When harnessed properly, the potential for insurance agents to utilize artificial intelligence in their marketing strategies is immense.
Artificial intelligence (AI) fuels unforgettable action sequences in “The Terminator," sentimentality in the children's flick “WALL-E" and a worst-case scenario in “2001: A Space Odyssey." But in real life, AI—when harnessed properly—provides opportunity and a competitive advantage.
The potential for insurance agents to utilize AI in their marketing strategies is immense. Let's consider what AI is and its implications for the industry.
The Rapid Rise of Generative AI
Generative AI, or technology that automates the creation of written text and imagery, is one of today's leading topics of conversation. With its quick adoption in seemingly every industry imaginable, tech visionaries such as Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak have signed an open letter addressed to AI labs requesting a temporary hold on the evolution of AI systems until their implications are addressed—although Musk is still developing Twitter's own AI program, according to Forbes.
One of the most well-known examples of generative AI is ChatGPT. OpenAI, an AI-focused research lab, developed ChatGPT using a large language model to create enriched text-based responses from user-generated prompts. ChatGPT's “intelligence" is only as strong as its ability to retrieve and organize the context of publicly available content, as well as apply the context supplied by a user in the interface's prompt.
While many of us have used the tool to create funny stories and poems about our circle of friends, family and colleagues, ChatGPT's true power can be realized through practical applications in business.
It is easy to imagine risk associated with any topic, and generative AI without parameters can take us down a multitude of “what if" rabbit holes. When we focus and consider generative AI like ChatGPT, insurance agents can begin thinking of rules or parameters that make it a viable solution for the agency.
How to Use ChatGPT to Assist Your Agency's Marketing Efforts
The work of an agency requires discipline, timeliness, insurance knowledge and constant communication. Whether any members of the agency staff possess professional writing skills, they're necessary when conducting day-to-day activities, especially when marketing the business to prospects and clients.
The marketing media and forums are diverse—Facebook, LinkedIn, agency websites, blogs, press releases and paid advertisements to name a few—but with ChatGPT, they can become manageable.
Below are three immediate areas that can benefit from the drafting capabilities of ChatGPT.
1) Pipeline prospecting. Agencies generate leads through multiple sources, and managing the opportunities is a full-time job. There is repetition of certain sales activities that can benefit from a formulaic approach to communication.
Using ChatGPT's prompt to enter the agency's brand voice, a description of the sales stage and the intent to sell the prospect based on the appropriate line of business, agents can create a first-draft message for each leg of the nurturing journey that provides a nearly complete email and text communication to the audience.
The oversight and authority of the agent's expertise is still paramount in the process, but creating the prospect communication is assisted by AI.
2) Social media posts. Building a social calendar and posting timely content are not new concepts to agents. However, adding personalization from the agency's voice is often a missed opportunity. Instead of introducing an article with a personalized social caption that announces the agency's point of view, agents often default to hurriedly sharing the article only. This results in low audience engagement and a premature belief that social selling is not a viable strategy.
With ChatGPT, agents can prompt the tool to summarize an article and add appropriate hashtags, emojis and a thought-provoking question that keeps the audience captivated and interactive on the post. ChatGPT's summary is a first draft that agents can edit, but the initial creation rewards users with time.
Notice the recurring theme of “first draft." When agents control the outputs by generating the prompts based on their business intentions, then the guide rails for the agency will be established.
3) Marketing automation. Thanks to marketing automation technology that connects with and triggers messaging from the policy activity in agency management systems, agents can work with marketing sequences and client segmentation to cross-sell and renew their existing books of business. As the agency grows and client books evolve, there is always a need to extend the breadth of communications so that messaging keeps up with the changes in the market.
ChatGPT is a valuable resource to build the first draft of new messaging templates. Agents can set up the prompt with specifics about the client segment, the required value proposition and the intended volume and length of messages in the sequence. ChatGPT will return suggested content, and the agent is steps closer to completing the work in less time than beginning from nothing.
Agencies deserve assistance with their marketing practices, and ideally marketing solutions providers already offer a dose of human counsel along with their technology platforms. After all, that is the tried-and-true client service formula that agencies have deployed for decades.
Even with the best solutions partners, there are moments when agents require a quick first draft of written material to publish on social or via email. In those moments, generative AI tools like ChatGPT come in handy.
Jason Walker is president of Agency Revolution, the leading provider of digital marketing solutions for the insurance industry.