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Millennial Series #1 – The Business of Millennials

Millennial.  The ubiquitous term identifying that generation currently driving change in the workplace, expectations on career paths, and changing the way we all view career fulfillment.  Millenials have our attention and we question how to reach them, how to speak to them, and how to engage them. More importantly, how do we do business with them?

Who Are They?

While sources vary slightly, the general consensus says this group ranges in age between 19-35, meaning they were born between 1981- 1999.  That’s right.  While some of us remember partying like it was 1999 (and it was great until we headed into a recession), some of those entering the workforce have never known a rotary phone, VCR, or a television that was an actual piece of furniture. Millenials, as per the US Census Bureau,  are the largest living generation since the post-war explosion of the Boomers and that is why we need to understand them.

Identifying Characteristics

It is with cautious broad strokes that we should apply characteristics to any generation.  This group spans nearly 20 years, comes from different regions, and was raised in diverse social and economic conditions. Cautiously though, we can apply common psychographic details that include not only a familiarity but a preference for communication, media, and digital technology.

This generation, rightly or wrongly, has also been labeled:

  • Tech-savvy
  • Family-centric
  • Achievement driven
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Attention seekers
  • Opinionated  
  • Experience focused (vs material focused)
  • Job hoppers

Ultimately though, we need to remember that this is the generation that has never not known a computer in the home.  Their expectations on resources, information, and feedback are based on immediacy and availability.

Why You Need Them

The. Biggest. Demographic. Since. The. Boomers.

Millennials are just starting out. Their journey through life is just beginning and so is their earning potential.  And as we know, once you become “brand loyal”, you usually stay loyal.  So you need to get them now before someone else does.  Because switching a loyal customer is difficult and more expensive.

Loyalty means that up-sells and cross-sells can be easier and quicker - you’re already talking to them.  Their life changes and you’re already there.

Securing the Millennial loyalty now secures the Millennial dollar for the longer term.

How to Attract Them

Technology-based on an engaging user experience.  Not too big of a request, right?  Seems simple if you’re Instagram or Spotify but insurance isn’t known for its engagement.

So let’s start with baby steps. Create an online presence that:

  1. Quickly gets users what they need (information, completion of sign-up, whatever they need)
  2. Has an engaging and attractive user interface (again, think of Apple and how its siren song of simplicity remade it into the tech juggernaut).

These two baby steps are important and here’s why.

Millennials want a user experience (UX) that solves their problems fast. The halo effect is that this experience also attracts Gen X and Boomers.  Get people what they need when they need it.

It’s not just about looking pretty for a Millenial.  They need a platform that is both engaging and easy to use - this generation makes decisions based on technology, what it provides to them and how it does it. Remember, they grew up with technology being the dominant force in their day-to-day lives.

Millennials head to apps and the internet to review businesses.  Their word-of-mouth extends beyond their immediate circle of friends and acquaintances - both in telling the world about their experience and listening to others before making a purchase decision.  Therefore, it’s imperative that businesses be accessible online and be able to interact with online/digital platforms. Just because your current client base prefers the phone or meeting face-to-face, doesn’t mean you can skate on having a robust online experience.  Ignore this fact at your own peril, Millenials will find businesses that do offer the experience they need and silently decline those that do not.  

#1 Get the Info to Them

Remember when we said that this generation has never not known a computer in the home?  That’s just our clever(ish) way of saying Millenials have always been connected and have always had information at their fingertips. Their expectation for immediate knowledge has been conditioned since the cradle.  And now that they are taking the reins from the Boomers on buying power, their expectation for immediate knowledge literally comes with their purse strings.

So assuming you have the most rudimentary of websites (and honestly you should have a site!), a simple look at the layout can help you with presenting the necessary info upfront.

The best part is this little “audit” will also help with any other generation, target, or potential customer coming to your site for information.

What is it that Millennials as a group need the most?  Chances are their first experience with insurance was for their car.  They also most likely piggybacked on their parents' insurance coverage. They were steered by their parents’ opinions and experience.  Now, this group is maturing and sticking with what their parents had isn’t always going to be what they want even if it is home insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and everything else that comes with being an adult.

Does your site make these options (or the options you practice in) clear and straightforward? Can they find what they’re looking for? This will include:

  • Coverage comparisons
  • Quotes
  • The “small print” in clear, concise and straightforward language.  Be clear and transparent.

Once you give them the basics, make sure you remove the barriers to getting them through to speaking with someone or completing the purchase on their own:

  • Don’t hide the “contact us” link.
    • Make sure it either goes to an email, phone number or instant chat - and make sure you’re checking it for immediate response! Or at least let them know when they can expect a response so they don’t find someone else who will give them the info when they’re ready to give their business.
  • Give them the immediate opportunity to purchase
    • With the advent of direct-to-consumer insurance options, expectations have been set on the immediate ability to purchase.
    • Make that “buy now” button prominent and clear. Don’t make them work to give you their business!

#2 Engaging and Attractive Interface

This is where you look at your site with a very critical eye. Pretend you’re not in the industry.  Is what you see on your site enticing to you? Does it make you want to read and more importantly, click and learn more?

Now, think of the sites that make you personally come back.  Which ones do you enjoy using beyond what you have to use? What makes it “sticky”? Why do you enjoy using it or what don’t you like about it.  Here’s where you don’t have to invent the wheel, you just have to make it a smoother ride.  Use what you see and experience to make your site better with the goal of enticing Millennials - the group with the new money and the know-how to find what they’re looking for quickly.

Really stuck? Ask a millennial! Ask a few of them! Let them take what you have for a test ride and then ask them how it could be better for them. Consider this target market research. It’s not hard and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get some proprietary advice from the second largest demographic in the United States.

Some Quick Thoughts:

  • Images speak louder than words.  
    • Use compelling images to create a feeling while presenting information.  No one wants to sit through high school English class again.  A picture though - that can pull someone in and can give them the info they need quickly.
  • Pictures with people tend to perform (attracts consumers) better than other images.
    • Show pictures of Millennials.  Let them see themselves as your client!
    • Let them feel secure that you understand them by showing them as part of your client base.
  • Test, Learn, Talk.
    • It might be a labor-intensive start, but trying different things will help you in the long run.  Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback either.  If something isn’t working (or even if it is) ask!  Find out what can be made better:
      • Surveys
      • Comments sections
      • A quick question when you’re actually speaking directly to them!

In our next post about Millennials, we’ll be looking at how to recruit this demographic for business.  This is the group that will be inheriting roles, responsibilities, and businesses. The competition for them is fierce so how do you make insurance the career option for them?

Interested in how FindBob can help you with your perpetuation plans for growth or employee retention, then click here or give us a call at (833) 346-3868

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