Today’s consumer isn’t the same as the consumer the insurance industry saw twenty years ago–or even ten years ago. Rapid changes in technology have turned the world of insurance marketing on its head, and agents have been trying to learn how to adapt.
Yesterday, your agency may have focused on one-way marketing strategies, such as print advertisements, mailed flyers, and television commercials. Today, connected mobile devices have made connectivity the new norm. Your agency is constantly competing with a huge range of different media, all for the attention of a prospective customer.
How can you get them to notice you?
Knowing who your consumer is and where they spend their time is the first step to connecting with them on a meaningful level. Today, we’ll get to know the modern digital consumer, and discuss strategies for reaching them.
Who is today’s digital consumer?
They are always connected
Between computers, smart devices, and the IoT, most modern consumers are connected at all times. Even our refrigerators have smart technology now! This means that answers are always at the fingertips of the user, no matter what the question is. Where before a prospective customer would have picked up the phone and call your agency for more information, now they can find out all about your business in a matter of seconds. With a smart device easily in reach, they can access your website, your products, and online reviews.
They are social
As of 2017, 81% of the U.S. population had a profile on a social network. But they don’t just use these profiles to keep up with friends and family. Roughly half of Millennials and Gen-Xers follow brands on social media. By doing so, they know they can stay up-to-date on new products, participate in promotions, and easily reach out for assistance.
They are powerful
Increased connectivity has made today’s digital consumer more powerful. The ability to leave and read reviews online has led to a power shift from mass marketing to consumer feedback as the lead influencing factor in making a purchase decision. Word-of-mouth and personal recommendations have always been powerful influences on consumers. But the advent of a perpetually connected world has amplified that influence in a way marketers never could have anticipated.
They crave a personalized experience
While constant connectivity has made life more convenient for consumers in many ways, it has also led to what experts have called “information fatigue.” Between the constant stream of videos, photos and text posts, it’s no surprise that users end up feeling overwhelmed. Because of this, marketing professionals have noted that consumers have begun looking for more personalized brand experiences. Delivering personalized content gives users a greater sense of control, and helps to reduce their feeling of information overload.
They look to influencers
The trump card in marketing? A celebrity endorsement. In today’s digital world, however, it works a little differently. Increasingly, the power to sway consumers has fallen into the hands of social media influencers. Essentially, influencers are individuals who have a large amount of followers on a social media platform. They have access to thousands and sometimes millions of people. They can sway the opinions of many with a single post or comment. Influencers often have specific focuses, such as fitness, fashion, or art. In recent years, many brands have sought out endorsements from influencers to reach new and younger audiences. It is important, however, to partner with an influencer who is a good fit with your brand. Otherwise the endorsement can come off as inauthentic and sales-y.
They are socially conscious
Today’s digital consumer, particularly Millennials and Generation Z, are more socially-conscious than previous generations. They prefer to do business with companies who put forward a pro-social brand message, and those that practice sustainable and ethical business standards. In fact, today 90% of Americans say that they are more likely to do business with a company that supports a social or environmental cause. Furthermore, they’re willing to spend a little more to do so.
They are impatient
The increased convenience of a connected world has had the side effect of making today’s digital consumer impatient. They crave instant gratification, and may lose interest when they don’t get it. Because of this, brands have found it crucial to invest time and money into creating an intuitive, user-friendly online experience. The less confusion and less hassle the consumer experiences, the more likely they will be to choose your business.
They drive the buying journey
Marketing professionals of the past controlled the customer journey using traditional advertising strategies and sales tactics. However, those days are gone. Today, consumers have control over their own buying journeys. From searching for a local agency to comparing quotes online, they navigate their route to a final product with little help from ads or salespeople. Capturing the consumer’s attention along their digital journey is the insurance agent’s key to building a good relationship and acquiring a loyal client.
Connecting with today’s digital consumer
We’ve discussed how our world is more connected today than ever before and how social networks are a huge piece of that puzzle, with 81% of Americans having at least one social media account. Because two-thirds of a modern customer’s buying journey is conducted digitally, we know that at least part of that journey will take place on social media.
With the power to reach billions of users, social media is a potent tool for insurance agents. It doubles as another website and a customer service tool, as well as allowing for reputation management, professional networking, and much, much more. Consequently, it’s something that your agency can’t afford to ignore. A social-based marketing strategy is essential to growing your agency and fostering better client relationships.
Insurance Social.Media wants to help you build your social-based marketing strategy. To learn more about the steps your agency needs to take to build that strong digital foundation, click here to download our whitepaper on Creating Your Digital Strategy. Together, we can create the best possible experience for the modern insurance consumer.
–By Mallory DuPuy