For most insurance agencies, brokers and wholesalers, it's unlikely to internally staff up on all their insurance marketing initiatives. This is as true for insurance organizations as it is for most businesses, especially those between $1 Million and $50 Million in revenues. Some might refer to this as the SMB market. Businesses of this size may lack a sufficiently large marketing department to cover all the skills needed for a comprehensive marketing program. Consider that an insurance marketing plan can incorporate many and varied marketing activities. For example, in any given year, once a marketing plan is created, an organization may wish to embark upon an organic search engine optimization initiative, helping their website rise to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Or they may wish to build an opt-in email list and offer an educational webinar series to their targeted prospects. In fact, any of the following elements may be needed, and many of these types of marketing activities require highly specific and sometimes highly technical skill sets:
PPC ads, Banner Ads
Insurance Newsletter Distribution
Blogging, Vlogging, News Releases
Insurance Social Media Marketing
Insurance Website Development
Web Seminar Marketing
Contact List Generation, eMail List Generation
Insurance Telemarketing, Appointment Setting
Client Testimonials and Case Study Creation
Insurance Agency Lead Generation Programs
Organic Insurance Search Engine Optimization
Insurance Agency Video Creation (and YouTube video)
Insurance Web Marketing Plans
These are just some of the marketing activities agents, brokers and wholesalers might utilize in their marketing efforts. There are also many traditional initiatives such as print advertising, association marketing, sponsorships, etc. How can an owner, manager or agent determine if they should internally staff a position or outsource the position? An easy ROI is based upon the marketing activity and frequency of the activity. For example, let's say they want to increase insurance agency leads, and opt to send out two webinar email campaigns per month and run a webinar as the Call to Action for the campaigns. Further, let's assume they want to do this every month for a year. If it costs $60,000 per year to hire an eMarketing manager to do this, versus $20,000 per year to outsource it, it's an easy decision. However, if the goal is to run six webinars a month to various target verticals, with 12 eMarketing campaigns per month, then it could become a closer call, as the outsource costs may begin to approach the internal staffing cost. Makes sure both costs are evaluated as fully burdened costs (outsource should include all infrastructure while internal staffing costs should include health benefits, expenses, and related overhead).
Take the same approach with Search Engine Optimization and insurance websites. Would a full time developer and organic Search Engine Optimization specialist be needed to create and update your insurance agency website, or do you simply need a new website with periodic updates. Today there are many good options for new insurance websites that include Content Management Systems (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) allowing businesses to use nontechnical resources to make most of their own website changes. Agents should review their goals, create a marketing plan (a possible outsource), and determine the ROI of staffing versus outsourcing for their specific marketing initiatives. This is often an iterative process, not a one time annual event.