Rank #1: Episode 3: Exploring community involvement
Independent agents give more of their time to social causes than any group I've ever known. In a recent Safeco® study, we found that 62 percent of the 240 fastest-growing agencies are not only supporting nonprofits, they're promoting their community involvement to both clients and prospects.
Why is this? A 2015 Cone LLC marketing study found that 90 percent of consumers will switch to companies supporting a social cause - away from ones that don't, or ones that do but never tell anyone. It really pays to tell others about your social cause efforts - yet few agencies are doing it.
In Episode 3 of our Customers for Life podcast, we're discussing community service ideas and how talking about how you give back can help your business. Listen in on my conversation with Alexis Holzer, who runs Safeco’s Agent Giving Program, and Kasie Ricart, an independent agent from Dallas, Texas, who not only gives back to her community, but has devised innovative ways to involve her client network.
Oct 02 2017
Rank #2: Episode 5: Video marketing
For Episode 5 of our Customers for Life podcast, I invited Nick and Dale Steinke, the leader of Safeco’s Bricks & Clicks™ program, to talk about why video is so important for IAs, how it can be used to increase retention and referrals, and how you can get started even if you've never done video before.
Oct 02 2017
Rank #3: Episode 9: Hiring the right fit
Taking the leap to hire a dedicated marketer for your agency is a big step, but making that decision comes with many benefits. Safeco® research shows, 56% of the fastest-growing agencies in the country have someone internally handling their marketing, 5% have an external marketer and an additional 18% have a combination of the two. Safeco’s Marketer Development Program can help ease the load of hiring a new marketer by giving them the knowledge and necessary skills to help fuel growth and increase retention in your agency.
In this month’s Customer’s for Life podcast, Fred Lautenbach, an independent agent and agency owner at Lautenbach Insurance Agency in Littleton, Colorado, shares his journey from the decision to hire a marketer to integrating them into his agency and how it’s helped them create deeper connections with their clients.
We’re always asking ourselves what it really looks like to provide an exceptional customer experience. We constantly strive to do what is best for the client and to create deeper, positive connections that last long after the initial sale.
Our agency’s book of business has grown very rapidly the past few years and we knew we should be doing more to keep our client relationships fresh. But when you’re focused on taking care of clients and bringing in new business, it’s hard to make time.
I knew that we needed someone to help and I knew that effort started with me. I looked into Safeco’s Marketer Development Program and began really trying to figure out exactly how someone would fit in here. We were looking for someone who could not only update the marketing tactics we were already implementing, but develop a more robust program that would hold everyone in the agency accountable for what we’re doing.
There are plenty of people doing marketing, but great people with the right personality and culture fit are harder to come by. I firmly believe our business is still a relationship business, so it was critical that we brought in someone who understood our agency’s personality, our clients and what we’re doing in our community.
We used LinkedIn and Instagram to get the word out and contacted customers letting them know were looking for somebody.
One of our friends contacted me with Matt’s information. And man, was he the perfect fit for us. Matt Fontneau is a Communications major with some background in marketing, but no insurance experience.
We didn’t hire, necessarily, on a vast amount of marketing experience or industry knowledge – we hired Matt because he is vibrant, good at communicating and understands our need connect with our clients and community. Safeco’s Marketer Development Program allowed us to do this with confidence, knowing we could jump right in to the hiring process and let the program fill in the gaps.
We were really excited not only about the opportunity for him to gain industry knowledge from other people that have had successes, but for him to learn how to streamline all our marketing efforts and get everything moving in one direction.
Up until we hired Matt, we’d all have ideas – about what we needed to do for customers to increase conversations with them and so forth – but they were fleeting, because there was no one to implement them.
Now, we have someone on the team who can bring these ideas to life – someone who knows our agency and how we like to run our business and can deepen our connections and move us forward based on who we are as an agency.
My advice for other agencies looking to grow their marketing efforts is to be open-minded, willing to invest in your agency’s resources and find the person that’s going to fit your company culture and your team.
Nov 12 2018
Rank #4: Episode 8: Surprising Results
Chuck Blondino talks with independent agent and agency owner Kennton Hoffman, who details his agency's stunning growth as a result of tactics he learned at Safeco's marketing workshop.
Jun 18 2018
Rank #5: Episode 6: The Marketer Development Program
In Episode 6 of our Customers for Life podcast, Mike Donich, Molly Smith, Kathy Straub and Nick Andrews of the Marketer Development Program discuss the course and why it's so important to have a dedicated marketer in your agency.
Feb 06 2018