Monday, February 26, 2007

Tapping into trends

Companies get rich spotting trends. Insurance trends are no different. Take the market cycle, for example. If you can spot the next hard market and can position yourself correctly, you stand to be a go-to guy or gal when businesses look for alternative markets for their coverage or explore self-funding. The question is, how do you affiliate your business with an upcoming trend?

The answer lies in marketing. As we've noted before, there are two ways to look at advertising and marketing. Are you looking of short term income or long-term visibility? Branding your business is positioning yourself for visibility so that when people have a problem and look for a solution, they think of you. To be in that enviable position, you must spend time and money building your brand.

Spotting trends takes time. One must continually scan the horizon, looking for "secondary research"; articles; word of mouth from managers who are facing a difficult problem (read here networking); web presentations; white papers, attending industry seminars; anything that addresses an emerging problem or trend that you may help solve.

Here's a quick example. The Insurance Institute of America (IIA) recently gave a lengthy presentation that outlined several upcoming trends that will negatively impact workers' compensation payouts. Two of the issues are 1) obesity and 2) returning Gulf veterans.

If you're a provider of workers' compensation or medical services, wouldn't it make sense for you to be on the cutting end of that trend? If you're a business owner who may be impacted, shouldnt' you begin addressing the issue now before the problem is fully emerged?

How can a consulting firm help you? Simple. I stay abreast of trends in the industry. I spend hours each day researching insurance-related topics, attend seminars and find ways to address these trends. I also assist my clients to increase their visibility in areas where their services are not only needed but where they can beat others to the trend.

If I can help you determine which trends your company may want to focus on, please give me a call. We'll chat. Or if you'd like a copy of this important IIA presentation, email me via my website and I'll be happy to share it with you.

No comments: