AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (April 30, 2003)�Eastbridge studied five of the fastest growing worksite companies to identify common strategic characteristics underlying their rapid growth. Each company had at least $30 million in new business annualized premium and experienced at least 25 percent growth per year over each of the last few years (and not due to acquisition of another company’s block of business).
“The data disprove many of the traditional explanations for fast growth,” explained Eastbridge president Gil Lowerre. “These companies are not known as product innovators, capitalizing on emerging designs like critical illness or pioneering “morphing” product forms. Nor are they relatives of large, strongly capitalized carriers. They do not have unique market access or a specialized niche that opens doors for them. And they are not noted as leading administrators.”
What was different, according to Lowerre, was the fact that they all had (and still have) an overriding strategic focus on distribution. Three focused entirely on distributing through well-established distribution systems that were already in place and well positioned. The other two built distribution from scratch, but made that effort their primary business focus throughout this period. “And because of the diversity of distributors, we believe that it is not ‘who’ a company targets (as their distributors) that makes it successful but the fact that the company has a target channel and then designs its offering, processes, systems, etc. around its chosen distribution channel,” says Lowerre.
In addition, these companies all have a strategic focus on worksite marketing. That is, worksite marketing is a strategic business unit that is fully supported by the company. “Excellence in distribution and marketing and in strategic focus make up for shortfalls elsewhere,” explains Lowerre. “Conversely, excellence elsewhere will not compensate for distribution deficiencies. We think the evidence is clear: to be one of these fast growing worksite companies, companies need to focus on distribution and develop their offering around serving that channel’s (and their clients’) needs.”
These findings are based on an internal Eastbridge study of top worksite companies. Eastbridge Consulting Group is the premier consulting firm in the area of worksite marketing.