Prepare

New business opportunities are difficult to come by. So why don't producers properly prepare and practice for those oh-so-valuable prospect meetings?

Inflation and the Auto Insurance Outlook

Auto insurers should expect higher claims costs in the second half and longer wait times for damaged vehicles to be repaired and returned to their owners.

Why Agents and CPAs Must Collaborate

Insurers and accountants have similar concerns on behalf of clients, so the more agents and CPAs collaborate, the better. 

Go All-in With Data Tracking

Agencies are highly motivated to use technology to track data on existing clients, to retain them. We need this same commitment in the pre-sale process for new clients.

Agencies Turn to Networks for Growth

Networks of agencies understand how important it is to provide expert guidance and resources throughout the digital journey.

Digital Is the Assistant We Always Wanted

So why do many companies and advisers in our industry resist digital advances like customer self-service and apps?


Paul Carroll

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Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is the editor-in-chief of Insurance Thought Leadership.

He is also co-author of A Brief History of a Perfect Future: Inventing the Future We Can Proudly Leave Our Kids by 2050 and Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn From the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years and the author of a best-seller on IBM, published in 1993.

Carroll spent 17 years at the Wall Street Journal as an editor and reporter; he was nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize. He later was a finalist for a National Magazine Award.


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