A majority of insurance agents have a very positive outlook for 2022. About 70% expect their business growth to be on track in the new year, while nearly 20% expect that growth to be “off the charts.”
According to an October online survey of 520 agents and brokers from Aon Programs, they are planning to add products, rethinking their employee offerings and emphasizing social media in heir marketing.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen so many agents cast a critical eye on all facets of their businesses to help their clients make better decisions amid rapid change,” said Chad Levine, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Aon Affinity. “You can see that trend continue in our survey results as agents fine-tune their business models for growth in 2022.”
Survey findings include:
- Product expansion will be a leading strategy for agency growth. Almost 35% of agents said they will adapt to changing customer needs by adding to their product offerings in the new year. They’re taking a note from the headlines as they enhance their product menus. In fact, the top three specialty lines agents plan to add in 2022 include: 1. catastrophe (commercial and personal/private coverage); 2. healthcare (beyond allied health); and 3. nonprofits.
- As the Great Resignation continues, agents are upping their recruiting and retention game. Thirty-six percent are using new channels to connect with prospective employees; nearly 29% have enhanced their compensation and benefits packages; and about 18% have expanded their talent search beyond their immediate geographic region. They’re also rethinking their criteria for new hires as professionals continue to embrace the virtual workplace and make career changes. Respondents are more open to hiring candidates who are remote, unable to work traditional business hours, don’t have an insurance background, and don’t have the required years of experience, but seem highly trainable.
- The pandemic has shaped and reshaped agent marketing strategies. Forty percent of agents are betting on social media to give them the biggest marketing boost in 2022, with email blasts in second place at 22%. In a possible nod to Zoom fatigue, webinars/virtual events, which held the top spot in Aon Programs’ 2020 survey, slipped to third place this year at 20%. Conversely, interest in direct mail is up 5% year over year, increasing from 8% in 2020 to 13% 2021 — a possible shift to stand out in a virtual world.
- Agents are ready for their on-camera moment. Video marketing tops the list of new marketing tools agents want to explore in 2022, garnering 42% of responses. Search engine marketing (24%), influencer marketing (21%) and audio marketing (14%) round out the list.
Despite the changes, the survey finds agents continue to lean on traditional fundamentals as they guide clients. When asked about the most important quality for their brand to express, 43% said commitment to customers; 26% cited authenticity; 15% said responsiveness; and 13% noted innovation.
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