Balancing Digital and Traditional Marketing Strategies in 2021

The pandemic has forced insurance agents and agencies to adopt new, virtual marketing and communication methods to reach and service customers. Some members of the senior market who are used to filling out paper forms and meeting in-person, however, may be reluctant or slow to adapt to these changes. The good news is that there are several measures you can take to reach new target audience members and satisfy the needs of tech-savvy clients, while also ensuring adequate attention and care is paid to customers who prefer more traditional ways of doing business.

Forgo a one-size-fits-all approach. In today’s new environment where consumers demand both personal attention and efficient service, independent insurance agents must equip themselves with a “portfolio of platforms.” Email, text messaging, social media, virtual meetings, direct mail, and the trusty old telephone are all now necessary tools. The key to successfully utilizing each is letting the customer decide which they’re comfortable using and when. Including a call-to-action on marketing pieces like “Call, text or email me today to schedule your appointment!” communicates you’re both competent and flexible. When a prospect responds, asking them if they want to move forward with a safely responsible in-person meeting, phone call, or virtual meeting gives them a sense of control over the decision-making process.

Automate when appropriate; personalize when possible. Automating appointment reminders, newsletters, holiday messaging, social media posts, etc. saves time and reduces hassle. This powerful communication tool should certainly be used under the right circumstances, however personal communication is still king when it comes to retaining and nurturing a book of business. Consider making a call or sending a handwritten note for important occasions such as birthdays and renewal appointments.

Picking your platforms. Whether the platform is a software program, social media site, or communication tool, just because it has potential doesn’t necessarily mean it presents great opportunity. Could you generate sales reaching people on Twitter? It’s possible, however Twitter reaches only 7% of the senior market whereas Facebook reaches about 50%. For this reason, we recommend using Facebook over Twitter to reach prospects. And just as there are many social media outlets, there are at least 27 different virtual meeting platforms out there – though we certainly don’t advise learning the ins and outs of each. If you’re comfortable conducting yourself in online virtual meetings, you should be able to navigate the nuances of each service with minimal stumbling. The main point here is that successful independent agents are often well-rounded communicators, equally comfortable making phone calls, responding to text messages, writing letters, sending emails, hosting virtual meetings, and utilizing instant messaging services on social media sites. When you become efficient in each of these areas, the specific platform you use to complete each task is of secondary concern.

Recent research suggests “adults ages 50 and older are adopting consumer technology […] at nearly the same rate as adults ages 18 to 49.” And with the current stay-at-home environment foreseeably lasting through at least the mid-year, independent agents selling Medicare insurance products must strike a balance between the digital forms of communication seniors are forced to adopt with the traditional level of personal service they’ve come to expect.

As a National Marketing Organization that works with thousands of independent agents, we understand you must generate new leads in order to grow your business. That’s why we work diligently to provide the resources necessary for successful marketing. If this information is valuable and you want to know more about the services we provide our agent partners, please contact us at marketing@berwickinsurance.com or 888-745-2320.

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