The millennial generation, defined as those born between the years 1980 to 2000, are the first digital natives, growing up in a constantly changing environment that increasingly became saturated with new technology and means of communication.
They are socially connected with family and friends, and are no longer restricted by geographical distance in terms of communication and gathering information.
I recall growing up in India, how my views then were mostly defined by my immediate circle of family and friends. Today, my two young children have friends living across the globe, but they regularly communicate despite the time difference and physical distance.
As a parent, I often find it hard to reconcile how they can stay connected without actual face-to-face contact. But that’s exactly how this generation communicates. They prefer instant messaging to phone calls, and update themselves on the lives of their friends and favorite celebrities by following them on social media.
It made me realize the importance of understanding this generation, which already represents a huge chunk of the population, as they form a major economic force that’s changing the way we communicate to consumers and conduct our business.
Selling to the Selfie Generation
As a marketer for more than 20 years, with more than half spent in the insurance industry, I know that it’s not easy to get people to understand and believe in the importance of insurance.
Traditional advertising on TV, print and radio are no longer relevant to a market that prefers binge-watching series on Netflix, getting their news from Twitter, and listening to music on Spotify.
So, how do you sell the importance of planning for the future to someone who embraces the “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) lifestyle? How do you create brand loyalty with a generation that has access to a world of choices at their fingertips, through their gadgets and mobile devices?
Adapting and Surpassing
You transform. You innovate. You change the way you operate in order to adapt to their needs.
Instead of offering off-the-shelves, take-it-or-leave-it packaged products, you provide customized solutions depending on their priorities.
You explore the possibilities of selling your product online, making it easy to understand and buy, similar to buying clothes or airlines tickets.
You make it easier to get in touch with you and for your customers to have access to their account information anytime, anywhere, through the convenience of a mobile app and an online customer portal.
It takes more than brand prestige and legacy to earn the trust of the new market. We need to create meaningful conversations, ongoing dialogues, and engaging activities to connect with them.
We must develop a strong, solid, sincere relationship with our customers by listening to them, understanding them and establishing ourselves as a dependable partner in their journey towards financial freedom and stability. In this manner, we will be able to build a brand that is relevant in their lives, and will remain relevant, from this generation to the next.
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