17 ways to better market to millennials

Millennials have a lot to say about how to reach them. Millennials have a lot to say about how to reach them.

Just like Nessie, the fabled Loch Ness monster, myth seems to follow millennials everywhere. But has anyone bothered to ask millennials themselves what they think are the best ways to reach them? It would seem no one has ... until now.

We not only asked them, we also consulted with marketing experts, researchers and millennials on the frontlines in the insurance and financial industries. The tips that follow were compiled from interviews with industry thought leaders, including Lindsey Pollak, The Hartford’s millennial workplace expert; Amy McIlwain, vice president of social and digital strategy at Denver-based Moore Communications Group; Samuel Rad, a millennial advisor based in Beverly Hills, California; Matt Wallaert, behavioral scientist at Microsoft; and Breana Macken and Emily Tracey, LIMRA analysts. In addition, we spoke with 30 millennials in the insurance industry, to find out their own preferences, and those of their millennial clients. 

(To read the full feature about millennials, go here; to read how to attract millennials to the insurance industry, go here.)

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1. Talk to the millennials in your company.

Evaluate your internal communication and other types of communicational materials, such as benefit packages. How accessible are the things that you, as a company, are offering to them?

2. Request or reach out for their input or feedback.

Ask them how you are doing or how you can improve.

3. Engage your millennials.

Ask them how they would change the industry and listen to them. See if from that brainstorming session, one idea can become a reality soon.

See also: Millennials have a ton of stock. They just don't know it

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4. Seek them out.

You can seek millennials where they dwell, for example on Yelp, since millennials seek validation and community input for their decisions. They will research you before they call you and double-check every fact they hear when they talk to you.

5. Have an online presence.

You need to have both a website and some type of social media presence. This is of upmost importance. Not having a website equals a big red flag to millennials, since it could signal that technology (or even customer experience) is not important to you. 

6. Be personable.

Have photos of what you do for fun on your website or social media page(s) so that they can relate to you. Think about how you feel when you find a prospect or client who loves the same baseball or football team as you? Exactly.

See also: 5 ways advisors can win affluent millennials' affection

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7. Cater to the type of client that you want.

If you want to attract millennials, make sure that your working environment is relatable to them (as in, your office must have WiFi, at the least)!

8. Relate to them.

Millennials view estate planning as something for old people, but if you turn it around and ask them would happen to their digital lives once they die, then they really start paying attention. Hence, a new type of planning emerges: digital estate planning.

9. Post engaging or interactive content on your website.

You need to have video, pictures, infographics and other engaging content on your website and social media. Millennials have a shorter attention span than older generations — and, across the board, the average attention span is now just eight seconds. (That's less than a goldfish!)

See also: How to make managing your money less scary: Do it over eggs and bacon

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10. Adjust your communication channels to fit their needs.

Maybe they prefer to text instead of call or email. Boomers like to receive calls to remind them of appointments, but millennials prefer either receiving texts or emails about them; calling might annoy them. Ask them which method of communication they prefer.

11. Once you make your pitch ... 

... Give them space to research the information provided or your background online. Millennials will double-check the information online, because this is something they've always had the luxury of doing. In contrast, many boomers will take your word if they think you’re wise.

12. Make retirement planning relevant to them.

Meet them where they are at in their lives (new professional, new homeowner, new parent) and have plenty of analogies that they will understand.

See also: These are the 8 things you need to know about marketing to millennials

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13. Be where they are.

If they are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Netflix, pick one place that makes sense for you and advertise there. You won’t be able to reach millennials via TV or newspapers, since they are no longer there.

14. Know that they will judge your website.

So you better make sure that it is up-to-date, looks clean and modern. Nothing will make a millennial flee faster than a website that was built in 1996.

15. Update that Facebook page!

If millennials see a Facebook company page that hasn’t been updated in more than three months, they’ll judge you and your practice as old-fashioned or not to be trusted.

See also: 4 unusual ways millennials are different from boomers

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16. Millennials don’t want to be sold online.

They will do their due dilligence online to verify everything you've told them during your meeting (over the phone, email, etc.). However, you must have your information and your services available 24/7 on your website. Your online presence should be to establish trust in what you do.

17. Be findable.

Can you be found via a Google search? Google yourself right now! If your company or name — or both — don’t show up in the results, millennials won’t be able to find you or might lose trust in your brand.

See also:

The $200B generation: Millennials reveal challenges & opportunities in insurance [infographic]

3 ways social media can help the industry's talent gap

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