E. Kenneth Hyatt can speak from experience about Kemper Auto & Home's Compete Program. Hyatt, an executive vice president for personal lines with the Talbot Agency Inc., started with the Compete program back in 1999."Our motivation was to increase the frequency of communication with the customer in a personalized way. Some of the carriers we represent send out a fairly generic newsletter that's not personalized for the customer," Hyatt says. The Talbot Agency operates in eight Western states and is based in Albuquerque, N.M.; Hyatt works out of Talbot's office in Hemet, Calif.

"The Compete program is attractive because it is personalized and repetitive. Our sense is that we have a high level of retention with our Kemper customer base and some of that is attributable to the program," he says.

When made available by carriers, "agencies need to take advantage of programs like Compete because they are productivity enhancers and add to our results in personal lines," Hyatt explains.

"There are things (like this) that we would like to do or should do at the agency level but don't do because of the cost or the staff time necessary to support the program," he adds.

"For an agency that doesn't have scale, it isn't practical," comments Alison Bond, national marketing officer, Kemper Auto and Home Group, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla. "We're providing the scale but giving the agents an individualized program that meets their needs," she says.

Does the marketing tool affect his loyalty to Kemper Auto and Home Group, Inc.? "I think the answer is yes," says Hyatt, a 30-year plus veteran of the industry. "You are not consciously thinking about it. But when you sit down and evaluate your relationship with your carriers, the body of evidence would weigh on the side of Kemper."

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