Tips for Making Your Insurance Commercials Even More Pointless


Just tell me the solution to this…

To what end does promotion serve?

Don’t jump to a conclusion; the answer is more nuanced than you imagine.

When I posed this query to agents, the typical response was, “To introduce the agency or the agent to the potential client.”

Did you also say this?

If that’s the case, you’re correct, but only kind of. But that’s not the whole story.

Advertising aims to increase product awareness and ultimately drive desired customer action.

One formula component is the constant exposure of your brand, your agency’s brand, or the products or services you give to your target audience. If you can’t get potential customers to do something, your promotion isn’t doing its job.

Having your name (or your company’s name) stick out in the minds of potential clients and consumers is a great marketing goal. However, you will go bankrupt if you attempt this unless you have deep pockets like some big national corporations you see advertising on TV.

There are two primary categories of commercials:

The first type of promotion targets the public perception of an organization. This is the most common form of advertising and accounts for most of what you see in periodicals.

The main issue with an image or institutional advertising is that advertisements made in this format are not intended to sell, so they are ineffective for the average agent. Their goal is to maintain the agency’s name in front of potential clients and demonstrate its superiority in size and caliber.

The issue is that potential customers couldn’t care less about how unique, big, or wonderful your company is. They worry about only two things:

The first step is determining how you can best serve the customer by responding to his or her requirements and wants. And second, what sets you apart from the competition in terms of the perks you provide?

Advertising based on “image” or “institution” doesn’t resolve these issues. Companies like IBM, AOL Time Warner, Coca-Cola, Nike, General Motors, and most insurance providers use this form of marketing to maintain their well-known brands in consumers’ minds.

You might wonder why major corporations keep spending money on image advertising if it’s useless.

Here are three explanations why:

To begin, they can spend as much as they want on advertisements.

Second, because there is no foolproof method of measuring the effectiveness of advertising for brands or institutions, many of these organizations mistakenly attribute their annual profits of hundreds of millions of dollars to the success of their campaigns. (despite lousy advertising).

Third, the image ad is typically well received by their investors. Their investors are just regular people who want to see the business succeed, but they can’t see that the ads aren’t helping. They are relieved to see it being managed, as it gives them the pride to claim business ownership.

Unfortunately, these mega-corporations don’t see how useless their public relations efforts are. If they had, they could have avoided spending millions. And if they used the proper kind of advertising (which we’ll get into in a minute), they’d be raking in millions more yearly.

You, like most brokers, probably have a small marketing budget. Therefore, you need to get the most out of your money. And the most effective method for doing so is through the second type of promotion. Direct reaction marketing is what it sounds like.

In contrast to the wasteful spending on an image or institutional promotion…

Making a killing with DR advertising is possible.

The three primary goals of any direct response advertisement (or sales communication) are:

1. The prospect’s most pressing concern is, “What’s in it for me?”

2. It’s a call to action, urging the reader to interact with your business.

3. You can keep tabs on it and hold it to account.

A direct response ad (or sales communication) targets the prospects’ desires. It lists all the advantages they’ll enjoy from buying or working with you.

Ads, flyers, sales letters, postcards, and similar direct-response sales messages let you zero in on the people interested in what you have to offer. Then, you can save time and money by directing your marketing efforts toward the people genuinely interested in what you have to give and who have the financial means to purchase from you.

Many real estate brokers mistakenly believe their target audience is everyone, so they aim to please them with their marketing materials. Maybe you’ve done this before.

If that’s the case, perhaps your campaign isn’t getting as much attention as it should. So, as you can see…

You’ll get nowhere by trying to sell to the masses.

Not everyone has the same need or desire for your offerings, even if they could benefit everyone. Find the people most likely to buy from you (because they are interested in what you have to give and can afford it) and focus your best offer on them.

People who own their own houses are a good target market for homeowners insurance. Instead of paying for an ad in a newspaper that thousands of people, including renters and apartment dwellers, may see, you can save money and boost your chances of making a sale by instead obtaining a list of homeowners who meet the specific requirements you’re looking for and sending your offer to them directly. Another option is to rent a list of local magazine subscribers and send a sales letter with a compelling request to those individuals.

If you’re in the insurance business and specialize in covering a specific make and model of car, you’ll want to compile a list of residents who own those cars and mail them an offer. The practice is known as niche or focus marketing.

The same principles apply regardless of the type of insurance being sold. Neither of us has a marketing fund big enough to advertise to everyone. Nor do we wish to.

One thing you should always keep in mind is…

Your potential clients are likelier to purchase from you if you demonstrate empathy and expertise in their interests. You’ll lose their company if they perceive any attempt on your part to please everyone.

For instance, if you own a BMW, you probably won’t transport it to a Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, etc. dealer for maintenance. What this means is that the store only fixes cars like yours.

Operating an image or institutional marketing campaign is similar to running a repair shop that caters to all makes and models. Because most people who see your ad aren’t interested in what you’re selling, can’t afford what you’re selling, or both, you’ll need to place many ads to find enough people interested in purchasing your product or using your service.

A direct response ad elicits an instantaneous action, such as a qualified query, phone call, in-person visit to your agency, or even an immediate sale.

Even though many agents know their advertisements don’t bring in much business, they keep running them anyway, reasoning that they’re increasing their agency’s visibility.

To me, this makes zero logic at all. I must stress the significance of this statement…

Running an ad has one and only one goal: getting the reader to take action that leads to a purchase.

I really can’t stress this enough. Placing an ad for any other reason, mainly to boast to potential customers about your greatness, is a waste of money. Remember that your potential customers couldn’t care less about you and are only interested in solving their problems as swiftly, quickly, and affordably as possible.

Marketing allows you to get your products and services in front of potential customers so you can tell them how they can assist them. And instead of using brand or institutional advertising, try direct response marketing to skyrocket your earnings.

Don’t do what so many other agents and financial advisors do and stop or drastically reduce your marketing if stricter competition or a poorer economic climate starts hurting your income.

Instead, recognize that now is the time to be bold and ramp up the intensity of your marketing efforts. When your rivals stop spending money on marketing and you switch to direct-response ads, you’ll quickly gain ground in the market.

Always remember that marketing is an investment, not an expense; increasing your marketing efforts (significantly when your rivals are cutting back) will catapult your business or practice to new heights of success and profitability.

In his 33 years as an insurance agent, Ken Varga attracted 459,182 customers to his firm. He made over $100 million from the sale of his company in 2001. He has authored a book for insurance agents and financial planners called “How to Make a Fortune in the Insurance Profession,” He details the steps necessary to grow a modest operation into a multimillion-dollar enterprise quickly. Most notably, it’s available at zero cost to you.

Read what some brokers and consultants say about his methods and techniques…

I increased my commissions by $93,400 thanks to one concept alone through product upselling and word-of-mouth advertising.

San Marcos, California’s Walter Dobrowolski

Thanks to your advice, I increased my insurance sales by 100% over the previous year.

Dallas, Texas’ Barbara Boyce

After 2.5 years of your training, I can say, “My income has more than doubled.”

Mark Brady from Roseburg, Oregon

Get ten new customers a week, on average.

Aurora, Colorado native Ron Martinez

This is the best training tool I have ever used in my ten years as an insurance salesman. Highly focused on the needs of the customer! The customer retention percentage at my financial firm is well above 97%.

Bloomington, Indiana’s Andy Zurbuch.

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