What is Marketing and Why Does It Matter?

August 5, 2015 Becky Schroeder

watering can pouring molten gold

 

I'm a marketing geek. When I read a magazine, I pay as much attention to the ads as I do the articles. I see a great billboard or promotional email, I'm thinking about how I can use a similar idea for ITC. I've seen it have a positive effect on a business. I believe in the power and value of marketing.

Whether you're ready to take your success to the next level or are looking for ways to jumpstart your growth, marketing can help.

I am amazed at agencies that don't take marketing seriously. Maybe they don't see it worth the investment of their time and money. Maybe they fall into this common business trap of not taking marketing seriously because of misconceptions of what marketing is. They don't understand it enough to see its potential.

What Marketing Isn't
Marketing isn't a logo. It's not a website. It isn't the pens, notepads or other tchotchkes that bear an agency's logo. At least, it's not those individual things.

What Marketing Is
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.

The sum of the whole is greater than its parts. In other words, everything put together is marketing.

What people typically think of when they think about marketing:
 

  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Insurance agency website
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization


You're not wrong if you think of these things as part of marketing. They are all pieces of a greater marketing strategy. But there is more to marketing than these typical tactics. Marketing is everything you do, whether you see it as marketing or not.

Marketing is...
... the way you answer the phone.
... the emails you send to clients regarding their policies.
... the way you handle a claim.
... the way you handle praise and complaints.
... the way you handle payments.

Why It Matters
Marketing is the promise you make to your prospects and clients of what they can expect from your agency. Everything you do either fulfills that promise or breaks it. For example, your insurance agency website and email marketing may talk about great customer service. But when a client calls and has to wait 10 minutes to get a simple question answered, that promise has been broken.

When done consistently and backed up by solid processes, marketing can make a difference to your agency. We've seen agencies have great success when they make marketing a priority in their agency.

Don't think of marketing as a cost but as an investment in your business. Sure it can be hard to find the time to devote to marketing when you can be servicing your clients or closing a sale. Think about it this way. Time spent working in your business will buy dinner for today. Time spent on marketing your agency will buy dinner tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. as it brings in more business.

 

Read more...

About the Author

Becky Schroeder

As senior vice president of sales and marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s sales and marketing departments. Her specialties include creating and documenting processes; establishing metrics for managing those processes; developing content strategy and generating leads; and driving the overall company sales and marketing strategy. Becky was named an Elite Woman in Insurance by Insurance Business America in 2016. She has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.

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