Markman Group: Adapting and leading in dynamic times

Markman was a leading national sales and marketing organization in the financial services industry, from the 1980s to 2011. Their specialty was marketing financial products to retirees, specifically a broad spectrum of health insurance, income assurance, and wealth protection financial products. They were considered to be one of the most well-respected innovators in their industry among insurance and financial services peers. New dynamics and a changed environment since the turn of the 21st century fueled Markman's re-positioning and restatement of mission to serve the needs of current and upcoming retirees.

The following projects were completed as a consultant from 1996-2007:

Branding/marketing strategy consulting. Basic premises and concepts were developed and crystallized in conjunction with the Chief Marketing Officer/President. These building blocks serve as the communications platform for which many marketing projects were developed.

New website. Concept Elemental served as architect and lead project manager: site organization, content, design and art direction, interactivity, and other related oversight functions. Two other new sites, one related to endorsed-group markets and a consumer education site, supported Markman's integrated marketing approach and sales systems.

Strategic public relations. Projects work together to create the credibility needed in the industry; media outlets contacted when needed. Most of the public relations efforts were focused within the industry.

Supporting branding and marketing strategy:

The State of Retirement in the 21st Century: New Priorities for an Emerging American Majority. A white paper which was commissioned to educate professionals about the changing environment for retirees. Used in Markman professional development schools. View the 2007 white paper.

Planning for Longevity: A Modern Retirement Guide. A 16-page guide for consumer education about health care and financial issues in retirement. Performed all research, analysis, writing, and design coordination for publication.

Paying for Health Care in Retirement: A Modern Guide to Health Care Planning. A first-of-its-kind, comprehensive guide for consumers and professionals about financing health care and services delivery options in retirement. Performed all research, analysis, writing, and design direction for publication.

Internal corporate reports:

  • A Joint Venture Marketing Plan. A 16-page plan with management profiles, market discussions, marketing strategy, and financials was created to generate interest from a Fortune 500 financial services firm as a capital partner.
  • Regional Vice Presidents Marketing Plan. A marketing plan offered to top producers around the country to be part of Markman's network.
  • Various presentations to executive and professional groups.

Note: As an employee of Markman Group (1992-1996), my role as VP of Marketing Communications and Special Projects morphed into VP of Product Development. The research and analysis work in marketing and professional educational endeavors was utilized for new product development, leading to one of the first PPOs in a long term care insurance product. Also, these research efforts lead to the revitalization of a stagnant market in one lucrative industry segment. A consulting relationship ensued from 1996-2007. From 2008 and to 2010, the Retirement Security Institute was developed as a knowledge company to continue with industry education and analysis to a network of financial and insurance advisors.

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