Two numbers seem to stick out when it comes to millennials: 76.6 million individuals, making them the largest generation, with $1.68 trillion in purchasing power. And even though some reports vary on the average household income of millennials, a recent report from Applied Systems, “Why millennials matter,” found that they make, on average, $60,000 annually. They are also one of the fastest growing demographics of consumers purchasing insurance.

As part of the report, Applied Systems conducted a survey among 1,000 adults within the millennial generation.

Here are some takeaways from the report and why you need to pay attention to this world-changing demographic.

social media

Getting to know them:

  • One in four have a Bachelor’s degree or more, making them the most educated generation
  • 38 percent are bilingual
  • Only 21 percent are married vs. 42 percent of boomers who were married at their age
  • Millennials live in urban environments, shunning suburbia
  • By 2020, one in three adult Americans will be a millennial
  • By 2025, they will comprise 75 percent of the workforce

mobile cell

Digital natives:

  • 80 percent visit social media sites daily; more than half use mobile devices to connect
  • They send more than 100 texts a day
  • 71 percent perform online searches to find solutions to everyday problems or questions
  • They are 2.5 times more likely to be early technology adopters
  • They navigate seamlessly between devices

email

How they communicate with brands, services and products:

  • 90 percent email, text and check social media before getting out of bed
  • 90 percent shop online
  • 87 percent have a Facebook account
  • 44 percent use text messaging
  • 38 percent use instant messaging
  • 38 percent use social media
  • 16 percent use blogging
  • Most use smartphones, followed by laptops and tablets
  • 76 percent of respondents said that having access to information and services through a mobile app is very important
  • If they are looking for technical support, they expect a resolution within 80 hours
  • 70 percent feel 24/7 customer service is very important
  • They expect multi-channel engagement

think

How do they think?

  • They want to make a difference by making an impact in the world
  • As employees, they ask for more responsibility sooner than expected
  • As consumers, they look for brands and businesses that make a difference
  • They share their opinions and are part of marketing strategies
  • They look to friends and family for referrals and opinions via text and social media
  • Opinions go both ways with positive and negative testimonials

In the workplace, millennials…

  • Bring collaborations and positivity
  • Are conditioned to multitask
  • Are goal-oriented and work hard from an early age
  • Are team players
  • They are attracted to companies that provide client-centric experience (it’s all about them), yet value the in-person and on-the-phone experience with an agent

social

Referrals are one of the keys to this demographic:

  • They are social by nature and referrals weigh heavily in their buying decisions
  • More than half of respondents asked family and friends for insurance advice
  • They followed the referrals by searching for reviews on social media sites and comparing their recommendations
  • 74 percent believe they influence the purchasing decisions of those around them, according to an Edelman study quoted in the report
  • Companies must have a strong presence in the digital realm (websites) and social media to provide education, thought leadership and product information

Another key to reach millennials is to stress that insurance is about helping people:

Because the insurance industry’s fundamental purpose is to protect what matters most, this aligns with millennials’ interests of helping others or of millennials who want meaningful careers that serve others

insurance

How familiar are millennials with the insurance industry?

  • 42 percent said “not at all familiar”
  • 36 percent “not too familiar”
  • 17 percent “somewhat familiar”
  • 5 percent “very familiar”

Recruiting millennials in the insurance workforce:

  • They look for flexibility, opportunity, giving back and working in an area of their personal interests
  • They will understand their own generation, leading to more sales in their own consumer base, but they need to be highly educated in the insurance industry to successfully service the millennial consumer
  • They need training from seasoned staff members (start a mentorship program, for example)
  • They want to enjoy their work, co-workers and corporate culture
  • They are ambitious: give them room to grow within the business

fans

How to win the millennial consumer:

1) Be their trusted advisor: Be available when they need assurance in person

2) Engage them with technology: offer multiple channels – online, phone, social media.

3) Update your website, increase conversion rates, capture more customers and have a prominent online presence

4) Use a cloud-based agency management system that will allow agents to service clients anytime from anywhere with an Internet connection

5) Leverage technology solutions by providing online self-service capabilities that make it easy for them to do business on their own terms