Marketing to insurance brokers and intermediaries is tough – whether they operate in the general insurance space, health insurance or other related fields. This is especially true when you throw those operating in the international space into the mix. There will be size differences, geographical diversities, cultural anomalies and varied corporate objectives. So how can you make your marketing work across such a diverse group?
Here are 10 key tips for doing so:
Tip 1: Treat your customers how they like to be treated
Needs change all the time. And that applies to not only products and services but also the way a company behaves towards its customers – its values, if you like. But what do your customers expect from you if there is going to be a long and happy working relationship? They won’t necessarily know what they need but they will know what they like and how they like to be treated. You need to find this out and align your values to their requirements.
Tip 2: Match your proposition to their needs
Obvious really. What you are selling needs to match what they are looking for – and this applies to not only your product but also the service infrastructure that backs it up. Many companies create a proposition they think is the best thing since sliced bread – only to find that their customers aren’t so enthusiastic. Sense-check your proposition with clients – and keep on checking it as you go. This will let you tweak and change it to keep it aligned with (and possibly ahead of) your customers’ needs.
Tip 3: Create a proposition with differentiation
As well as being something your customers will want to buy, your proposition needs to be different from those you are competing against for business. This will make it much easier to stand out in the crowd, take custom from your competitors and gain revenue traction. Make your own judgements by looking at what the competition is offering – but also ask your insurance broker customers how they see things. And make sure you communicate your differentiation regularly and with creativity –dull communication delivery will detract from a highly differentiated proposition.
Tip 4: Prioritise your insurance broker audience
The 80/20 rule. It’s amazing how often that’s true. You should be able to place your brokers into segments according to how much value they deliver to your business. And then devise a strategy for dealing with each – both from a commercial and communication perspective. The key is to understand how best to segment in the first place and to have a strategy for each that both works for your customers and is realistic for you to manage.
Tip 5: Keep your customer data ship-shape
Simple one – keeping your contact data up-to-date and accurate. Tricky one – most companies don’t get this right. If your target audience is large it’s a hefty task keeping their data clean. But if you don’t you’ll not get through to the right people and you’ll look unprofessional. So, wasted communication and bad for your brand – think of it that way and it’s an important job to get right.
Tip 6: Properly understand the relevant media
Don’t just know the name of the media outlets, really get to understand them. Meet with them. See how they go about running their business. Test the robustness of what they are saying. Ask your customers what they read! Advertising and PR can be expensive pastimes and you’ll want to work with those publications that will really get your message to the segments you are looking to target – not spin you a line about readership, distribution numbers, geographical coverage and so on.
Tip 7: Crack your digital marketing
A lot of promotional activity and opportunity has shifted into the digital space these days – so you’ll need to understand that medium well and understand how it can work for your business and the insurance brokers you want to engage with. There is so much activity you can undertake online and resources are (usually) limited so you need to direct time and expenditure to the right areas. Talk to someone who knows what they are doing. And take it one manageable step at a time.
Tip 8: Always add value when communicating
Think carefully about your communication strategy when it comes to insurance brokers. Like many professions, they’ll be busy. And they’ll be bombarded with hundreds of messages each day. So make yours worthwhile. Ensure it adds value. And give your communication the best possible chance of being welcomed, not derided, by the recipient.
Tip 9: Take advantage of face-to-face opportunities
It’s good to be seen. And it gives you the opportunity to meet your customers face-to-face, often en-masse. So don’t shirk exhibitions and other similar events. They are expensive projects but the key is to approach them in the right way. Treat them as a marketing exercise, not an old-boys club and have a well-considered exhibition process in place. That way you’ll maximise their advantage.
Tip 10: Align marketing closely with sales
There’s plenty of marketing activity that doesn’t make a jot of difference to the bottom line. Don’t skimp on marketing, but do undertake activity that will ultimately drive revenue – and have a strategy that work towards this goal. Don’t discount activity that does not immediately achieve this but always understand what the end-game is about and align your marketing towards this.