To Millennials and Beyond: Selling to a digital generation

Once Generation Y entered adolescence and adulthood, the marketing world began buzzing with theories on reaching this age group—better known as the Millennials. We’re constantly hearing how consumer preferences are changing as technology advances. While communication continues to go digital, audiences are turning to social platforms and search engines as primary sources of information—including first life lessons on buying insurance. In a generation that’s constantly watching, posting, and sharing, how do you get your message across to Millennials? How do you break through the clutter and captivate this audience?

Market saturation and characteristics

As of 2017, Millennials range from ages 20 to 36, spanning across college students, early career professionals, and young families. In some studies, Generation Y is split into two groups: Millennials and Upscale Millennials. Dividing the generation into two groups can help distinguish the perceived discrepancy in disposable income, independent/dependency, ­and relationship status that widely vary from each end of the spectrum.

As of Q4 of 2016, 16.8% of Millennials did not have health insurance, compared to the national average of 10.9%. When asked about future coverage, the Harris Poll reported that 84% of Millennials plan to have health insurance in 2017. Their most common reason to forgo health insurance is affordability.The poll reported that 7 in  10 Millennials consider cost to be a “very important” factor when looking at health care options. Approximately one-third have comparison shopped health insurance plans, and 66% say that any premium above $200 per month is unaffordable.

Gallup reports that Millennials are more than twice as likely to purchase policies online rather than through an agent (27% to 11%). For comparison as a population, online purchasing (14%) is a remarkably less popular method than purchasing through an agent (74%).

CNBC reports that Millennials who aren’t buying health insurance are hedging their bets through riskier alternatives. Instead of visiting a doctor or specialist, this age group is most likely to skip, delay, or stop receiving health care services.

Media consumption and opportunity

On average, Millennials spend just over six hours per week on social media, which is slightly less than Generation X (seven hours). On a monthly average, Millennials spend 51 hours listening to AM/FM radio, 57 hours using an app or website on a smartphone, and 42 hours browsing the internet from a PC. Needless to say, this generation is a highly-connected audience that expects the world at their fingertips. They actively pull and consume information from websites and social media over any other channels.

Overall, Millennials represent a price-sensitive, highly tech-savvy audience, and they look to digital resources for both product information and education. While conventional outreach methods may not serve the Millennial audience as effectively, we can see similarities across Millennials and Baby Boomers. Both types of consumers want information readily available in the medium where they spend the most time. Content needs to be engaging, educational, and informative. Providing timely, relevant information is essential to captivating this audience.

In terms of searchability and rank, an agency’s website need to be first in line in search results for Millennials to interact. For insurance agencies to remain competitive, they need to meet Millennials’ expectations for accessibility and immediacy of information. One of the keys for agencies to engage Millennials is to offer online quoting. This audience is looking for fast answers, and they’re quick to abandon sites that aren’t optimized to meet their needs.

To improve your visibility in the digital space, apply these tips for optimizing your website for lead conversion. For more information on digital marketing strategies, see our recent blog on digital marketing tactics for insurance agencies.