One of the keys to effective selling is to know your market. The more you know, or understand, about the individuals you want to sell insurance to, the better your chances of communicating with them in a way that appeals to their needs and makes them open to taking out a policy. Because not only will they better understand why they need an insurance policy, they will also trust your ability to deliver a product that meets those needs.
Geomarketing is a term generally used to describe a type of marketing that is focused on using geographical data and weaving it into your normal marketing and sales approach. This allows you to spread the scope of your marketing attempts in a meaningful and successful way. Let's talk about some of the reasons this approach is so important.
Geomarketing: Ultra-Specific Needs-Based Selling
Insurance is a purposeful product, not an impulse buy. The purchase of insurance is based exclusively on need: the need to comply to a lender's requirement, to protect assets, to provide an income for heirs. No matter which way you slice it, insurance equals need. So it makes sense that the best way to entice someone to buy insurance is to appeal to their needs.
Geomarketing gives you an advantage and the means to identify those needs more precisely. By defining your target market by zip code, city, town, or county, you gain a better understanding of the market's community and the unique risks they face. Once you understand this information, you can develop a specially targeted marketing plan that directly addresses these geo-specific concerns and captures your prospect's attention more easily, since you are speaking directly to their needs, something other agents may not have attempted in the past.
As an example, consider the area with a new home development. The residents of this area are likely new to the region, have no connections and no insurance agent that they are already working with. Their new homes will meet the most recent building codes, so targeting their need for home insurance revolves primarily around protecting their new asset rather than focusing on risk of hurricane and other natural events exposure. But if the development is in a flood zone, then a different approach may be required. As far as reaching the prospects, ads in a new home buyer guides will work as will networking with builders to encourage word of mouth referrals.
Conversely, an area with mostly older homes might be more concerned about exposure to extreme weather and other risks specific to older homes. Identifying the ways in which your markets can insure those specific risks will help increase the number of leads that you get as well as your closing ratio.
Finally, think about those areas heavily populated by retirees or by young families with children. Each of these sets will have different home and auto needs that you can easily target and meet.
Geomarketing to Narrow Focus
You may find, if you look at your current policyholders, that you are already more successful in one location than in others. This may be because you already have a deeper knowledge about the risks that the individuals in this area face, or because you have heavier marketing efforts in those areas. Once you determine what you are doing right, you can think about ways to expand on it. Then, you might consider looking at surrounding regions that you aren't getting as much business from. Determine what the geo-specific needs are in those areas and create a marketing campaign around them.
Monitoring Your Geomarketing Results
Like any successful marketing plan, you must monitor the success of your new geomarketing efforts. Some of the data you want to track include the following:
- How many leads are you receiving in your newly targeted areas?
- How many of those leads are turning into sales?
- How effective is each specific marketing campaign?
- How is each of your carriers meeting your geomarketing needs?
All of this information is at your fingertips in TurboRater, our auto and home comparative rater, with our built-in geographical map reporting.
Monitoring Each of Your Carriers
To see how each of your carriers is performing geographically, specify the dates you are interested in reviewing, choose the carrier(s) and click Geographical Map. This will display all of the quotes for that time frame for those carriers. Take it a step farther by selecting Bound By and select all of your producers. This will display all of the policies bound for the specified carrier(s). Comparing the two reports will give you a visual representation of your closing ratio.
Monitoring Each Specific Marketing Campaign
If you find yourself falling short in closing ratios or getting leads, consider changing the approach of your marketing campaign. For instance, if you sent out direct mail fliers and aren't getting any leads, try cold calling, electronic approaches or advertising in local publications. If you are struggling to keep up your closing ratio, consider dedicating a little more time to really understanding the risks facing your new geo-centric leads. It's possible that you need to have a deeper understanding of the risks in order to really appeal to them.
Our wireless online world is closing a lot of gaps and for the insurance industry, this is a powerful and exciting time. But it's up to each individual agent to make sure he or she is utilizing every advantage possible in order to get an edge. Geomarketing offers you an opportunity that not only helps you finds leads but also gives you a leg up in closing sales by making sure you've got the best insurance policies issued for each of your clients.
About the Author
AnMarie Bozick, CIC, manages ITC’s rating products, including TurboRater and TurboRater for Websites. She has more than 20 years of property and casualty insurance experience, including owning her own agency and serving as president of the Alliance of Insurance Agents of Texas. She joined ITC in 2008.More Content by AnMarie Bozick, CIC