August 3, 2018 | Insurance Agent Engine

Insurance Marketing 101: Your Message Matters

Can you define your unique vantage point (UVP) quickly and succinctly? The base of your marketing efforts begins here, by identifying your message. It seems like a simple exercise, but this is where most businesses, brands, and yes, even insurance agents, can trip up.

If you don’t have a clear message, then you can’t expect to successfully market yourself and build your book of business.

Where Most Insurance Agents Go Wrong

Your business isn’t about you. It’s about your clients. Whether you sell commercial insurance lines or widgets online, your business relies on customers and clients to survive. If your business is all about getting more clients, then why is your marketing message all about you?

People tune out advertising messages every day. They fast forward through commercials while watching TV, they skip past ads that play before a video, they change the radio station when a song ends. And the moment you launch into a complicated explanation of what you do, they zone out and start thinking about something else.

So how do you capture someone’s attention in this tuned-out world?

You craft a message that meets them where they are.

Two Elements of a Winning Marketing Message

According to Donald Miller, author of Building a Storybrand, there are two keys to gaining your audience’s attention:

  1. Keep your message simple
  2. Help your client survive or thrive

#1. Keep it Simple

Simplicity is more than just a buzzword. It’s how the human brain prefers to receive information. Ever since a 14th-century logician William of Ockham came up with the principle of Occam’s razor - “keep it simple!” - the idea that simpler explanations are better has been adopted by modern cognitive science.

You don’t have to be a neuroscientist or psychologist to understand that the mind seeks the simplest interpretations of the world.

Even Google recommends simplicity for marketing efficiency, reminding marketers, “Usually the difference to an award-winning ad and an ad that brings in the results is simplicity. Great stories and amazing executions win gold in competitions; straightforward messages deliver results.”

When your audience has to struggle to understand your message, your point of view, or your value, you’ll lose their attention fast.

#2. Help Your Client Survive or Thrive

Everyone is facing a challenge. Everyone has a deep desire. Your job as an insurance agent is to understand whether your clients’ are trying to survive or thrive.

In 1943, an American psychologist named Abraham Maslow proposed that healthy humans have a certain number of needs arranged in a hierarchy, with some being more basic than others. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is often presented as a 5-level pyramid in which the basic survival needs must be met before higher level (thriving) needs can be focused on.

Once your basic survival needs are met and you have access to food, water, and shelter, you may notice that you’re lonely and craving a circle of friends or a loving relationship.

Once your loneliness has been fulfilled, you may desire to advance your career.

After gaining the power and respect you desire, you may start to yearn for more - desiring fulfillment and self-actualization.

For the most part, it’s likely that your potential clients have their basic human survival needs met. But they may still feel like they’re in survival mode.

  • They may have recently gone from a two-income household to a single-income household
  • They may be worried about making their mortgage payments
  • They may be struggling with a business that’s losing money month after month
  • They may be challenged with paying down credit debt or building a nest egg

There’s another group of people, however, who aren’t looking for help surviving. And your marketing message may be completely different if your products are geared more towards people who are seeking to thrive.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals to thrive. In other words, people want more than to survive. They want to lead rich, meaningful lives. Positive Psychology is becoming more and more dominant in marketers determine how their products help customers find fulfillment and meaning.

What does this have to do with marketing your insurance business?

If your potential clients have their survival needs met, they may be looking for more meaning and fulfillment in their lives.

  • They may desire growth and expansion in their business efforts
  • They may be thinking about the legacy they’ll leave behind for their family
  • They may be seeking more meaning and fulfillment in their career
  • They may want to make a difference in the world around them

Crafting Your Message

Now that you understand the two key elements of a successful marketing message, it’s time to bring it all together.

What is the problem you solve? Which of your products solves it? How does it make life better for your clients?

  • You help struggling business owners get out of the red with commercial insurance products that eliminate deposits and lower premiums.
  • You help first-time parents alleviate stress with investments that allow for less work and more time at home with their new baby.

Once you’ve written down your three-part message, simplify it. Boil it down to its most basic elements.

Then practice pitching it.

Can someone figure out exactly what you do, what product you sell, and the benefit it offers in a matter of moments?

You’ve got a simple message that appeals to the basic desires and needs of your potential client. You have a message that can go on a business card, on a website homepage, on an email signature. You’ve got a message that will cut through the noise and be remembered. Congratulations, you’ve crafted a marketing message that wins.