Agency Social Media and Online Marketing Survey Results

By on Feb 16, 2012

Last October I asked you to participate in a survey conducted by Jason Hoeppner of B. H. Burke & Company. The purpose of the survey was to provide hard information on how the insurance industry (agencies and carriers) are currently using social platforms as a marketing tool. Many of you completed the survey and I wanted to share the results with you.293 agencies across 41 states and Canada completed the survey. About 60% of respondents identified themselves as agency principals or management. Another 40% said they worked in IT, marketing, or sales. Throughout the summary that follows, the term “nontraditional marketing” encompasses both social media and online marketing.

In Hoeppner’s summary of the findings he said, “The following three findings were the most eye-opening to me:

    • More than 60% of those who responded are not measuring the return on investment of current marketing efforts! So until you do, why ask about social media’s ROI? (OK, that was an editorial comment.)
    • Close to half of respondents who are not using social media will start to do so within a year.
    • Of those who responded, a bit more than 60% do not have a coordinated marketing plan of any kind.”

Three of my most interesting comments from Hoeppner’s summary include:

    • The three most popular traditional marketing methods (used by approximately half the respondents) are the Yellow Pages, direct mail, and local newspapers.
    • Respondents’ most used online marketing method, far and away, is their website.
    • Almost 50% of respondents who do not currently use social media plan to begin doing so within a year and a total two-thirds will eventually do so.

My initial take on the survey results?

The new digital consumer is not going to wait for the insurance industry, and especially agents, to learn how to use new communication platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The vast majority of agency websites I have reviewed are simply nice looking online brochures, yet most agencies consider their website as their primary “online marketing method.”

Every tool will not work for every agency. But you won’t know what will work unless you begin testing, experimenting, failing, learning and starting over.

Are you going to become Blockbuster or Borders and become irrelevant? Or are you going to continue to provide the protection your clients need? It really is all up to you.

Download the Survey Results below:

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