InBuzz Insurance Marketing Blog

Mark Reilly

Mark Reilly
Mark is Sales and Educational Trainer for USI Insurance. Mark was an agency owner for almost thirty years in Ohio. He has been a well sought-after speaker and teacher in the insurance industry for twenty-six years. Mark is recognized as one of the top insurance educators, having been awarded the Jack V. Hedges Educator of the Year by Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio. His knowledge comes from years of study in his industry of insurance and risk management, along with the practical experiences of someone who has been in business for over 35 years as an underwriter, sales person and business owner. Mark is a Certified in Inbound Sales with Hubspot and is a Hubspot Partner. Have questions? Send him an email

Recent Posts

The Cost of Hiring a Marketing Person vs. Not Hiring a Marketing Person (and other excuses we make)


At this point in time many business owners have made the decision to go digital. With this, comes the realization that their current man power isn't enough and a the discussion of hiring a marketing person surfaces.

In my talks with other business owners and especially insurance agency owners the discussion often turns to the cost of dedicating resources to a Marketing Person.  As an agency owner of 30 years I raced the same dilemma and made the transition. So I am going to ask you a few questions:

  1. Can you afford a Marketing Dedicated (not sales) budget
  2. Are you willing to change you and your organizations culture
  3. Are you committed to becoming a marketing and sales organization (vs. service)

Answering these questions is a precursor for digital and marketing success. This blog will help walk you through answering these questions and to help you overcome the costs of dedicating resources to a marketing person.

How Insurance Agencies can Use Duct Tape for their AI Processes

You Say Stalking Like it was a Bad Thing....

Ok... I know stalking is a bad thing. But in sales and with modern technology acting to how others react is getting to be more important and easier to do. We all hear about how AI – Artificial Intelligence is going to be a large portion of how we sell in the near future and maybe even now.

You certainly have seen how you are being targeted. If you have ever shopped on Amazon you see when you target an item that Amazon will populate the screen with “You might also like” products. If you listen to Pandora and select a channel and they start feeding you with songs by that artist and similar artists. If you look at something on Google have you noticed that all of a sudden those types of things start showing up in your Facebook account, or if you like the free games that are free because of the ads and see that many of these ads are for things you have looked at? Man you cannot pull the curtains closed tight enough.


I’m just a small business owner…I cannot do this AI stuff!

Small business owners, and even  owners of larger organizations, struggle with having the tools to get information on who the best prospects are to engage in their services. 

I get that but I think there are a lot of tools that you can use that are inexpensive or even free to start getting smarter and seeing who is looking at you and who is an ideal client.

I am going to share just a few suggestions and I hope that these will get you moving in the direction of changing your culture to the modern consumer demands.

Culture Wars: Transforming your Culture and Strategy to Adopt a Digital Business Model

Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch I have heard this many times. I have experienced it as well. But I want to spend some time discussing this idea and maybe foster the idea that Culture and Strategy do not need to be mutually exclusive.

So what are these two terms? Culture is the touchy feely stuff. It is not visible to the naked eye but creates the glue that holds an organization together or the sandpaper that wears it down. Strategy is committed to writing more often than not. It comprises the mission, vision and goals of an organization.

Both are critically important to the success of your business and I wanted to share some thoughts that might resonate not only to owners or management but also the rank and file or stakeholders in the success from top to bottom.

From Starting Line to Digital Success: An Agency Owner's Point of View During the Digital Transition

Its summer…So what kind of lawn mower are you?

A Push Start? Pull Start? Or Kick Start?


I think we can all agree on a few points of discussion. We all know the new consumer is different than they were even five years ago. We all know most of us have to adapt dramatically to facilitate the new buyers style. We all know that almost half of the insurance agencies are not growing presently. We all know there is a lot of buzz in the market about all the things that some of us are doing but most of us are still at the starting line.

So where are you in the positions shared above? Are you positioned to thrive in this modern digital economy? Are you in the process of adapting? Or are you the “deer in the headlights!”

So what are you going to do?

You can be a Push Start, where you got the nudge and are moving now towards the new inbound economy.

Or you can be a Pull Start, where you keep following the newest trends but maybe reluctantly.

Or are you a Kick Start, where you are not going to go easily into the new economy.

How Will Homeowners Insurance Break The Insurance Marketplace

There is an old saying “only the strong survive.” I am not sure I agree with this. Plenty of strong will perish as well! I think the things that survive is not from strength but from adaptability. Too many people in business take on false positions in resistance to the marketplace. That has caused many staples of our economy to disappear right in front of us.

The marketplace is changing has changed. We need to adjust our way of thinking of the way we view customer's needs.

How The Consumer Shops after a Decade of Transition

Are you open for business and are you available where consumers are shopping?

Just a short 10 years ago the entire sales model was different. The seller was in control and the buyer was at the mercy of this model. How was the sales pie cut then vs. now? Our friends from HubSpot, whom we are a partner with have a really good graphic to share on this major shift.

The Best Leads come from using Profiles and Personas in Insurance Inbound Marketing

You Talking to Me…You Talking to Me?

Do you remember the famous line from Taxi Driver? Well I wanted to spring form this to the importance of who you are speaking to when you are working on your insurance marketing programs.

It is important whether it is email, blog or even social media.  The insurance agency we had has been very successful in driving people to our website and converting leads. But in all honesty some of these leads are not what we wanted or needed. Part of this was a result of us flying blind in our inbound marketing efforts. We just started throwing you know what at the wall, hoping something would stick.

As our marketing programs grew, we realized that in order to create further value, without sucking up more resources, we would need to define who we were talking to and cater the message to them. We did this with profiles and personas.

Developing Your Content Calendar

Here we are at the end of another year. Time for celebration reflection and setting goals for the new year. Is content marketing part of your business plan? Has it been part of your plan for the past several years but just like diet and exercise it falls off the radar by the end of January?

We would like to share some insights, strategies and tools for you to help you set a plan and focus on delivering these plans to your targeted audience in 2017.

What the Election of "The Donald" Means to Insurance Marketing


Boy I don’t think anyone saw the election of the POTUS going the way it did. Did you? One thing that is evident from the election even early on is our seismic shift away from traditional channels of communication and towards the power of digital and inbound marketing as well as social media.

Early on in the primaries we saw some indications of how things were changing. Before Hillary faced Donald, she had to take on Bernie. During the primaries there were some surprises. States that went Bernie that no one predicted going against Hillary. How did that happen? 

One of the things that contributed to misinformation was that pollsters were depending on traditional ideas of how to measure the electorate. One of the big disconnects was that they polled people with land lines. Do you think today that you can get and accurate picture of our country from only polling those who have a phone tethered to a wall in their house?

Insurance Industry Trends and The Effect on Agencies

Are We About To Meet HAL 9000

Maybe I am showing my age but I remember meeting HAL, do you? Stanley Kubrick introduced us to him in 1968 in the film “2001 a Space Odyssey.” If you are old enough to remember or young and Geeky enough to remember that movie you realize, with a certain amount of horror that machines take over.

Do we have to worry about machines taking over? Maybe a little bit. I have been gathering more studies of the direction we are headed in as Independent Insurance agents and found a couple of studies to be extremely on point as to where I see things headed. Most agent and companies are now at least on board that they need to adapt or perish in this new Digital Era.

I thought I would share in an abbreviated fashion some of the high points I took away from these studies.

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