Pointers & Pitfalls of Life Settlement Marketing
The life settlement industry is poised for significant growth, and that growth needs to be undertaken with expertise and integrity. That was the underlying theme of Magna Life Settlements Chief Marketing Officer Scott Harris’s presentation at the annual LISA conference in Washington, DC.
Harris addressed a room of life settlement professionals, brokers, financial advisors and other advocates with his talk entitled “Pointers and Pitfalls of Life Settlement Marketing.” First Harris outlined the chief reasons for life settlement’s promising outlook – the aging of the population, low market penetration of life settlements, inadequate retirement funding, a growing comfort with the sharing economy, the investment potential in life settlements and a shift toward more disclosure of life settlement options from financial advisors.
Next Harris turned to key marketing principles, detailing five pitfalls—with accompanying pointers to overcome them—of marketing life settlements directly to consumers:
1. Know and Work Within the Pertinent Regulations. A thorough understanding of the regulations placed by HIPAA, the SEC and individual states on both the healthcare and financial industries is crucial for companies seeking to market life settlements. Marketers must know the standards and present the information accurately and with respect for privacy standards, Harris said.
2. Implement Self-Regulation to Protect Consumers and the Industry. As recent high-profile calamities at Facebook and Starbucks have proven, self-regulation is a privilege that could be revoked if companies don’t handle it responsibly. Life settlement professionals must police themselves diligently with an eye toward transparency and accountability.
3. Strive for Equity Across the Board. Certain parts of the country have larger senior populations than others with more attractive candidates for settlement, and companies might be tempted to seek only the most profitable clients, but Harris emphasized that marketing should be geared equally toward serving every type of client.
4. Prioritize Operational Excellence. Behemoths like Amazon have grown because of their emphasis on excellence. Ecommerce success stories set an example by reminding life settlement companies to keep their standards high in everything from personnel to technology to bookkeeping so that consumers will feel comfortable doing business with them.
5. Never Mislead Consumers In Order to Make a Profit. For the life settlement industry to succeed in both profitability and service to its consumers, honesty in calculations is paramount. Life settlement transactions should be fairly calculated with careful attention to life expectancy projections. Every marketing decision should be made with an underlying sense of responsibility for the consumer’s best interest.