Reaching Millennials with Your Marketing Message
Reaching Millennials with Your Marketing Message
By Abby De Zeeuw, CPA, MBA
Cain Ellsworth Partner
When I say Millennial, what mental picture comes to your mind? Do you picture a fresh-faced, 20-something living in his or her parent’s basement? Or do you think of a 34-year-old young couple working two jobs, moving into their first or second home and “pet parenting” before trying “child parenting”? You would be correct if you thought of both. Millennials, or Gen Y, is a large generation of young adults ranging in age from 19 to 38. They are entering their prime spending years (by the year 2020, it’s estimated this generation will spend $1.4 trillion a year) and are in the market for dwelling, equipment, farm, business insurance. But reaching this audience is more challenging than finding the exact birth years that define this generation. Why?
They Don’t Trust Ads
As Americans we are exposed to an average of 5,000 advertisements a day. Ads are everywhere—on TV, online, on our mobile devices, on the roadside and on our social media feeds. Billions of dollars are spent by brands trying to get their message out. But Millennials don’t buy it. They don’t trust ads and therefore they don’t respond to them. What do they respond to?
- Social Media – short posts that are to the point. Millennials value authentic conversation and content.
- Videos – In a study commissioned by Google and released by ComScore and YouTube, Millennials consume more online video content than any other group. Keep it authentic or this savvy group will “skip” it.
- Educational Content – While many Millennials are settling into adult life, they are still experiencing many of life’s first. They are looking to the internet and blogs for educational content before making decisions. Consider adding a blog to your strategy but be sure you speak their language.
- Radio – According to Nielsen, radio still reaches 93% of adults, even Millennials, on a weekly basis. That’s more than TV and smartphones.
Millennials Don’t Like to Wait
Timeliness and customer service are key with this generation. They are true digital natives and are used to getting instant results (just ask Google!).
- Response time is important. Don’t make them wait to get a quote or information on a policy or claim.
- Be willing to meet after regular business hours or outside of the office. This will be less intimidating and “formal.”
- Update your website to include educational information and help your customers really understand what options are available.
They are Cause-Oriented
Millennials want to support local companies that invest in local causes and organizations. Research shows that Gen Y is 50% more likely to buy from a company that supports a cause they believe in.
- Get involved in events in your community. Sponsor and/or support as many things as you can.
- Volunteer your time. This is a great way to network and find potential customers while you’re doing good!
- Be part of their social networks. Find organizations with strong Millennial membership and join them. Millennials trust authentic opinions from people they can relate to.
They Want Authentic Relationships
Relationships matter to this generation. They don’t trust easily and see right through a company or brand that is pandering to them to get business. They value – even demand – authenticity. Use this to your advantage. As a small, mutual insurance company you are perfectly positioned to attract more Gen Yers by simply letting them know you are beholden to them, the policy holder, not some big-time investors. They are in control and you are part of their community. Most importantly, be open and honest in dealing with them.
- Put effort into getting to know them and their family.
- Be consistent and true to your values.
- Guide them through the decision-making process. Be clear about purchasing insurance, the pricing process, and even the claims process. Make it as easy as you can.
Millennials are savvy consumers and have a lot of options. Be careful not to lump them all under one marketing umbrella. Remember, this is a wide-ranging generation (19 to 38-year-olds) with a variety of life experiences and insurance needs. Tailor your message and your approach to meet your Millennial customers in their stage of life.
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