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Broker Corner: Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Broker | Canadian Insurance

Broker Corner: Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Broker

When Sam Natur accepted the Canadian Broker Network’s invitation to help launch Bullfrog Insurance, he was an experienced management consultant who had already helped bring an online home and auto insurance brokerage to the market. However, Natur recognized that Bullfrog would be a project unlike his previous ventures.

“I had ascertained [the CBN was] quite entrepreneurial, quite open to ideas, and so this wasn’t going to be a run-of-themil [brokerage],” says Natur, now CEO and president of Bullfrog. “It still is the first online brokerage focused on small business and, for me, that was kind of another kick at the can where you really got to take some of these ideas and put them into action.”

Natur was excited to be involved in a business that would use digital and content marketing to an extent not often seen in the commercial insurance space. And he knew there was a consumer appetite for this type of service, with more people turning to online shopping.

Bullfrog’s move to provide services in which purchases are finalized online makes it similar to mainstream retail offerings already used by many consumers – so much so, that some customers who are unable to bind their new policy online might wonder why.

This occurred recently when the owner of an oil refinery worth $30 million had to speak to a Bullfrog agent after the website stopped him from binding his policy online.

“The public mindset – and I think this would surprise brokers – is that it’s not too big to be done online. Frankly, that is something that is too big to be done online,” explains Natur. “Just the fact that the mindset of the public has gone that far, I think, is a wake-up call for the entire industry.”

Close to one-third of Bullfrog’s sales occur completely online. The remaining 70 percent involve the customer interacting in some way with an agent; though that is often in response to questions and occurs through the online chat box, not a phone call, Natur notes.

Although that process may seem impersonal to many, Natur argues that his business provides personalized service for a consumer market that looks to their smartphones for their daily needs, whether those be products or information.

Bullfrog’s website captures data about its customers that the company uses to develop blog posts that are targeted to its client base. Those posts are available through the company’s website, email marketing campaigns and social media channels.

The company’s articles will sometimes take topics that are making headlines and inform their clients how the news may affect their businesses. For example, Bullfrog has published posts on what U.S. President Donald Trump’s desire to make changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement could mean for Canadian business owners, and how to maintain operations through a postage strike.

Natur’s suggestion to brokers? Take “baby steps,” he says, in developing your digital marketing strategy. Understand what is important to your clients, record that information in an effective customer relationship management system, and create content that speaks to clients’ concerns.

Social media is another way to share content, and can be effective if brokers understand the message must revolve around what interests your clients and not about touting your own skills as a broker, says Natur.

What brokers should not do is implement a strategy simply to say they have it. For instance, some brokers may think online quoting is the way to go, but if that tool is not the right fit for their business model or does not work very well, that does not bode well for new business, says Natur.

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the May 2017 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine