The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) is intensifying its efforts to grow membership by launching an advertising campaign using the slogan, “It Pays to Be a Member.”
It is part of a multi-pronged campaign to re-energize the organization launched by its new president, Robert Miller.
According to Miller, the effort will include using what he termed “cyberspace” to improve outreach to members by using webinars and other Internet tools to provide continuing education. They will also utilize state and local associations to both recruit new members and energize existing ones.
In an interview, he said, “We at NAIFA are not sitting on our haunches and 120 years of history. We are always and continually asking ourselves. How can we do it better? You can talk all about platitudes, but we are in the business of making a living. This is another way of helping membership because we need name recognition, we want people to think of NAIFA, NAIFA, NAIFA, we want NAIFA to have that kind of market recognizability. This is our first salvo, a great start. NAIFA members earn more money. What could be better than that?"
Explaining the new slogan, Miller said, “When I see, ‘It pays to be a NAIFA member’, that has to pique my curiosity. What are they doing, what are they offering that helps NAIFA members earn more money? is the question that slogan brings to mind to me? As a result, I am going to go to, hopefully, a meeting, or on online to find out what they are offering. We want NAIFA to be on the tip of the insurance world, we are doing a lot of things to buttress membership and to get things organized in a way that is going to bring results. All of this is happening right now.
In an interview with the National Underwriter, he said, “We recognize that we need to do a better job of bringing members into the fold."
Implied in his remarks is a substantial loss of members over the years, as well as the defections of the Million Dollar Roundtable and the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, both of which are now totally separate organizations.
“I’m not embarrassed to say it,” he said. “We have to modernize this movement and bring it in the future and that is what we are doing”
Robert Miller is a partner at Miller-Pomerantz and Associates in New York City. He became NAIFA's president in September 2011.
Mr. Miller has served on NAIFA's Board of Trustees since 2005 and on the Executive Committee since 2009.
He is a past president of NAIFA-New York and NAIFA-New York City. He is a graduate of NAIFA's Leadership in Life Institute and a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.
The campaign message, “It Pays to Be a Member,” has basis in the results of numerous surveys that have found NAIFA members produce more business and earn more money than advisors who are not members, according to Miller and Susan Waters, NAIFA CEO.
For example, a study by New York Life found that the first-year commissions for NAIFA members averaged $90,300 versus $55,340 for non-members, they said.
A Northwestern Mutual study revealed that NAIFA members produced 52 percent more premium than non-members, they said.
According to Miller, a 30-year NAIFA member who is a partner in a New York City-based agency, the campaign will consist of media buys in industry trade publications as well as placements in NAIFA’s own publications and communications products.
It marks the first time that the entire NAIFA federation, including associations on the national, state and local levels, has coordinated its efforts to promote a unified marketing message, they said.
“NAIFA’s national, state and local associations have a unified goal to champion the business of insurance and financial advisors and help advisors succeed, but this level of cooperation across the federation to promote that goal is unprecedented,” Miller said.
“We are all proud of the benefits NAIFA offers our members and the industry as a whole, so it is very exciting that all of NAIFA is working together in this campaign to spread that message.”
Campaign ads will take readers to a website that offers testimonials from advisors who explain how NAIFA membership has contributed to their success, they said.
A separate website has tools that NAIFA’s 600 state and local associations can use to spread the message. The Advisor Today Blog, published by NAIFA’s national trade magazine, will also promote the campaign message in posts emphasizing the value of NAIFA membership, they said.