My younger sister and her family are in the process of buying a new home.  And that means shopping for insurance of course!

I always find it helpful to look objectively at how people are REALLY buying insurance in order to determine the BEST way to market to them. 

So how do millennials (in this case 26-28 years old) really buy insurance?  Is it all through internet search the way we believe it is? 

Well…in this case the answer is NO. 

My sister and her husband are in their late 20’s, buying their first home together with two small children.  Both work full time, are extremely busy and community involved, and are tech-savvy.  (Simply meaning active Facebook users, email users, etc.)

So when it came time to get quotes for their new home closing, who did they call?

Was it Geico or Progressive from pay-per-click ads?  (Did you know that keywords relating to insurance are some of the most expensive when running Google ads?  This is why!  You’re competing with companies that have unlimited budgets.)

Or did they choose the agency with the top-ranked SEO results in a Google search?

Neither is right…when my sister and I spoke she told me that she called her FRIENDS for quotes! 

Yup, easy as that! 

They called a local Allstate agency which was managed by a friend from a previous job and an old school friend who is a producer at a local independent agency.  All local.  All people they had known for a long time.

And when we spoke about the quotes, she told me that she liked the idea of the cheapest policy but was a little nervous about the low price.  She was afraid that the cheap company she hadn’t heard of was probably too good to be true and was leaning towards a mid-range quote.

WHAT?  Doesn’t this break ALL the rules of what we’re hearing?  Millennials only care about the internet!  They only shop based on price!  They will kill the insurance industry!!

But maybe this simply isn’t true at all.

What I’m seeing is that millennials care about relationships.  They care about quick contact with someone they know, like, and trust.  (And they hate when people don’t respond fast.)

So does this mean your agency doesn’t need to bother with marketing online? 

No again!

First, this is only one case study.  Obviously many people will do things differently and you want to be prepared. 

But my takeaway from this is that that you need to be doing LOTS of networking (and getting your staff networking) while LEVERAGING those networking relationships via social media and email marketing. 

It means that even though you can’t physically be everywhere, you CAN connect and build relationships via the internet all the time.  You can consistently be building that know, like, and trust factor.

Maybe it means you need to be hiring people who are well connected in the community while focusing on making yourself well connected too.  (In fact, this is the entire idea behind  Mega Posts!  I want you and your staff to be “local celebrities” who are recognized everywhere.)

Let’s stop thinking that younger clients don’t care about local agencies.  It’s a myth.  Instead, let’s create consistent marketing strategies to get connected and build those local agency brands in a leveraged way.

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Robyn Sharp
Robyn Sharp

Robyn Sharp is an insurance marketing expert (and former agency owner). She specializes in Facebook content creation & marketing for P&C insurance agencies. Robyn has been a featured contributor to Exclusive Focus, PropertyCasualty360, IndependentAgent, and other insurance publications.