Planning For The Success Of Life Insurance Awareness Month
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the industrys Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education (LIFE) program that is geared to creating a better understanding of the role of life and health insurance.
LIFEs “real life stories” have dramatized the way our products impact in a positive way the lives of families. Reversal of the downward slide of how we are perceived by the public has occurred in large measure because of the LIFE programs.
And so now, we are set to embrace the newest initiative from LIFE, a national “Life Insurance Awareness Month” (LIAM). While a few state and local underwriter (advisor) associations have done this in the past, this is the first all-industry effort and also the first on a national basis. Wisely, the planners have targeted September as the awareness month. I say wisely because it allows for at least 7 months of planning before the event and this is vital if it is to be a meaningful effort.
Planning, I believe, is essential because we should think through very clearly what it is we want to have happen. Awareness is, of course, but a first step and if that is all we create, then the program will not have accomplished much.
Awareness without action is, in the long run, of very little value. I am sure that the residents of the Iranian town of Bam were aware that their town lay across a severe geological fault. However, even with this knowledge, it is apparent no action was taken to build homes and other structures to withstand an earthquake. And so it seems to me that the purpose of the awareness we want to create should logically lead to action. How do we do this?
I remember many years ago the 3M company, maker of abrasives and tapes used by body shops, tried to create an awareness among the public of the importance of repairing minor body damage on their cars. Advertising this message to the public did little to motivate people to fix up the dents in their cars and so the focus was shifted to the service advisors in car dealerships. This was done primarily by the creation of “DOOF” month. DOOF stood for “dents out of fenders.”
Ordinarily, hundreds of cars would pass through a dealers service department each month and many needed minor bodywork that was, for the most part, ignored. But during “DOOF month,” service advisors constantly were reminded to suggest such repairs–and it worked. Body shop business picked up–3M sold more products and car owners took greater pride in the appearance of their automobiles.