As the New Year approaches, you may be considering what you need to do to grow your business in 2010. Here are five marketing mistakes to avoid as you look for more clients.
Mistake #5: Spend too much time on your creative.
You want to get in front of more people, so you begin working on a marketing campaign. Where do you start? You may be tempted to begin with the creative elements. Postcard or letter? Newspaper ad or flyer? Full color or black and white? Photos? Charts? Illustrations?
Hold on! Before you start whipping something up, consider this Recipe for Marketing Success. Three ingredients are important to your marketing recipe for success: List, offer, and creative. The first ingredient, your list, makes up about 40% of your recipe. The second ingredient, your “offer,” constitutes another 40%. Your creative, or the imaginative devices you use to form your marketing campaign, are like adding a pinch of salt. (That’s a 20% pinch of creative!) Just like too much salt can ruin a recipe, the best creative in the world will leave a bad taste in your mouth if you don’t start with a well-researched list and an offer that will appeal to your customers’ wants and needs.
Mistake #4: Use “insurance speak.”
According to www.dictionary.com, the word “jargon” means: 1.the language, esp. the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group; 2. unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing; gibberish; 3. any talk or writing that one does not understand.
Using “insurance speak,” or jargon, can create confusion and frustration for your clients. To improve your written and spoken communications, try these simple ideas for removing jargon from your vocabulary:
- Know your audience and communicate on their level by using the language they use. Would your client be more likely to ask, “What is the premium?” or “How much does this insurance cost?”
- If you’re talking about an insurance term or concept, use a dictionary or thesaurus to brainstorm a way to explain it in lay terms. Then read it out loud to your best friend, your mother, or your Grandpa Bob. If they can understand it, it’s likely your clients will, too.
- Make any necessary insurance jargon short, clear, and understandable. Then, explain it with examples or analogies.
- Avoid acronyms. They mean nothing to people outside of the insurance industry. For instance, instead of saying, “SPIA,” say “Single Premium Immediate Annuity” and then explain what it is.
Mistake #3: Do what everyone else is doing.
You receive a workshop invitation from a fellow insurance agent. A day later, you see a copy of the same workshop invitation in the local newspaper. “Should I be doing that, too?” you wonder. And before you know it, you’re working on a similar workshop promotion. If Acme Insurance Agency is doing it, it must be a successful idea. Right?
Maybe. Maybe not. Just because a fellow agent is marketing a product or concept, it does not necessarily mean that it is working. For example, if an agent is advertising the same workshop that you’ve seen offered by other agents many times before, it’s likely that your potential clients have seen it, too. Instead of doing what everyone else is doing, concentrate on what YOU do best and seize the opportunity to stand out. If all of your competitors have traditional brands, try something nontraditional. Offer something that piques your clients’ interests and speaks to their needs. Use brand techniques, messages and colors that help make you and your business memorable. Doing so can help you be easily recognized in a sea of blue logos, photos of couples walking on beaches, and boring “insurance speak.”