Should Agents Staff Up Or Outsource Their Insurance Agency Marketing?

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Most agencies know they need to improve their marketing, embark upon a digital marketing program, embrace social media marketing and update their website. All of these are important to the long term success of an agency. To accomplish this, agency owners need to determine how and when to spend valuable budget dollars. This invariably leads to the question of adding staff, attempting to leverage inexperienced internal resources, or outsourcing insurance agency marketing initiatives. Let’s review these three options.

Option 1 – I’ll use a recently graduated family friend: It is a rare occurrence when this option will work out for most agencies, and it’s one of the most expensive options they can select. The fully burdened cost is likely to exceed $50,000 a year, and the recent graduate likely “doesn’t know, what they don’t know.” These inexperienced resources need to understand website development, insurance agency emarketing, social media marketing, and insurance agency search engine optimization. There are 5 different skill sets needed for this list, plus the overall experience necessary to successfully execute these initiatives. So not only does the agency pay the $50K, they also pay for all of the on the job mistakes, errors in judgment, technical deficiencies, and industry inexperience.

Option 2 – I’ll hire a marketing VP: This is likely a better solution than option 1, albeit requiring even more budget dollars. An experienced marketing VP (let’s call this person a $100,000+ resource) will bring both knowledge and know-how to the table. Yet even with this resource the agency will undoubtedly require specialized skills and tools in the areas of web development, insurance search engine optimization, insurance agency emarketing, graphic design and more. A variation on this theme is to hire a seasoned marketing manager, perhaps a $75,000 a year resource with some of the experience and skills noted above.

Option 3 – I’ll outsource my marketing to an experienced marketing firm: There is a well known paradigm called “Good, Fast, Cheap”. In this paradigm, you’re supposed to pick which two of the criteria you want (Good and Fast, Good and Cheap, Fast and Cheap). But in our new internet based world, it is possible to get all three, services and solutions that are good, fast and cost effective. Agencies can select an experienced insurance agency marketing firm, and get all of the services mentioned above at a lower cost than even Option 1, the inexperienced college graduate.

Small to medium size agents and brokers may find an outsource model the more effective path to accomplish their marketing goals. Outsourcing can allow these agencies to accomplish everything from website development to social media marketing to insurance agency lead generation, without having to add costly staff to fuel their needs for continued growth.

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