How is your marketing going? Really. If you're struggling a little lately but you can't figure out why, it could be time for an insurance marketing review to ensure that you're marketing wisely by reviewing your strategies, challenges, and successes.
Plan to Review Your Marketing Successes and Failures
How do you know if you are doing well in the marketing department?
You don't know unless you look, and you won't look without a consistent plan to keep track of your marketing strategies through data gathering and consistent review. According to Entrepreneur,
"Virtually all marketing plans contain the same flaw: They're written to cover a year-long period, but in inevitably, circumstances change, sometimes dramatically, during those 12 months."
How do you know how often to review your plan?
You should always review your plan on a regularly scheduled basis even if everything seems to be going well. When should you schedule a review of your marketing plan?
At the end of a scheduled marketing campaign, to evaluate that campaign
In the middle of a marketing campaign, if it's getting a much more positive or negative response than you'd expected.
Quarterly, to ensure that you keep on top of marketing trends.
A marketing plan isn't something that is designed to sit on a shelf or get framed. It's a living document used to guide your insurance marketing.
How do you go about evaluating your marketing plan?
Step One: Set Marketing Goals and Objectives
If you set goals and objectives for your marketing campaign and overall marketing plan, you'll be better able to review whether or not they are working.
Evaluate your business plan. What needs to change at your business? How does your marketing plan address this? For example, you might want to improve social media communication with your customers so that you can get their opinions about your products. Write this into your marketing plan.
Examine your current position. If you currently have 3,000 followers on your Facebook account and 200 interactions with your posts every day, what do you want to change? Are the numbers more important, or will you incorporate the quality of interactions into your metrics as well?
Make focused goals. For example, if you're planning to change your social media interactions, think about what is most important and focus on that for a period of time. For example, if you want to double your daily post interactions on Facebook and that is the most important Facebook-related goal for your business, focus on that goal for several months.
How will you achieve your goals? Create a plan with objectives and dates attached to it. For example, you could set an objective of recruiting a brand ambassador to give feedback about your product and post it on Facebook, to contribute to the overall goal of increasing post interactions.
The top three benefits of research and analytics are "increased efficiency, more confident decision making, and cost savings." – Smart Insights
Step Two: Gather Data About Your Insurance Marketing
Data is essential to any marketing plan review. To evaluate your marketing plan, you will need to have data on your progress toward your goals and whether you've met your objectives. Set metrics as you set your goals and objectives, then determine how close you are to achieving them. Your metrics will be closely connected to those goals.
If you want to increase social media shares, track that.
If you want more phone calls about a specific product, track your calls and note how many are related to that product.
If you want to write guests posts that direct people to a specific landing page on your website, track visits to that page.
Establish your baselines. Collect data about your current numbers in that area of marketing and about seasonal trends. For instance, you're launching auto insurance products and want to attract teens this fall by posting photos of teens and cars, with insurance tips. You decide to post these photos on Instagram. Make sure that you have a baseline of your Instagram engagements during the rest of the year and during back to school seasons so that you know whether you're experiencing seasonal traffic or an increase due to your campaign.
Correlate your data with actions you've taken during your marketing campaign. If you post a series of Instagram photos, watch your metrics immediately after you post and in the days after you post.
Track lasting changes. Look at site visits, keywords that people use to visit your site, what they download, and responses to your calls to action. Get alerts on your business name to see how your campaign is faring online.
Step Three: Use Your Data to Make Changes
It's good to know how your marketing campaign is doing. It's better to know how you can use that data to make changes to your future campaigns. According to Smart Insights, the top three benefits of research and analytics are "increased efficiency, more confident decision making, and cost savings."
As you evaluate your marketing campaigns, make changes to your overall marketing plan.
For instance, if your goal was to increase your sales of fall auto insurance by 10% over last year, and one objective was to increase Instagram connections, how did that work? How many photos did you post? How many people connected to and shared those photos? Did website visits increase, or did you see more people using your discounts or signing up for your newsletter? In the end, how did sales change during your campaign?
While you can't attribute all changes to your specific campaign, you can use your goals, objectives, and data that you've gathered to evaluate your campaign and decide how similar campaigns might fit into your overall marketing plan in the future.
Determining the Future of Your Marketing Plan
Insurance marketing isn't just a science. It's also about the art of balancing financial returns, customer engagement, employee energy, and your overall branding and marketing objectives.
Even if a campaign does not have an immediate return, you might decide to continue if you find that you're getting steady engagement and conversion from your insurance customers.
On the other hand, a campaign that is engaging but controversial may actually have a positive ROI, but you might feel like the social media buzz about the campaign is not positive enough for the campaign to contribute to your business in the long term.
At American Agents Alliance, we're dedicated to the development of your business. You know that you need to grow and change as the insurance market changes. We provide a forum for education, networking, and more. Join us for our Alliance Convention and take advantage of some of our many membership benefits as well.