It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. As a second-generation, 30+ year veteran of the insurance industry, this proverb holds true for me as it applied to the creation of the web application that allows DMCOs to exist.
Frustrated by even the so-called exclusive leads vendors and not being able to afford going it alone with AdWords campaigns, with SEO being expensive and less and less effective, I was forced to come up with a better way. A way of not just helping myself, but all the IA channel in an equitable, exclusive, flexible and effective way of getting found online by my local prospects. That said, the 1Lead1Buyer.com subscription-based application that enables DMCOs to exist was built.
Ok so now you know the overarching reason why DMCOs are relevant, but now you need to know the “what.”
So what is a “DMCO” anyway?
Digital Marketing Co-Operatives a.k.a. DMCOs are defined as the application of an old but successful way of generating new business (via an industry-specific Co-Operative) through the discipline of digital marketing. DMCOs pool the financial and intellectual strength of its membership to generate exclusive leads delivered into the technology of choice for each of its associated co-op members.
Why are DMCOs Needed?
Back in the day insurance was sold based upon first establishing a trusting relationship with prospects and clients. While this is still true today, for many new clients the order of which comes first has switched places. In other words, unless you’re dealing with a referral or a cross-sell opportunity, the sale often comes before the relationship. That said, if the agent wants to keep that new client the relationship must be developed starting immediately after the sale.
There are many reasons for agents and other local service providers to start or to join a DMCO. Here are just a few:
- Almost everyone starts their search for insurance online.
- No one goes past page one with search results.
- Google and all the other major search engines are increasing their monetization of page one search results, especially in heavily populated communities.
- On their own, smaller agencies can’t afford to compete against the big budget direct writers and Insuretechs.
- Exclusive leads vendors do not deliver an exclusive lead into the technology of your choice, so they’ll never use an agent’s own mobile responsive Q&B web form. Why not? Because the leads vendors know if they do, they will relinquish control of the re-marketability of a lead to the buying agent. Let’s face it, big data is king and your closing ratio on a good day is 20%! Leads vendors know this too, so they want to keep your data to sell again and again!
- Insurance carriers are under financial pressure to cut their expenses. Many, like Nationwide and Progressive are using Quote & Bind technology to cut insurance agents out altogether.
Why I believe DMCOs will ultimately replace all but Truly Exclusive Leads Vendors.
I don’t think anyone disagrees that times have changed significantly when it comes to technology enabling our demand for “instant gratification!” This includes the expectations of the insurance consumer. Consumer’s demand not only the ability to communicate with their insurance carrier 24/7, but they also want to be able to learn about and purchase coverage 24/7 as well. This, of course, is the reason why direct writers and Insuretechs are gaining market share and why agents are asking their multi-raters and carriers to jump on board with Quote & Bind technology on their behalf. Fortunately, some carriers are responding and are providing Q&B web forms to their agents and MGAs.
Once Q&B mobile responsive web forms become commonplace for both the Insuretechs and the agency distribution channel, the winners will ultimately be those who get the greatest number of trusting eyeballs on their website. This, of course, means that the cost of getting found online will only go up, and the days of getting found on page one for free are numbered to all but the rural insurance agency.
For well-established agencies not looking to add outside producers, this really is not such a big deal since they can focus on cross-selling and referrals via automated email marketing campaigns. Unfortunately for new agents, and that includes the well-established agencies that have brand new outside producers, this digital marketing brick wall still exists and is only getting bigger and harder to crack through.
So then what’s the answer? DMCOs combined with Q&B agency mobile responsive web forms are the answer. To learn more about DMCOs and how you can start your own, even for just your agency that has multiple outside producers spread out over a wide area or type of insurance, visit 1Lead1Buyer.com for details.
If anyone is interested in underwriting and becoming an affiliate partner for a new multi-state, multi-line DMCO to be called InsuranceRivals.com please feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.