Are the days of traditional insurance agency marketing merely an anachronistic remnant of a bygone brick and mortar marketing era? Before we answer this important, but verbose question, let’s first define that which we would today consider traditional insurance agency marketing programs. Let’s start with 20 well known marketing initiatives, or perhaps I could better refer to them as insurance agency marketing activities, that can generate interest and awareness. These are in alphabetical order, not in order of importance or perceived efficacy:

Associations (Chamber of Commerce, etc.)
Business Cards
Client Testimonials (Hard Copy)
Club Memberships (Golf, Tennis, Other)
Company Boards (BOD’s, nonprofit boards and advisory councils)
Direct Mail including Postcards
Face to Face Networking Organizations
Glossy Brochures
Hard Copy Newsletter
Literature (traditional paper based)
Magazine Ads
Newspaper Ads
On Site Events (for both clients and prospects)
Promotional Items
Trade Shows
Volunteer and community programs
Yellow Page Ads
Some of the activities noted above are perhaps dubious from a marketing standpoint. For example, do people still spend time designing and handing out business cards (yes)? Do people still do business on the golf course (yes)? And what about Yellow Pages, do people still advertise in them (I hope not)? How does the list above compare with a Web 2.0 Insurance Agency Marketing activity list? Let’s review common Insurance Agency Web Marketing activities, again in alphabetical order:

Article Directories (ePublishing)
Bookmarking (Digg, StumbleUppon, Reddit, etc.)
eBrochures (eFullfillment)
eTestimonials (Digitally written or recorded testimonials)
Executive email initiatives (Individually targeted emails as opposed to blasts)
Link Building Campaigns
Micro blogging (Twitter, Tumblr, etc.)
Pay Per Click (Google, LinkedIn, Facebook)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Skype Recorded Interviews
Social Media Marketing (Business Marketing Initiatives on Facebook, LinkedIn)
Social Networking (Personal interaction on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
Warm Calling (calls to email click-throughs, webinar registrants, etc.)
Webinars (Web Seminars)
Website development and enhancement
Website Video
Does this Web 2.0 list supersede all of the traditional insurance marketing activities listed above, or is a combination of the traditional and web-centric advisable? Web 2.0 marketing is not the only insurance agency marketing brokers and agents should leverage. Of course 40 marketing activities are too numerous for all but the largest agencies. Fortunately, many of the activities listed in the traditional list can be eliminated or reduced in favor of better and more cost-effective web-centric marketing. From my perspective, this includes: Billboards, Client Testimonials (hard copy), Direct Mail (including Postcards), Glossy Brochures, Hard Copy Newsletters, Product Literature, Magazine Ads, Newspaper Ads, Promotional Items, Trade Shows, and Yellow Page Ads – in essence anything physical. Of course this still leaves us with a list of up to nine traditional insurance agency marketing activities that might prove worthwhile.

If we add mission-critical Web 2.0 activities including website development, social media marketing, eMarketing, eFullfillment (digital brochures and other information) and blogging, we still see that there are over a dozen marketing activities every agency should do and do well. Clearly, that’s a lot of work beyond merely selling insurance and servicing clients. Agencies have three choices in this regard: