Planning your Independent Agent Marketing Budget [Free Marketing Budget Template]
Medicare open enrollment may be over, but it’s time to get a strong start on next year. Have you thought about your insurance agent marketing strategy for 2017? Or accounted for all the possibilities that can expand your book of business? Have you taken full advantage of all our FMO resources?
If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions, see our simple guide below for setting up and managing your independent Medicare agent marketing budget. Also make sure to download your free marketing budget template! This will empower you to easily plan and refer to your marketing expenses throughout the year while ensuring you meet your short-term and long-term goals. Plus, you’ll be able to analyze your marketing expenditures to see if you have a positive return on investment (ROI) and optimize your marketing efforts going forward.
Setting Up Your Marketing Budget
There are a few steps in setting up your marketing budget.
Taking the time to think through your marketing goals, consider your time frame, explore your marketing possibilities and channels, determine your total budget (a number that you won’t exceed) and allocate funds will make your business more efficient, and more successful in the long-run.
You have to make sure your budget is aligned with your marketing goals—which makes this a great place to start. Think about what you want to achieve with your marketing efforts:
- Increase your brand awareness.
- Expand your local visibility.
- Get quality leads.
- Grow your business.
Whatever you goals, outline and refer back to them throughout the year. Your marketing goals should prioritize your expenses.
How long do you have to achieve your goals? A quarter? Half a year? A full year?
Create benchmarks for your goals using a realistic timeframe, and categorize your efforts into short-term and long-term goals.
Considering your timeframe, determine which marketing channel would be best to achieve each of your outlined goals.
- Direct mail
- Event marketing
- Online marketing
- Agent website (See an example)
- Agent newsletter
- Social media
Now, what activities can you do within each marketing channel?
This is your chance to get innovative. Think of the best way to reach your target market. Often times, it’s a combination of various tactics. Here are some ideas on how you could market yourself when selling Medicare:
- Go on a local radio show, or do a radio advertisement.
- Run a print ad in the local newspaper or community magazine.
- Sponsor community events.
Come up with a list of possible marketing activities. Through AGA’s co-op marketing program (where we pay half your advertising bill), you’ll be able to create unique opportunities for yourself without stressing about the cost. If you can think of it, we can talk about it.
The Magic Number
To help allocate your funds, first establish your magic number—the total annual budget.
Be realistic about how much you want to spend on your marketing, based on your revenues. Your overarching goal for the year would be to execute your marketing campaigns at or below budget.
Assign a budget amount to each category, prioritized based on what you think will work best; if you’re unsure which efforts will pay off more, work from your experience or ask around to see what’s worked for other agents. This will keep you spending smarter and will increase your potential ROI.
Record how much you think each marketing activity expense will be, and try to estimate which month you expect the expense to hit. Remember to take your monthly revenue into account when allocating funds to your marketing campaigns and be accurate based on what you can afford.
Throughout the year, track your actual expenditures and compare them to your planned expenses to see the difference in costs, and analyze what worked and what didn’t.
Utilize our below marketing budget template to develop your plan of action.