Insurance Marketing: What Works in the Modern Age
Insurance marketing is challenging. When shopping for shoes, apparel, electronics and cars, there’s image involved. People feel strongly. They have skin in the game. Clearly, shopping for insurance is not as emotionally engaging. Yet, some pitches are more compelling than others – especially with younger audiences. Let’s take a look.
A case in point: Lemonade
This fall at Carrier Management, contributor Frank Salerno put the marketing pitch of the insurtech startup Lemonade next to those of a few well established carriers to see how new differs from old. The contrast was instructive.
Lemonade hits a few hot notes right out the gate on their website: “Instant everything. Killer prices. Big heart.” The message that Geico leads with is bland by comparison: “More than just car insurance.”
Salerno gathered a few other examples: Willis Towers Watson claimed it can “turn risk into a path for growth.” State Farm said it’s fast, friendly and local. Prudential said it’s “been meeting challenges for more than 140 years.” These are all fine claims to make, but do they resonate with younger insureds? Perhaps they’re not intended for a younger target market.
If these carriers do want to reach a younger audience, Salerno believes adjustments are needed. Turning risk to growth is too abstract; it requires explanation to understand its meaning. Fast, friendly and local are nice, but “I can’t fall in love with it,” Salerno said. And while a service history of 140 years is impressive, it’s not moving.
What makes Lemonade’s message stand out? It speaks to a different generation.
What younger insureds want
This year, millennials range in age from 22 to 37. Meanwhile, the oldest members of gen Z are just graduating college. These two generations have some important differences between them – most importantly, that millennials can remember a pre-digital, pre-terror world, and they grew up during the prosperity of the nineties, whereas gen Z cannot and did not. But they also have a lot in common.
1. They’re into all things digital. The shift from print to TV to web and then mobile changed the channels of choice for Millennials and has only gotten stronger for gen Z.
How Lemonade resonates: its app offers to get you insured in 90 seconds and paid in three minutes, “injecting technology and transparency into an industry that often lacks both.” By leveraging new tech, Lemonade is able to offer an experience that’s sleek, fast and hassle-free – delivering on the high UX expectations that younger insureds bring to the table.
2. They’ve been bombarded by advertising since forever, so the marketing pitch needs to connect, and fast, or they’re out. This is true of Millennials and even more so for gen Z, who “have a fast-paced, highly selective and decisive filter – something that marketers have never encountered before,” said Deep Patel at Huff Post.
How Lemonade resonates: it delivers a strong value proposition right off the bat. “Instant everything. Killer prices.” Two claims that are both obvious and compelling.
3. They are socially concerned. “Attitudes on social issues have shifted, in some cases seismically, in the decade since Millennials were teenagers,” said Alex Williams at the New York Times. The trend here is toward socio-ethnic diversity, social movements, and socially responsible companies. As Patel said, the younger generations want brands to align with causes they care about.
How Lemonade resonates: it not only claims to have invented a model that prioritizes customer over carrier; it also features a “Giveback” project that pays profit forward to good causes – succinctly expressed in its messaging as “Big heart.”
Are you in step?
So, you want to resonate with younger insureds. There’s good news: you can do it. The tricky news is, you’ll probably need to make a few significant changes. Here’s what we recommend:
1. Find ways to do good. Invest some of your profit in philanthropy. There are lots of ways to show you’re making the world better; find a strategy that fits your firm and tell that story.
2. Make your messaging hit home. Figure out how deliver the things customers really care about and connect those dots in your messaging.
3. Get up to date on tech. Now is no time to get left behind. Update your policy administration system and improve your UX by infusing technology into your customer experience.