This week, I was in Plymouth Meeting, Penn., instructing a class on generational differences to some 20 insurance professionals. What a great group of people! There were Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Yers in the room, representing their age groups. We talked about everything from communication, to management styles, to how to sell insurance to each generation. I have to shout out to all my new friends and Jimcor Agencies for the great class—thank you.
One question that came up (and usually does in these classes) was: “Why do we put so much effort into Generation Y when there are other people out there?” We also spent a lot of time talking about how to “Boomerize” your marketing plan for your insurance agency!
We talked about how, as Main Street agents, we need consider our websites and make sure they appeal to different generations, not just Gen Y, who wants to be able to shop online, but also to the Baby Boomers, who may prefer to read a larger font on their screen. We agreed that moving pictures on your website serve mostly to distract a customer. At Jimcor Agencies, we call this the “Nick Jr., approach to marketing” (readers with children know what I am talking about—Nick Jr. has everything your kids could want on their website, but parents’ eyes pop out of their heads trying to focus on it!).
I asked the group about their print marketing materials. It’s important to consider the font; and the images. What about the people in the pictures? Do they represent an agency that embraces diversity? What do the pictures in your ads and on your website say about you and your agency? Are you looking at the future or holding onto the past?
Another interesting topic that came up was the use of social media by Gen X, Baby Boomers and even Veterans! While older generations started using mediums like Facebook to look at pictures of their grandchildren, now they are realizing a whole new world on the Internet! Veterans and Boomers search the web all the time—you have to make sure they are going to find your agency!
Is your agency on Facebook? The Plymouth Meeting group came up with a couple of great ideas during the class for ways to encourage followers for their agencies on Facebook. Some agencies have their Facebook fans submit recipes, or pictures of their pets or themselves with your business card in different places? Why would someone want to friend your agency? What are you offering them that they want to follow you?
It doesn’t matter if we do it through Facebook, e-mail, phone or in person; the one thing every generation agrees on is the need to communicate. And, communication is not a one-way street—you need to make sure your clients can participate and you can respond to them: Even posting a smile as your status can elicit a response. How you use communication in your agency is up to you, just make sure you have a plan and that it includes every medium possible.
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