Marketing: A Plethora of Plagiarized Copy

The lack of original copy from agents—the general absence of creativity—is a symptom of personal laziness and professional indifference.

I have a complaint against insurance agents, not a claim for them to file. Rather, I do have a claim—and reason to complain—regarding their use of marketing copy. Too much of what these agents write says too little about who they are and what they do. Too much of what they say sounds too similar for there to be a major difference. It seems as if agents use the same words with slight variations in structure, to optimize their results with search engines. Search as I may, and I have searched far and wide, I cannot find what I want: originality. The lack of original copy—the general absence of creativity in business writing—is a symptom of personal laziness and professional indifference; as if it is acceptable to commit plagiarism, at home or abroad; as if standards of honesty do not matter; as if the theft of intellectual property is less a sin than a sign of flattery; as if numbers nullify the underlying wrongness of an act; as if the more common a problem is, the less problematic it becomes. Let me restate the problem: An insurance agent who does not care about the message he markets is not in the market to attract or retain clients. And yet, some marketers—including a contributor to Entrepreneur—all but admit that plagiarism is inevitable, because it is hard to come up with a unique idea. This excuse in the form of an explanation should not lessen the seriousness of this offense. Difficulty does not, after all, denote a license to steal. It does not condone—no one should misconstrue it to mean—that misappropriating content is fine, so long as one’s clients are content. See also: Underwriting, Marketing: Sync Up!   Insurance agents need to stop outsourcing their messaging to the unskilled and the unethical. It does not profit an agent to be at the top of Google search but at the bottom of what no search engine can retrieve: one’s soul. An agent who cannot ensure his own integrity should not attempt to insure anyone or anything. This rule applies to all businesses, but it matters most to how agents conduct themselves regarding the business of insurance; because each sale is an exchange of dollars and a transaction of trust; because you should not do business with someone you do no trust. If you do not trust the originality of what an agent says, why would you entrust this person with your money—or agree to buy life insurance from this man or woman? If insurance agents take the lead on this issue, it will benefit their industry and the business community as a whole. The biggest beneficiaries will be the people who have or want to purchase insurance. See also: Global Trend Map No. 8: Marketing   If they trust the originality of the message, they are more likely to listen to the messenger. They are more likely to insure themselves, without the urge to reassure themselves that a particular agent is reliable and trustworthy.

Read More