Marketing Basics

Regardless of the industry you work in or how big your business is, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of marketing. Too often independent business owners view marketing as a task they have to complete or a giant animal they’d prefer to avoid. In reality, when you understand marketing, you empower yourself to always be in the driver’s seat of your business.

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Understanding Marketing

Effective Marketing Requires understanding:
  • The Marketplace
  • Your Target Audience
  • How to separate your business from the competition
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Budgeting
  • Getting a Return on your Investment

To the beginner, Marketing can seem overwhelming; however, when you take a little time to understand the components, you ensure you are not wasting your money.
The list of books on this subject is extensive and there are even more websites you can visit to educate yourself. Most independent business owners are just too busy to learn all this information on their own.

Fortunately, there are organizations who can help. If you are working with an NMO/FMO, they should provide access to marketing ideas, tools, shortcuts, best practices; and, if it’s a top NMO/FMO, they should offer marketing materials that you can customize for your business. All marketing materials must be tailored to ensure you address the specific needs of your company.

  • Personalized Flyers, Postcards, Rack Cards & More

    Berwick’s direct mail and print pieces are highly effective with the senior market. This marketing collateral is compliant and customized with your own information (name, phone number, email, website, photo, logo, etc.) so prospects and clients receive professional, quality communications branded by your business.

  • Sales Tools

    Whether you want training materials, quoting tools, or to monitor your business with a mobile app – Berwick provides you access to technology and tools that help you get the results you want, your way.

  • Letter/Email Templates

    Need a letter requesting referrals from a trusted source? Thinking of sending your clients follow-up communication? No need to reinvent the wheel, Berwick’s templates will keep you going and keep you compliant.

  • Digital & Social Media Ads

    In today’s digital age, online ads are an important part of your marketing mix. Helpful tips, post ideas and exclusive designs make it easy to get started and ensure consistent messaging.

  • Training Webinars

    Marketing trainings and step-by-step guides that cover a wide range of topics help you become an informed, top-performing agent. Berwick training examples include: Medicare 101, Lead Generation Strategies, Non-traditional Marketing Tactics, Creating Compliant Websites, Using New Technology/Tools, Client Retention Strategies and much more.

  • Personal/Professional Brand Building

    In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, building a brand image is essential to differentiating your business. Berwick has the resources, tools, designers and marketing pros to help you build a brand that stands out.

  • One-On-One Support

    Whether you’re just starting out or have been selling insurance products for years, you need an NMO/FMO that’s accessible, attentive and responsive. Berwick agents are more likely to succeed because they have access to one-on-one consultation and coaching from experts in Marketing, Agent Support, Sales, Contracting and Compliance.

Marketing Definitions

In order to understand marketing, it is essential to recognize the terminology used. To make sure you are fluent in Marketing, we identified the most common terms and their definitions

When you work with Berwick Insurance Group you receive all the free marketing services listed below.

  • Marketing Strategy:

    • Actions and tactics that convert visions to results
    • Media mix used to achieve desired outcomes
    • Works in conjunction with Marketing Plan

  • Marketing Plan:

    • Road plan to your destination
    • Document that outlines a company’s advertising and marketing efforts
    • Describes business activities involved in accomplishing marketing objectives w/in specific timeframe

  • Target Market:

    • Group of customers a business aims its marketing efforts and products/services towards
    • Typically defined by age, household income, geographic location, values, attitudes & lifestyles

  • Brand Image/Identity:

    • How the community perceives your business
    • Represents your company’s values, services, ideas and personality
    • Often generates loyalty from your clients and makes your employees proud to work for you

  • Business to Business Advertising:

    • Marketing efforts directed toward other businesses rather than individual consumers

  • Business to Consumer:

    • The process of selling products or services directly to consumers who are the end-users of your products/services

  • Demographics:

    • Socioeconomic characteristics of a target expressed statistically, such as age, sex, education level, income level, marital status, occupation, religion, birth rate, death rate, average family size, average age at marriage, etc.

  • Copy:

    • Words used in marketing materials (print, digital communications, social media posts/ads, signage, etc.) which encourage consumers to buy/use goods or services

  • BRC (Business Reply Card):

    • Marketing piece that allows the receiver to reply to or request info from sender without charge via mail

  • Direct Marketing:

    • Selling products or services directly to the public rather than through retailers
    • Typical in the insurance industry

  • Direct Response:

    • Promotional method in which a prospective customer is urged to respond immediately and directly to the advertiser, using device provided in the advertisement
    • Direct response mechanisms include coupon, business reply cards, toll-free telephone number and/or a clickable link online

  • ROI (Return on Investment):

    • Metrics used to evaluate the efficiency of an advertising campaign
    • Measurement comparing the cost of a campaign to the sales generated

    • Agent mails out 1000 direct mail piece @ the cost of $500
    • Agent receives 15 leads & sells 5 plans @ the commission rate of $400 each
    • $400 x 5 plans = $2000
    • $2000 – $500 (cost of mailer) = $1500 Return on Investment

  • Marketing Goals:

    • Specific objectives driving the Marketing Plan
    • Measurable Goals are essential for successful marketing

    • # of sales or leads generated
    • Increase in percentage of responses to marketing

  • Objectives:

    • Goals set by a business when promoting its products or services to potential consumers
    • Objectives should be achieved within a specific pre-determined time frame

  • Psychographics:

    • Classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations and other psychological criteria

  • Quantitative vs Qualitative Research:

    • Quantitative Research uses measurable data gathered from large groups
    Examples include Numerical data
    • More structured data collection methods; e.g. surveys, census, etc.
    • Qualitative Research is used to gain an understanding of a target’s reasons, opinions and motivations
    • Provides insights to develop ideas or hypotheses and uncovers trends in thought and opinions
    • Collection methods include focus groups, individual interviews and participation/observations

  • Rate Card:

    • Media outlet’s rates for various forms of advertising
    * Includes cost, deadlines, ad size requirements, target demographics, etc.

  • Reach:

    • Potential number of customers it is possible to reach through an advertising medium such as print, television, radio, etc.

  • Tagline:

    A company’s brand promise to the public
    • NIKE’s “Just do it”
    • Tells the public they can do anything with NIKE products and encourages them to do it

  • Values, Attitudes & Lifestyles (V.A.L.S.):

    • A system for grouping consumers according to psychological and sociological theories in order to predict their behavior in the purchasing decision process.
    Need-directed – Consumers who make purchases based solely on physical need
    Outer-directed – Consumers who make purchases based on perceptions of how others view them
    Inner-directed – Consumers who make purchases based on an psychological need

  • Word-of-Mouth Advertising:

    • The passing of information from one person to another
    • Typically refers to oral communication, but also includes online communication

  • Advertorial:

    • Newspaper or magazine advertisement giving information about a product in the style of an article

  • Call to Action:

    • Copy directing viewer/reader/listener to take action in response to advertisement
    • Usually appears as instruction or directive; e.g. “Call Today” - “Buy Now” - “Click Here”

  • Search Engine Optimization:

    • Process of maximizing the number of visitors to a website
    • Ensures the advertised site appears higher on the list of results returned by a search engine