To Jennifer Pugsley (pictured), the insurance industry – especially now – has a clear need for digital marketing directed at brokers and agents.
Here’s why: It helps carriers maintain broker and agent attention, but all sides also benefit from the education it provides.
“There’s part of a trend going on around the old, more experienced generation coming out, and younger people coming in [with a] lack of training [and] lack of pure knowledge,” said Pugsley, vice president of customer success for Goose Digital, a digital marketing agency with a large insurance customer base. As a result, “there’s a major push in educating the brokers and agents on … how to sell the products.”
CEO and founder Michael Turcsanyi launched Goose Digital about seven years ago as a “modern marketing automation and digital marketing company.” Based in Toronto, Canada, the 32-employe agency has clients there but many more in the US, with others in the UK and the Bahamas, Pugsley said.
Goose Digital is industry agnostic. Beyond insurance, it handles finance and credit union clients as well as others from the technology, manufacturing and healthcare spaces. Insurance customers include large and smaller carriers and brokers, MGAs, group benefits and some travel and life customers.
Insurance is a sizable percentage of Goose Digital’s total business, however, and insurance is also in the founders’ DNA. Pugsley is Turcsanyi’s sister, and the family ran a number of P/C brokerages in Alberta, Canada. Goose’s insurance business was essentially grandfathered in from those days, Pugsley said.
Pugsley herself is a veteran of the carrier and broker side of the insurance business, with experience in areas including personal lines, commercial lines and groups.
Not an insurtech
Pugsley is quick to point out that Goose Digital is not an insurtech. Rather, it knows what technologies make sense with customers and works with and provides what it considers best-in-class global tech systems including Salesforce, HubSpot and Act-On.
The company approaches marketing automation in two verticals. Lead generation and everything that comes with attracting leads and selling new business across multiple channels is on one side. On the other side: customer marketing, plus rounding out accounts and loyalty programs, among other activities.
“Within those you’re going to have ads. You’re going to have email campaigns that are very multi-channel. You’re going to have … CSRs, account managers, and producers who play a role,” Pugsley said. “We’re very ‘omnichannel in our approach’ to how we operate the system.”
Goose Digital’s virtual marketing efforts for clients in the insurance space do target their consumers, but more often the campaigns are designed to reach agents and brokers, Pugsley explained.
More specifically, that means “digital marketing strategies that penetrate (clients’) existing broker and agent base as well as attracting new brokerage houses and new brokers within those brokerages,” Pugsley said. “We’ll have very specific strategies for carriers talking to brokers and agents and strategies for the end insured.”
Strategies come first, Pugsley said, followed by the electronic tools to realise those ideas.
“We never skip the strategy component,” Pugsley added. “Tools and technology, they’re only as good as the strategy that you want them with.”
Enhancing Goose Digital’s work: more than 20-out-of-box insurance use cases in areas including lead generation and customer marketing. They can serve as templates that carriers or brokers adapt accordingly.
“It’s a starting point. We’ve taken the guesswork out. We don’t have to figure out how to go and strategically build a commercial cross-sell [campaign], for example, but they do have a ton of flexibility for the nuances that are applicable to their brokerage or their carrier,” Pugsley said.
For clients who need tech components in their marketing planning, Goose can provide “custom widgets.” Translated, this applies to unique small-scale tech that can help get the job done such as a custom microsite – a web page or small website designed to promote a company’s product, service, campaign or event.
The company runs for its clients paid media campaigns, heavy levels of email marketing, use of landing pages and microsites, webinar and event programs.
“Integrated marketing automation really enables you to look at a customer journey right away from the prospect stage and actually impact that journey, right from day one,” Pugsley said. “It provides you with such visibility and flexibility [and better impact]. Without it, it’s very difficult … to have influence over that journey.”