With every new year comes a laundry list of new trends that will impact the way many of you will do business. Emerging tech, demographic shifts, and changing culture all play a role in your life. As a producer and small business owner, you have already seen the new normal created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move into 2021, expect those changes to shape the way you conduct business and marketing activities.
While drafting your 2021 marketing plan, consider focusing your attention on the following areas:
Obviously, social media has been a marketing staple for several years. The medium will only become more prevalent during 2021. Since the pandemic started, people have been spending more time online. One survey showed that businesses invested nearly ¼ of their marketing budget into social media over the summer of 2020. That was up from the average 13% spent during the first quarter of the year.
When advertising on social media, do so with a specific goal in mind. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Are you looking for more page likes? Is brand awareness or customer retention your goal? All of these are important pieces to the same puzzle, yet each requires their own approach. The thread that ties them all together is your audience. You know your business and know who you are trying to reach. Focus on your target demographic and experiment with different types of content (video, images, shared blog posts) to find your formula for success.
2020 has seen life come at us fast. “Adapt, improvise, and overcome” has become the battle cry for the new normal. We learned quickly to roll with the punches in our personal lives and need to do the same with our businesses. This is where the value of real-time marketing comes into play.
Real-time marketing refers to a strategy focused on current events, relevant trends or immediate feedback/action from consumers. This sort of marketing strategy is useful around holidays or special events, such as tax season or Life Insurance Awareness Month. More significantly, a real-time marketing plan can be a vital tool when sudden changes to the economy or the passage of legislation (the SECURE Act or the CARES Act, for example) could significantly impact your clients’ lives.
While you do want a solid foundation for your yearly marketing plan, it’s vital that you leave enough wiggle room in your budget and schedule to launch a quick campaign when changes that are relevant to your target audience occur. Foresight is important here, so keep your eyes on the horizon.
Safe-at-home orders and social distancing have forced us to move our business activities into a virtual environment. With COVID rates rising at an alarming rate, we should be prepared for more restrictions in the coming months. This also means a greater need for life insurance and financial planning services. Seminars and appointments have been replaced with webinars and videoconferences. If you have not already invested the time and money into the tools needed for virtual meetings, now is the time to do so.
Of course, virtual client engagement is only one aspect of the new normal that will carry over into 2021. You will also need to become familiar with the tools required to submit and conduct business digitally. Online application solutions have become more prevalent in recent months and will continue to be a vital part of your business. Leveraging these tools can be the key to success in 2021. Our Conducting Business Online video series covers tips and best practices to help your navigate the virtual environment.
Organization is the key to execution. Planning around key dates and occasions, setting goals, and new ideas are all cornerstones of a good marketing plan, IAMS is now offering a simple, yet powerful tool that will help keep your entire year organized. Our 2021 Year in Marketing calendar is an indispensable planning tool for independent producers that provides:
- Critical Production Goals & Tracking
- Important Reminders
- Relevant Planning Tips
- Monthly Marketing Ideas
This desktop calendar is now available for free to producers who want to start the year strong and finish even stronger. Click below to request your free copy today.