Friday, December 29, 2006

Set marketing objectives

Determining your objectives may take some thinking, because some of the business ideas that you may have considered for a number of years but never implemented may be perfect for this new year's marketing plan.

For example, as the Hispanic market continues to explode across the United States, perhaps as an adjusting firm you've always thought about hiring a bilingual adjuster, or as an agent, a bilingual agent. If this is the case, perhaps one of your key objectives this year would be to target the Hispanic market.

Objectives should be as specific as possible. Assume that you've found a great bilingual employee and you're ready to go. Your objectives might look like these:
  • Increase Hispanic contractor business.
  • Improve my web site for Spanish-speakers' utilization.
  • Advertise in Hispanic trade journals.

Perhaps you have acquired a new market for antique stores or for a workers' compensation carrier that is managing its claims exceptionally well and cherry-picking accounts in your area. Others agents in your area may be ready to gain access, too, and you want to get your message out first. In this case, your objectives might look like these:

  • Improve market concentration with antique dealers statewide.
  • Determine which business classes the workers' compensation carrier seeks and target that market.

Some objectives may be quite simple and easy to implement. One example is to look at your existing customers and mine that base for more business. This applies not just to agents, but to any insurance operation. You might consider as one of your marketing objectives a well-written letter to existing clients asking for referrals or for additional business in areas where they have not traditionally used your services.

For example, you may be writing only one line of insurance for many of your customers. A simple objective may be to mine your existing customer base to write new lines of their business or to ask for referrals. If your customers love your company, most will be more than happy to refer their colleagues, friends and neighbors.

Marketing objectives should be specific and measurable. Is 2007 the year you act on those ideas that you may have had for years to increase your income?

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