Section 6

High Digital Adopters Can Invest More in the Customer and Employee Experience

High digital adopters and low digital adopters have different needs for success in 2021.

Digitally savvy agencies want to prioritize business-critical objectives, while low digital adopters are focused more on incremental updates to their digital presence.

High adopters are working on expanding the digital tools they have in place and using them to drive leads. They recognize that they will have to educate customers on using those new digital tools to do business with them, but trust that digital capabilities will ultimately improve the client experience.

As digital agency owner Erin Nutting wrote, “Customers will do business with you how you ask them to do business if you set the expectation and communicate the change.”

All agents want to engage with their communities – 53% of agents said they want to maintain community engagement as part of their marketing efforts, and 33% said they want to increase or start community engagement. But high adopters recognize that as the world shifts to digital, they need to focus on finding creative ways to connect in their community as well as in-person.

Top 5 priorities of high digital adopters

High adopters are able to focus more on hiring and relationship building
  1. 1
    Educating our customers about new ways of working with our agency
  2. 2
    Extending an online presence for marketing
  3. 3
    Expanding our team
  4. 4
    Connecting virtually in the community since in-person is harder
  5. 5
    Implementing/improving online business tools such as e-signature, cloud-based systems, etc.

High adopters are expanding hiring and reaching a wider audience

High adopters are also hiring more than low adopters. Twice as many high adopters as low adopters said they had increased hiring producers in the last year (26% vs. 13%). The gap between high and low was even larger when it came to other roles. Twenty-eight percent of high adopters had increased hiring CSRs, compared with 8% of low adopters, and 16% had increased hiring marketing specialists, compared with only 1% of low adopters.

Agencies that have embraced digital are better able to serve clients remotely and therefore are less bound by their physical location. Almost half of high digital adopters said they increased the geographic area in which they acquire new clients and hire talent, as opposed to just 12% of low adopters.

In the last year, high adopters have hired more than low adopters

High digital adopters
Low digital adopters

Hiring Producers

Hiring CSRs

Hiring marketing specialists

Activities that agencies have increased in the last year

High digital adopters
Low digital adopters
Investing in digital capabilities
47%
18%
Investing in marketing
39%
9%
Generating leads
32%
6%

High digital adopters can reach a broader client base

Agencies that say they have increased the geographic area in which they acquire new clients
High digital adopters
0%
increase
Low digital adopters
0%
increase
Digital, Accelerated 1

Historically, Castell Insurance has been a very brick and mortar, traditional agency.

But in the last few years, we’ve started adopting more digital tools. Our digital capabilities have broadened us to be able to access another third of the market that we weren’t reaching before, which has helped us grow. Until about five years ago, I was the only personal lines producer in the agency. A few months ago, we hired our fourth P&C team member.

Click here to read more about how digital helped James grow his agency. 

James Castell
Owner and Personal Lines Manager, Castell Insurance

Agents said that a digital marketing presence allowed them to reach a larger audience. “We have a broader reach across our state as opposed to just the four cities and towns we have offices in,” one wrote.

“It is opening the door to clients beyond our physical reach,” wrote another. “It is helping us have access to individuals in other states as well.”

“As a high net worth client manager, I just need to be available for my clients,” wrote one agent. “I have clients all over the US and they don’t really care where I am sitting as long as I can help them. My agency has given me the same capabilities at home as I had in the office.”

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