Beer and Insurance Agency Marketing Service Providers

23rdJul. × ’10

I was trolling a lively blog post conversation about whether or not a high priced, glitzy, all-in-one marketing service was legitimate or not.  I’m not going to comment on that directly, nor am I going to name the blog or the company that was, more or less, pummeled mercilessly by post comments.  What I would like to comment on, are a few simple principles to keep in mind before taking on a big financial commitment at your insurance agency.  Oh yeah, and I want to work beer into this…

Back in the 80’s, I blossomed into a full fledged beverage snob:  coffee, scotch, but especially, beer.  In the part of the country I lived in at the time, craft beer was hard to come by and brew pubs were a bit of novelty.  Fortunately, I traveled quite a bit, and was able to sample some excellent micro-brews from a then burgeoning micro-brew movement.  I even got into home brewing, just to prove my street cred.

When I visited a brew pub, I was most keen on sampling interesting beers and ales.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my food and ambiance as much as the next guy, but I figured there were lots of places to get those things.  When I walked into a brew pub, I was there for the beer.  Some brew pubs were small and obviously bootstrapped by the owner/brewer.  The large brew pubs had nice graphics for all their beverages, fancy menus, and fresh decors.  Who almost always had the better line up of beer?  The small breweries.

The large brew pubs, I’m sure, we’re capable of brewing whatever beer they wanted, but they had to cover their overhead.  Read that as, they had to sell as much beer to as many people as possible. Because of that, they tended to keep their range of beers pretty tame, and used their slick ambience to lure you into the establishment. They weren’t for me.  Which brings me back to insurance agency service providers.  Those that invest a lot of money in advertising and keep a healthy staff of well paid people around may well be in a position to provide expertise and assistance to your agency.  But they also have overhead to cover so they are more likely to need to convince you, with a really hard sell, that you need their service, when in fact you really don’t.

So now the principles from the blog post…When confronted with a decision about whether or not to make a really big business investment in an insurance agency marketing service:

  1. Make sure you understand all the costs, not just what service provider is going to charge you, but other expenses you may incur as you implement their system.
  2. Run some rough calculations about how much new commission you would have to generate to make the investment pay off.
  3. Take your time, never make a decision on the spot, and check with a number of the service provider’s client agencies to get an accurate picture of whether you are likely to generate the level of new commission you need to make the investment make sense.

Common  sense, really.  And it sort of applies to beer.

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