IBAO 2022 – That’s a Wrap
Bigger, better and in-person, IBAO 2022 definitely delivered on its promise. From the keynotes to the town halls and the tradeshow floor, there was buzz and energy. It was clear that Brokers, MGA and Carriers were very excited to be able to meet and greet customers and partners whom they had greatly missed over the last few years. The Goose team felt the same way and we had so many great conversations over the two days. Several themes emerged as priority items for Insurance providers, as they look to the end of this year but even more importantly as they plan for 2023.
Attracting & Retaining Talent
There’s no secret that there is a global labour shortage and the insurance industry is experiencing this challenge as well. We heard from Insurance providers that it’s not just the challenge of finding the right resources, but equally difficult has been ensuring that the most valuable employees stay. Long before the world-wide problem, the Insurance industry was grappling with attracting talent to an industry which had an old school image. This image was perpetuated by the concept of insurance as being less relevant for young people and the manual processing across sales, service and marketing that are still prevalent in many brokerages, MGAs and carriers today. Both on the tradeshow floor and the CEO panel, there was discussion about the need for modern technologies and processes to be introduced to attract and retain talent. This includes using strategies and digital tools which a younger talent pool expects, and applying these to lead generation, customer growth and relationship building.
BMS Platforms & Data Roadblocks
For a long time, brokers had little option when it came to storing and accessing data. BMS platforms, whose strengths have been and will continue to be in policy management and accounting, are often preventing brokers from managing data that is critical from a single customer view from which growth and retention can be driven. We had several conversations about this struggle and around CRMs like HubSpot and Salesforce who excel in these exact areas where the BMS does not. There is no single platform that can enable brokers to achieve best practices in policy management and business growth but there are strategies to leverage the best across these platforms in order to achieve success. And a digital agency who has experience and expertise in the data which lives in both is a great resource to help map out opportunities to break down the roadblocks.
The Importance of Modern Marketing Practices
Savvy insurance providers have realized that the ways in which they used to find and attract customers will not lead to the growth they want today, and that new customers – along with many of the existing ones- have a very different expectation of how they want to be marketed to. (Hint: it’s not a random phone call!). Some brokers plan to continue to add marketing growth and retention on the to-do list of individual producers but those that had real growth objectives asked about strategies and technology platforms, including the marketing automation platforms (MAP) that they have started to learn more about. These brokers also realized that stretching their Insurance professionals to suddenly learn about digital tools and processes like email marketing best practices, Google Ads and the possibilities within LinkedIn as well as continue to manage their books is not realistic. These brokers understand that there are partners out there who understand MAP and supporting digital tools, and were very happy to chat with an agency who has digital expertise alongside with deep knowledge of the Insurance industry.
Good Quality Content Development
Brokers need to do a better job of promoting themselves and the value they bring to insureds. We heard this loud and clear at the CEO panel and while there were many nodding heads, just as many Insurance professionals told us that this was a huge challenge for them. Such matter expertise isn’t the issue – there is an abundance of this within any brokerage, MGA or Insurance carrier – but translating this knowledge in the correct format and channels, crafted in a way that an end insured can easily understand and react to is a big challenge. We shared how at Goose we support our clients by building content briefs and content plans which encompass both written and video content (a huge growth area), writing blogs, social and email content and maximizing awareness by optimizing how, when and where custom content is shared. All businesses are challenged with content development and distribution (including our own!) but we have created a solid process to help clients navigate around the content development challenge and see results.
Sales & Marketing Alignment
For carriers, MGAs or brokers who have both designated and separate sales and marketing resources there is a bit of a disconnect. Very often these teams work within their own silos. The result is that the messaging marketing is sharing may not be aligned with the conversations that sales is having. While not the fault of one or the other of the two teams, the lack of feedback between them usually results in a disconnect on what will actually resonate with prospects. This then impacts conversions and sales. The resolution to this problem is twofold: a strategic process created with both sales & marketing sitting at the table, and the development of processes for alignment and feedback. And often having an outside partner, who understands the sales & marketing challenge as well as journeys unique to the insurance industry is the needed first step to get aligned. We spoke with many brokers about the need to have a strategic plan, and the value of having something like Goose’s custom Strategic Roadmap process, where we help unearth these types of challenges and provide guidance and tools to help maximize the efforts of both sales and marketing, and tie these to trackable actions with reports to show success. As Insurance providers look for opportunities to optimize and improve how they drive profitable growth, establishing alignment between these key teams is essential.
The Goose team certainly took home a lot of valuable information from IBAO as well as many new and renewed friends and contacts. We are excited about how the Insurance industry is positioned to take on the next year and are looking forward to supporting Brokers, MGAs and Carriers as they move their marketing forward.
Interested in seeing how we can help support you, contact us today.