ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

CUTTING EDGE OR CATCH UP: MARKETING IN A DIGITAL WORLD

In today’s digital environment, the phone book still has its place in a well-rounded advertising and marketing plan. But it is no longer the most concentrated point of that plan. The most progressive and innovative agencies establish multiple points of contact with their prospects and clients. If you only touch your prospects or clients once a year at renewal time, or worse, if you only speak to your clients when they have a claim, that isn’t strategic – that’s just blind luck.

We have the greatest communication tool in history as close as our fingertips! Between email and social

networking, you can communicate with a single prospect or client, a select group or every one your agency has ever been in touch with. The expense is negligible compared to that phone book ad, and the message can be seen as soon as it hits the recipient’s computer or smart phone. However, most agencies fail to integrate

electronic media into their overall marketing plan.

BE INNOVATIVE!!! Your agency now has the opportunity through social media to deliver well directed marketing messages to every prospect and client. Now before you think that social media is just a kid’s game, consider this: According to several well-known research groups, 2010 marked the year that social

networking communication exceeded email usage in every age category except 55+. That means that social networking is now the most prevalent form of written electronic communication. Whether we are discussing Facebook (which recently became the most accessed website in the world exceeding Google), Twitter, which allows instantaneous updates on all activities, or LinkedIn, the B2B social network that pulls together

associated people from related corporate circles, the behavior of most of your prospects and clients has changed. It is time to change with them.

EMAIL IS NOT DEAD!!! Integrate a combined approach to marketing that includes social networking and email marketing. The key is to have an interesting and valuable message. You are not interested in wasting your employees’ time creating a document, letter, newsletter or article simply to be discarded with a click. Every communication should have a purpose and be something that your clients or prospect are implored to view. If your recipient spends only 3 seconds per email and only reads the first paragraph, will then be hooked enough to continue reading? That’s the goal!

WEBSITES ARE NOT BILLBOARDS!!! If you look at your website, what does it do for you? All too

often, it is little more than a billboard announcing, “This is our name and phone number,” and “This is what we can do.” When a prospective customer reaches you through your website, they are looking for information. Where are you? What can you do for me? Who are YOU? The more information you can provide, the longer you will keep a web visitor on your site. The longer they are on your site, the more they become exposed to your agency. The easiest customer to get is the one who already knows they want to buy from you and knows what products they need.

TRIPLE THREAT!!! The best marketing programs are an integrated system of various methods of

communication, passive and active messaging, and the people to tie it all together. The bond that holds these pillars together is the plan. An agency that doesn’t have a plan will lack a consistent message. By breaking down the year into 52 weekly messages tied together by monthly themes, it becomes easier to create the marketing plan in advance. From that plan, determine which methods of communication are going to be implemented and when. Then deploy your most valuable resource, your people, in the most effective way.

If an emergency arises such as a natural disaster, an emergency or a local newsworthy event, determine if it will supersede your plan or integrate into your plan. The end result is that you will develop a highly effective marketing plan that is flexible to meet the needs of your clientele.

If you would like to develop your agency’s marketing and advertising plan to take advantage of a multi-faceted communication program, please give us a call at (800) 779-2430 and ask for Al or David. You can also visit our website www.agencyconsulting.com, or you can email info@agencyconsulting.com for additional information.