DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION DOESN’T
NEED TO BE SCARY
Make the most of what you already have by
thinking broadly about tech
By Joel Zwicker
By working in the insurance industry, you’ve signed up for a career dedicated to helping protect people and everything they work for. You get up every day with your policyholders in mind and look for ways you can better serve them, while expanding your umbrella to more people.
With that in mind, IT support is probably not your passion. People don’t get into our line of work with a burning desire to stay up to date on all the latest digital marketing solutions. But the lasting impact of the pandemic forcing almost every industry to go remote and the evolving preference of consumers to conduct business online make online literacy a must for all agents.
When agencies do make time to think about their digital marketing tools, it can feel overwhelming. Not to mention there is this nagging feeling that if you paid more money or spent more time, your online presence could be better and doing more. It feels like you’re always behind on the latest tools and even when you do dedicate resources to implementing and learning the latest technology, it is almost instantly out of date.
We’ve all moved beyond the fundamental digital tools such as email, e-signature and texting, as these digital communications methods have become table stakes for all businesses. The next level up are tools that allow agencies to reach a wider audience of prospects and communicate in more personalized ways. This includes marketing automation and a website that’s more than just a contact page.
Agencies can make the most of what they have by thinking broadly about technology. Fortunately, many solutions work together—especially if you start your search for technology partners by specifically looking for tools that integrate with other systems. This can save you the hassle of connecting them yourself. Technology vendors that specifically serve the insurance space understand your issues and the needs of your clients. Industry-specific tools are also more likely to collaborate with the systems you use throughout your agency. Many of these are no-code subscriptions with 24/7 support, so you have your own IT team working for you.
It t feels like you’re always behind on the latest tools and even when you do dedicate resources to implementing and learning the latest technology, it is almost instantly out of date.
In addition to taking full advantage of the tools you have, getting your systems talking to each other allows you to “set it and forget it”. Automated email communications that link to a beautiful and intuitive website help you identify ways to upsell and cross-sell. Potential policyholders who browse your website will be funneled into the sales pipeline and captured for follow-up or onboarding—again, all through automated messages that go out without interaction from you. And, by making sure your tools are talking to each other, you can have consistent, coordinated messages going out across all your platforms.
If this hands-off approach leaves you feeling like your communications will become cold and devoid of your personal touch, worry not. When the communication channels connect to your agency management system, the content can be personalized to each client.
Another way to add your personal touch is through video. Again, the right digital solutions have opportunities to easily create customized videos. Video is an area that agents are just starting to leverage, and it has shown a lot of potential. Policyholders appreciate hearing news directly from you, and video proposals have a close rate of more than 90%. It can add the face-to-face connection that our industry was built on back into our virtual communications.
The bottom line is that fully utilizing to its full potential the technology you likely already have will give you back the time to spend on servicing policyholders instead of playing IT support. And, working with technology partners that are specialized to the industry means that they will continue to innovate, acquire and upgrade so you can always be on top of the latest trends, preferences and tools. You probably have a full arsenal of tools at your disposal that you aren’t currently leveraging, but taking a step back to make sure everything is connected will save you time in the long run and keep you from playing catch up.
As Agency Revolution’s chief evangelist, Joel Zwicker helps independent agencies improve KPIs and achieve growth objectives. As agencies work through digital transformation, he guides them through digital marketing, marketing automation and content marketing. In addition to years at Agency Revolution, Joel spent 11 years as an independent agent and the last eight of those years overseeing the marketing efforts for a large insurance agency. In that role, he opened multiple branch offices, engaged more mature segments of the agency in both their digital and traditional marketing efforts, and spearheaded the agency’s initiative to become one of the most “liked” insurance agencies on Facebook.