It’s 1975 in Kansas City, Missouri. The first meeting of a brand new collective known as the Professional Independent Mass-Marketing Administrators, or PIMA, is underway.
The founders are buoyed by a vision of bringing competitors together as collaborators — to learn from one another, build relationships to strengthen their resilience in the marketplace, and become more financially secure together than they ever could apart. The idea is that a network of partners will help organizations grow.
How PIMA’s Partnerships Have Shaped Its Legacy
One of the first partners to join PIMA was AGIA Affinity. Founder James Wigle wanted to build his company with a supportive network around it.
AGIA had been around since the 1950s, growing from a small insurance agency into a multifaceted organization. James believed a partnership with PIMA would fuel his company's next stage of growth. And when James handed down the business to his son, John, AGIA’s partnership with PIMA deepened.
John knew the value of the organization and began to get involved. He became a board member and forged relationships with other members that helped AGIA innovate in new ways.
Over the years, AGIA has leveraged its partnership with PIMA to become what it is today: a technologically advanced, multifaceted, full-service broker, marketer, and administrator that manages insurance and noninsurance benefit programs for more than 100 affinity groups representing more than 30,000,000 members. James and John were pioneers in the industry, and their legacies of leadership continue — AGIA's current president and CEO, Chris Burke, is a member of PIMA’s executive board of directors.
This is just one example of a company that has evolved and enriched alongside PIMA. The many relationships developed and strengthened through our partnerships over the past 40-plus years have been invaluable to everyone involved.
What a PIMA Partnership Provides for Executive Leaders
When they join the ever-strengthening network of partners at PIMA, leaders give their companies access to a world of opportunities and resources, including the following:
1. An active, helpful network of peers.
Peer groups are the foundation of a PIMA partnership. When you join, you gain access to both our online community and our online peer advisory forums. Through these groups, participants exchange ideas, support, information, and anything else that comes up in the industry. It’s no wonder that members of peer networks can more than double their operating margins compared with the industry average.
Most of all, peer groups represent trust. As one member said, “When I get a call from a PIMA member, I take it more seriously than the 100 people that follow up with me from other conferences.” And because the network is connected online, accessing support or initiating a discussion is easy. Members can simply go online and search PIMA’s proprietary database for relevant partners.
2. Insights into the customer experience.
We’ve found that being a part of peer groups has helped PIMA members stay up to date with industry trends. Members can combine data and insights to gain a clearer picture of what consumers want from their experiences, and they can then collaborate to create new ways to deliver those features.
Many businesses operate in silos, missing opportunities to connect with others and solve problems. Ultimately, the consumer journey is enriched when businesses work together to create new solutions — a truth PIMA members experience every day.
3. The key to industry disruption.
Competition can be a healthy and creative force, but most companies avoid their competitors like the plague. If they see another company in their space disrupting the status quo, they go back to the drawing board and work furiously to outplay them.
But the real opportunity is to look disruptors in the eye and learn from them, which empowers you to innovate and evolve faster. This is where PIMA membership is invaluable. Members can meet on a level playing field, and learn from disruptors through PIMA conferences.
Insurance leaders wishing to join this collective can do so easily and begin taking advantage of the power of its partnerships. Join now and gain immediate access to the online community. If you'd rather experience the value of PIMA membership firsthand, nonmember companies can attend one PIMA Industry Insights Conference and one PIMA Consumer Insights Conference. Much like it did for AGIA, a partnership with PIMA will position your organization for long-term success.
Published on December 17, 2019.
PIMA® (Professional Insurance Marketing Association®) is a member-driven trade association focused exclusively on the group-sponsored benefits market. For more information on becoming a member, click here.