We’re on to part three of our look at insurance agency marketing to the generations with an analysis of the oft-stereotyped Baby Boomers. Born between the mid-1940s and mid-1960s, Boomers number an estimated 75.4 million in the U.S. Many are looking forward to retirement and have big plans for an active future.
Those big plans mean Boomers are prime consumers. Baby Boomers’ spending is estimated to increase by 58 percent over the next 20 years, while Millennials and Gen X will only increase spending by 24 percent. And, they’re doing more of their shopping online, spending more on average per transaction than Millennials.
These facts point to the same conclusion: Boomers are a powerful buying force. How do you harness that force for your agency?
Read Part One in our series: insurance marketing to the rising Generation Z
A recent study showed over 65 percent of Baby Boomers went for one-on-one meetings when seeking insurance. Boomer’s preference for personal interaction doesn’t stop there: the same study showed Boomers preferred any “live communication” during the purchasing process. Live communication includes over the phone and online chat – any method that gets them in touch with a real person in real-time.
Treat Them Well
It’s critical to provide great service to all customers regardless of age, but it’s especially important to Baby Boomers. They are the most likely to write off a company due to bad service. And, they’re loyal to good service. One study showed 54 percent were “very or somewhat likely” to stick with a business if their patronage was valued. Only 33 percent of Millennials agreed.
Take a look at Part Two on our series, focused on marketing to Generation X
Be Mobile Ready
Half of those 60 to 69 and almost 75 percent of people in the 50 to 59 age range own a smartphone. Yet, Boomers still face a persistent stereotype that they’re not tech savvy. Don’t be fooled. Boomers also own 1/3rd of all tablets purchased in the U.S. Suffice to say Boomers expect websites to be mobile accessible.
Social media continues to rise in popularity for Baby Boomers, with 82 percent belonging to at least one social platform. Though LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter are all in play, Facebook is by far the most used social platform by Boomers, coming in twice as popular as the rest. And, Boomers like to share what they find on social – they’re 19 percent more likely to do so than other generations.
Find out how to get your agency to Boomer’s scrolls in our post on Getting Your Website Seen and Heard
Use Your Words
Contrary to most marketing trends, Baby Boomers are reading what you write. They’re more likely to look at print and read whole articles than Millennials or Generation Z, so give them something to take in. When it comes to writing, Boomers look for straight talk and facts. They’ve been marketed to for years, growing up during the advertising boom, and are almost immune to gimmicky and salesy language. Be clear and honest, and avoid spelling and grammar mistakes as many Boomers take note of these small errors.
Avoid the Age Gap
Don’t call Boomers “old.” Just don’t.
Marketing to the Generations
If you’ve read the other posts in our series, you’ll know each generation is different and responds better to sometimes contrasting marketing methods. Such duplicity means you need varied marketing tactics, segmented to target each group individually.
The Partner Platform Marketing Automation Manager (MAM) is designed to tackle just this issue. With over 50 sample campaigns and 100 pre-built customizable outreach templates, Partner Platform’s MAM makes it easier to craft and send your agency messaging to a variety of audiences.
Get specifics on what MAM has to offer on our website. And while you’re there, sign up to view a demo of the system in action.
One communication channel is no longer enough to get your message out for insurance agency marketing. Different generations of customers respond to different things, each prospect uses some but not all available communication modes, and technology is evolving at a rapid pace. That’s why 87 percent of retailers recognize an “omnichannel” approach as vital to their marketing success.
Omnichannel means reaching out via multiple communication channels at once (i.e., phone, email, and social media). It’s a lot to take on. In fact, a recent report showed more than 21 percent of insurance agents acknowledged they need to “stay in front of their network” with marketing, but they simply didn’t have enough time.
What’s the answer to too much tech and too little time? Marketing automation. Below are four ways your independent insurance agency can leverage automation to reach wider, engage better, and still make it home in time for dinner.
The first step to marketing is establishing your brand. See what four questions to ask to define your agency brand
1) Social Media
Social media is multi-channeled in itself. Your customers and prospects may use one form or social media and shun another, while a different segment does the opposite. To keep all parties engaged, you can schedule posts via social media marketing automation. The key is to post enough to stay top of mind, but not too much that you’re spamming customers’ feeds.
When posting manually, insurers too often forget to post for a while and try to make up for it with a post-storm all at once. This method is ineffective and possibly damaging if followers get annoyed and walk away. According to a recent Forbes article, posting once or twice daily on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn is sufficient. Twitter moves at a faster pace, so up to 30 well spread out Tweets per day is okay.
Remembering to post even once a day on your personal social media seems impossible, hence why scheduling posts via marketing automation is a life-saver. Pick a time at the start of the week or month to schedule out postings in one block. Be sure to review them again as posting day gets closer, and make space to follow up at least once a week on any messages or replies. These small but consistent conversations help you bring in leads, endear customers, and boost your brand presence.
Make sure your website is as on-point as your outreach – see how to make your agency website a sales and service resource
At this point, email is the most seasoned form of customer outreach. Since it’s been around the longest, email has seen multiple iterations. A one-size-fits-all email blast is no longer acceptable. The key to email engagement is audience segmentation and customized messaging. Recipients now expect each message they receive to speak to their interests, their place in the buying process, and other personal preferences. You’ll need to create multiple email templates to answer each of these expectations.
Another part of email communication is setting an effective cadence. Sending emails too close together can turn a prospect off while spacing them out can mean losing the sale to another agency. Cadence will vary by prospect or customer, most notably around their place in the buying journey.
Email analytics through marketing automation are a huge asset. The data you gain shows you what’s working and what’s not. These analytics are critical in helping you determine the best messaging and cadence. Such information is pivotal to shaping a successful email marketing campaign.
Hit all generations with your marketing – read about how to market to different generations
Automated texts are similar to email messages but shorter and more direct. Texts serve more as reminders or small nudges to move prospects along in the buyer journey. For example, you could schedule texts to be sent to customers reminding them it’s time to renew their policy. Or, you can set up a cue to text prospects who have asked for a quote but haven’t taken any action within a week.
The beauty of text is it’s more direct than social or email. You can almost guarantee the person will see the message since it’s sent right to their phone. But, this directness can be a danger as well. Too many texts or texting too soon into the buyer’s journey can turn prospects away. Reserve texting for hot leads and current customers only, and use it sparingly.
Before you text, check out these dos and don’ts on texting for your insurance agency
4) Human interaction
Texts, emails, and social posts work to keep your agency top of mind, but your personal connection with customers is what keeps them coming back. Utilize marketing automation to nudge you to take action. Add reminders in as part of your various automation campaigns, ensuring you’re firing on all cylinders.
Such connections can be a phone call, a personal email, or an offer to grab coffee or lunch. Though marketing automation can do a lot to keep your pipeline moving, facetime is invaluable. It’s these in-person interactions that customers remember and share, furthering your reach and solidifying your agency’s good reputation.
Hear from SIS partner agencies on how Partner Platform helped them connect more, and better
Find What Works for Your Agency
One of the most significant benefits of marketing automation is its customization – all content and messaging can be crafted to your agency brand and your words, coming from your social media profiles and email. That human element is what makes it meaningful and engaging to prospects and customers.
At SIS, that personal engagement is what drives us. We engage on an individual level with each of our partner agencies and actively reach out to find out how we can help them do more, better. It’s these interactions that prompted us to add our Marketing Automation Manager (MAM) to the Partner Platform. Our MAM system not only provides personalized, branded, marketing content and campaigns, it also integrates fully with our Partner Platform agency management tool for streamlined messaging and data analysis.
Find out more about MAM and Partner Platform’s other capabilities – contact us to schedule a demo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.747.7005, Option 6.
As an agency owner, one problem often encountered is how to get insurance clients to stay. Many times, a customer signs up, stays for a year or two, then jumps ship for a lower rate. You could counter by bringing your rates down, but you know that’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem. What are you to do to improve your retention?
Lucky for you, we have the answers. Over the years we’ve worked with numerous independent agency owners and gotten an inside look at what it takes to get insurance clients to stay. Their expertise is throughout our blog – here are a few posts to get you started on the road to retention.
“All things being equal, people want to buy from those they like.”
This paraphrase from speaker and author Bob Burg says a lot about how to get insurance clients. Independent agents emphasize the relationship piece of the client acquisition equation, and rightly so. It’s the key differentiator for the industry and the best way to stand out from the constant marketing of the large captives.
But how and to where do you broadcast your agency’s value? There are some key elements to making your name known and making it stick. (more…)
It’s never been fair for Generation X. Grouped between one of the largest generational groups (Baby Boomers) and another that remains tantalizingly interesting to marketers (Generation Y, aka Millennials), Gen X is the forgotten middle child.