Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda


Marketing is NOT sales or communications or…

The lack of effective, or even decent, marketing in the work comp services and insurance industry is all but universal.  It is also damaging – to the industry as well as to individual companies.  And it is dumb.

The value of a brand is well-documented;

A brand is build by marketing – which is NOT communications or proposal writing or trade shows or parties at trade shows or trinkets given to adjusters.

Marketing – BIG M MARKETING – is all of those and more.  It starts with defining the value you bring to a specific segment.  It requires a simple and clear statement of that value so that potential buyers understand how it relates to them, and that must resonate.  And it continues from there.

But the purpose of this post is not to provide a primer on marketing or branding, but rather to call attention to the dearth of effective marketing.  My sense is this happens because most leaders just don’t get marketing – they think it is soft, fluff, a waste, a nice-to-have, when in reality it is a have-to-have.  Companies have to stand for something, mean something, and that “something” isn’t what the leader THINKS it is, it is what the market thinks it is.

How do you know if you have effective marketing?  Obviously, or perhaps for some less than obviously, market research.  What do users/buyers/influencers think of your company ?  How do you know?  No, how do you REALLY know?

Objective and well-designed market research.

Allow me to close with an example of what effective marketing can do.

I give you Joe Paduda. (forgive the use of the third-person)

A consultant in the industry, known by a few folks eight years ago, mostly former co-workers and colleagues, Paduda is now quite well-known throughout the industry. He has keynoted the two largest conferences, is a sought-after speaker and expert, almost four thousand people subscribe to his blog, and many seek to curry favor with him, or avoid pissing him off.  His client list is extensive, he does not work cheap, and he regularly turns down projects.

The “Paduda brand” drives success.  Smart, insightful, opinionated, honest, fair, objective with deep understanding of the industry and strong strategic sense.  A tendency to be bleeding-edge (not politically, altho some would disagree, but rather too far in front of trends) and occasionally, and pretty publicly, wrong.

Marketing – via the blog (thank you Julie Ferguson!) and public relations (thank you Helen Knight!) is the driver of my success.

If I can do it, so can you.  All it requires is consistent commitment, a willingness to spend money, and a relentless focus on building and strengthening your brand.

What does this mean for you?

Success – or lack thereof.

2 thoughts on “Marketing is NOT sales or communications or…”

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. I think the most important thing is consistent voice and message in your marketplace! People need to know what you stand for ALL the time and not be confused of what your services bring to them.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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