The Art of Generational Marketing & Sales

Rapid technological innovation has changed the way we interact, including the way we shop for health insurance. The age groups with the most insurance-purchasing power now are Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. However, the Gen Z generation is quickly aging into the workforce and will soon become a target audience for health insurance agents.

While keeping up with generational norms and new technology of potential buyers can seem overwhelming, one thing is clear across the board: You need a strong digital presence. No matter the age, all generations have a significant percentage of people who look you up online. The overwhelming majority own a digital device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.), so a strong online presence is no longer a “should,” but a “must.” At a minimum, this can mean a user-friendly website or a social media presence for your agency.

However, a website isn’t the only way you can reach these groups. In order to be successful, you need to know the best ways to reach each generation and how to connect with them. This blog post will cover some techniques your team can use to approach different generational buying groups about health insurance needs.

Marketing & Selling to The Silent Generation

The Silent Generation includes older adults born between 1928 and 1945. While this generation makes up a little less than 5% of the U.S. population, they still hold strong purchasing power. The Silent Generation were born after World War I and were too young to participate in World War II. However, they grew up in traditional households that navigated The Great Depression, which is why this generation is especially concerned with the value they are getting for their money.

Here are some things to keep in mind when marketing to the Silent Generation:

  • Traditional marketing is still effective. They like traditional marketing approaches, such as door-to-door and direct mailers. Those little extra special touches? Yes, they matter.
  • You need a user-friendly website. A good portion of this generation does their buying research online, so make sure you have a digital presence they can reference. Although this generation doesn’t use technology as often as the younger generations, they are still technologically-abled, they might just need a little more support from time to time.
  • Keep things simple, direct, and to the point. They appreciate honesty while still valuing direct interactions.
  • Mind your language. Members of the Silent Generation will be more receptive to you if you use professional language instead of more casual communication. Remember, this language still needs to be direct, so avoid relying on cliches or jargon.
  • Take your time and get to know them. For them to trust you means they feel a connection to you, so give them time to warm up to you before the close.

Marketing & Selling to Baby Boomers

The Baby Boomers include those born between 1946 and 1964. This is the generation that came after World War II. While Millennials now make up the largest percentage of the U.S. population, this generation isn’t far behind at around 20%. The majority of Baby Boomers are at or nearing retirement age and because of this, they still possess a significant amount of purchasing power. Being raised by The Silent Generation, this generation is also concerned with maximizing value.

Baby Boomers are a varied bunch, but here are some tips you can use to approach them:

  • Flexibility is your friend. Boomers may surprise you; they aren’t all interested in traditional sales. Leveraging online tactics can also be a powerful play. According to Hubspot, online search is the single best way to reach Boomers beyond TV ads.
  • Don’t discredit their tech abilities. Just because they are “of retirement age,” doesn’t mean you should treat them like grandparents. A majority of this generation owns digital devices and they also tend to appreciate “cutting-edge products and services.” For insurance, this could mean enrolling them in carrier rewards opportunities.
  • Consider email marketing tactics. A high percentage of Boomers use email on a regular basis. Most of their professional lives were spent using email, so email marketing is an easy way to stay connected with this generation.
  • You have to build trust. Before they buy from you, they want to know who you are and what you stand for. This is an integral part of the buyer journey for many Boomers and something you should keep in mind when you’re working with them.

Marketing & Selling to Generation X

Generation X consists of individuals born between 1965 and 1980. Some marketers identify it as an “in-between” or “transitional” generation. They were born as new technology was developing, but they grew up just outside of the internet age. This generation makes up around 19% of the total U.S. population and they also have a good amount of purchasing power. It will likely take more time and effort on your part to convince them to buy insurance from you, too.

While they are sometimes referred to as the “Forgotten Generation” their spending potential is anything but. Here are some tactics you can use to help win this generation over:

  • Use multi-channel marketing. Generation X is digitally-enabled, but they didn’t grow up with on-the-go access to technology. Consider approaching them with a handful of tactics like social media, email marketing, direct mailers, phone calls, and text messaging.
  • Cater to their need to provide. Members of this generation tend to have a strong desire to provide for themselves and their loved ones. Make sure your sales pitch includes specific details about lasting value.
  • Play it safe. This generation is more concerned with becoming independent and decreasing their debt, so you need to be conservative in your marketing and sales approaches. Be considerate in how you cross-sell to this group.

Marketing & Selling to Millennials

Measuring in at around 21% of the total U.S. population, Millennials are the largest generational group on our list. Millennials are another varied generation born between 1981 and 1996. Older Millennials were born in a time of rapid technological change, whereas younger Millennials have been using technology almost their entire lives. Some people refer to Millennials as the “instant gratification generation,” so you need to get their attention fast.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when marketing and selling to Millennials:

Marketing & Selling to Generation Z

Millennials have received a lot of media attention in recent years, but now it’s turning to Gen Z. Generation Z consists of individuals born between 1997 and 2012. Born fully immersed in technology, these individuals use social media sites like TikTok and YouTube as their search engine. Short-form video content is all the rage with Gen Z and they embrace quirky trends and various styles.

Here are some things to keep in mind when marketing and selling to Gen Z:

  • Show authenticity and transparency. This generation appreciates a conversational style and those who bring their authentic selves to the table in sales. If they sense that you are being dishonest or hiding something, you’ll lose their trust.
  • Brush up on your social media skills. Generation Z engages with social media on a daily basis. Some of their favorite platforms include YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Note that many of their favorite social media apps rely on video content in some form.
  • Personalize your marketing and sales approach. Utilize digital tools and sales strategies that offer personalized recommendations and experiences based on previous behavior. The more customizable you can make individual offers seem, the better.
  • Show you are socially responsible. This generation values brands that show their commitment to social and environmental causes. Keep this in mind when designing your website and building up your social media presence.
  • Keep things fast and convenient. Gen Z doesn’t want to waste a lot of time browsing your website or waiting on hold. They are used to having instant access to information. This means you need to be responsive and direct in your communication.

Preparing for Future Generations

While Millennials and Generation Z continue to rise among the ranks as valued insurance buyers, the biggest takeaway here is that you need to stay engaged with technology and the latest trends in order to keep up with these and future generations. Before you know it, Generation Alpha will be entering the workforce. Feeling overwhelmed? Remember that an investment in the right digital tools can help you make waves in this new era of marketing and sales.

From centralizing your information to automating your sales and retention-focused touchpoints, the right technology can allow your health and benefits team to focus more on custom service, and less on business management.

Download the Current Employee Benefits Report

Explore the recent trends for employee benefits, get a digital download of the current generations, and gain actionable insights into how your team can sell more. Complete the form below to gain access to this exclusive report.

Explore the recent trends for employee benefits, get a digital download of the current generations, and gain actionable insights into how your team can sell more. Download it here

Posted by Allison Babberl on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Automated Lead Routing & Assignment

  1. marketing
  2. selling

About The Author

Allison Babberl

Allison is the Content Lead at AgencyBloc. She manages the creation and schedule of all educational content for our BlocTalk and Member communities. Favorite quote: “Conversation is the bedrock of relationships. Without it, our relationships are devoid of substance.” -Maribeth Ku ... read more