How to find a rainbow at the end of a troll storm.

"That's 2017."

This from my 14-year-old daughter, Sofia, in response to my confusion over trolls who litter the Money Diaries website.

Launched in 2016, Money Diaries is a website featuring more than 100 diaries from women who chronicle their spending over a week's time. The writers give an intimate look inside their lives as they share daily choices to work their budgets. Women, mostly Millennial women, are addicted to the site for its authenticity and transparency.

Others love it just to hate it.

Like "Heroic Eye," who wrote this in response to "A Week in New York on a $53,000 Salary:"

"These are not meals. Also, she literally drinks alcohol 6 out of the 7 days she recorded info for this series. There's a hella lot of coffee with not a lot on her stomach (so she can feel awake). And most of the nights she listed, she doesn't get home until 12:30-2:30am (even though the majority of her mornings begin between 7-8am)."

"Fresh Heart" had this to say about the same diary after another reader defended the author.

"Hey — you put it out there in a PUBLIC article, you will get judged. It's not like we're breaking into her apartment and judging her. She wrote it up and published it online for all to read, so shut up. That's asking for judgment."

Blame it on the anonymity of the internet or the juiced up political environment. Whatever the prompt, trolls are inescapable. Even puppies aren't immune. Sofia showed me a YouTube post where a girl proudly introduced her new ball of canine cuddliness. Someone actually accused her of being a cat-hater.

Even puppies aren't safe from trolls.

If puppy posts aren't safe from scrutiny, neither is your brand. If you're on social media or you host a blog, chances are, you've already met a few trolls.

Campbell's sparked a troll frenzy after featuring a real-life gay couple and their toddler son in an ad. A woman named Jessica from the ultra-conservative group "One Million Moms" sparked the feud, posting on Campbell's Facebook page: "I'm so sick of this homosexual agenda, you sell soup… Please take your ad down or you will not have a company anymore!"

Campbell's responded with a statement supporting families of "different configurations, cultures, races and life choices."

Things got really interesting when someone set up a fake Facebook Page "Campbell For Help" to troll the troller. "My word, Jessica. That's quite a leap. While we at Campbell's Kitchen take pride in being empathetic, we are finding it hard to empathize with your vantage point. Would you just prefer we send you some of our classic tomato soup? It's real soup-er?"

Four tactics to tackle trolls.

You can't count on a white knight troll to save your brand from such attacks. So, if you've not already established a plan to manage negative posts, get to it. Your plan should include at least four basic tactics—watch, ignore, engage and employ.

  1. Watch. Take a deep breath and see if any fans come to your defense. There's nothing better than a loyal fan fighting for your honor.

  2. Ignore it. Sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing at all. This is especially true when the troll's comments are especially outlandish. Your followers know the difference between a rant and a true injustice. You're a big brand. You can take a few hits without damaging your reputation. For courage, visit the social media channels of airlines, hospital systems and utility companies. Pacific Gas & Electric didn't engage with the conversation below, however tempting.

  3. Engage with it. When people feel wronged today, they're more likely to post on social media than pick up the phone. If you're in the business of serving customers, your Facebook page is most importantly an extension of your customer service team. Customers expect swift and thoughtful action.

    When your brand is in the wrong, own up to it and use the opportunity to deepen your customer relationships. Kroger gets it. The community managers there are prompt and courteous. The proof is in the posts. Once the team responds, most conversations are wrapped up in a tidy bow. Here's just one of hundreds of recent exchanges:

  4. Learn from it. In addition to vanity metrics—likes, shares, follows—brands should be using social media to manage customer satisfaction and referrals. Your social following is a living, consuming focus group. Use their input to discover flaws and realize opportunities. Find the rainbow at the end of a troll storm. Cue Target.

    When the superstore announced plans to scrub stores of extraneous gender-based signage—boys' toys, girls' bedding, etc.—the trolls marched all over Target's Facebook Page, fuming about political correctness and threatening boycott.

    Target followed up months later with another controversial move, welcoming customers to use the bathroom and fitting room in accordance with their gender identities.The bold move was likely advanced, in part, by the enormous support the retailer received on social after the earlier gender-neutral signage brouhaha. The waters had been tested. They were ready to go full inclusion, knowing full well that it would ignite a vigorous social media debate.

Got a troll nipping at your brand? Use it to the best of your brand's ability. Need help managing your social media channels? These apps are a good start.

Money Diaries is the Millennial woman's Bridget Jones.

Money Diaries is the Millennial woman's Bridget Jones.

I wonder what’s in her wallet?

That’s the gist “Money Diaries” at Refinery29, a New York-based website that publishes the daily personal financial decisions of Millennial women. Think Bridget Jones Diaries for the gal who cares more about stretching a dollar than a donut.

For those unfamiliar with the fictional Bridget Jones, she measured a day’s success based on the amount of calories, alcohol and cigarettes she consumed. She’d chronicle her intake painstakingly—and defensively—like this account marked January 1:

“129 lbs. (but post-Christmas), alcohol units 14 (but effectively covers 2 days as 4 hours of party was on New Year's Day), cigarettes 22, calories 5424.”

Money Diaries features a seven-day snapshot of mostly Millennial women as they work assorted budgets in mostly high-end cities. The site presently features a recent grad who struggles to live on a $50,000 ($2,430/month) in New York City. A sample entry:

“I stop in CVS to pick up toothbrushes, toothpaste, and my birth control. Unfortunately, my health insurance doesn't cover my particular birth control, so I have to pay out-of-pocket every month. It's getting expensive, so I make a mental note to call my gynecologist this week to talk about other options. (Hello, IUD!) $84.13.”

Launched in 2016, Money Diaries hosts more than 100 diaries of women with various income levels and lifestyles—salaried, interns, students, travelers, mothers and brides-to-be. Followers live vicariously through the protagonists’ money decisions (Starbucks or free work coffee?). Some readers even weigh in, posting to The Conversation. Like this one from “Peaceful Phone:”

“I admire your decisions to pay off your student loans so quickly! I'm too nervous to give up the money I saved while living at home. It's nice to have a cushion for those unexpected expenses, but these student loans are brutal.”

Money has long been a sensitive, even taboo topic. The popularity of Money Diaries suggests that today’s Millennial women are ready, if not eager, to talk candidly about personal finance. This spells opportunity for banks and credit unions to build trust and confidence with this desirable cohort.

Not sure where to begin? First, get better acquainted with the Millennial woman. Get to know her preferences, values and key purchasing motivators. This blog is a good place to start.

Blog Category: 

Marketing Statement - Second Quarter 2017

Want to build your Millennial market share? Stop thinking like a Boomer. Sure they may get a little monthly stipend from mom and dad, but that in no way implies that they bank like their parents. They're using utility bill history to apply for loans and lurking in financial fiction for advice and inspiration. And just when you thought you’d figured out their fave social platform they get all post shy and feed sensitive. When all else fails, invest in blogs. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life. No score, no savings, no sweat. Plucky Millennials will find a way to finance that purchase and invest in themselves—with a little help from mom and dad.

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits. Bonus for Millennial singles. They also double as pickup lines. So, what’s your credit score? Shop here often? Tell me your latest Story and I’ll tell you mine.

Forget Bridget Jones. Millennial women prefer to know how you spend your money than your calories. Fans of "Money Diaries" at Refinery29, a New York-based website, pore over the routine financial minutiae of strangers' lives like your grandma working a Sudoku.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated. There are many reasons African Americans are more likely to be unbanked or underbanked. Here are three ways credit unions and banks can start making important inroads.

QUICK study

Hold that post. Social media users are scaling back. Blame it on the election. Or one too many tags. Some have comment remorse. All of this and more is giving users pause to reflect before sharing. What’s it mean for your brand?

Facebook and Google are losing the war against ad-blockers. Today, 11 percent of users have ad-blocking software. Male Millennial techies are partly responsible for the surge, but not totally. Is your target audience blocking your bits? How to win them back.

Is your banking investing in blogs? Content is kind of like that compounding interest your member service reps preach to young savers about. Get started or get better with 8 things every blogger must know.

SHARPEN the saw

Show then tell. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

START a conversation

Share the Marketing Statement. Tell two friends. And so on.

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits.

5 fast facts about Millennials' financial habits.

With a median household income of $40,581, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their boomer parents did at the same age. Student debt is higher, home ownership is lower and spending habits are incredibly unique. Gone are the days of “stuff” and in are the days of experiences and saving, saving, saving. Confused about this cohort? Here are five fast facts about Millennial’s financial habits:

  1. Millennials are avid online shoppers. While this isn’t new, what they’re shopping for is. Millennials are now purchasing their necessities online vs. in-store to cut down on additional spending. Millennials are ordering toilet paper, toothpaste and other everyday items from sites like Amazon. “It’s no wonder we’re spending less at brick and mortar stores when it’s so much easier to buy just what we need when we purchase online.”
  2. They spend less on “stuff” and more on experiences. According to CEB Iconoculture research, this audience’s key differentiating values include adventure, expertise, creativity and ambition. Millennials are very interested in new experiences and building their life stories. Social platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and even Facebook have adapted this value system with their Stories feature and capabilities. Millennials and users alike are encouraged to share their stories and experiences. Who doesn’t want to try an escape room? Fowling? Goat yoga? Millennials live for experiences that they can add to their repertoire.
  3. Millennials save and invest more than boomers. While Millennials are perceived and portrayed as careless, they are actually more careful about how they invest and save their assets. According to Principal Financial Group, 51 percent of Millennials save or invest their money, while only 47 percent of Boomers do the same.
  4. Credit scores matter. According to a recent report, Millennials say credit scores matter…even when they are dating. While some dating apps claim they will match you based on credit scores (okay, that might be going a bit far), Millennials do care about the financial habits and standing of their potential significant other.
  5. Millennials are digital. While some still like writing good old fashioned checks, most will opt to pay or repay friends digitally. Whether they’re splitting restaurant tabs, sharing Lyft rides or paying for other services, Millennials are transferring funds with the tap or swipe of a finger.

Need more on financial marketing insights, sign up for our quarterly Marketing Statement.

Weekly Recap - March 31, 2017

Storytime. Facebook has officially joined the “story” telling bandwagon. It was only a matter of time. The platform joins the ranks of Snapchat and Instagram (its child company). Why? Because 91-100 percent of content published in 2015 contained visuals. And visual based platforms are stepping up their game. Like Pinterest’s new app-installs. Take a look.

DETAILS, please

More ways to share with the Facebook camera. Making it fast, fun and easy for people to share creative photos and videos, Facebook is introducing a version of “stories” for consumers to share.

How visuals will impact marketing in 2017, according to new data. There's a reason most children's books are filled with pictures.

Pinterest is now offering app-install ads to all marketers. One brand is already doubling its spend on the platform.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

African Americans and banks: It's complicated. African American consumers are focused on achievement and growth—especially when it comes to personal finances. So why are they less likely to have bank accounts?

Sephora makes it beautifully easy to get customer service on social media. At all hours, people of all ages take to social media, the modern-day way to get customer service, with any issue they may have.

THE Topic of conversation

Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

Sephora makes it beautifully easy to get customer service on social media.

Sephora makes it beautifully easy to get customer service on social media.

Most people see a social media notification and feel excitement. Someone double tapped their selfie. Or commented on their livestream. Or tagged them in the most topical meme.

But, there are some people who see a social media notification and feel worry. Maybe a little panic. Perhaps even a little dread.

Who exactly are these people? Meet the social media managers of the world. For people in this position, reading online complaints can be an everyday occurrence. And the bigger the brand they work with, the more complaints there can be.

At all hours, people of all ages take to social media, the modern-day way to get customer service, with any issue they may have. And while it’s usually the most convenient method, it’s not always the most efficient.

There’s the reply. Then, there’s usually the need for more information. The forwarding of that information to the appropriate person. The resolving of the issue. And finally, returning back to the social media platform to give the user an update.

Ultimately, it’s a multi-step process that can take multiple hours (or multiple days, depending on how speedy your internal team is).

Surely there’s a way to simplify it, right?

Right.

Enter Sephora—the billion-dollar beauty company. To streamline their customer service on social media, they partnered with CashStar to deliver virtual gift cards, almost instantaneously.

Let’s say a customer tweets about her eye shadow palette breaking apart in transit. Instead of replying to collect all the information that’s needed, then issuing a refund or re-sending the product, Sephora can now tweet her a virtual gift card. Within minutes, she has the means to replace her product at no cost, with almost no wait.

Another benefit? Sephora only pays for the gift cards that are actually redeemed—which means they’re not absorbing the cost of a gift card that goes unused. And since Millennials seem to have a hard time hanging on to them, it could certainly save some dollars. In fact, according to CEB Iconoculture, nearly 40 percent of Millennials have lost a gift card before they had a chance to use it, compared with 25 percent of consumers overall.

So, could virtual gift cards be the way to go? To make things right for unhappy customers, and even to surprise and delight the most loyal?

CashStar, Sephora’s virtual gifting partner, shows there’s been a 51 percent redemption rate for digital gift cards within the first month of activation. (These ones seem a little easier to keep track of!) Compare this to a 33 percent redemption rate for plastic gift cards, and we think we’ve got our answer.

To stay up to date with all the advertising news you need, be sure to subscribe to our Weekly Recap.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated.

African Americans and banks: It's complicated.

Unbanked.

It’s how financial institutions refer to consumers who have no checking or savings account. Those who have an account and interact with payday lenders and other alternative financial services are called “underbanked.”

There’s lots of research connecting unbanked and underbanked to poverty. In other words, consumers with stronger financial institution relationships are generally more financially secure. This because they have access to affordable credit, savings products and resources.

At least a quarter of American households are unbanked or underbanked, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. And nearly half of African American households are unbanked or underbanked.

Why the disparity? According to CEB Iconoculture research, the primary factors are access, assets and attitudes.

Access, assets and attitudes.

Bank branches are generally less convenient to African American consumers (MagnifyMoney Research on Bank Branch Presentation, February 2016). There are 40.6 bank branches for every 100,000 people who live in majority white counties in the U.S., compared to 32 branches located in majority African American counties.

Then there’s the issue of wealth. African American families on average have less household income with which to work. A study released this year by Demos found that African American two-parent families have half the wealth of white single parents. Specifically,

  • The median two-parent black family had $16,000 in wealth.
  • The median single-parent white family had $35,800 in wealth (two-parent white families had $161,300).

These factors and more prompt African American consumers to be more likely to manage their personal finances with little or no outside help, according to CEB Iconoculture research. When asked why they prefer a DIY approach, African American respondents were more likely to point to the following reasons than the total survey audience:

  • My finances are simple (41 percent of African American respondents agreed versus 34 percent of all respondents.)
  • I don’t have much money to manage (35 percent of African American respondents versus 25 percent of all respondents.)
  • I can’t afford personal financial services (24 percent of African American respondents versus 19 percent of all respondents

Three ways banks and credit unions can help the unbanked and underbanked.

How can banks and credit unions connect to the underserved market? Flip the challenges and follow consumer values.

  1. Promote mobile banking. Mobile banking can help underserved consumers gain more access to financial services, according to an FDIC study. In addition to added convenience, mobile banking can give consumers greater control over finances. Alerts and tracking tools make it easier to avoid fees and track finances. First banks and credit unions must convince consumers that it’s safe to open an account online, which has thus far proven challenging.
     
  2. Become a trusted advisor. Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship and imperative when money is involved. When it comes to financial services, African Americans consumers have practical expectations, according to CEB Iconoculture research. They are: do a good job managing my money, provide transparency, security and stick to the products and services that I need. Finally, demonstrate success.
     
  3. Accentuate the positive. The values most positively differentiated for African Americans compared to all U.S. consumers can provide important insights. They are belief, individuality, ambition and growth—ostensibly individual achievement and growth. African American Millennials tend to be more optimistic than their peers, according to a study by Richards/Lema and the University of Texas, Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations.

Sign up for the free Brogan Marketing Statement for quarterly news and insights about financial services marketing.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life.

Millennials find clever ways to finance life.

Young, cash-strapped Millennials are leaning on their parents for help today. Still they’re not letting old-fashioned barriers like credit scores stand in the way of big purchases. Meanwhile, their affluent counterparts are using robo-advisers to build their next eggs.

Millennials aren’t the first generation to tap the Bank of ‘Rents. But they’re particularly sensitive about the handouts, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

Forty percent of young 20-somethings living away from home after school receive an average $3,000 annually from their parents, per a study reported in the New York Times. Those who live in the city get almost $1,000 more a year in support than those who live in rural areas.

Parental support varies by career pursuits. For example, right-side brainers tend to be more needy than left siders, according to the research. Of those who regularly receive financial assistance:

  • 53 percent work in the arts and design world
  • 37 percent work in healthcare
  • 30 percent work in blue-collar jobs
  • 29 percent work in personal services

No credit? No problem.

When Millennials do need credit, they’re not letting a little thing like credit score get in the way.

A pilot program launched by Fair Isaac, the company behind FICO, lets consumers with no credit history use utility bill payment history instead. SoFi and Float are also rewriting lending rules, enabling young adults to apply for emergency loans and mortgages without the benefit of credit history.

Float bases its lending decisions on bank transactions for the two past years. This lets credit newbies get into the game and saves Float the expense of pulling FICO data.

Millennials build nest eggs with algorithms.

Millennials are investing differently too, thanks to plucky internet startups and trusty algorithms.

For as little as a few bucks a month, online companies like Stash and WiseBanyan enable investors to start building their nest eggs.

Stash invites users to learn how to invest in themselves by selecting companies that complement their lifestyle and aspirations. They even have examples of investors who might look like you—the activist, the techie, the globetrotter and the trendsetter. Each persona includes a tidy sample portfolio.

$1 buys investors a seat at the table at WiseBanyan, where basic accounts are free and clients upgrade to fee-for-service only when necessary. Like Stash, the content is very accessible and easily digestible. It’s investing for the every man.

Millennials will find a way.

Whether scraping together enough money to pay the rent or planning retirement, Millennials will find a way. For brands to connect, they have to first understand the financial challenges Millennials are wrestling with. Younger Millennials (22-29 in 2017) are in the midst of quarter-life, reflecting on student loan debt, career choices, relationships and zip codes. Older Millennials (30-39 in 2017) are confronting marriage, parenthood and homeownership. Some have even flipped the script with their parents, providing them financial assistance.

Now, get plucky—Millennial style. Don’t expect them to be shoe-horned into traditional products and services. They’ll look elsewhere. Think convenience, flexibility and practicality. And if it can be accessed via smartphone, all the better. Stymied? Go to the source for inspiration. Host a brainstorming session with Millennial staffers or customers. Start by asking them what financial issues keep them up at night and advance to solutions.

Interested in more on the financial marketing front? Subscribe to our free quarterly newsletter, Marketing Statement.

Marketing Statement - First Quarter 2017

How's that 2017 marketing plan working out for your brand so far? Does it lean into social media? Does it leverage the many new features Facebook launched in 2016 to further connectivity—like live video, 360-degree photos and recommendations? There's still time to bedazzle those tactics. (Bright shiny objects below.)  It's (still) all about the customer experience—in good times and especially in bad times. A Pennsylvania healthcare system shows how to make the most of highly emotional, high performance customer opportunities.   

4 social media trends that are changing insurance marketing. From year to year, most insurance products stay the same, but there's one thing that does change: the way they're marketed. What does 2017 have in store?

Facebook was busy in 2016. Here are the CliffsNotes. For Facebook, every year brings advancements and enhancements—and 2016 was no different. With a strategic goal to make the world more connected, the Facebook team added new functionality, created new technology and worked to improve features that already exist.

A hospital system with a money back guarantee. Highly emotional, high performance opportunities are the stuff customer loyalty is made of, according to McKinsey studies into the retail banking industry. A Pennsylvania hospital system is putting this strategy to work in healthcare with promising results.

QUICK study

The green that's keeping Millennials up at night. Young adults fret about finances—especially building a sufficient nest egg in which to retire comfortably, according to a Schwab Retirement Plan Services study. It's the number-one reason Millennials lose sleep at night.

Zelle me all about it. Banks and credit unions are backing an open social payments platform in hopes of competing with the likes of PayPal, Venmo and Square. Like its competitors, Zelle lets consumers send money to friends or pay for goods and services at the touch of a smartphone app.

What motivates young people to save for retirement? Crow's feet. Researchers at Virtual Human Interaction Lab recently discovered a powerful tool to compel consumers to plan for retirement—aging. After meeting their aging avatars, college-aged subjects saved more than twice as much for retirement than those who did not.

Hey Gen X. This bank's for you. It seems every bank wants Millennials. But when Louisville, KY-based Republic Bank & Trust built its digital banking platform, MemoryBank, it was focused on an often overlooked generational cohort—Gen. X. Because peak earning years. 

SHARPEN the saw

You can depend on social media to change. Often. What's an industrious but insanely taxed marketer to do? Read our free whitepaper on the nine social media trends impacting your online performance, for starters. It's a quick read but rich with key insights to evolve your social strategies for optimum brand engagement. Download now.

START a conversation

Share the Marketing Statement. Tell two friends. And so on.

Hospital system backs patient experience with refund policy.

Hospital system backs patient experience with refund policy

Patients increasingly want the same level of customer service at the hospital that they get at the Genius Bar, according to McKinsey & Company research.

Respondents said that great customer service was just as important to them in non-healthcare and healthcare companies alike. Other qualities that ranked as important for both were delivering on expectations, making life easier and offering great value.

Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania is on board. Earlier this year, the hospital launched a system-wide money back policy on patient care—with no-questions asked, no strings attached and no red tape applied. Patients can even download the Geisinger ProvenExperience app to set the process in motion.

Dissatisfied with your post-op meal? The finance department bungled your payment schedule? Difficulty scheduling tests? Encountered a rude receptionist? Felt neglected or burdensome? All of these patient experiences and more qualify for reimbursement under Geisinger’s policy. The only caveat? Refunds can only be applied to co-payments and deductibles.

“We want to make sure we not only have the right care that is high quality and safe, but we also want to make sure our care is compassionate, dignified and delivered with a lot of kindness,” Geisinger President & CEO David Feinberg told the Washington Post.

Seizing highly emotional, high performance moments.

Highly emotional, high performance opportunities are the stuff customer loyalty is made of, according to McKinsey studies into the retail banking industry. Researchers found that routine transactions, like buying traveler’s checks, do little to create an emotional bond with customers. But critical moments, like awaiting a response on a loan or releasing a check from hold, can forge deeper, more meaningful (read: profitable) relationships.

After a positive experience, more than 85 percent of customers increased their value to the bank by purchasing more products or investing more of their assets. And more than 70 percent reduced their commitment when their problem was not resolved to their satisfaction.

Geisinger processes an average 122 refunds a month stemming from appointment scheduling to access of care and billing concerns. Refunds have ranged from $20 to a couple thousand dollars. Meanwhile, customer relations are improving. According to CEB Iconoculture research, communication between patients and patient advocates has increased nearly 25 percent.

This will likely bode well for the system on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey front. The survey measures patients’ perceptions of their hospital experience and publishes results quarterly for all to see.  Respondents are interviewed six weeks or less after discharge—plenty of time for Geisinger to process a refund request.

For more on healthcare marketing trends, sign up for our monthly edition of the Brogan Healthcare Checkup.

Weekly Recap - December 9, 2016

2016 continues to be a big year for Instagram. The platform reached more than 500 million Instagrammers and debuted a shiny new interface. And they aren’t stopping there. This week Instagram announced an update to the comment section. Now users can like comments or disable them all together. Turns out, Instagram is also a platform of choice for influencer marketers. In fact, 87 percent cited both Instagram and Facebook as the most important platforms for influencer endeavors. Why? Because according to HubSpot, it takes about one tenth of a second to understand a visual scene. Read on.  

DETAILS, please

Does your brand have an Instagram account? Users can now like and disable comments. See here.

8 new stats about influencer marketing campaigns you need to know. Interested in utilizing influencers, here are eight things your brand needs to know.

How do you decide what type of content to use in your digital marketing strategy? The answer? It lies in the brain. See here.

Meanwhile back at the RANCH

Instagram: 2016 year in review. 2016 was another very big year for the visual-based platform. In case you missed it, we present Instagram’s most snap-worthy moments of 2016.

4 social media trends for insurance marketers. From year to year, most insurance products stay the same, but there’s one thing that does change: The way they’re marketed.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

4 social media trends for insurance marketers.

4 social media trends for insurance marketers

From year to year, most insurance products stay the same, but there’s one thing that does change: The way they’re marketed.

What does 2017 have in store? Let’s take a look at the trends.

  1. Social media (still) requires great content. The best brands know this already: Social doesn’t work without engaging and valuable content. To better understand this scenario, think of social media as a car and content as the gas that fuels it. Now more than ever before, channels will need that content. They’ll need visuals, videos, blogs and more to really move the needle and see results.
     
  2. Millennials double tap into social media. On social media, Millennials are connected—very connected. When they’re making decisions, anything from what book to bring on vacation to what brand of car insurance is best, they turn to these connections. And according to CEB Iconoculture, this impulse is relevant to every aspect of how young people handle personal finance.
     
  3. Social media can help agents unlock policyholders’ life events. There are a few key life events that get people thinking about insurance. Going to college. Graduating from college. Getting married. Having a baby. Buying a house. Or a new car. Retiring. These trigger events propel consumers to consider their insurance needs. And coincidently, these are the same events that are usually shared on social media. When local agents have a solid relationship with their customers, it’s possible they’re Facebook friends. (They might even be friends offline, too.) In a non-invasive way, this lets agents see what’s happening, so they can keep their insurance needs at the top of their mind. It helps them understand the best time to reach out, or the time a consumer may be most receptive. Using social media, insurance companies can listen for and act on life events, reaching the right customer at the right time with the right message.
     
  4. For customer service, users turn away from social media and toward mobile apps. In March, there was a study that surveyed 1,700 adults in the U.S., the U.K., Netherlands, France and Australia. They asked about their customer service interactions with financial services, insurance and telecommunications providers. As it turns out, the percentage of people using social for customer service dropped from 36 percent in 2013 to 29 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, the percentage of people using mobile apps for customer service grew from 22 percent in 2011 to 43 percent in 2013 to 46 percent in 2016.

Keep up with all of the financial service marketing trends, all year long. Subscribe to our monthly Marketing Statement.

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  • Hiring Brogan & Partners to help Michigan Women’s Foundation create the brand and messaging around the campaign to raise millions of dollars to solve the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit was a slam dunk!  With a well-deserved reputation for getting to the heart of complex and highly-charged issues with clear, action-driven communications, the Brogan team... More

  • A well-oiled machine operates at full performance, fluid and unyielding. At Frankenmuth Insurance we have often referred to Brogan & Partners as a well-oiled machine. Our experience with Brogan has been very strong and successful from the start. We view our partners at Brogan as an extension of our own staff. They are readily available to us at any time and deliver... More

  • When launching a startup, resources are very constrained and a startup has to pick its partners very carefully and with deliberation. There were many services that we have had to forego in the early stages of our company, Memloom. One crucial need, however, was identifying and aligning with a strong marketing partner who could help us with our brand, positioning and... More

  • We have been working with the Brogan team for the past 18 months. The Brogan team has truly been our marketing partner. They guided us through development our brand and messaging. They lead our our website redesign and deployment. And they provide excellent counsel on business development and market entry strategies. More

  • From the very first meeting we had with Brogan & Partners, it was clear that they had done their research on PREZIO Health, our competitors and the industry.  It has been  a very positive experience working with the Brogan & Partners team to re-design all of our service and product sheets as well as the total re-design of our website.  Their creativity is top-... More

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