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    The Turkish Bazaar of Insurance Marketing

    I write this from Orlando, Florida, site of the 2009 Inter-Company Marketing Group's (ICMG) Annual Meeting. ICMG brings insurance manufacturers and distributors together for a single purpose: to discuss ways to create alliances and partnerships that successfully market innovative products and services to well-defined target markets through the most effective distribution system.

    It's really quite a remarkable meeting. Everyone knows why they are here – to make connections that enhance their businesses' bottom lines – and there are no shrinking violets in the bunch. Having recently visited Istanbul, the event does have the buzz of a Turkish bazaar – there are more than a few deals being made in the lobby.

    Four NFCA members are attending this year's meeting. And I'd strongly encourage any member with an interest in growing sales and building successful alliances with distributors to seriously consider joining the ICMG and participating in next year's meeting. (For more information, visit www.icmg.org.)

    While here, I am working to identify candidates for Associate Members of NFCA, seek out providers that may have an interest in working with fraternals, and search for experts in product development and distribution who can conduct Webinars and workshops at NFCA meetings. So far, it's been time well spent. We're arranging an ICMG-sponsored workshop on strategic marketing alliances at the NFCA Annual Meeting and have identified over a dozen organizations with a real interest in working with our members.

    I want to do everything possible to make these groups aware of the potential marketing clout within the fraternal system. And getting out to meetings like the ICMG is one way of doing that. I'm here because an NFCA member who is involved with ICMG – Frank Osborn of Modern Woodmen of America – invited and encouraged me to attend. One of my primary responsibilities is telling the fraternal story to groups – both insurance and community service – who need to hear it. Who might some others be? I'd love to hear your suggestions.

    One Response

    1. CONVERSATIONS WITH THE JOE’S
      GOOD MORNING JOE
      How Political do the fraternals want to get? PRESIDENT SEEK GRASS-ROOTS SUPPORT FOR STIMULUS. Should you get a special e-mail Blog etc out to the different societies & encourage them to spread the word to their members. (Do you know how many individuals you could reach). They in turn could reach their Senators & Congressmen. Anything you do make sure the present Adminstration also receives it. (We need to keep our tax/status) HOW ABOUT A DEBATE: I liked your comment on MY NAME IS JOE AND I AM NOT A FRATERNALIST SO HERE GOES: The Fraternals do a poor job in selling insurance. So why not stop selling insurance? ITS YOUR TURN: FRATERNALLY YOURSJ. KUZMAZCBJcare’s
      Joe:
      NFCA has not taken a position on the stimulus package. I think it would be very difficult to develop a consensus position on this issue among fraternals and don’t anticipate us being players on this issue.
      We have reached out to the Administration’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. They are very interested in meeting with us, but because they are not yet staffed to run the operation they cannot meet next week as we had originally hoped. They are supposed to get back to us in 4-6 weeks with a new date for the meeting. I’ll keep you posted.
      I agree that there is a significant percentage of fraternals that do not do a particularly good job of selling insurance. I also agree that of this group, there is a large segment that should exist the insurance business altogether – either through mergers with other societies that operate more effective and efficient insurance operations or by selling their book of business and maintaining the fraternal operations independently. If what we say is true – that the revenue from our insurance operations allows us to do more and better community service projects – then we need to become better at it that we currently are. I still maintain that a fraternal system with 35-40 healthy, stable societies who understand the balance between financial products and fraternal activities would better serve the members of those societies and the communities who benefit from our fraternal activities than the current system of 80+ fraternals, many of whom are insolvent today or will be in the very near future.
      Your comments?
      You made a comment last week that in 1929 (Great Depression) the Fraternals grew.
      At that period do you think the Fraternals would have grown if they sold Insurance?
      I think they were gaining membership because people wanted to be part of a greater whole
      (CommonBond),theysoughtsecurity,protection,peace of mind & the good of the community. How did they do this? They lined up to become members & part of the obligation of being a member was to purchase a certificate. But they did more they held Fund Raisers to take care of their Bro’s & Sisters in greater need (They were community).
      Pricing of Certificates on the lowest price faded away. Retention of membership becomes almost an obligation for the members.
      But as time passed CEO’s became more focus on being the head of an Insurance company
      not a Fraternal. (WHY)?
      I call it THE SAVINGS LOAN MENTALITY they watched the world go by. (They didn’t tend to business).
      That’s why I think getting back to FRATERALISM (basic) can save the Fraternals.
      And our Premium Income will grow & our membership (in these trying times we have alot to offer).
      FRATERNALLY YOURS
      J KUZMA
      ZCBJcare’s
      I agree with you 100%. I think the long term health of the system is based on our fraternal/community service/membership benefits activities FIRST, and our ability to provide meaningful financial services products SECOND. I think the two are intertwined, but if we forget or ignore the first, then we’re just another insurance company. I hope you’ll post these comments on my blog so that everyone can read them!!!

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