Selling Insurance To The Ys – Hit And Miss, Or Crash And Burn

Selling Insurance To The Ys – Hit And Miss, Or Crash And Burn
SHARE
THIS



B&T’s regular marketing to the Ys gurus – How&Y’s Brian and Evan Mitchell – are back with their latest Millennial tale. Here, they argue, tried and true messages for the likes of insurance companies are now way off the mark in attracting 20-somethings…

They love vintage clothing. They search out vintage vinyl. And plaid-wearing hipsters rework the beards and tatts of yesteryear working class men. These bygone styles all have, for Millennials, a reinvigorated trend-soaked cachet.

But they don’t want the services they’re offered to seem recycled from earlier generations.

Gen Y are most engaged when they feel an industry conceives its products and services with their wants most in mind. Telco, tech and digital economy services have been good at giving the strong impression of specific Gen Y relevance (though they have, of course, a walk-up start compared to other service areas).

The flipside is that Gen Y don’t embrace those services they feel are a “hand me down” from other generations. This gives them the dis-empowering sense of being forced to inherit, or even have imposed on them, the way a certain service works, and therefore the way they are made to engage with it.

Yet to date, this has been the consistent approach of the insurance industry – providers and comparison businesses alike.

Whether Life, General or Health, advertising messages here persist with themes derived from earlier generations – oblivious to the reality that Gen Y aspirations and priorities are totally different to those of Gen X and Boomers.

To engage Millennials, a first requirement is to invest in a message that makes it onto their radar – not ones that are irrelevant.

With a few notable exceptions, insurance marketing messages fall into stereotypes.

There’s choose us on price (supposedly playing to the hip pocket – explicit message, “we won’t rip you off”).

There’s choose us on service (the trust and reliability card – implicit message, “we won’t rip you off by denying your claim like our unscrupulous competitors”).

And for those who want to take a funked-up, post-modern approach, there’s the quirk-twerk – playing to Gen Y’s self-styled sense of ironic irreverence (or is that irreverent irony), with messages that are entirely novelty driven, obscuring a lack of authentic substance behind the gauze of “cutesy”.

Like a class of over-eager school kids, advertisers have their hands up calling “pick me, pick me” – without providing an argument that will cut through Gen Y’s preoccupation with Gen Y, and cynicism towards all things NOT Gen Y.

One truism of Millennials that’s overwhelmingly true is they stay younger for longer.

With no previous generation has there been the need or desire to coin terms like “kidult”, “adultlescent” or “rejuvenile”. And even as maturity is forced on them, their models for maturation are no longer parents and authority figures, but their own (real world and digital) peers.

As a consequence, rather than being sensitive to the future – and specifically the future wellbeing of their finances, health, or possessions (the raison d’être of insurance) – they prefer to live in the present.

This is a pretty well-known Millennial characteristic. Why then is its logical implication – that traditional, underlying cautionary messages may not be the way to go – so blithely ignored? Add the fact that onnipotentiality (I can be / do anything) is an intrinsic value for this generation, and it opens up a yawning gap between the assumptions and expectations of marketers and the realities of Gen Y thinking.

The banking industry is another prone to Millennial faux pas in their ad messages.

Reestablishment and invigoration of public trust has been an obsessive theme in recent bank marketing, and no doubt this holds some resonance with the wider community. There are other issues however, more visceral to the Millennial generation than distrust, that are largely responsible for their “generational disconnect” with banks. The first to successfully target these will steal a march on competitors.

So it’s harder than it was in the past, earlier days of recycled messages and warmed up leftovers with a creative modern twist. Generational relevance is now a must. It must be created and then deftly communicated, not simply assumed.

But all this has an upside. Remember, consumer services require an ongoing customer connection. How resilient for this generation would conventional messages be in the face of serious, unconventional attack? How deeply committed is the Gen Y consumer who responds to price, trust, or fake novelty themes, sold as a solution to a need they’ve never been convinced of? And how will they respond when approached in their own backyard, with alternative clever messages that create a need while targeting what’s really important – their values.

It’s always back to values with this generation – and with Gen Z.

And that’s where the upside gets better. Genuine “big ideas”, the holy grail of advertisers, don’t typically fall off the back of a truck, or sit on a shelf waiting to be picked up. They are at a premium. Targeting values, rather than assumed needs, opens up the game to far more creative possibilities. And there is no shortage of Gen Y (and Z) values to target. Our research has identified around twenty aspirational values for this generation, in addition to three intrinsic values. In subsequent articles we’ll look at how these can be harnessed.

A final point on this demographic – Millennials represent your largest market, or the fastest growing, or increasingly the most profitable, or the one promising a competitive advantage, or the one that will drive innovation, or (failing all that) the one your organisation’s future will depend on.

You work a little harder upfront in connecting, so that you can advance that connection over time, and sustain it as an ongoing relationship. QED.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Shell & HSBC Launch Global Agency Reviews
  • Advertising
  • Media

Shell & HSBC Launch Global Agency Reviews

Going with ‘new year, new me’ theme, Shell and HSBC are looking to freshen up their respective media businesses.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group
  • Marketing

Comexposium Takes Over NZ Partner MTS To Become Largest Trans-Tasman Events Group

Marketing events group Comexposium has absorbed its New Zealand joint venture partner MTS to deliver an expanded event solutions business across the Trans-Tasman. The deal will see Ryf Quail (pictured above) return to Sydney to lead Comexposium Australian and Kiwi team, while his current MTS team remains in place as Comexposium employees. While the business […]

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding
  • Marketing

Eyeota Kick-Starts 2018 With $15.6 Million In Additional Funding

Audience data provider Eyeota has announced a $15.6 million Series B capital raise to spearhead additional growth in 2018. The company was founded simultaneously in Singapore, Australia and Europe in 2010, and has remained independent and enjoyed strong growth locally, as well as launching into the US. Peter Hunter (pictured above), Eyeota’s general manager for […]

Poem Wins Four New Clients
  • Marketing

Poem Wins Four New Clients

Sydney-based PR and social agency Poem has announced it has won four new clients following another strong year of growth. The four clients are Property NSW (The Rocks and Darling Harbour), Fantastic Furniture, Ovolo Hotels and Purpose (a conference on purpose-driven business). Poem co-founder Matt Holmes said: “We’ve hit a nerve with clients who are […]

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change
  • Media

Facebook Makes Another News Feed Change

Social media behemoth Facebook has announced its second major update for News Feed to make sure the news people see, while less overall, is high quality. This week, Facebook announced that the platform will launch a small test in the US focused on prioritising news from publishers that users find trustworthy. Facebook is also exploring ways […]

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Attention! B&T’s Inaugural Bootcamp Launches!

B&T announces its new industry bootcamp! And, if you're like us & didn't know anything about it, all's revealed here.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits
  • Media

Domain Boss Antony Catalano Exits

Mystery surrounds Domain boss's surprise exit, although the Mystery Machine nor a talking dog not spotted at Fairfax.

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival
  • Media

PHOTOPLAY Offers A Ghost Train Ride Like No Other At Sydney Festival

Jasmin Tarasin, director at boutique production company PHOTOPLAY, is inviting invites audiences to take a trip through the inner-workings of the mind in ‘Ghost Train’, her latest multi-sensory VR project set to feature at this year’s Sydney Festival. Working in collaboration with musician and co-creative director Jonnine Standish, Tarasin’s uniquely immersive ‘Ghost Train’ is a […]

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia
  • Marketing

March One To Rebrand Fundraising Institute Australia

Independent advertising and branding agency March One has been appointed to oversee the rebrand and repositioning of Fundraising Institute Australia (FIA). FIA is the national peak body representing professional fundraising in Australia. It was established to advance advocacy and professional standards, and has identified the need to better promote its role as the industry self-regulator, […]

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Technology

Victorian Government Launches VR Bushfire Experience Via The Fuel Agency

As part of its summer fire campaign, the Victorian government has launched a virtual reality (VR) bushfire experience and content series via The Fuel Agency. The VR experience places the user in the midst of a large bushfire, and is designed to encourage people to leave early on high-risk days before it’s too late. The […]

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass
  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Technology

Local Ad Tech Company VeNA Partners With RugbyPass

ad tech company VeNA has signed an exclusive reseller partnership covering Australia and New Zealand with digital rugby network RugbyPass. Across Asia and parts of Europe, RugbyPass is the exclusive digital rights holder and over-the-top broadcaster for live rugby, including the Super Rugby, the Rugby Championship and autumn internationals, the Six Nations, the Aviva Premiership, […]