Since the societal emergence and growth of social media, almost every single industry has had to transition into the digital marketing landscape, with the insurance industry in particular having surprisingly some of the most to gain, and also lose. Up until recent years, independent insurance agencies relied heavily on traditional marketing practices, and although these techniques deemed successful, agencies had to adapt to the digital world of marketing in order to remain competitive.
In this blog, we will dive into navigating the digital landscape of marketing in the insurance industry and how to be successful in doing so.
EVOLUTION OF MARKETING STRATEGY: TRADITIONAL VS DIGITAL
As previously stated, independent insurance agencies relied heavily on traditional marketing practices in order to gain new clientele and build brand awareness. These practices included directly mailed post cards, radio infomercials, newspaper ads, billboards, phone book ads, and any other method of traditional marketing available. You name it, and I could guarantee agencies were using it. At the time, these techniques were highly responsive due to the target audience of these independent agencies being individuals who were roughly 46-53 years of age that preferred traditional practices. Digital marketing techniques on the other hand, which includes any promotion of businesses connecting with current and potential customers through use of the internet, was not deemed useful by independent insurance agencies until recent years. So, what exactly drives this shift in marketing technique and practice?
FACTORS DRIVING SHIFT TO DIGITAL
While there are a multitude of factors driving the shift from traditional to fully digital, the most prominent is the defining fact that the average person, as of 2023, spends roughly 7 hours per day on screens connected to the internet. Think about that. That is almost a full 9-5 work day spent entirely looking at a screen. To not even explore going fully digital with your campaigns is just asking to fall behind your competitors who have already began implementing digital marketing strategies. Digital marketing has also proven to be more cost-effective and more targeted, allowing independent insurance agencies to reach more customers, more quickly, for less.
DIGITAL CONSUMER BEHAVIORS AND EXPECTATIONS
Consumer behavior is constantly changing with the market state, but even more so frequently now that consumer access to any product or service is readily available at the touch of a screen. Due to this accessibility, consumers are focusing less on the product, and more on the individual trying to sell it. In order to meet these expectations, independent insurance agencies must move from being product centric to life-centric, highlighting customer values, relationships, and treating them as more than just buyers. Customers are looking for businesses that deeply understand the various forces of everyday life and can provide the most relevant solution to those forces. One size fits all no longer works when it comes to products and services. Agencies must consider the customer and what aligns with their needs and priorities, creating a more personalized experience, and deeper relationship. Not only will your customer retention skyrocket, but your customer satisfaction will as well.
COMPLIANCE AND BUILDING TRUST
As the digital aspect of the workplace continues to develop, it is becoming even more important to maintain the trust between the agency and the customer. Ensuring that your current practices are ethical is a great place to start, and can be done by researching compliance laws prior to taking further action on future campaigns. Opt-In and Opt-Out options, as well as clearly outlined user notifications, must be provided on all aspects of marketing campaigns and are necessary in showing current and future customers that your agency is proactive in addressing data privacy concerns. Regular communication regarding what information is being collected and used establishes the credibility and security of your agency, giving your customers a peace of mind when it comes to the relationship they share with you.
THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL MARKETING IN INSURANCE
The future of digital marketing is circled around the integration of various emerging technologies and enhanced customer experience through virtual reality. Blockchain, a technological method of recording information that makes it nearly impossible for a system to be changed, hacked or manipulated, is just one of the many highlighted technologies for the insurance industry to be on the lookout for. When it comes to enhancing customer experience, virtual reality offers an abundance of opportunity. Training and onboarding can be done in a timely fashion, and the use of interactive tools can aid in building trust and further developing customer to business emotional connections. In marketing, VR can bridge the gap between experience and action, allowing your agency to showcase both developmental and final products to customers. In insurance, VR can make it easier to gain and exchange information from various locations in various conditions, as well as safely aid in damage and risk assessments via simulations and 3D footage. All of which can aid in the continuous adaptation to customer behaviors and the innovation of services to match current and future demand trends.
The evolution of marketing strategy has led to independent insurance agencies around the country having to learn how to navigate the digital marketing landscape in order to remain competitive. Digital marketing plays such a crucial role in the development of agencies from product innovation, to customer relationships, to overall agency growth. Take the leap and embrace digital marketing strategies for long term success.