Growing pains can do two things—they can stop a business in its tracks, or they can be leveraged to usher in a greater period of productivity. With insurance company AssuredPartners, growing pains were the impetus for a game-changing marketing boon.
A Brand Central Case Study
For the fastest-growing independent insurance agency in the U.S., what began in 2011 as a national partnership of leading independent property and casualty and employee benefits brokerage firms is now one of the largest brokers in the nation—with offices spanning 38 states and two countries. AssuredPartners has been growing exponentially in recent years, and has bought, or is in the process of buying, over 200 other insurance companies—and moving them all to one concentrated, consolidated brand. This is a phenomenal growth trajectory. And it hasn’t come without its pains.
For the past year, Ironmark has worked closely with AssuredPartners to bring these various disparate brands together into the one cohesive marketing juggernaut that will help deliver the company’s commitment to unparalleled service. As we do with all of our clients, we first performed an internal audit, taking the time to do a deep dive into their unique business, uncover the rampant challenges involved with pulling different brands under one umbrella, and identify the critical marketing goals that AssuredPartners were aiming to achieve.
When we met with them, the company was struggling to use a digital storefront to manage their needs; its capabilities were insufficient, its interface was difficult, and most importantly, it lacked a strong supporting team. AssuredPartners was searching for a solution that addressed these issues and could scale to accommodate their continued rapid growth. We were happy to partner.
The Challenge: Turning Competing Companies Into a Brand to Be Reckoned With
As you might imagine, the greatest marketing challenge facing the company was consistency. With multiple locations and completely different companies, they needed a centralized repository where they could control the branding and messaging that would be all-AssuredPartners moving forward. From a functional standpoint, they needed an easy-to-use and easy-to-manage online solution that could provide the heavy lift for organizing, updating, ordering, printing, fulfilling, and storing all of their marketing assets. And there were many, with business cards, direct mail pieces, brochures, trade show signage, apparel, calendars, stationery, and branded promo materials like water bottles and pens—and much more—for hundreds of locations.
There were also control issues. Each of these items needed to have a specific approval process to ensure quality control, including legal and compliance considerations. For instance, companies in different states needed to adhere to different laws, and that needed to be addressed. And finally, AssuredPartners needed tight security to lock down their branded assets and keep them from being tampered with, as well as to secure their critical billing information.
The Solution: A Digital Storefront with a Superiority Complex
Working in tandem with AssuredPartners, Ironmark designed an asset management solution just for their needs. It is built on consistency. We created an intuitive, well-branded site featuring drop-down menus that make their hundreds of assets easy to locate, as well as an all-important search function for split-second searching. The system can house an endless amount of anything (even non-marketing items). We also helped AssuredPartners design and source marketing materials to add to their vast arsenal. These followed the brand standards with the same look and feel to solidify a consistent national brand, but gave users the freedom to update location information or other messaging to keep the flavor of each location intact.
To address control and security, we built a number of capabilities into the site. One notable feature controls user access so that only the users’ state information is pre-populated. This prevents users from printing inaccurate materials. And as with every site we offer, we amped up the security to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive information, whether it’s materials they don’t have permission to manipulate or billing information they’re not allowed to see.
Then we went beyond, with robust real-time reporting options for increased visibility. AssuredPartners can run reports to ascertain ad performance and tweak those that aren’t performing up to par. They can also track marketing spend and attribute it to various cost centers. With an accurate picture of their marketing inventory, they can eliminate waste, decrease administration time, manage warehouse space, and tackle other redundancies, thus optimizing their supply chain—and their budget.
Most importantly, we provide AssuredPartners with a team of experts to work with them every step of the way and to help the storefront grow as they do.
The Results: Organized and Optimized for Business
With these efficiencies, AssuredPartners has achieved a cohesive brand, which is worth more than just bragging rights. In fact, Inc. Magazine tells us that consistency equates to an average of 23% higher revenue. AssuredPartners also saved significant amounts of time and money. On the time front, they’ve become more efficient at locating their myriad of marketing assets, managing them and running items through the approval process without relying on time-consuming email chains. By avoiding duplicates and waste and taking advantage of larger print runs, their online ordering portal has been able to deliver substantial savings.
Digital storefronts work. And it’s no surprise that they’re so popular right now, especially with more people working remotely in the past year plus. Scott Kravitz, Ironmark’s Senior Vice President of Sales and the lead on the AssuredPartners account, notes, “I’m amazed with how well and how fast people are migrating to these systems.” They provide a level of convenience and quality that is hard to replicate with multiple systems. “It’s one less thing to have to worry about. People can trust it,” Kravitz explains.
Jamie Reinert, AssuredPartners’ Director of Marketing and Communications, agrees. “AssuredPartners is a company with continuous growth, and with this growth, we need a partner who would be able to scale up with us as we continue to add new operations, people, and products to our print needs. Ironmark has been the vendor of choice for us with their online ordering portal system. This allows us to control our products, properly manage our brand standards, allow for ordering ease-of-use in the field, and the system provides insight into our financials and spending trends. We have hundreds of offices utilizing the portal, and it has been a game-changer for our organizational needs.”
It is indeed a growth machine. And with a move to more remote working, now is the perfect time to evaluate your current asset management solution. Is your portal working hard for you? Does it have the capabilities, customization features, approval processes, security, and reporting you need to manage all of your digital marketing assets? Does it have the team? If you want to see real returns for your business, schedule a free consultation with us today—and get your growth machine going.