Market Focus - Insurance Agents: Shine the Silver Lining
On the brick-and-mortar side of the operation, there always is, of course, a demand for the standard fare that makes offices tick. "[Insurance agents] are excellent candidates for seminars, forms, labels, office supplies, corporate gifts, subscriptions to publications that would help them sell and stay on top of the goings-on of their industry including financial publications and newsletters," notes Hassan. He also adds that subscriber lists for major industry magazines, including Life Insurance Selling, National Underwriter Life & Health, National Underwriter Property & Casualty and American Agent & Broker, are excellent lists targeting insurance agents.
But once the staples are taken care of (literally and figuratively), there are still other avenues of opportunities within this niche. Van Aartrijk offers up a few:
- Automobiles. Considering agents often are on the road, car leases and related services are constantly in demand.
- Promotional products. Logoed items help keep an agent's name (or agency's branding) top-of-mind with clients. "These can run the gamut from cheap plastic pens all the way up to more expensive items," he says.
- Travel. Because agents have disposable income, offers for hotels, flights and the like can be marketed for both business and pleasure.
- Advisers. Accountants, lawyers and real-estate agents are necessary, especially for independent agencies that often reach out for third-party consulting.
Technology Trumps Tradition?
Though, as van Aartrijk mentions above, many agencies haven't yet cracked the Web code for their businesses, it's still a viable method for reaching the insurance community. Chris Luke, publisher of two insurance-industry B-to-B magazines, American Agent & Broker and The National Underwriter Property & Casualty (NUP), notes that each publication's Web site is extremely content-rich, with resources for time-crunched subscribers. "NUP focuses a lot of its resources on posting information on our Web site daily, sometimes hourly," he affirms, adding, "As for American Agent & Broker, again the Web is a strong vehicle for us to present compelling online products including podcasts, and special videos and exclusive Web content." Moreover, Luke says, 93 percent of American
Agent & Broker subscribers indicate they will conduct business over the Internet, so it's a strong vehicle for marketing promotions.