01/28/20

Dawn of the Digital Generation: Preparing for Generation Z

By: Kyle Michel, Analyst

Generation Z is presenting a perplexing puzzle for insurance carriers as the first generation to grow up in the digital world. Rapid technological advancement, which impressed past generations, is now assumed, and insurers will need to be vigilant to keep up with the market or risk becoming irrelevant. This blog presents three ideas that insurers will need to keep at the top of their minds (and prominent in their business plans) to ensure they establish a strong reputation with what is said to be one of America’s most financially impactful generations yet.

The first and potentially most crucial point is not to throw all younger generations in a “young people” bucket. As close as Millennials and Gen Z may seem in age, there are stark differences between them. Most notably, Gen Z grew up in the digital age, whereas Millennials witnessed its dawn, which leads to Gen Z having much higher expectations for what is normal, as they never knew a world without constant updates from their smartphone. If an insurer is unable to provide a smooth and seamless online experience, such as the ability to transfer information quickly between an online application to a call center representative, Gen Z is quick to leave them behind. A fast turnaround on a quote will also be crucial, as insurers may be surprised to find that Gen Z is not as patient as Millennials and will lose business if unable to provide a quote shortly after being asked.

Additionally, having a strong online presence is crucial. To Gen Z, the online world is seamlessly intertwined with their reality. Insurers need to be active on social media, making frequent posts and writing blogs. If a Gen Z-er looks on your website and doesn’t see significant activity within the last few months, they’re likely to brush you off as out-of-touch. It is worth recognizing that much of Gen Z uses streaming services, most notably YouTube, for their content consumption. Ads on TV, for example, will not fall on deaf ears, but perhaps no ears at all. Having a popular YouTube streamer endorse your product could go much further than a generalized ad.

The reason a YouTube streamer may be the best opportunity for endorsement is Gen Z values authenticity and personalization. Gen Z is much more likely to rely on a personal reference than Millennials, and Insurers need to capitalize on that, taking measures to ensure their current customer’s children become their customers. Insurers also need to push to approach Gen Z in a personal manner, getting to know them and their wants and needs. Many Gen Z-ers will not only do their research online about your products and company, but they will also want the personal touch of interacting with an agent or service representative who knows them. If a Gen Z-er feels they are being genericized they are unlikely to feel comfortable making a purchase.

Gen Z is going to make a significant impact on the insurance industry. They are an unprecedented generation and many companies are not prepared for their buying behavior. If you are interested in a comprehensive and thoughtful strategy to become an industry leader with this emerging generation, consider a conversation with NEOS and our experts to ensure your strategy is slated to succeed.

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