What’s the ticket to growth for your independent insurance agency?
Is it a favorable location? A diverse set of policies and carriers? A good-looking insurance website? Targeting the right keywords? Offering low rates and great service?
The answer is no.
These elements will help you gain customers. But they won’t get you more market share.
Do you want your agency to be the destination in your area? If so, you’ll need to differentiate yourself.
The big insurers use geckos, ducks and Discount Double Checks to stand out. But you have something more authentic to offer: Experience.
By providing consumers an outstanding experience, you can rise above the competition. You can make your agency the destination for insurance, and gain a loyal following in the process.
Here’s how you can get started.
Experiential marketing has been in vogue for years. Brands from Disney to Coca-Cola have long used emotion to boost consumer loyalty.
Now you might be thinking, “But I sell insurance. This type of marketing won’t work for my business.”
This is not true.
Experiential marketing does work. Even in industries not as exciting to consumers, including insurance. But, you'll need to dig deeper to pull it off than if you were Imagineering for Disney.
Take Emirates as an example. The airline ferries people from various American cities to Dubai, among other exotic locations.
It costs a lot of money to book a flight on Emirates. These flights take more than 14 hours each way. These factors are enough to give travelers heartburn.
How does Emirates get past these barriers?
They focus on delivering an exemplary experience. They design their airplanes so passengers feel comfortable throughout the flight. They offer luxury features their competitors don’t, such as a bar and a shower on their airplanes. They train flight attendants to offer outstanding service. And, they use messages such as Date Night on their marketing collateral.
Emirates’ goal is to change the conversation of air travel. They want passengers to view the journey not as a hassle, but instead as an experience.
This approach is working. Emirates swept the 2017 Business Traveler Awards. And it perennially wins awards for leisure travel as well.
Experiential Marketing and Insurance
Emirates can make a 14 hour trip in a metal tube a delightful experience. So, what’s stopping you from making your agency rave-worthy?
You might not have a famous brand name, or 14 straight hours to delight consumers. But, the policies you offer impact their lives. Policies provide a financial boost when consumers need it the most.
This fact can serve as the starting point for an experiential marketing strategy. Now, let’s take it to the next level.
Building a Bridge
Experiential marketing bridges the gap between consumer needs and your agency’s services. Think of these as the towers of a suspension bridge. These must be sturdy for your bridge to stand tall.
Here’s a closer look at each tower.
Tower 1: What Consumers Want
Emirates didn’t build their experience off blind faith. They researched what consumers wanted out of an airline. Then, they devoted time to fulfilling that vision.
Your agency doesn’t have the budget that Emirates does. But that’s not an issue. Thanks to Google, your agency has detailed research at its disposal. And it doesn’t cost a dime!
Consumers often turn to Google in situations when they need to file a claim. You can use Google Autocomplete and Answer the Public to see what they're asking. And you can see how they ask it.
When performing this research, don’t focus on basic terms, such as auto insurance. Terms such as Does auto insurance cover tire blowouts? will actually be more useful.
Tower 2: What You Offer
Once you’ve identified specific consumer needs, the real work begins. You must now align your services to those needs.
Emirates redefined air travel to achieve this goal. Your agency can succeed by providing tailored solutions to consumers’ in-the-moment needs.
Take a look at those consumer search terms again. Now imagine you’re in their shoes. What might have inspired you to pull out your smartphone and enter that search?
Someone might have rear-ended your car on the highway. Or your kitchen could have caught fire. Or, you could have recently gotten married, now looking to update your policy.
These scenarios have a couple factors in common:
- They bring about lots of emotions. Fear, doubt and concern are a few of them.
- They lead to in-the-moment needs. Searchers need instant answers to their questions.
You must align your services with both of these factors to succeed. Provide specific answers to searcher questions through your website content. Make your customer service experience as frictionless as possible. Train your staff to be empathetic at all times.
Do this on a consistent basis, and you’ll likely see a steady stream of satisfied customers.
Putting it All Together
Consumers love insurance agencies that nail experiential marketing. The personal touch these agencies offer gives consumers peace of mind. And, happy consumers will often refer their friends and family to these agencies. It’s a win-win.
So, make sure your agency builds a bridge across the consumer experience gap. That bridge leads to success.
Do you have questions about internet marketing? We have answers. Contact us today for a free consultation.
About the Author
Dylan Brooks helps ITC clients improve the visibility of their agency websites, working directly with them to improve their search engine rankings. Dylan has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Miami, and he is pursuing an Masters in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. Dylan has extensive experience with writing, strategy and marketing analytics. In his spare time, Dylan enjoys cooking, watching football, and spending time outdoors in and around Dallas.Follow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Dylan Brooks