A marketing plan is a lot like a business plan. It organizes many aspects of your business and projects forward to specific, achievable goals. You can think of a marketing plan as part of your overall business plan or as something that dovetails with your business plan. Having a written catalog of marketing goals is particularly helpful in charting the growth of your practice.
It may seem like unnecessary homework, especially when you have many operational, day-to-day duties. But use the end-of-the-year downturn to consider at length your marketing plan. Draw on input and feedback from all your employees and draft a document that can be shared among relevant parties.
Here is a simple five-step process for creating an insurance marketing plan.
Step 1: Assess Current State of Business
Using metrics and feedback, assess how your company is growing. Consider what is working and what is not. Compare metrics to previous months and years. Get an overall sense of how the company is situated. Is there a specific market that you are seeing more business from? Less?
Step 2: List/Brainstorm Goals
Consider your main goals for the next coming months and years. Identify them by timeframe, i.e. “in two months, I’d like to see this much growth,” “by next year I want small businesses as clients as well as individuals,” “in eighteen months, we need to see a 200 percent increase in revenue.” Obviously, your goals will be unique to you and your practice, but don’t be afraid to list out everything you want and what you think is reasonably achievable. Once you have your list of goals, prioritize them and plot them on their respective timeframes.
Step 3: Identify Specific and Non-Specific Goals
From the list, separate your goals into specific and non-specific categories. When we ask agents what they want for their business, many initially offer non-specific goals like “I’d like to see growth,” or “I want to get more appointments,” or “I’d like to convert more leads.” Non-specific goals can be good for the broad trajectory of your business, but being more specific will help you figure out how to achieve short-term goals.
For instance, you did $500,000 in production last year. You might say, “I’d like to see if I can do a million even.” Depending on your area and specialty, this may or may not be a reasonable goal, but at least it is specific, with quantifiable and measurable metrics.
Here are some non-specific goals with their specific equivalents:
|“I’d like to see more business within the next year.”||“In the first half of 2021, we did $250,000 in production from twelve clients. By the middle of next year, let’s see if we can do $400,000 in production from 15-20 clients.”|
|“I want to do more digital branding and marketing.”||“We should have an interactive consumer-facing website in the next two months and implement an email drip campaign.”|
|“I want more big fish clients.”||“Let’s target pre-retiree doctors and try to convert ten to clients by the end of the year.”|
Non-specific goals are not always bad. They can provide you a sense of your company’s big picture and provide direction for your various specific goals.
Step 4: Identify Your Target Market(s)
Every business should have an idea of who is buying from them and who they want to buy from them. A large retailer or restaurant wants anybody and everybody to shop from them, but they also know based on experience and purchase habits, who are coming to their stores. They are fine with many small-to-medium-sized purchases, but they obviously want as many big purchases as they can get.
Likewise, you as an insurance agent or financial advisor might want anybody (usually meeting an income threshold) who can benefit from your services. So if you think that your target market is anybody, you will get anybody—which could be a hodge-podge of leads and prospects that burn before you can convert them or might be a steady stream of small fish clients that keep your business afloat without significant growth. This type of business is good and well—it’s where the majority of business likely comes from and it’s important to not ignore it.
But if you can target specific market types while you conduct everyday business you will be positioned for growth. Going back to step 1, where you assessed the state of your business, think again about the client types you already work with. Where does most of your business come from? What are things you can do to enhance production from this segment of your business? What are potential client types to pursue harder? Profile your target clients. For example:
Client Type: Pre-Retiree Doctors
Income Threshold: 80,000 per year
How Many Current Clients: 5
How Many Brought On Last Year: 2
Goal For This Year: 4
Client Type: Mid-Level Professional
Income Threshold: 60,000 per year
How Many Current Clients: 18
How Many Brought on Last Year: 7
Goal For This Year: 12
Step 5: The How (Matching Marketing Solutions To Target Markets and Goals)
This step is where you begin to think about marketing solutions to go after your target markets and specific goals. With any new business initiative, cost will always be a deciding factor. The one thing we’ve found working with our agents is that not one single strategy will work; rather, it is a mix of targeted strategies that grow brand awareness and bring in more prospects.
When thinking about marketing solutions consider:
- Appropriateness for the target market
- The senior market may be less receptive to digital marketing and a younger market may not be receptive to direct mail
- Cost and ease of implementation
- Digital solutions like social media, email, and web campaigns, might be relatively cost-effective for a broader audience. But more expensive solutions like workshops may be what pull in higher-end clients
- Metrics and Logs
- What kind of measurements will you use to track your marketing campaign? Digital marketing is great because platforms like social media and e-blasts provide easy ways to track response rates.
Once you have followed through on your marketing plan examine what worked and what did not. Then you go back to Step 1. While your overall, non-specific goals for the business may not change, your specific ones can and should. A good marketing plan is not only a document to chart the future of your company and keep you accountable, it is a living document that changes and grows as you do.
There is one more important piece of the puzzle – resources. For Life Insurance Awareness Month, IAMS is offering a robust sales package to agents and advisors.
Our complimentary 2021 LIAM Sales Kit includes:
- Consumer-Facing LI Concept Pieces
- LI & Business Solutions Concept Guides
- Checklists, Factfinders, and Prospecting Templates
- Factsheets and Studies
- LIAM Social Cards and Posts
- Life Insurance Email Drip Content
- and More!
Click below or call (800) 255-5055 to request your complimentary 2021 LIAM Sales Kit.