Outside the Box Medicare Marketing

By Harry P. Thal

When you first walk into our office you step across the threshold and are greeted with our Welcome Mat.  This mat sports our logo, which is a caricature of me in my newsboy style leather cap. I was wearing this cap when a photo was taken, and it was sent to the artist who rendered first a line drawing, and then the full-color logo that we use today.

I have many agency friends and associates who have logos, all of which are some type face or stylization of the company name. These are very pretty on letterhead, but it don’t do much in selling your products or your being recognized in the marketplace.

I wear the cap wherever I go in my community or at any professional event.  At the NAHU convention recently I sported the logo on my golf shirts and my sweatshirt. The cap was on and was recognized as me and my logo.  At the formal Gordon Memorial Dinner, the black cap went well with my tuxedo even.

I use this logo on almost everything.  My office is a storefront with a small (AstroTurf) lawn out front.  We have a sign with a clipart photo of a dog lapping up water and the logo, adjacent to a water station for dogs, cats and nighttime wildlife.

I write a column which appears in our weekly hometown newspaper as well as another article in a monthly publication which has a circulation into far-reaching rural communities.  In addition to the informative articles, I always place an advertisement with the logo (important point: we need to financially support these papers).

Of course, it also appears on all our stationary, brochures and other advertising.  You can’t go to our single screen local movie theater without seeing our pre-movie ad featuring the logo. There are two back-to-back slides. The first shows the logo and asks the question, “Do you recognize this person? … If ‘YES’… Clap Once.   The next screen has a photo of me, with the hat and an ad with the agency information and what we do…sell Medicare and individual insurance.

A while ago I was coming out of the local pharmacy.  Now, this pharmacy provides my business cards and brochures to their clients. My logo is well known.  Directly outside the pharmacy street door is a bench.  It was very hot outside.  I was not wearing my “trademark” hat.  A man, unknown to me, looks up and asks, “Where’s your hat?”

When I present a seminar on marketing, I begin with a slide of the ‘Golden Arches’, then a slide of the Nike ‘swish’ and ask the audience to identify the company related to the logo.  The next one is a little harder, the PH for the Las Vegas hotel, Planet Hollywood.  That one, being local, is only known to the locals and some visitors.  Lastly, my caricature and I explain that in my local community I am not up there with McDonalds, but more recognizable than the “swish”.

Several months ago, my nephew brought up three tour busses of Girl Scouts from San Diego for camping, white water river rafting and other local activities.  The girls had a great time and have made this now an annual outing.  My wife and I greeted the girls when they arrived, saw them off while getting outfitted for their rafting trip, and on their departure, I thanked them for coming to our community.  (They spent $36,000 with local merchants).  One young lady raised her hand with a question.  Says I: “Yes?”  “Are you the Mayor?” she asks. “I see your picture all over town.”

Marketing works!




Harry P. Thal, MA, is a licensed insurance broker in California and 27 other states.  He shall be presenting more Out of the Box marketing ideas at the Los Angeles/Ventura County Medicare Summit on August 20-21 at the Pickwick Gardens Conference Center, 1101 Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91506.    To register: http://laahu.org   Harry may be reached at (760) 376-2100 or harrythal@aol.com.