A Balanced Approach to Marketing

Balanced marketingJust like you, each week I receive e-mails and read articles from many different business and marketing experts. A common theme I’ve noticed is experts (either in their own e-mails or in articles from respected trade journals) proclaiming one marketing method as the only way that insurance agents should market. It goes something like this:

“Video marketing clobbers all other types of marketing; ignore it at your own peril.”

“Facebook is the only way to market; old-school methods are useless or dead.”

“Direct mail is mounting a major comeback; forget about online marketing.”

“Mobile is the future of marketing – get on board now or you’ll be left behind.”

Partial truth

This kind of information is starting to drive me crazy! Why? Because it’s only partially true.

All of the statements above, if stripped of their hyperbole, are good advice. All of the above marketing methods (and others) can work well for your agency. So from that standpoint, the statements are all partially true.

The part that I have a hard time with is the claim that one marketing method is any better than the other, or that it’s on the verge of rendering all other marketing methods useless. That’s simply false. It could be very damaging for you to buy into this type of thinking.

Full truth

The full truth is this: different marketing methods work better than others for different types of prospects and clients. This naturally leads to the question, “How am I supposed to know which marketing methods really work best for my agency?”

It’s really quite simple. The best way to determine the marketing methods that will work for you is to go where your prospects and customers already gather. If you’re selling to established businesses, direct mail and ads in local trade journals might be the most likely places where your prospects “gather.”

If you’re trying to increase your personal lines book, Facebook ads for demographically selected groups might be the best “gathering spots.” Selling to senior citizens? For the most part, online marketing is not where you want to go, as seniors still tend to be less technically savvy. Direct mail might be a better option for this group.

The bottom line is that you must know your customers. Get to know their habits, their likes and dislikes, the most critical problems they want to solve, and the goals they want to achieve. Once you know these things, it’s reasonably easy to figure out where your customers “gather” and use the appropriate marketing methods to reach out to them.

Remember to “check” what any expert tells you (including me) against your common sense. It’s easy to take what someone has written (or what a trade journal has published) as the unvarnished truth. But if your gut is telling you something is off, 99% of the time, you’re going to be right. Dig a bit deeper, ask people whose opinions you respect, and learn to be a bit skeptical. Doing so will help you avoid costly mistakes that could prevent you from achieving your marketing goals.

Steve Anderson provides information to insurance agents about how they can use technology to increase revenue and/or reduce expenses. He speaks professionally to hundreds of agents each year on the future of technology, the social web, and how insurance agencies can establish their Internet presence.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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