Millennials, the roughly 80 million 12-34 year old Americans that grew up immersed in technology and who are about to become the recipients of the greatest transfer of wealth in history, have recently surpassed the baby boomers as our largest living generation. They are expected to continue to grow through immigration, until peaking in 2036,
As a group, according to research completed by Accenture in 2013, they are more conservative and less trusting of financial advisors than previous generations,
However, as part of the valuable “Generation D”- the 75 million digitally savvy U.S. investors with high-incomes, assets, and education; who control approximately $27 trillion in total assets – the millennials can no longer be ignored by financial planning firms.
There is no question that the Millennial group is different and will require an updated marketing plan to attract. They like to multitask, have shorter attention spans, and have greater access to outside information and references – which they will use in making big decisions.
This is not to say that there is not a huge opportunity for advisors interested in working with this group – millennials are more interested than other groups in mastering investment strategy, and in building and passing along wealth to their families. However, planners interested in attracting millennial clients will have show to a willingness to move away from, or expand on, traditional marketing techniques.
Marketing to Millennials
Millennials want to get to know you BEFORE contacting you – not in an introductory “get to know you” meeting. By the time they contact you, they will have done a significant amount of research on you using their social networks and other online tools. One of your goals as a marketer is to make “getting to know you” easier for them.
In addition, the survey revealed pent up demand for investor educational resources, and easier advisor access. By creating an active, transparent, and educational presence online – website, blog, video, social media, newsletter – you can answer their questions while narrowing the existing trust gap.
- They have grown up doing business online, and prefer the convenience and accessibility of online transactions when available, often including video meetings instead of face-to-face.
- They dislike complexity, and value simple visuals over lengthy instructions. Design your website and materials to be easily skimmed, with visuals when appropriate.
- They have easy access to financial planners across the country,your competition, so they expect a high level of customer service, including quick and easy access to information and answers to their questions.
Develop an online presence built around educational material that is shared on your website and blog and through various social media platforms. Be active on social media, sharing original content and other relevant information, and responding to questions or comments thoughtfully and in a reasonable time frame. Have you considered having an app developed?
Offer as much of your service online as possible – self scheduling of appointments, live chat, video conferencing, etc. Respond to your email or texts (often their preferred means of communication) in a timely manner – use auto generated messages to notify contacts if you will be delayed in responding more than a day.
This is not to suggest that you should be available 24/7, but you may have to establish and communicate a reasonable contact policy to your clients.
Good luck with your millennial marketing! What experiences have you had with millennial clients? As always questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October of 2013, but has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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