When you’re running an insurance agency, you wear many hats. You may be responsible for sales, operations, and accounting besides your agency’s marketing.
There comes a time for any business when you need to hire help in one or more of these areas. So when do you know you’re ready to hire a marketing person? And what kind of marketing person do you look for?
Here are some tips to help you find the insurance agency marketing help you need.
Why You Might Need to Hire a Marketing Person
You might need to hire a marketing person if you can’t keep up with all the marketing tasks. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your agency marketing plan. If you’re not doing much marketing at all. If you’ve reached the limit of your marketing skills and knowledge. If you don’t want to spend your time on marketing strategies and tactics.
Yes, you could outsource a lot of marketing responsibility. But, if you use marketing automation, someone at your agency needs to manage the technology. If you have an outside SEO firm or content expert, someone needs to oversee their tasks. Plus, monitor their results.
You could manage your outside resources yourself. But, there may come a point when you need a dedicated marketing person for the task. Again, if you don’t have the time or want to do something else, you might need to hire a full-time marketer.
So how do you know it’s time to hire a marketing person for your agency?
How to Know You’re Ready
When you are financially ready.
A dedicated marketing person can have a big impact on your agency. But, there are expenses you need to be ready for besides salary. Think offline and online marketing tactics you’ll want this person doing. Plus, the marketing tools and software they’ll need.
When planning your budget for a marketer, include these costs. Otherwise, whomever you hire won’t be able to do much on the projects you need them to work on.
When your goal is more revenue and growth.
Some marketing metrics are easy to measure but are worthless at telling you how you’re really doing. Like website pageviews, email open rate, or social media followers. They’re good to track, but the more important metric is how marketing affects your growth.
Increasing your agency’s revenue through leads and, ultimately, sales should be the primary objective for your new marketing person.
When you can identify what you need the person to do.
You’re hiring a marketing person to take that responsibility off your plate. But, you can’t let your new hire drift rudderless in the ocean of marketing possibilities.
If you don’t at least have an outline of what this person will be doing, you’re not ready yet.
What Type of Marketer Do You Need?
Marketers fall into two groups. Marketing generalists and marketing specialists. Which one you will want to hire will depend on your agency and what you need the person to do.
The Marketing Generalist
Marketing generalists have experience and knowledge in a range of marketing disciplines. This gives them better perspective, flexibility and adaptability. They tend to be creative, strategic thinkers who can handle a variety of marketing tasks. They know about a lot. But, their expertise doesn’t always go deep into any one marketing discipline.
The Marketing Specialist
Marketing specialists are experts in a certain area of marketing. Their experience, knowledge and skills go deep and are discipline-specific. They focus in one area of expertise and can get a lot done in it. A specialist could struggle if asked to drive your entire marketing efforts. Or, if a project is not their area of expertise.
So which should you hire? The marketing generalist or the marketing specialist? It will depend on what the person will be doing.
Are you asking them to oversee all your marketing efforts with you only approving budgetary spend and strategy? A generalist would be best.
Will you be driving the marketing plan and efforts and just need someone to focus on your SEO or your email marketing? A specialist in the discipline you need could help a lot.
Define the Position
To help you decide whether you need a generalist or specialist, you need to define the position. This is best done before you publish a job posting and get inundated with resumes.
Look at your past marketing activity. What has worked? What hasn’t? What’s your biggest marketing challenge?
What tasks do you want the person to accomplish? Are they one-time tasks or recurring?
How much experience do you want in your candidates? What kind of skills and knowledge do you need from a marketer?
By thinking through what you want and need from a marketer, you’re defining your expectations. Setting them up for success from the beginning sets your agency up for marketing success.
What to Look for in Candidates
Some of the best qualities in a marketer are not hard skills. But rather soft skills like passion, curiosity and willingness to learn.
The best marketers are ones who never stop learning. Marketing is continually changing. There’s always something new with technology, social media or Google’s algorithm. If a marketer doesn’t have passion or a dedication to learning, they’re not going to be very effective.
Also, it’s always a good idea to hire for culture first. If your new marketer does not fit in with your agency culture, it won’t work.
Does the candidate share your agency’s values and priorities? Can they get on board with your agency’s vision and goal?
One last thing. It may be tempting to hire an intern because the salary cost is far less than an experienced marketer. I’m not saying don’t hire an intern. But, understand that someone with limited to no experience will only be able to do so much.
Unless you’re going to spend a lot of time with the person to train them in business and strategy, it might not be worth it.
Hiring for any position can be hard. Hiring a full-time marketer for the first time is no exception. But, with a little bit of planning, you’ll know what skills and type of candidate you need. That will help you find the best person for your agency so you can find agency marketing success.
Got a question about hiring a marketer? Leave it in the comments below.
About the Author
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.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder