2016 MRA CRC – Mapping the Millennial Path to Purchase

My notes from “The Millennial Path to Purchase” presentation – Brandon Shockley(Plannerzone) and Kelly Bowie (Guardian Life Insurance)


  • 92M millennials
  • largest generation in US history
  • by 2020 1/3 of population
  • Most educated generation ever
  • Will spend over $200 B annually.

The challenge: Deliver millennial insights to internal  stakeholders

  • Method: engage millennials to talk about a sensitive topic (insurance)
  • Result: will have to use a creative approach
  • Path to purchase homework
  • Photo sort
  • Personification

To make an “authentic” millennial presentation the Shockley  took some selfies

Wanted to see the journey from the customer’s perspective using focus groups


Challenge in focus groups:

  • flawed memory
  • observer effects
  • group think
  • communication breakdown
  • can be uncomfortable

And then it has to be presented.

Solution – give them homework! Will this work?

Kelly was very skeptical – but a great deal of work, went into the homework in many cases.

Techniques in context:

Nine focus groups across three markets

  • Married/committed (no children)
  • Married or single (children)
  • Single (no children)
  • Mix of intenders and recent purchasers
  • Process – receive prompt in advance, complete assignment at home, timed presentation

Homework prompt

  • ideas and assumption  you started with
  • thoughts and feelings at different steps in process
  • times when you felt an urge to act
  • how you made program at different steps
  • setbacks or obstacles

Homework tips –

  • incentivize creativity
  • probe key milestones,
  • set a timer,
  • welcome collaboration


  • 25-35 photos (stock, not related to topic)
  • choose one that depicts where you are
  • limit number of photos
  • identify content in each photo
  • probe similarities and differences

Common themes

  • building and rebuilding,
  • making progress,
  • confident relaxation


  • select a notable person who has qualities that you associate with insurance agents
  • select another person who has the qualities that would make the ideal insurance agent


Has brought a lot of attention to the insights department of the company.

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