Successful marketing is what causes a client to choose one broker over another. In a presentation at the BenefitsPRO Virtual Broker Expo on Wednesday, Jessica Du Bois, an employee benefits consultant at Business Benefits Group (BBG), and Jeff Grocky, marketing director at LISI, offered ways for agencies to align their brand and marketing strategy to match the needs of today’s market.
The presentation began with a quote by Seth Godin on branding, offering a unique take on the meaning of the word:
“Brand: The set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that together, account for the reason a consumer will choose one product over the other.”
When it comes to attracting new clients and successful marketing, Du Bois and Grocky say there are two critical areas where advisors and agencies struggle the most: Brand identity and creating a marketing strategy.
To get clients in the door, it’s critical for brokers or agencies to create a story for themselves or organizations that aligns with the characteristics that differentiate them in the market.
3 principles of successful marketing
There are three main principles of marketing, Du Bois says: Price, consistency and separating from the pack.
To build a successful brand and marketing strategy, agencies must focus on the third principle first. Policy pricing and coverage conversations will come later. The perception of your brand or organization is what will get clients in the door first.
According to Accenture, most B2B buyers are already 57% of the way through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative.
“If a client already made that decision in their head before even meeting you,” Du Bois said, “it’s critical that the content and the perception you put out there about yourself and your agency aligns with the values of the customer that you’re trying to attract.”
A key element to focus on is messaging and tailoring a brand identity to your core customer base.
In crafting your brand identity and constructing advertising campaigns, Du Bois explains that more commonly used language and messaging that once seemed sophisticated and professional, now often seems outdated.
Du Bois advises using language that speaks to your organization’s mission, what services or products you provide, and who you cater too.
“Marketing is what people think about your product and service,” Du Bois said. “This may be different than what you may initially think marketing is. It’s not SEO or social media ads.” “It’s what people think about your product and service, the perception of you because of the products that you sell the people you sell to, and the stories you tell about you and your company.
Virtual solutions for a better marketing strategy
Jeff Grocky led the second half of the presentation, offering virtual solutions to agencies and brokers to drive sales differently and satisfy a new demand.
Internally at LISI, Grocky says the company has adopted and connected virtual platforms to its digital marketing infrastructure to help drive market engagement and increase lead gen. Grocky said these tools also help with existing engagement obligations, including carrier sales & marketing, staff and leadership meetings, agency & broker meetings and partner webinars.
Some tools Grocky suggests adopting may already be commonplace in your organization, including Zoom, Google Hangouts, Teams, GoToMeetings and others. Grocky also suggested Calendly, which integrates with Microsoft Outlook and provides a way to embed meeting and webinar links into newsletters and ad-blasts that target customers and drive attendance.
Marketing tips for any organization
The presentation was held for and attended largely by a benefits industry audience, but many of the tips and tricks presented could be universal marketing advice.
As the closing remarks read, “Marketing drives sales and is integral to any successful organization, in any industry,” so in evaluating your organization’s sales numbers, consider your existing approach to marketing and the identity of your brand.
Check out more of our Expo coverage: