To make a new sale, you have to place your agency and benefits services in front of new potential clients. But here’s the wrench: Those potential clients could include multiple generations with varied needs and decision-making power. How do you ensure your agency’s messaging and chosen channels align with each of these target audiences?
Often deemed the forgotten generation smushed in-between Baby Boomers and Millennials — Gen X (born 1965 – 1980) holds a lot of purchasing power (and a grudge). In 2022, Gen X was the generation that made up the largest percentage of small-business owners at 46.46%. This cohort is searching for a comprehensive benefits package that not only appeals to themselves as the decision-makers in the business but, also, to their Gen X employees. Saving money and preparing for retirement are at the top of the wishlist. Despite the rising retirement age, Gen X is searching for retirement benefits alongside options for HSAs and FSAs to assist in covering their medical expenses.
It’s important to remember that not every generation had access to the newest tech while growing up. Gen X experienced the world through landline phones, knocking on neighbors’ doors, and writing letters to friends and family far away. When considering online benefits software, make sure it’s simple and easy to learn.
Don’t overcomplicate things. If benefits are hard to manage and the enrollment software is difficult to understand, you’ll lose them to a competitor. Implement a simple all-in-one solution for their benefits and HR needs, train them on the available tools, and position yourself to be their personalized support team.
It pays to be personable and honest. The generation that bore the weight of the Great Recession of 2008 is skeptical. They lost their jobs, financial stability, and hopes of early retirement. As a result, Gen X values companies that are transparent with their clients. Companies that prioritize transparency and honesty about the value they bring to their clients stick out among the rest. If a benefits agency is making false promises, upselling services that Gen X isn’t looking for, or hiding work in progress, they’ll move on to somewhere else.
Showcase the value of your benefits agency while being honest about your services fitting their specific needs. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself being rewarded with their loyalty. In a study conducted by CrowdTwist, 49.6% of Gen Xers reported that they are extremely loyal or quite loyal to their favorite brands. As your Gen X clients stick by your side throughout the years — show your appreciation by rewarding them with add-on services and new benefits.
Don’t underestimate the power of marketing tactics deemed old school. While it’s fun to experiment with new marketing methods and think outside of the box, Gen X responds to simpler methods. Instead of moving to the newest trending social media platform, like TikTok, stay put with the classic Facebook. According to Insider Intelligence, Gen Xers use Facebook more than any other generation, to the tune of 45.1 million users this year.
Outside of social media, Gen Xers can be found checking their email all day, every day. Make yourself known in their inbox with a thoughtful email describing the value of your agency and what you can offer. One single call to action within your email can convert someone into a new client. Bonus — send a direct mailer to make it into their physical mailbox. While younger generations have gone paperless, Gen X still owns letter openers.
To sell insurance to Millennials (born 1981-1996), you have to first understand their consumer mindset. A study conducted by Harris Group found that Millennials prefer experiences over tangible stuff. Instead of buying the latest smartphone, this generation is prioritizing travel to other countries. It’s clear to see how companies are leveraging this knowledge to attract this cohort and implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy that revolves around the customer experience.
Consider the marketing approach a little company like Starbucks is taking. Instead of a straightforward transaction for a cup of coffee, Starbucks implemented a rewards system. At first glance, it’s as simple as spending a dollar to earn a star towards a free purchase, but they’ve taken it a step further. To create a true customer experience, the rewards app will set up challenges, games, and holiday giveaways to entice the millennial audience.
Too often insurance agencies use the same messaging to communicate the value of their services. While making it clear that your agency has been in business for over 50 years and provides excellent customer service speaks to your agency’s credibility in the industry — it doesn’t say anything to the Millennial consumer mindset.
Millennials make up the largest percentage of the U.S. workforce at 35%. Set your employer groups up for success and offer unique voluntary benefits. Think outside of the box and highlight the insurance needs for their Millennial employees’ next adventure. Hint: accident insurance comes in handy for the Millennials daring to snowboard down the steepest slopes this Winter.
Millennials crave consistency and connection within their customer experience. This should be applied to multiple elements in the customer journey including branding, service, communication, and engagement. A fluid experience with consistent messaging sets your agency apart. And bonus: Consistency builds trust, too.
While Millennials are reading a blog post about employee benefits on their iPad, requesting a quote through the website on their laptop, and emailing you to schedule a meeting on their phone — they’re searching for consistent messaging and a seamless experience across platforms.
Millennials spend most of their time online — consuming a lot from mainly tiny screens including videos, infographics, blogs, and podcasts. Stand out among all the noise and speak to their specific needs and wants.
For this generation, tailoring an experience works. Display relevant information and offers as each need arises. Have they recently purchased Telemedicine for their startup company? Email an article about upcoming voluntary lines to be on the lookout for in the upcoming year. Use online surveys, website tracking data, and even your own sales team to gain insights into the preferences of the Millennial audience. Focus on their preferred method of consuming content and the needs that need to be fulfilled.
This generation values connection with others to share experiences and gain helpful advice on purchasing decisions. The rise of popularity in social media platforms enables consumers to let their voices be heard about recent experiences and voice their opinions about anything and everything. Think about creating opportunities to engage with the community online. Consider an online community forum, reply to customer reviews, and engage with social media posts that mention benefits.
Generation Z, or Gen Z (born 1997-2012), is the newest generation that has aged into adulthood. As this cohort enters the workforce, it’s important to remember that they were raised by their Gen X parents and witnessed the Great Recession of 2008. After seeing their parents lose their jobs and stability, the young generation fostered a more realistic and practical mindset. They doubt the magic retirement age is actually 60 years old, and they are more concerned about maintaining their own personal well-being.
In the past, Millennials were described as digital natives, but they grew up in a world with VHS, Discmans, and dial-up internet. Gen Z on the other hand grew up with a technology glow-up thanks to smartphones and free Wi-Fi — the true digital natives. It’s easier and faster for them to pick up new technology and software, they can jump between platforms easily, and their relationship with the digital world is more instinctual.
This generation is less inclined to tolerate outdated equipment or software. Put your agency in front of Gen Zers by offering a technology solution for benefits and HR that meets these integrated expectations. If Gen Zers still have to jump between multiple platforms to find their answer, your agency won’t even enter the consideration stage. Stay technologically competitive and implement an all-in-one solution to attract the newest generation to enter the workforce.
It’s not enough to be a benefits salesperson — you need to be an advisor and confidant to guide clients through the benefits process. The workforce is transforming and clients expect more from their benefits. This includes offering an option to personalize benefits to cater to a wide range of preferences.
When considering Gen Z, benefits need to go beyond the obvious perks of medical, dental, and vision. Here, what’s new and what’s next matters. Have they recently adopted a new dog? Consider sharing the latest options for pet insurance. When Gen Zers feel understood, they’re more likely to choose you as their benefits broker.
Every generation has its own unique traits. In the same way you wouldn’t offer identical benefits plans to all your clients, don’t utilize the same marketing strategies for different audiences. Gen Z has lived in a connected world from the start, watching TV on the computer while being on their phone is normal. They are a generation of multitaskers — used to constant updates from social media and a dozen other apps. Keep this in mind when maintaining a presence on multiple channels relevant to your agency, both online and offline.
This generation wants to feel connected with the product or services being offered. Even more, they want to support a brand with a mission. According to a study completed by Statista, 45% of Gen Zers reported that they were motivated to engage with a new brand on social media when the brand appeared trustworthy and transparent. Take the time to develop the mission statement your agency is committed to accomplishing. Whether it’s filling in the gaps of insurance needs or increasing transparency and education about benefits — when your mission resonates with the younger workforce, you’ve sealed the deal.
There are similarities and differences between each generation, it can be hard to decipher the perfect messaging to resonate with all of them. Take the steps to identify the workforce your employers are trying to recruit and retain. If the goal is to reach an audience that recently entered the workforce, put a personalized touch on your social media channels. If the goal is to reach an audience thinking about retirement, utilize honesty and transparency while discussing your agency’s services. As you set up each marketing campaign, take notes of the successes and improvements. Keep testing and trying new things. You won’t break anything, and you may even break through.