As an independent insurance agent for the past ten years, I have witnessed a trend of stagnant agency growth. My friend put it best- ‘being stagnant is just like going backwards.’ It’s important that agencies get out of this funk because if not, we’ll continue to lose market share in the industry. There are four key factors that are going to be critical to independent insurance agents over the next year because we’re going to start competing with the companies such as Wal-Mart and Google.
The first key component is the necessity for your agency to bring in a marketing person. Please do not hire or outsource this! I have been traveling for the past few weeks and have had some very interesting conversations with agents who have told me that they were outsourcing overseas. Let me explain why this is detrimental to your agency- they do not know or understand the culture of the community your agency belongs to which is perhaps the most important aspect of your whole marketing campaign.
The second key is going to be spending time, money, and energy to hire the right SEO firm. This process can be very difficult and time consuming, but hire the right company that understands your agency and what it needs to accomplish over the next year is absolutely critical to not only the success of your marketing strategy but the success of your agency as a whole.
The third key is finding the right mobile marketing App. This is critical for your agency because 1) your customers expect this in today’s mobile world, and 2) they need it because the average independent agency does not have the ability to service our clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I also believe that a mobile marketing app is going to allow your agency to be more profitable because it can significantly cut down on service time for your clients since tasks can now be completely directly through the app.
The final key is building relationships in the industry with other agency owners. I know you’re probably reading the fourth key and saying, “yeah, right…” but I’m telling you, the biggest growth in my agency has come from keeping an open mind and realizing what’s working for other agency owners and taking those ideas back to my agency and implementing them. My growth not only comes from me, but comes from great ideas from other brilliant agency owners. I refer to this as “working on my business.”
I personally feel each and every one of these components is critical if the independent insurance agency world is going to recapture market share. It’s time to take these market share threats seriously, and I hope if anyone out there reading this has any questions or concerns that you feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone and call me because I would love to explain each and every one of these in greater detail and how they are critical to your agency’s future. Now is time for independent agents to come together, work together, and win this war.