Traditional Marketing VS Digital Marketing

Traditionally, the term “market” refers to the place where buyers & sellers meet for exchange of goods & services. Market is the very common term,known to all, but depending upon the quantity of goods handled, there are wholesale market & retail markets.
In the modern concept sense the term “market” has a broader meaning. It refers to the sets / collection of actual or potential buyers of a products & services.

There are various categories of the marketing, but there are two main segment, first being the traditional marketing & second, being the digital marketing. In this article, we will discuss about these methods in details.

01) TRADITIONAL MARKETING

Traditional marketing refers to any type of promotions, advertising or publicity,which are generally used by the companies/ business entities for a longer period, & that has a proven success rate.

In old times, marketing was defined as the flow of goods & services from producers to consumers. This is a product oriented definition of marketing. The producer concentrate only on the products that what they can produce / manufacture, & need of consumers are not taken into the consideration.

Methods of traditional techniques include print advertisement, such as newsletters, billboards, newspapers ads. Other forms are television, commercials, radio -broadcasting advertising about the product or service of any company.

NEED OF DIGITAL MARKETING

Since the technology is advancing in now-a-days, that demands the change in everything. The digital marketing is a part of the computerisation. Talking for about 20 years back, there was no computers, no mobile phones & of course, no internet connection. But as the technology grows, after some time mobiles phones & computers are introduced into the life of human being. After some more time, internet facilities got introduced, which bring about the digital revolution. Examples of the digital marketing includes the websites, social media networks, emails are the common. The digital marketing is similar to traditional one but by using the digital devices & information technology. It is Faster, reliable & easy to find medium & therefore accepted worldwide.

02) DIGITAL MARKETING

Digital marketing is a broad term that refers the marketing through the online medium like search engines,websites, social media networks & emails.Digital marketing is sometimes also called the online or internet marketing.

Digital (latest) marketing technique include the SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (Search engine marketing), content marketing, campaign marketing, e-commerce marketing & social media marketing.

There are various reason for the growth of digital marketing.

1) Digital marketing techniques are more cost effective than traditional concept.
2) Digital process faster than old one, thereby result oriented.
3) Any individual / company track his/ her performance.
4) All process being reliable, generates better revenues.
5) Digital media facilitate the interaction with targeted audience.

However, there are various factors that affect the process of firm’s ability to develop & maintain the successful transaction & relationships with the target customers. There is generally two types of environment inside any organisation. One is stable, not changing with time & changes are very frequent. Second being the dynamic field that keep on change according to the demand.

For carrying out the successful business, either it may be old or new, one need to give the proper attention on choosing the right consumers, creating the audience & by developing the superior value of the service / products.

You might have read the above headline and thought…”AND DIE?? WHAT THE??”

But, it’s true. Now, you might not lose your life, per se, but your business will and even possibly your hopes, dreams, and goals in life will follow suit.

So to prevent your business’s demise and, in fact, allow your business to flourish and enjoy an abundant life…you must understand this very BASIC marketing concept.

And that one BASIC marketing concept is…GIVE YOUR TARGET MARKET WHAT THEY WANT.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Give your target market what they want. You are pushing a large boulder up a steep hill if you’re not doing this one basic thing.

If you think that posting and publishing all sorts of information about your product and business opportunity all over the web is going to build you a successful business….you are only kidding yourself.

If you’re doing this, you’re essentially vomiting all over people online.

If you truly understand this BASIC marketing concept, you realize that people really don’t care about you…(I know that sounds mean, but let me explain). People care about themselves and they’re looking and searching for answers to their own problems.

So, you need to focus on being the answer to those problems.

Think of it this way. When someone goes to The Home Depot looking for a drill, what problem are they trying to solve? Is it that they lack a drill? or Do they just need a hole?

You see, if you understand that they need a solution for getting a hole…it doesn’t matter what kind of drill they get, or if they can get a hole without a drill. If you can position yourself as someone who can get them a hole…you’re probably going to make some sort of sale.

Now, personally, I like to focus my marketing strategies on EXISTING network marketers. Why? They understand what it means to be an entrepreneur. They have an idea of how our industry works and I don’t need to go into a long explanation of how my business works.

My marketing strategies are geared toward network marketers and offering a solution to their problems. And it works because I give them exactly what they want.

What kind of problems do most network marketers have? What kind of solutions are you looking for?

1. MORE LEADS – I show network marketers how to generate their own, super-targeted, high quality leads by having their own Attraction Marketing System.

2. MORE TRAFFIC – I teach effective marketing strategies for any budget that will generate an influx of eyes on your website or lead capture pages.

3. SOME QUICK MONEY – I show you how to promote valuable affiliate tools, and resources to generate upfront commissions from people that you have come into contact with and that are on your list even if they don’t join you in your primary business.

4. MORE QUALITY DISTRIBUTORS – I teach you how to use the power of ATTRACTION MARKETING to attract real leaders, real movers-and-shakers so that you can build a powerful team with momentum.

5. DUPLICATION ON YOUR TEAM – You want positive business building activities to duplicate within your organization. I show you how to get access to a complete Training Center to teach your new team members the most effective online marketing strategies to build their business and YOUR downline.

By providing the above tools, training, and solutions for network marketers, it has taken my business to a completely new level.

And when you learn how to provide EXACTLY what it is that your target market is searching for…then you’ve got a formula for unlimited success.

When you follow that simple philosophy, that BASIC marketing concept, it’s unbelievable the blessings and abundance that will manifest in your life.

Marketing Plan Essentials for a Successful Business

A marketing plan enables you to draw an outline of the techniques to be employed in order to achieve the goals of your online business. Without a plan, the business will have no direction.

So why is it necessary to develop a marketing strategy?

  • To have a roadmap: The plan is a guide to realizing both your short-term and long-term visions for your business. You will be able to develop the right techniques for reaching out to your target market. The plan gives your business a sense of direction.
  • For branding: The marketing plan helps you in planning out the best methods of building the brand of your business. If for example your target market is college students, then the plan should be focused on branding your business as an entity for college students.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Developing a strategic plan for managing the resources of your online business can significantly reduce the operating costs. The plan makes the activities of your business more organized and efficient. You will be able to reap more for less.
  • Stability: The plan makes you business more stable in an unpredictable marketing environment. The online business environment is dynamic and new trends in marketing emerge every day. A well developed plan enables you to integrate the new trends and take advantage of them. You will be able to avoid reactionary marketing strategies which are usually ineffective in face of stiff competition.

Most online start-ups fail within the first year of their operation due to failure to create an effective marketing strategy. A great plan can enable a small start-up to be on the same level with already established online businesses.

Let’s take it a step further and discuss the essentials in developing a reliable marketing plan:

  • Determine your target market: You should identify your target market. Conduct a market research for establishing the right customers for the product or services offered by your online business. This will enable you to determine the best way to reach out to potential clients.
  • Branding: You should be consistent in creating brand recognition for your business. Marketing online should be centered on creating a unique business personality that can resonate to potential customers. All marketing efforts should be focused on creating a recognizable identity for your online business.
  • Goals and objectives: Set short-term and long-term goals for promoting your online business. The marketing plan should be drawn from the goals of your business. Goals also help in defining the budgetary allocation to your marketing campaign.
  • Budget: Work out the budget for your business. Map out your monthly and annual budgetary needs. Determine the costs of running a marketing campaign which should be in line with both your short-term and long-term goals.

And, don’t forget about the 4 P’s of Marketing: Product, Place, Price and Promotion — the graphic below has key

It is important that you satisfy all of these when creating a marketing strategy.

Embracing a good marketing strategy guarantees you of a ready market for your products and services. It also makes your enterprise successful and on a competitive edge by addressing the market forces of demand and supply. Once you have formulated the perfect marketing strategy and have the right product being offered at the best price, at the most convenient location and using the best promotional tactics, you get an edge over your competitors. All you need to stay at the top is adapt to the changing environment.

Creating a marketing strategy can take about an hour to do — and it can be the BEST hour you’ve spent on your business yet! Get in there, set your goals, create a marketing plan and stick to it!

To your success,

April

Create a Sales and Marketing Plan for Your Agency

The current market conditions for insurance are rather ambiguous. It seems that the “soft market” is on its last legs, but the uncertainty of political changes and issues like mold, asbestos and terrorism make it difficult to guess at long term trends. So, what can the typical independent insurance agent and broker do in order to succeed? What are the basic ingredients to a well written sales & marketing plan?

Know Thyself

The best starting point is to first define the insurance agency’s “personality.” The “personality” of an agency is the book of business and it will in turn define what to look for from the various markets and the selection of new markets to represent. For example, a large urban agency that sells only very large commercial accounts will have different expectations than a small town agency that sells all lines of insurance.

Start by finding out what the split of business is along each line: personal, commercial, life, group benefits and program business, etc. Then calculate the average size of account for each line. Also, how much of the agency business comes from the top ten accounts? Finally, analyze the distribution of business and identify the top five industries.

List the breakdown of the current book of business by line of business, top ten accounts and key industries. Calculate the current percentage of the overall book for that line of business. Is the mix of business healthy for the agency? This is a judgment call for the owners. Niche selling is usually more profitable, however, it is also riskier. If the agency has a lot of small accounts, the procedures in place for selling and servicing them are critical in order to make a profit.

It is important to distance oneself from the book of business and objectively ask the question “is this book valuable enough the way it is or should its composition be changed?” If it needs to be changed, what should the agency target? This depends on the expertise of the producers and service staff, as well as the appetite of the firm’s current markets. Write down those future targets next to the current composition. This thought process is what separates the entrepreneur from the average person.

How Much Can You Grow?

It is important to review the new sales for the agency overall and for each producer. An experienced producer in a typical agency should generate at least $30,000 to $50,000 in new commission dollars each year, depending on their size of book. For large firms with large accounts, the amount would be much higher, maybe even $100,000 in new commissions.

The hit ratio of each producer needs to be determined. Hit ratios less than 25% to 33% costs the agency a lot of time and money. The technique of producers with low hit ratios needs to be checked and adjusted. Often, the producer fails to pre-qualify the prospect. Sometimes producers just are not approaching businesses that match up with the products the agency has expertise in writing, nor markets that are competitive for those classes of business. Use the successful producers as a model.

The agency may have tremendous sales, however if there is loss of business through attrition, much of the effort for new sales is wasted. Calculate the attrition rate for the agency and each producer. The goal should be around 10% or less attrition for the typical property/casualty insurance agency. Higher attrition rates are usually an indication that the business the agency writes is transient and either the clients are price shopping or not good risks.

When writing a sales & marketing plan, list the current overall hit ratio, average new business produced and the average book of business in the agency. Write next to those numbers the target for next year. Below that list write two or three actions that need to be accomplished to reach those goals.

Market Relations

If the current uncertainty in the marketplace continues, the insurance carriers will be making a lot of changes, such as tightening up on underwriting or pulling out of certain markets. Today’s agent or broker needs to have a clear understanding of what the carriers can do for them and how this fits into the overall agency plan.

Run a list of all of the carriers with volumes, commission rates (or commissions), loss ratios and contingents received. Analyze how the agency’s book of business stacks up with the existing markets. Compare all the carriers and their products against what the agency has with the top ten industry groups the agency writes.

Some of the questions that should be asked include: will volume commitments be met and how will it be done, are there new markets the firm should seek out, is the volume spread too thick or too thin, is the agency maximizing profit sharing agreements?

In the sales & marketing plan also list the five most important markets (not necessarily the largest) and the agency’s volume with them. Write realistic agency production goals for the next 12 months next to those numbers. Then, list one or two markets that you do not have, but feel the agency could use. Write down next to those names the date you will approach them. Finally, list two or three markets that the agency has outgrown and should get rid of.

Take Responsibility

Agents & brokers are dependent upon insurance companies for the insurance products that the agency sells. A strong relationship with the carriers is imperative. The key to any good relationship is communication. Agencies must have a well-organized plan to communicate with each carrier. Some insurance companies communicate better than others do, so the independent agent needs to take full responsibility to ensure a dialogue occurs.

Agencies need to take a proactive approach to managing company relations. Good relations cannot be allowed to stagnate, and weak relations must be built up. Agency owners need to evaluate which companies they should do business with to meet their needs for competitive, responsive markets.

Both parties need to grow, and relationships of the past may no longer meet the needs of today, especially if either party has targeted certain classes of business that aren’t of interest to the other. Resources should not be wasted on maintaining relationships with carriers that offer little benefit to the agency. Companies continue to limit the number of agencies they do business with, often to better utilize their resources and to reduce costs.

Take Action

So how does an agency keep the communication open with its markets and perhaps become a “preferred” agent? Create a process that makes it easy for management to focus on company relationships. The first step is to assign an individual or two from the firm to each carrier as that carrier’s “relationship manager.”

Responsibilities for the management of the firm’s top carriers should be divided up among the owners and/or a key non-owner producer or CSR, depending on whom has the best relationship with each carrier. Overall carrier relationship management should always be a major focus for all owners; however, dividing up the duties with others in the firm will insure that the steps are implemented.

A specific action plan should include job assignments, planned visits, information and data to communicate, and a budget to implement the plan. Keep in mind that it takes time and money to nurture a successful company relationship. It’s important to keep track of the plan and make sure it is followed. Even a strong relationship will eventually die if it is neglected.

The collection and presentation of information and data is a significant step since it will set the tone of the communication. Agencies that are prepared and well informed will create an immediate interest in the company representatives, since unfortunately, most agencies fail to do their homework.

Stop By to Say Hello

Take the Sales & Marketing Plan directly to the insurance company representative. Set an annual meeting to discuss agency goals and future opportunities. In this annual meeting, the agency principal in charge of markets and the relationship manager for that carrier should meet face to face with the regional vice president or branch manager of each contract company and the main underwriter assigned to the agency.

There are three objectives for this meeting: 1) inform the company’s management about the current status of the agency and future plans; 2) find out where the company stands now and its plans for the future; and 3) discuss how the agency and the company can do more business together in the future.

There should be follow-up meetings to discuss progress on the agency-company game plan on at least a quarterly basis.

Both parties need to be open and frank. The agency Sales & Marketing plan should be reviewed and discussed at the meeting. Reasonable goals and commitments for future business need to be established. Relay the highlights of the meeting back to the agency staff.

Plan ongoing carrier “schmoozing” activities to enhance the relationship. It is easier to develop a relationship if parties meet often, and social visits are especially effective. The whole agency needs to be involved with fostering good relations with the markets.

Ask the companies to fill out a report card on the agency in order to identify the carriers’ perceptions of the firm. Discuss what the firm can do to improve the existing relationship and to write more business. Determine how the agency can take advantage of the value-added services offered by the carriers, such as financing, training, etc.

SUMMARY

Now, more than ever before, it is extremely important for insurance companies and owners of agencies/brokerages to build partnerships that are responsive to the business plans established each year by each party. Building improved relationships needs to be a two-way street.

It is easy to get this relationship-building program underway and it really works. Responsibilities for this program must be shared and communication needs to be flowing within the firm, within the carrier and between each other. Improved communication and a focus on improving relationships will save time and will make both parties more money, guaranteed.

Agencies without a sales & marketing plan are totally reactive to their environment and have little control over their future. Firms that incorporate an annual planning process tend to be more efficient, more profitable and highly valued businesses. The choice is yours. Take the time to plan ahead and be successful or be at the mercy of the winds of change.