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Organic growth without marketing?

Hurt. But not really surprised.


That’s how the marketer in me felt reading a recent industry report.



One section of the report (which I thought was well put together, by the way) cited that of the brokers surveyed, almost 70% strongly agreed that there are significant opportunities for organic growth in their brokerages.


Seven organic growth strategies were listed. Seven. And yet none talked about brand, process or systems to improve KPIs such as premium per producer, premium/PIF count, or customer acquisition cost (CAC).


What surprised me was the absence of “growth through marketing”, where marketing could be anything from lead generation, to customer experience, social media marketing or brand development.


(There is a distinct possibility, however, that some of the growth strategies ARE marketing strategies and just not classified as such. In that case, some forgiveness is extended.)


Look, I’ve been down the road of increasing headcount on a sales team. It’s not a short-term play. For the principals and managers out there, you know what I’m talking about.


Recruiting. Hiring. Training. Deploying. Waiting. Training. Mentoring.


It takes time. As it should (unless the person is an industry vet and is making a lateral move coming to your brokerage, then you'd expect a shorter ramp-up period).


And client-facing technology? Sure, but how does this help grow a book without a clearly mapped out story behind it?


It doesn’t.


INSURANCE SALES LEGACY


My worldview is that the broker distribution channel is one that’s built on sales. Producers became owners. Owners sold to producers. Producers became owners again. We do what we know. So from my standpoint, the reflex is to double down on sales tactics when looking to increase sales.


Need to grow? Hire another producer.


Need to really grow? Hire two.


Here’s what I’m suggesting. In a commoditized market. In a highly competitive market. In a market where many of our ‘prospects’ are un-involved, even apathetic towards insurance, marketing can be the differentiator.


But it’s not about “doing some marketing” and then seeing the leads just rush through your door.


This is a belief in what I call “Saviour Marketing”.


No, it’s about creating a marketing system, one that has a clear purpose and time to thrive.


Strategy → Tactics → Results → Repeat


And in my experience, it’s the step between Strategy and Tactics that is the hardest gap to cross.


Why? Because moving from idea to execution is hard work. And sometimes an idea doesn't work. Or work according to plan. Or generate a huge ROI.


Our ‘on-demand’ world has conditioned us to expect immediate, instantaneous results. Maybe you get lucky and create a viral campaign that just explodes.


Here’s the thing. If you don’t invest in continuous marketing, then what? Because your competitors, the consolidators and banners, are investing in marketing tactics to drive sales volume.


The good news is that bigger isn’t better, especially when it comes to marketing. They’re often just louder.


MARKETING COMMUNITY


Here’s the sales part of today’s blog.


If you’re an independent broker who’s been stuck in a place of, “I’m not sure what to do about marketing”, or “I’ve tried it once before and it didn’t work,” or “I wonder what other smaller, local brokers do for marketing,” then I might have something for you.


This fall (fall of 2023), I’m launching a marketing community for brokers. The goal: help brokers apply their strengths (creative freedom, size, speed) in the fight for customers’ hearts & minds.


So if that’s something of interest to you, drop me a line at steve@benevolentmarketing.com


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