5 Ways Financial Professionals Can Market to Millennials
• Valerie Rivera • February 9, 2021
Marketing to Millennials has become a hot topic for financial professionals—and for good reason. Despite being the first generation in modern American history projected to end up poorer than their parents1, this demographic is ripe with opportunities for enterprising financial planners.
Millennials may have witnessed successive economic crises since entering the workforce, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a need for—or interest in—financial planning. One study found that over half of Millennials are unsatisfied with their current financial situation due to high levels of debt, a lack of financial literacy, and overall economic fragility.2 Millennials also stand to inherit significant wealth from their parents, with some estimates projecting as much as $68.4 trillion by 2030.3
This hints at the opportunity—through education and a planning-led approach that emphasizes long-term goals—to convert hesitant Millennials into long-term clients. Forward-thinking financial planners should consider the needs and wants of this demographic and start speaking to them directly.
Don’t know where to start? Use the tips below and learn how to market to Millennials.
1. Speak directly to their concerns
You won’t be the only financial professional marketing to Millennials. To cut through the noise and stand out, you need to address their concerns directly. Here’s what millennials care about the most:
- Paying off debt: This is the most immediate goal for Millennials. While they are the most educated generation, many have significant student loan debt and highly leveraged assets.4 Use your marketing content to explain strategies for addressing debt and incorporate transparent pricing structures into your offering that are more accessible to this generation. This provides value upfront and helps continue the conversation.
- Using credit responsibly: A strong credit profile is essential for financial health, but over half of Millennials engage in expensive credit card behaviors.5 Teach them that credit, when used properly, will ultimately help them accomplish their goals.
- Managing retirement savings: Millennials started saving for retirement earlier than past generations on average but still have high levels of anxiety around saving enough.6 Many Millennials also aim to save more today in the hopes of retiring early. Address these fears by demonstrating ways they can retire at their desired age.
No matter what generation you’re trying to capture, it’s essential to tailor your message to the audience. One of the best ways to do this is by creating buyer personas for each type of client you want to land and use them as your “North Star” for all communications.
2. Provide a polished digital experience
“Build it and they will come” doesn’t work for Millennials. You need to meet them where they are—and where they are is online. According to one study, most Millennials have yet to seek professional financial advice, but many have turned to resources online during a major life event.7
Putting in the effort to enhance and update platforms Millennials use the most, like your mobile presence, is crucial. Whether you use an app or a mobile website, make sure the experience is pleasant, easy to access, and incorporates visuals (photos, videos, data visualization) to increase engagement.
Additionally, offering financial wellness technology to provide a quick, holistic view of their financial life is a low-touch way of giving Millennials exactly what they crave: on-demand access, aggregated views of their financial assets, and a commitment to staying in front of tech trends.
There are many reasons to create a seamless digital experience, but above all, it helps you better communicate your key messages to potential clients.
3. Build trust and authority by being an educator
Talking about money doesn’t come easily to Millennials. One study found that over half of Millennials surveyed felt anxious thinking about or discussing their financial situation.8
Remember, this generation witnessed two of the most significant recessions in modern times and may have seen their parents lose a sizeable portion of their worth. Trust doesn’t come easily to this group.
You need to prove your value to Millennials—not just by telling them what to do, but by committing to be their financial partner and educator.
An omnichannel content marketing strategy is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this. It shows a commitment to educating prospects without expecting anything in return and provides a sample of the unique value you can provide. It’s also one of the best ways to reach prospects when they’re the most likely to engage with a professional: during a time of need.
4. Be authentic
Marketing to Millennials hinges on striking the balance between brand authenticity and brand authority. One survey of over 2,000 people discovered the 90 percent of Millennials value authenticity in brands and businesses.9 Being authentic—both online and offline—can help you gain traction with a generation that’s naturally skeptical.
There are many ways to capture authenticity in the digital space, including personalizing your communications and building a personable social media presence. Show who you are as a person. Highlight what motivates you to help people every day—not just your expertise as an advisor, but who you are and why you want your clients to reach their financial goals. Being open, genuine, and honest with your Millennial prospects will go a long way.
5. Keep your messaging simple
Millennials are used to finding most of the information they need through a quick Google search. Financial planning is a complex process that’s best done under the guidance of a professional, but Millennials have notoriously short attention spans. Convenience is king.
The solution? Keep your message simple—especially when trying to acquire leads. Conveying your expertise through jargon or lengthy communications won’t resonate. This generation craves authenticity and has a lack of trust in traditional financial institutions.10
Speak to them how they want to be spoken to. Keep the language casual and your explanations simple. Make your communications “bite-sized” and easily digestible without sacrificing value.
Incorporating these practices into your business not only shows that you understand what’s important to Millennials, but that you’re also willing to continually adapt to generational changes. Download our latest eBook, “The Financial Advisor’s Marketing Guide to Digital Content and Campaigns,” for more information about putting these tips into action.
1. Kurz, Christopher, Geng Li, and Daniel J. Vine. “Are Millennials Different?,” Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-080. Washington: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. https://doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2018.080
2. Plepler, Andrew. “Better Money Habits Millennial Report: Winter 2020.” Bank of America, 2020. https://about.bankofamerica.com/assets/pdf/2020-bmh-millennial-report.pdf
3. Cerulli Associates. “The Great Wealth Transfer.” Cerulli Associates, 2018. https://info.cerulli.com/HNW-Transfer-of-Wealth-Cerulli.html
4. Bolognesi, Andrea, Andrea Hasler, and Annamaria Lusardi. “Millennials and Money: Financial Preparedness and Money Management Practices before COVID-19.” Research Dialogue, no. 167, 2020: 1–31.
5. Bolognesi, 15.
6. Plepler, 12.
7. Lusardi, Annamaria, and Andrea Hasler. “Millennials’ Engagement with Online Financial Education Resources and Tools: New Survey Insights and Recommendations.” Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GLEC), 2019. https://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Millennial-Engagement-with-Online-Financial-Education-Resources_FINAL.pdf?x93521
8. Bolognesi, 6.
9. “2017 Consumer Content Report: Influence In The Digital Age.” Stackla, 2017. https://stackla.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Stackla-Data-Report-FINAL.compressed.pdf
10. Bolognesi, 9.
DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.
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