Insurance for the Generations: How to Market to Generation Z
Gaining millennial insurance customers may be top priority right now, but in just a few short years the next generation of policyholders will be the hot commodity in the market: Generation Z. Unfortunately for marketers across industries, this group born between the mid-1990’s and early 2000’s can’t be treated like their millennial predecessors. While they have many similarities, they actively strive to set themselves apart from millennials and will require a new set of marketing tactics to gain their loyalty.
Invest and Applied Systems’ recently published survey, “The Future of Insurance: Bye-Bye Boomers, Hello Digital Natives,” which presented surprising insights to the similarities and differences between the generations (as highlighted in the image below)
One surprising discovery is that Gen Z seems to prefer in person purchase experiences over online purchasing, as millennials do. The survey does specify that it’s possible that Generation Z’s who prefer an “in person experience” could be responding as such because they consider channels such as Skype and Facetime as in person interactions because they are what this generation considers face to face, but regardless the gap between the 55% of Gen Z and the 37% of Millennials that prefer to purchase insurance in person and the 55% to 34% who prefer interact with insurance providers in person is substantial.
Although in person interaction is preferred, access to information and service is absolutely paramount in making an insurance purchase. Eighty-eight percent of Gen Z and 77% of Millennials ranked access to information and service via a mobile app as important to their insurance purchase decision, and nearly all (97% of Gen Z and 96% of Millenials) respondents rated 24-hour customer services availability as important.
88% of Gen Z rank access to info and service via apps as important to insurance purchase decisions.
The thing to keep in mind is that Gen Z is quite literally an “always on” generation. They did not adapt to technology, as Millennials, but instead can’t fathom a life without it. Unaccustomed to having to wait for anything from transportation (as Ubers round every corner) to information (as the internet is always in their pockets) insurance providers who want to reach Gen Z customers need to establish constantly open channels of communication to drive brand loyalty and customer experience.
It’s clear that multichannel access and immediate gratification is essential in tailoring customer experiences, but what can insurance marketers do to entice Gen Z beyond that? It seems Generation Z won’t take well to blatant sales messaging, but insurers can grab their attention if their marketing is humorous (said 55% in Deep Focus Report), has good music (45%) or if it’s inspiring (37%). In fact, the report also found that, much like Millennials, 67% prefer narratives and storytelling content from brands.
Having grown up on the web Gen Z is all too familiar with flashy marketing tricks, and instead crave genuine experiences and actual relationships with brands.
In order to remain competitive, insurance marketers must be ready for the next wave of consumer demands. The oldest of Generation Z are now becoming college graduates and entering the workforce. This means impending revenue opportunities for insurers who can provide the experiences they desire.
To capture Gen Z as loyal customers insurance marketers must consider offline and online as one in the same and ensure all channels are optimized and that experiences transition smoothly between them. Ensuring access to resources and customer support at all times will also win the hearts of Generation Z policy holders.
Lastly, messaging must be authentic and entertaining in order to grab their attention. Video will become an even more integral channel as Gen Z comes of age, as currently 85% prefer YouTube over other websites and 40% say they would prefer to interact with their favorite brands over YouTube than any other platform. J. Walter Thompson’s Consumer Insights Report also found that 70% of Gen Z members spend more than two hours each day on the site. With some planning and research the insurance industry can be ready for the day Gen Z is ready to purchase.