When planning to write a marketing plan for your Agency, do not get caught up in thinking that it will be a daunting task. While you need to take your time and think through the specifics of your plan, you should start by answering these basic questions first:
Who are you and what differentiates your Agency?
What do you do and where do you do it?
Who are you ideal clients?
What are your strategies to get your ideal clients to buy from you and bond with you, to stay with you?
If you start by answering these basic questions first, you will have established a strong foundation for a useful and effective marketing plan.
Last week, in a discussion with a new client independent insurance agent, I asked, as I always do…if there was a written marketing plan for the agency. I always explain to agents that if they do not have a current, written marketing, they need to prepare one. Last week the agent asked me “Why?”.
My answer was that there are several good reasons, as a solid marketing plan serves multiple purposes. There are both internal benefits and external ones.
One of the most important internal reasons is that it provides a ‘road-map’ for the activities and goals that will be needed for the agency to be successful. You have to know where your are going and you have to plan the best route or routes to get there. Instead of preparing a marketing plan and storing it on a shelf, it should be referred to regularly, to ascertain progress and direction.
Additionally, as one of the external purposes, it lends a level of professionalism to the agency, especially in the eyes of the carriers’ representatives. An agency with a well thought-out and developed plan will stand-out over other agencies that have no plan to display to the carriers.
Another very practical external purpose for a good written marketing plan is to provide a clear picture of the agency’s production plans for current carriers and those that the agency might be attempting to take-on. It is not generally important to include detailed financials – that is for the business plan – of which the marketing plan is a critical piece. The carrier Reps are not usually interested in the financials of an agency. They are more concerned with production issues. With that in mind, I always tell agents that one of the most important things with regard to a marketing plan is that it tells the carrier “how” the agency plans to acquire and write the quality business that the respective carriers are wanting from the agency. Show them your road-map!