- Emphasize service and support.
- Build a partnership business based on account selling.
- Focus on senior, claims-free personal lines business and the profitable, well-run, small family business.
- Target small, non-franchise business that does not have access to group insurance plans.
- Investigate acquiring other brokerages in the area.
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Acme Insurance’s mission is to provide the finest level of insurance services. We exist to attract and maintain customers. With a strict adherence to this maxim, success will be insured. Our services will exceed the expectations of the customers.
- Increase market share by 1% per quarter.
- Reinforce a market image as the finest service provider in the industry.
- Increase the ability to forecast which prospective customers are going to have the least number of claims and convert them into long-term clients.
- Increase profits by 2% a quarter.
- Hold customer acquisition costs steady.
- Decrease the costs associated with serving distant clients.
The market consists of senior citizens, lower-income young families (many of who are on social assistance) and the small, family-run business (many of which are seasonal and based on the tourist trade).
Acme is cautious about encouraging business from lower income prospects since they tend to have wood heat, homes in poor repair, and many attempt to install and repair their own plumbing, wiring, and heating systems.
Acme Insurance is being positioned as a comprehensive, personal insurance broker serving clients through close, personal service. Acme will serve all of Smalltown, which is a widely dispersed, rural community. Acme will leverage our competitive advantages which consists of the following:
- Knowledgeable industry participants- Having established the company in 1938, Acme has amassed a huge amount of industry knowledge based in empirical experience. Having significant experience provides the entire company with a vast amount of industry knowledge that Acme is able to leverage and offer as value to the clients.
- Close personal customer relationships- The business model is based on the staff developing close, communicative relationships with clients. The stronger and more open the relationship is, the more value and higher level of service that can be offered. While other insurance brokerages claim to offer closer personal contact, this business philosophy has been cultured within Acme and all of its employees. Because these types of relationships are so fundamental to Acme’s practices, everyone in the firm practices them, consciously and subconsciously.
The main focus of Acme’s marketing plan is the establishment of Acme Insurance as the premier, customer-centric insurance brokerage serving the Smalltown area. The marketing strategy will seek to continually develop customer awareness regarding the services offered, develop the customer base, and constantly build customer loyalty and referrals.
This strategy will be implemented by communicating that Acme can better serve Smalltown’s insurance needs. This message will be communicated through a variety of methods. The first method of communication is through advertisements in the Yellow Pages. A second method of communication will be the distribution of sales literature.
Acme has recently produced a pamphlet titled “Insurance Partners” that stresses that a successful insurance partnership between the client, the broker, and the company is based upon a new concept.
Not only do the broker and the company take responsibility for proper protection and indemnity in the event of loss, but in the 2000’s, the client must also take his/her share of responsibility to insure the safety of his/her property by keeping it well maintained and using qualified professionals to update or change the heating, electrical, and plumbing systems in his home. Acme stresses that multiple claims or claims arising out of poor maintenance may adversely affect his/her insurance.
In addition to the above, the brokerage uses a number of boilerplate letters on our computer system that are sent along with various types of policies explaining unique features or limitations in the contracts to avoid possible Errors and Omissions claims. They also encourage the clients to contact Acme about reviewing their coverages and promote other products and services Acme provides.
A third method of communication will be several insurance workshops that are offered throughout the year to the Smalltown community. The purpose of the workshops is multi-fold. One aim is the education of the consumer to the different services that the insurance industry and insurance brokers offer. Primarily, the goal of the seminars is to introduce customers to Acme, the services provided, Acme’s in-depth knowledge, and care for customers. Some of the seminars will be targeting seniors, others will be address a general audience.
Acme Insurance’s marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion.
Pricing – The customers are especially sensitive to value. Acme must ensure that our price and service are perceived to be good value to the client.
Our markets must offer several payment options to our clients that are convenient to the client, not just to the company. Example – payment on insured’s preferred day of month, not on the company’s, and accepting payment by credit or debit card. Many insureds are on a fixed income and receive their income on a set day of each month or a paycheck on a particular day.
Acme is seeing the commercial markets now moving toward basic coverage and limiting the “bells and whistles,” all-risk products available to only those clients who have modern, well-managed, profitable, low-risk operations. This should help stabilize pricing and, even more important, ensure that there is an insurance market available for most risks. Continued insistence by the industry on better proactive protection, i.e. fire and burglar alarms, upgrading of buildings, etc. has started to lower loss ratios.
Many of the larger insurance markets have increased minimum premiums to $1,000 for any commercial package policy. The Lloyds market should be able to accommodate these customers with a minimum premium of approximately $600.
Distribution – This will occur both at Acme’s offices as well as on occasion at the insured’s home.
Advertising and Promotion – Acme has depended in the past on a small advertisement in the local newspaper, listings in the Yellow Pages, and word of mouth. Acme must begin to investigate alternate ways to put its name in front of the public.
- All advertising has to emphasize the differentiation points rather than just price. Acme will be developing a “Now what do I do?” message to emphasize the need for dealing with Acme’s insurance professionals so that in the event a loss occurs, you know you have the proper protection.
- Acme must sell the company, not the product. In spite of some companies’ efforts to minimize the importance of the broker, the clients still identify with the broker, not the insurance company.
- Acme Insurance must improve and increase contacts with the clients. All clients should be contacted before renewal to ensure covers are current and adequate. Also, new insurance should be solicited.
- Make contacts and support senior citizen groups and cottage associations. Identify sports and hobby groups that involve seniors and cottagers.
Additionally, two other methods will be employed, distribution of printed material and the hosting of free public seminars.
Customer Service – The reality of the insurance brokerage industry is that the service is the product. Insurance is a commodity-like purchase and it is the service of the broker that distinguishes providers. With this important fact recognized, Acme strives to provide the highest level of customer service.
While the most recent rendition of the marketing plan was being completed, Acme conducted primary market research. The market research that Acme collected was in the form of questionnaires. Theses were given to current as well as prospective customers.
The goal of the questionnaires was to collect insight and perspective from our target customers. The forms were designed by a graduate student in the statistics department. An expert was employed to ensure the validity of the forms. A total of 200 forms were handed out and 68 were returned completed. The results of the surveys were that some of the originally held assumptions were confirmed. Additionally, there were many different beliefs/ perspectives that were unexpected but observed in the surveys. Overall, the questionnaires were a valuable form of primary market research that has been instrumental in the completion of this marketing plan.