Messaging and “The Messenger”


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This article in the New York Times talks about insurance companies using multiple pitchmen in their commercials. It’s long been a strategy with Geico (Gecko, Caveman, etc…), but now Progressive is expanding their cast of pitchmen. Previously it’s been only “Flo” the cheerful insurance super store lady. Their new character is a mysterious, styled-from-the-’70s guy named “The Messenger.”

The reason for having multiple pitchmen, the article states, is to keep viewers entertained enough so they don’t disengage. And to reach different types of customers. Flo is more likely to affect the opinions of people already shopping for insurance, or at least thinking about it. “The Messenger”, conversely, is designed to be the personification of conversations people have about insurance. “He is word of mouth.”

Will “The Messenger” be as effective as Flo? We shall see. An interesting thing about this approach is that the desire to court different types of customers with different spokespeople is favored above the more traditional approach of having only one pitchman for the company. Concerns of diluting the brand are put aside in favor of a multi-faceted marketing approach.

When insurance agencies use lead management software it is possible to try different means of engaging customers and get very clear evidence about what works and what doesn’t. Lead Management Software that has campaign management and reporting tools enables insurance agencies to see how well their marketing efforts are working. Not just overall, by looking at the bottom line, but piece by piece. Which emails are people responding to? Are they engaging through the website? Which page?

Most people who sell insurance, or sell anything, have developed a way of doing it that works. “The way that works” probably includes approaching different types of customers with different types of messaging. With lead management software it’s possible to apply that approach to email marketing, leads generated from your website, local advertising, etc. The insurance companies are using multiple pitchmen to advertise at the national level. At the local level, it’s possible for agencies to take a page from that book and experiment with multiple messaging strategies and get very clear feedback about what’s working and what isn’t.


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