The Evolution of Insurance Advertising

Marketing PlanClient referrals are fantastic lead generators, but very few insurance agencies can survive by word of mouth alone.  Maybe not on the same grand scale, but like a Fortune 500 corporation, you must promote yourself, your wares and skill-set to advertise your business and earn new clientele.  In this digital age, marketing and advertising are industries unto their own with numerous sub-categories along various types of media and medium.  Making the right choices for your business can be daunting to say the least, and a majority of American brokers don’t know where to start or how to progress.

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, print advertising hit its stride.  Periodical and newspaper ads brought commercial names and corporate logos out of urban offices and into the homes of consumers, allowing insurance companies to pedal their products vast distances across the country to those living outside big cities.

Insurance advertising substantially progressed through the twentieth century with the likes of radio and television, making large property/casualty and life insurance companies quite familiar entities to the American public.  Insurance products finally became relatable in the average household.

The next significant step forward was the introduction of personal computers, email and the internet which brought advertising light years ahead to where we see it today in the digital realm.  We live in an amazing world that allows images and data to be sent instantly all over the globe.  We can now put our likeness, our marketing materials in front of millions of consumers and agents relatively inexpensively.

But where do you start, and how do you stay focused without being redundant or going over budget?  The key is to resist intimidation of the task at hand, and to market yourself from many different angles and as frequently as possible.  There is no one answer to advertising for your firm, as what works best for you may not work for others.  And a single marketing method isn’t going to cut it either; be prolific even if it seems like overkill.

Advertise in print media, send mailers, use social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, advertise on the web, send marketing emails and stay active in industry associations like NAIFA and the International DI Society.  Do it all and often because you never know when or where the right client is going to see your logo and realize he/she needs your expertise.  Do anything and everything you can to remain relevant and accessible in the industry. 

Petersen International Underwriters (PIU) has sold insurance for almost 50 years, and we pride ourselves in our marketing “footprint”, making our firm a household name in this country and internationally.  Early on in his career, Harold Petersen recognized the importance of remaining visible to target clientele and to his peers.  He developed this newsletter, The Communicator, decades ago and embraced print advertising in industry magazines which we continue to this day.  Our marketing and advertising has evolved as has this industry, but we have found that it is never too late to try something new.