Tulip Media Group

Spotlight: How Miller Insurance Expands Their Marketing Staff of One into An Effective Team

miller insurance
Imagine being the VP of Sales and Customer Experience for a company with eight offices in eight different communities in southwestern Ontario! This describes Amanda Farrell Walsh at Miller Insurance, a brokerage that is proudly “locally owned” with a staff of 50 and deep roots in the community since 1899. How does Amanda keep up with the challenge? As a marketing team of one, with 10 years of experience in the insurance field, Amanda has partnered with Tulip Media for the past eight years, having jumped on the Risk & Business Magazine back in 2014. Since then, Amanda has seen the magazine published 15 times with articles specific to Miller Insurance and their local community. When asked what brought her to invest marketing dollars and partner with Tulip Media, Amanda spoke of insurance expenditures as “grudge purchases” for most companies because “you have to buy it. Nobody wants to spend money on insurance.” She was looking for something to promote Miller Insurance that was different from the approach taken by other companies. Meeting with other broker groups to discuss best practices in the industry, Tulip Media was recommended to her by another brokerage in Ontario which had seen success with their magazine approach. Miller Insurance was looking for a way to stand out, to distinguish themselves as industry experts among farms and businesses in their specific area. So, she gave it a try. Once partnered with Tulip Media, Amanda quickly realized that the process outlined by Jessica and Erika created a tremendous return on her time investment. There was a library of great content available for her to use and help was readily available. This made it a very easy process and, in her words, made it “a no-brainer.” The printed magazine could be placed in the hands of their specific clientele, namely those running farms and businesses.

As part of that process, the team at Tulip Media make it a priority to understand the business of their Client-Partner with a desire to see them become more successful. In Amanda’s words, it is a “Win, Win, Win!” It should also be pointed out that part of the “Winning” comes from Client-Partner meetings.

Amanda, Jessica, and Erika get together to discuss business and, at the same time, enjoy “#YetiPower”—i.e., using their personally engraved Yeti tumblers. These tumblers are always present at meetings, and the positive results have been more than evident to all participants! Needless to say, these meetings are lighthearted, full of energy, and very effective. Call it an “inside joke” or just recognize the advantage of positive relationship building. Either way, it is another subtle contributor to achieving the goals of the Client-Partner meetings!

In 2022, Miller Insurance has also expanded their program with Tulip Media to include digital marketing. As Amanda freely admits, “Using digital marketing is beyond my understanding, and I need help to make it work in targeting a specific market.” She adds that Tulip Media makes this easy, helping her to make the most of available marketing dollars. “Because I know from the monthly reports where digital ads are getting traction, I can dovetail that information with the delivery of the magazine. For example, if I know our ads are trending in the Meaford-Collingwood area, I can make sure that we are delivering to all businesses within those postal codes, so we are layering on the effectiveness.”

The power of advertising was made clear early in the digital advertising process. Amanda speaks of Tulip Media’s effective use of key words to bring in quote requests. “We had just started with the digital commercial and farm ads, and I knew right away when they went online. The requests were coming in fast and furious, and one of the first ones was asking if we insured bucking bulls! Discovering that the request was coming from Arkansas, I couldn’t provide the coverage since we can only write in Ontario. Despite that, this was certainly one of my favorite requests!”

“With all of this in mind, the decision to continue the relationship with Tulip Media just made sense,” says Amanda. “Tulip Media makes me look like a superstar. Tulip Media has got this, I don’t have to worry about it, and nothing is going to happen. It feels like I have two more members on my marketing team. There are also those special unexpected little touches provided by Tulip Media staff, like Andy taking the time to help me with my online skills, and Erika and Jessica keeping things fun as our relationship grows, and really trying to get into the “headspace” of the people they are working with to understand their businesses.”

Miller Insurance continues to expand and build a reputation in the southwestern part of Ontario, partly thanks to the presence of their Risk & Business Magazine and a digital presence in that area. The magazine has had an impact stretching beyond the customers to the communities in general. Many people—customers and noncustomers alike—have stated that they find the information useful. The company has even received congratulations letters from their MP for their successful marketing tools! These are small offices in small communities where people know each other, and the use of Miller Insurance’s customers as cover stories in the magazines has gained a tremendous response. “To see business owners—in tough times—pivot, evolve, change, and adapt and still come out on top is amazing!” exclaims Amanda. “I love to share these successes with other businesses and members of the community. We try to highlight successes and hope that readers find the stories inspirational, whether it is individuals doing well or service groups doing good work. When we highlight successes, it comes back to benefit us.”