Genuine vs. the Algorithm

Marketing should supplement and promote genuine value not disguise the lack of.

Right now it seems that way, but somewhere in my reading and listening, I again heard what I already have known for a while now; You do not need to adapt to AI, and similar data ideas, but the agents/brokers/companies that do will survive and thrive and those that don’t, won’t.

So combine that with the following things stuck in my head from various reading and listening;

  • Sending out a birthday card is awesome and there are services that do this
  • Who is killing it on YouTube?

Paragraph rants, what if

Attempted to use some voice to text stuff and it produced some really odd paragraphs.  Reinterpreting them a bit below;

  1. Is your marketing plan simply to produce enough content aka noise, so that one or more algorithms will help people “find” you?  I am not sure that, as a strategy, this is much more than hedging your fear of not knowing where the next deal is coming from.  Hope is not a strategy, nor is relying on things you do not have control of, like algorithms.

Rate increases; the most debilitating piece of the personal insurance puzzle

Incomplete draft from March 15, 2015.  I could write this post, with very little variation, this week as well. That is a massive failure.  Adding any more to it would be a waste of time.

 

The setting; a longtime customer is hit with double-digit rate increases two years in a row.  First year can be absorbed but by the second they have had enough.  The end result; YOU keep the customer.  That is the goal right?  Find a group of people who trust you and keep their business with you as long as possible.  What happens?  His $5500 premium drops to $4200.  Yes, scary.  In that he decides to save some money and drops an umbrella.  We also move a child onto their own.  So where is the fail?

Dynamic underwriting exists…and somehow it is bad for customers

I’ve had my own run of claims as well as some others going on lately.  Fortunately, an occurrence that could have been claimed, sort of,  and a basic “How to handle a claim post”

Both are still accurate and both are somewhere between far from the truth and not enough.  I’ve long thought insurance functions as much like a credit card or bank loan than what people expect from insurance.  But, maybe I’m also abusing or misusing the word dynamic a bit.

Marketing pieces are valid….just not yours

This was the basis for two postcards I had done in 2012.  I liked them, still do. I like most things that hold up over time and the things on here do.

Then the next blurb I wrote was called “What does your agent have” this is a post I can probably write weekly if not every other week.  The same format of a solicitation keeps coming.

In my opinion, and there is a bit of data to support this, mailing campaigns still work.  Period.  We have done several this year and they have all produced several results.  Why?

Customers. Period

But really, I call them Friends and Acquaintances;

“There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet”  William Butler Yeats

A bit deep on Friends from 2015 coincides with a training session with some pieces that are a bit off

I’ve never quite fully understood the philosophy of  “A, B and C customers….”  In the sense that I completely understand what is being said; focus your time on energy to produce a better outcome.  Great.  But, on the other hand, when you see in insurance today can partially be attributed to widespread use of this kind of attitude.

What you can do that they can’t

Apparently, I forgot to hit publish in September 2013

 

Enough already, so sad that industry publications continue to write articles about direct writers (state farm, allstate, geico, liberty mutual, etc.) and how the independent agents are competing against them.  Are you really?  Maybe it is time for a solid look in the mirror.  While you are at it maybe you look at your business plan as well.

Some things to consider;

1. Do you really want their customers?  I like leftovers but my wife is a great chef.  Her leftovers are the only one’s I eat, I’m not interested in anyone else’s.  The lesson, focus on what you want instead of what they do not want.

“The System” is stacked

* Reflecting on some older posts in an effort to stir my brain back up and see where my thoughts have gone over the last 8 years*

Today it is off this one, A Day in Court; http://theinsurancebill.com/?p=184

The overall financial system we are in is fascinating.  Tough to say that the good the insurance piece of this system is helping or hurting more.  Yes, it allows entrepreneurship to flourish.  Yes, it is the underlying fabric of the entire financial system.  But, on the other hand, we do a lot of work in the personal insurance and micro-commercial space(think 1-5 employees 6 but rarely 7 figure sales).  This is where you see the dysfunction shine.

Insurance and Time math…again

So I get a call from someone at a fairly large, established agency.  Had a few questions, was trying to “help” someone out.  Nice enough, but not necessary.  I appreciate the effort, I really do.

About two hours later I was on the phone with a new friend(some say client/customer) and was binding their policies.  Could be coincidence that this person was with the same agency that the other agent worked at…or maybe it isn’t.  Lets dive a little deeper;

When the system breaks

I lose some sleep and wake up thinking about yesterday’s “loss.”  Not really a loss more like a time where everything seems to match up but it just doesn’t.  Everything is there;

  • was referred by a trusted person(is there any better way)
  • has been with me a few years(yup, 98+% stay)
  • had actually met in person(shocking but happens)
  • helped with a non-insurance thing(helped get one a job)

So you go into the renewal time ready to follow the plan and this time it doesn’t work.  Factually the overall plan always works.  But, within that plan, sometimes the sub-plan doesn’t get the expected result.  Take the other set of circumstances;