Marketing Strategies for Mutuals
The WRC 2021 All Manager Meeting included a presentation by Marketing Manager Kay Midthun about ways mutual insurance companies could market themselves.
Marketing Is a Key
Marketing is a critical business function that is equal in importance to underwriting, claims handling, accounting and information technology. Kay reminded the audience that to be successful, a mutual must invest money and time in marketing. Through planning and organization, a mutual can streamline the process. Effective marketing enables you to build trust and loyalty, enhance your reputation and improve your return on investment. You also can increase top-of-mind awareness, which means your brand will be the first one that comes to mind for a consumer.
Know your audience and invest time in learning more about each audience segment. You can learn a lot about demographic patterns and preferences through web searches. All age groups use social media, and they expect you to be there as well. Social media enables you to extend your reach and engage with your audiences.
One audience that often does not receive enough focus is agents. Cultivate strong agent relationships by visiting them at least once a year and staying in touch every month. Create an agenda, make note of their suggestions and take action when appropriate.
Maximize Your Investment
Social media offers a free or low-cost option for marketing, as do news releases. One of the most important investments you can make in marketing is your website. It should be professional, current, visually attractive and have content that is relevant to your audiences. A report from Visual Objects found 76% of consumers search online presence before visiting a business. Kay also shared that NAMIC provides marketing assets that can be customized for a reasonable price.
Adopt the 3 A’s
Kay said your community involvement efforts will shine if you adopt the 3 A’s, which are align, achieve and amplify. Aligning is ensuring your community activities and donations fit your mutual. Decision factors to keep in mind are your mutual’s culture, your team’s skills and interests, and the ability to work with a collaborative recipient. Choose activities that will make a big impact on your community.
To achieve the best results, create a plan and ensure you have enough time to prepare for the community activity. Involve your board and agents to share the work and help get the word out to a wider audience.
Amplifying your community involvement is the last piece of the puzzle. Don’t keep it a secret! Share the news and related photos in a number of ways, such as news releases, social media, in a newsletter and on your website.
For social media, Kay recommended starting small and choosing one social network that is used by the highest percentage of your audience. Remember to include a link to your social media profile from your website. Creating an editorial calendar of varying content will help you stay on track. Try to post at least once a week to keep your content fresh.
She suggested that you use high resolution images on social media and your website. Two good sources for images are pixabay.com and pexels.com. These sites provide a wide range of free images and require no attribution or identification of the photo source. Avoid downloading photos from social media posts and content sources because there could be a copyright issue.
Implementing these marketing strategies will help you enhance your mutual’s marketing success.