You Ask, I Answer: How Brokers and Agents Market With a Brand?

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You Ask, I Answer: How Brokers and Agents Market With a Brand?

Mila asks, “In the insurance industry, there are several models of distribution. The insurer or direct model, online, through agents and brokers. Interestingly insurers who work through brokers spend significants amounts of money in developing online marketing sharing some of this with their brokers, but those who jump on board with that, in a way lose their individuality and identity. Is that better than not doing anything at all?”

This is a fascinating question that affiliates, value-added resellers, and brokers have been struggling with for years. The answer to this problem is based on what your competitive advantage is as a reseller.

  • Geography/territory: focus on being locally helpful and useful so the brand halo translates to a local level
  • Price: avoid competing on price – it’s a race to the bottom
  • Value: what value does the reseller add?
  • Brand: how does the reseller bolster the brand and provide a unique take on it?
  • Operations: can you market more effectively than other resellers?

You Ask, I Answer: How Brokers and Agents Market With a Brand?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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In today’s episode Milla asks in the insurance industry there’s several models of distribution, the ensure or direct model online through agents and brokers. Interestingly, insurance who worked through brokers spend significant amounts of money, developing online marketing, and then sharing it with their brokers. Those who jump on board with that in we lose their individuality and identity. Is it is that better than not doing anything at all?

Interesting question. This is a question that affiliates value added resellers brokers agents have been struggling with three years. And the answer to this problem is dependent on where your competitive advantage it’s now is using somebody else’s marketing like it using the brand’s marketing better than not doing anything at all? Yes, absolutely. Because you’ve got to do something to attract audiences, get them to consider your products, evaluate you, and then make a purchase from you. So franchisees, for example, in the fast food world use and leverage the the halo of the parent brand, the national brand in order to sell, you know, hamburgers locally, for example. So there is definite value to using what the parent brand is sending out. Unless the parent brands marketing is terrible, in which case, yeah, you might be better off doing it yourself. And then just selling that as one of a basket of products. It depends on the type of company you are, I used to work in the financial services industry, and we sold loans from four or five different providers. And a lot of cases, we built our own brand because we wanted to be able to be provider agnostic, to be able to sell stuff from Citibank or stuff from chase or stuff from you know, this bank over here. And by having that that separate brand the we were able to do that and have that flexibility especially because in that industry products and services and companies change so fast all the time. So there’s really four vectors that you can do reseller level marketing at number one. And the worst one by far is price baking your brand and your promise on price, it’s a race to the bottom and there’s always going to be somebody cheaper. So avoid just just avoid doing that. Number two is geography and territory. If you are part of an organization which a lot to a certain specific geography and territory, then you have the opportunity as long as you have a unique hold on that territory to be able to market to it and provide a unique spin on that. So whether it’s a fast food restaurant or an insurance company, what are the things that you can do that a brand consistent but locally focused, and that could be everything from sponsoring, you know, the cleanup a highway kind of stuff, too much more complex things like being having products and services in the mix that are tailored to the environment you’re in. So in insurance, for example, if you are marketing to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, you going to have a very different perspective than you are say, if you’re marketing to, you know, the the Worcester area which is about 45 miles to the west, Cape Cod is ocean front, literally. So your products and services going to be different, your rates are going to be different. The types of things you will cover will be different. You can do that local advertising, local marketing being locally helpful, and you may even tackle things that are hyper local. For example, you may want to do a mapping of local pizza shops in the restaurant and purchase advertising on tops of pizza boxes for your hyper local area, just the area that you serve. So geography is certainly an aspect the third area is the value itself What value does the reseller add what comes with your purchase of insurance from affiliate Neil 1272 verses? If I wouldn’t purchase from affiliate 1218 What’s the value what is do you add on to add additional consultations do you add add on products what’s the perspective and this is where content marketing and and sort of inbound marketing really comes in handy because you can create helpful content, local content, unique content, things that allow you to differentiate yourself online and frankly there there may be additional opportunities, little niches little things that people just not paying attention to. Again, even little PDF handouts like hey, if you are a Massachusetts resident, you should be doing this with your insurance or at the end of every year if you are a Nebraska resident, these are the 15 things you should be doing to to bolster your coverage and the fourth thing is brand which is how does the reseller bolster the national brand or take advantage of the brand Halo provide a unique take on it. So if you are, say, a coffee shop owner, right? I’m a chain of coffee shops, you’re going to have some standardization, you know, the, the wood paneling inside has to be a certain color, the logo is displayed in a certain way. But then what’s unique, what is it what is the the spin on that, that you can provide that local that is fixated on what you your restaurant or or company or organization or franchise can provide that is an enhancement. And sometimes that may be personal. So for example, this this coffee shop over here is managed by Bob and Bob is but Neil spent 40 years doing coffee and will answer your questions about things that you know, secrets from Bob that you won’t get from any other coffee shop in this chain. So things that are are on brand and align to the brand but are your perspective and I guess a fifth one now that I think about it would be operations marketing operations, are you simply a better tactical marketer? Can you check the boxes can do more than check the boxes and excel at marketing within any of these categories? Can you market better locally, can you mark create better content, so how is your marketing operations, those are the ways that a reseller and affiliate or broker or an agent can do more and and when at a local level. Even when their parent company is giving them things now the only catches the restrictions that your your parent franchise or parent brand puts on you. Some brands are super, super prescriptive, and say you must only do these things and nothing else. And if that’s the case, you follow the directions that you’re given. And you or you, you decide, you know what I’m going to opt out of being a member of this particular franchise the which if you think that you can make a better go of it, then what the Nationals providing you do it there are lots and lots of startups that have one or two or three for your five locations where they’ve said, yeah, we want to do more than what our national is allowing us to do if you’re working with a more flexible national, that gives you some flexibility about how you use the brand gives you guidelines obviously, but does not put total handcuffs on you then you can start taking advantage of these vectors. So price pretty much no no geography or territory value brand and operations. So those are the five factors that you can use to improve upon them a brand in a reseller arrangement. But

to answer the original question, yes, doing anything in marketing, as long as you do it well is better than doing nothing at all, especially if the national brand has spent a lot of money and has done their research and their creative Well, you want to take advantage of those those assets. So great question. Interesting question. Fun question. If you have additional questions, please leave them in the comments. And of course, please subscribe to the YouTube channel on the newsletter I’ll talk to you soon. Take care

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