In general, it is said that Millennials displays a great deal of confidence. This is a result of a combination of a few different things. The focus they receive from their parents and high expectations placed upon them, not to mention their new found independence along with the advent of cell phones, the internet, social media and other electronic forms of communication all play a role in the making of this confidence. This is truly the first generation to grow up completely online (in the Google world) and, as a result, the marketing mix used to target them needs to evolve.
As you might expect, this group is technically savvy like no other generation.
Socially, Millennials are different as well. They are typically team-oriented, banding together to date and socialize rather than pairing off. They do work well in groups, preferring this to individual endeavors. They are also very good at multi-tasking and are the ones studying while listening to the radio, texting or watching television or Netflix. This all gives you more reason to ensure that you utilize cross-media marketing and ensure consistency among your communications.
Let’s look at their academic approach. From an academic perspective, they are the group that was able to play a sport, attend school, and engage in social endeavors. Millennials believe in going green and supporting endeavors that are good for the environment. They simply love the environment and feel that it’s there duty to take great care of mother earth.
When it comes to entering the workforce, Millennials seem to want structure in their work environment. They acknowledge and respect positions and titles, and want a relationship with their boss. If you have Millennials in your agency, you can see that this is true. I see it take place in my own agency. Millennials are in need of mentoring and they respond well to the personal attention. They thrive with and from that personal attention and without it they will fail in your agency’s environment. When considering the management of Millennials, be mindful that they appreciate structure and stability. Mentoring Millennials should be more formal than other generations, with set meetings and a more authoritative attitude on the mentor’s part. You should be sitting down with them on a quarterly basis to find out how you can help them grow within your agency. You should also be reviewing their work and providing them with constructive feedback. In other word, Millennials will take more effort and energy from you and your agency, so be prepared.
Now, let’s look at how to market to them.
How to Market to the Millennials
Now that you understand a little more about the target you and your agency are seeking to attract, consider the places they go for information (the internet world) and the way they behave. Millennials are logging into their Facebook and Instagram accounts fifty to hundred times each day, sending text messages to friends, and uploading their videos to YouTube. Are you and your agency there? If not, you should think about being there.
Here are the five keys to successfully marketing to Millennials:
- Listen to the conversation.Where many businesses and agencies are failing today is that they are not listening to the conversations that the Millennials are having about their work environments and/or co-workers, friends in the social world and/or the lack of technology. Listening to the conversation is a major key to your success. In the social world you should be listening to what others have to say along with what conversations are going on around you. A great way to keep up with that is by signing up for Google Alerts. We need to be in tune and pay attention and Google Alerts can help make this easier on you and your agency. You can also visit Technorati and see what individuals are saying along with what others are blogging about.
- Create accounts in Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media Platforms.Put you and your agency’s name out there. Make sure that your agency has a space among these social media outlets. One thing to keep in mind though is to not be overly commercial and corporate. Millennials can see right through it. They like to be outside of the box, where they can be very creative. In your social media, be genuine, be real, and let your prospective market understand what you’re really about and what you stand for. Millennials want you to be transparent and YES they want you and your agency to stand for something.
- They want you to communicate on a personal level.Create a two-way dialogue with your audience. Give them an opportunity to speak to you and don’t talk over them. Make sure to LISTEN to them! Whether you let them share comments or share their experience with family and friends, providing a forum to socialize is essential.
- Focus on a consistent message.Regardless of which media type you use (text, social media, email marketing, direct mail, adwords, etc.), keep your messaging consistent. If you say one thing and do another or change your messaging frequently, you will not be building the trust necessary to ensure that they will be a lifetime customer. The consistent message matters in a big way when it comes to Millenials.
- Be CREATIVE. When your marketing is creative, whether it’s traditional or in the social media world, it can very quickly gain momentum and help you gain followers. Without the creative side you will quickly lose that momentum along with those followers. With great social marketing tools like YouTube and Flickr, messages are quickly shared and distributed. Don’t force the issue; rather create something meaningful, exciting, fun and creative. Create something worth sharing. Before you know it, the Millennials will be sharing and distributing your agency’s content about you and your brand, and that is powerful.
Let’s face the facts. The independent insurance agency has ignored the Millennials and it’s time to take them seriously. Let’s start by marketing to them in the way they want. Improving the effectiveness of your marketing to Millennials is no small undertaking. To be truly successful, you need to understand them and the social dependence these individuals have when communicating and the value they place on the opinion of others. Although much of Millennial marketing needs to happen online and in the world of Google, don’t lose track of some traditional marketing tactics, like direct mail and print. As much as marketing has changed, traditional marketing can still be effective. Just make sure it has a social component. There is a lot of money to be made from marketing to the Millennials but we can only have success if you meet them where they are – online. Happy Millennial Marketing!