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?
  • You must contact your customers 24-36 times

On Birthdays; Mrs. B is the mother of a childhood friend of my wife.  Each year a birthday card shows up for our children and I’m not even sure that she has met our children.  Handwritten.  Maybe she uses an electronic calendar, maybe she doesn’t, but it is real, handwritten ink and genuine.

Has Facebook ruined the birthday greeting?  I mean they remind you about the birthday and they even tell you what to say to the person.  I suppose technically the person “said” happy birthday to you.  Maybe you were even overwhelmed by the “love and the messages…..” But how many of those people took the 5-30 second to personalize it?  You can say the same thing about changing jobs or posting an update on Linkedin.  And yes, if automation is becoming more and more a part of what we do, those that use it better will stand out.  So, sure, a physical birthday card from your insurance agent showing up at your home is nice, sort of.  If you did it merely to keep in touch as part of a formula, is it?

  • Is it really just a self-serving act following a desperate formula to combat an already “noisy” world?
  • Is this just one touch of a formula?

Sure, you are combining data with a pseudo genuine act.  But, you are using what is considered an important, almost sacred, milestone and demeaning it into a marketing activity.

Killing it on YouTube

Cool.  Excited for you.  Especially if it is a goal you set for yourself and now you are accomplishing it.  On the other hand, what aren’t you doing?  Certainly, all that time recording, editing, posting and sharing takes away from other activities.  But, hey you are feeding an algorithm, good for you.

So, I’m confused.  You are recording a video to bring value to others?  Cool, in theory, your video will get to more people.  So the next question, and you need to choose one;  The person that calls you because they watched a video or the person who called you because an existing customer told you about them.  Choose one.

I have no doubt, just like this post, there is value in being found online.  But are you doing the right mix of activities to be found and activities to be valuable?  Be honest, the information you are writing or recording, likely already exists.  Sure, there are new ideas, but not when it comes to talking about the basics of auto and home insurance.  So, you want them in your voice, fine.  But what if you did something new?  What if you were really honest, I mean honest enough it likely annoys some of your partner companies?

Where is the person “killing it” in flood insurance?

Where is the agent who has an amazing internship program?

Is there an agent “killing it” with AMS360(or whatever management system you use)?

Need more ideas, consider these places to be of value immediately that will have positive results but may not simply feed an algorithm;

  • What is your plan for flood insurance?   HUGE changes have begun and will continue.
  • IOT, aka The Internet of Things. Have you tested any devices in your home?  How can they help your people?
  • Telematics; an app vs. a plug in?  Thoughts?  Are your encouraging use of this?
  • What have you done to help your carriers today?  Hint, they don’t need, and many don’t even seem to want, another policyholder?
  • Using PayPal in your agency?  Have you seen them on a carrier yet?  I’ve only seen one.  Why?

 

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