New Marketing Roles within Insurance Agencies
In the 2012 CMO Survey done by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, Marketing is growing dramatically. In fact, their study showed that marketing departments have more than quadrupled in just 2 short years.
It’s how and where these departments are growing that is even more fascinating, though. With dramatic changes in technology, marketing departments are evolving and adapting to the new frontier. In fact, according to Hubspot traditional marketing efforts (Yellow Pages, Direct Mail, and Cold Calling) have actually decreased by 160%.
New Marketing Roles for Insurance Agencies
Most insurance agencies we work with don’t have a firm marketing department with clearly defined roles. Rather, the agencies will have a team of people who primarily just “pitch in” with the marketing efforts. They are usually CSR’s, producers, or even agency owners who are splitting time with their primary job duties to help with marketing efforts.
The problem with doing it this way is the rate at which marketing is changing. As marketing and technology progress, large companies are simply hiring specialists to take on these roles. For small insurance agencies, though, this task can be very daunting and difficult to perform.
Here are just a few of the new roles that have been created by the marketing boom and how your agency can approach these new duties.
Social Media Specialist:
Just a few years ago, this title didn’t even exist. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social media is now the primary marketing buzzword in the industry. Every agency should have some sort of social media presence. However, what works best for one agency may not work at all for another. While you may have some people in your office claiming to be Facebook experts, we recommend you have a dedicated person, hire an outside firm, or a combination of the two.
Why have a specialist? Your insurance agency is on social media to make money. Ultimately, you want to see new accounts and leads come in from your presence in those arenas or it will be viewed as a waste of time. A specialist will understand the little nuances that will help your posting generate feedback, earn prospects, and convert into sales.
In the same CMO Study, the number of employees handling social per company has more than doubled. In fact, you can see that many companies have also doubled the number of people they work with in outside firms as well.
Inbound Marketing is quickly becoming a staple of client and prospect communication. Inbound marketing involves creating thoughtful, insightful, and engaging content to draw visitors to your website. For insurance agencies, this typically entails having someone to create new blog posts, social media posts, videos, and other content to engage your audience.
For insurance agencies who are marketing appropriately, inbound marketing is bringing in more leads than they thought possible.
Video is also a very hot topic right now. In fact, according to the State of Content Marketing for 2012, 87% of online marketers report using video content to get their message seen and heard. If video is the most popular medium, then what is your agency doing to get online.
We’re very passionate about insurance agencies using video to get found online. However, we believe that video must be used correctly in order to establish your agency as an industry leader. Poor lighting and poor sound in your video can actually deter from your message and hurt your chances to attract more prospects. If you don’t have someone on staff that understands proper video production, then we highly recommend you bring in a videographer to assist.
Analytics & Technology
According to Gartner, marketers will actually spend more on technology than It departments in the near future. Having someone to help you effectively spend that money will be imperative.
This is an area where we highly recommend insurance agencies work with outside firms. There are so many software solutions for marketing analytics that, unless you have specialized knowledge or expertise, it can be impossible to find the right software for your agency.
What Can Our Agency Do?
With marketing changing so dramatically both inside and outside of the insurance world, we highly recommend insurance agencies at least bring in a marketing consultant from time to time to make them aware of the changes. For medium to large agencies, we recommend having a marketing firm actually handle some of marketing themselves. This will ensure you have someone on your side keeping up with the latest and greatest technology without having to sacrifice your insurance agency’s sales and service.