Insurance Companies: Developing Your New Marketing Department

    Από: Startup Team


“I am not a marketing guy”. That statement typically gets a confused reaction however, it’s true. Yes, I have a B.A. in Marketing but let’s be honest, most of what we use today was not even invented when I graduated. I believe that not being a typical marketing person, but an executive consultant, gives me a distinct advantage. I’ve been on ‘your side’ of the table, built and managed marketing departments, hired and fired marketing people and companies, and seen the good and bad in all of this.

There is an unfortunate sentiment growing in the market, especially in the insurance and financial services industries. Almost every company knows that they should be doing more online. It is expected, not just for leading edge companies, but of any viable organization.  The problem is, most companies are doing more with no clear path; and very unfortunately not receiving any visible ROI for doing more.

I have spent almost eight years working directly with insurance agencies and brokerages in different capacities. Most of this work has been with executive teams working on sales, marketing and leadership. Around this time of year, most insurance organizations begin annual planning. The goal is always growth, and the seemingly easy answer to growth is typically ‘marketing’. While marketing can absolutely enhance the sales team’s activity and results, marketing in itself is not a silver bullet.

Internal v. External

During past planning sessions, ‘more marketing’ was typically put on the table as a viable solution to any agency shortcomings. The next discussion was typically ‘how?’. Do we hire someone? Do we already have someone on staff who can do it? Should we outsource?  I believe the answer to all of these questions is yes! The mix of who and how will always vary between organizations, but the most successful firms employ a mixture of all of these resources.

Below is what I would do if I were an insurance agency CEO. This foundation is one that I have personally deployed, and one I have helped some of the best insurance agencies in the country develop as well.

The New Marketing Department

In order to develop a department that can handle the ever-changing market landscape and one that can continually adjust to client demands, the new marketing department must take on a new form and certainly a new role in an agency. Simply having a good web or social media person is not going to produce the results that your agency needs to survive and thrive.


Your internal leadership team needs to be conscious of the agency plan and ensure that all marketing activity is pushing the agency in the same direction. The agency plan and marketing plan have to be in alignment. Just because it seems like a cool idea doesn’t mean that it will help you hit your goals.

The other reason for having an internal leadership team is because nobody knows your business as well as you do. Outside experts can help you look at your business in a different way, but you must be involved in the marketing process to ensure success. Some of the greatest insurance CEO’s that I know (like Tim Leman and Greg Van Ness) are very involved.  They are great examples of leading by example. They ‘walk the walk’ and have built a tremendous team around them. This allows for everyone to work inside of their unique abilities.

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