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Roger Edwards: Winning the protection long game

I have just celebrated publishing episode 200 of my podcast. When I came up with the idea, most people did not even know what a podcast was. In case you still don’t, it is a radio show you can download and listen to whenever you want.

A broadcaster friend of mine at the time warned me most podcasts did not make it past edition number seven. Yet, undeterred, I launched my Marketing, Protection and Finance Podcast, first recording on my iPhone and uploading to iTunes.

People liked my interviews with the great and good of financial services.

Soon the focus pivoted from chat about how to market protection and finance, to marketing and finance as separate subjects.

After 20 episodes, I bought a posh condenser microphone and invested in a mixing desk to make recording over Skype easier.

After 100 episodes, I renamed the show as the snappier Marketing and Finance Podcast and have never looked back.

Of course, the show was really a marketing exercise, a campaign that has now been going for over four years, and one which generates many leads for my consultancy and speaking business.

Unless you are lucky enough for it to go viral, it takes tenacity and consistency to make a fresh marketing initiative successful.

You must listen to your customers and make changes where necessary. Learn from what is working and what is not.

You must be in it for the long game. I have had conversations with product providers about podcasts they have never launched because they were not prepared to commit to the long game. They wanted results from day one.

Again, unless you are lucky or have millions of pounds to blow on advertising, it is probably going to take more than a few weeks to become established.

While the show has been a focus for me for four years, I have been involved with UK protection for over 25. Protection might be the longest game of them all.

We have simplified the language in our products and policy provisions, used technology to make the application process easier and quicker, and by focusing on customers and paying claims well into the high 90 per cents, have increased confidence in an industry which many have distrusted for a long time.

Publishing these excellent claims statistics and backing them up with case studies slowly but surely makes protection more accessible.

But a considerable proportion of the UK population still thinks we do not pay claims.

They are not hearing the stories of percentages in the high 90s.

Putting out a press release on payout numbers once a year is like publishing one episode of a podcast and expecting to build a consistent and loyal audience. It takes much more.

We need more frequent and consistent promotion of our positive messages across all media channels. Because, as my experience with the podcast has shown, consistency wins. Much more repetition of the positives is the way to win the protection long game.

Roger Edwards is managing director of Roger Edwards Marketing, and marketing director of Protection Review

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