Archive for March, 2011

Even with large number of  acquisitions over the last 15 years by companies like Marsh, AON, USI, Willis, etc., many of us in the insurance sector are still involved with privately held agencies.  These entities all have different shapes and sizes: some are single family owned, some are  partnerships with non related individuals, some are large and some quite small.  Whatever the size or shape of the organization, thoughtful succession planning is critical.   Are adult children of the owner or owners currently involved in the business, or intend to be involved in the business needs to be addressed?  Is there intent on having business perpetuate, or is there a plan to sell with proceeds going to owner’s estate? There are so many different variables and potential arrangement that each organization has to take the time and with the assistance of  both legal and tax advisors craft a plan that addresses these issues.  For instance  Death is not the only trigger, but a prolonged disability or incapacitation are also factors to consider.  I have attached an interesting Article recently published in Inc.  The article addresses things to consider when addressing succession planning for a family business.

The intent of this post and article is to hopefully get you thinking about this issue if you have not done so to date.  I welcome any feedback on this issue both real or anecdotal.

Action is the foundational key to all success, Pablo Picasso

George Bode

With mail costs up and response rates down, many of us have turned to electronic marketing as a compliment to our direct mail efforts and in some segments replacing direct mail entirely.  The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has published its Quarterly Business Review, which indicates that 54.7% of marketers surveys reported revenue increases as a direct result of electonic marketing efforts compared to the same period in 2009.   Social, search and mobile generated the largest increase in ROI.  Highlights from the report are included in an Article in the March 11, 2011 Online BtoB Publication.

First, we are curious to see if you are experiencing similar results in the insurance marketplace?  Secondly, are there any specific cohorts that are apt to engage through the digital model? And finally is is offer or product specific. i.e., 1 step vs lead generation and or/guarantee issue vs. underwritten?

We would like to hear from you with you on your experiences.

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom-Francis Bacon

George Bode

I found this recent study conducted by Mass Mutual and The American College,  which in my opinion validates what many of us in the Voluntary Disability market have asserted for years: employer provided LTD often leaves tremendous gaps in disability protection. I believe this provides a great opportunity  for those of us engaged in marketing and selling Voluntary Disability Income insurance to individual professionals.   One strategy is to segment your database and create a specific marketing and sales campaign to address the needs of those individuals.  In this case, it is prospective customers who can be identified as part of  an organization with 10 or more employees (usual threshold for employer sponsored LTD).  Pieces designed to speak  to the need of buying supplemental coverage to fill the gaps in their employer provided LTD plan, can be a very effective way to reach prospective customers who may have the  mis-perception that they already have enough coverage in-force.  Multiple copy splits in any sales and marketing campaign is very important, as a one size fits all approach often falls short due to all the various needs and situations of each of the recipients.

We would like to hear from you with your comments and experiences regarding multiple marketing and sales approaches in the Voluntary Disability Income insurance market.

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A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty-Winston Churchill

George Bode

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