SOURCE: KnownCircle

KnownCircle

June 02, 2015 09:00 ET

KnownCircle Survey Reveals That Referrals Are Top Marketing Channel for Insurance Agents, Yet 80% of Agents Lack Formal Referral Marketing and Management Process

Industry Study Finds That Insurance Industry Significantly Lags in Adopting Technology for More Efficient Referral Programs That Generate Greater Leads and New Business

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - Jun 2, 2015) - KnownCircle, a division of SocialTwist, Inc., the leader in social referral marketing that drives referral programs for over 50 of the Fortune 500 brands, today announced results from its 2015 Insurance Marketing Survey. The survey found that while referrals are the primary marketing channel -- delivering up to 60 percent of all new business for insurance agents -- 80 percent of the agents surveyed rely solely on informal phone, email or in-person requests, lacking a consistent digital referral strategy. A full report of the survey's findings may be downloaded at https://cdn.knowncircle.com/press/2015-Insurance-Marketing-Survey-Report.pdf.

"Most insurance agents understand that referrals are their lifeblood, but many still rely only on traditional word-of-mouth tactics," said Vinay Murthy, co-founder and vice president of business development, KnownCircle. "It's imperative for agents to make it easy for customers to spread their message to their social circles. The right technology can help agents modernize their referral process and leverage social media, while tracking and measuring outcomes across multiple channels."

Additional findings from the study include:

  • Contrary to popular belief, buying Internet leads does not always lead to new business for agents, and in fact ranks lower than traditional marketing as a lead source.

  • Most agents view referrals and social media as their main channels to attract Millennials. In reality, less than 30 percent of agents engage with customers on social media, and even fewer leverage it to generate referrals.

  • More than 70 percent of agents disregard reviews and rating sites like Yelp and Angie's List; these sites are ranked by agents as the least effective lead source.

The 2015 Insurance Marketing Survey, which focuses on "Generating New Business with Referrals and Social Media," features insights from agents across the United States about how they are connecting with customers and preparing for the future. The research study includes all major U.S. cities, as well as both independent and captive agents. The majority of participants had 1,000 or fewer customers, though some agents surveyed had 5,000 or more customers.

Murthy added that the insurance industry is undergoing a long overdue change, with agents required to compete on two levels -- marketing a wider range of products, and attracting a younger, more tech-savvy, and more socially connected consumer base. He recommended that the insurance industry take heed of another recent study that showed financial services firms that have adopted efficient referral marketing programs have generated 15x message amplification -- and 10 percent new customers per campaign -- via formal referral marketing programs.1

"Agents should avoid falling into perception traps like social media is only to generate likes or gather followers," said Murthy. "In this age of the 'connected consumer,' social media connects your customers and is fast becoming the primary channel where conversations about new products and services begin. Successful agents will learn how to get in sync with their customers' changing expectations and preferences on how they find and evaluate the right services -- especially when it comes to Millennials."

To download the Insurance Marketing Survey report, visit https://cdn.knowncircle.com/press/2015-Insurance-Marketing-Survey-Report.pdf

Tweet this: @knowncircle Insurance Marketing Survey Delivers Insights on Generating New Business with Referrals & Social Media - https://goo.gl/0wj9QB

1 SocialTwist Study: The Connected Consumer -- Brand Advocacy Trends from 100+ Social Campaigns

About KnownCircle
KnownCircle™ is an innovative social referral network where consumers can discover and connect with local businesses that are most trusted by their friends and family. KnownCircle™ is a business unit of SocialTwist, Inc., a leader in social referral marketing that drives referral programs for over 50 of the Fortune 500 brands. For more information, please visit www.knowncircle.com.

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