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From the Mouth of a Millennial: Who We Are and Why We’re Important to Banks

Apr 21, 2016 4:10:00 PM

Bank of America recently released a report titled “Year-End Millennial Snapshot” discussing the financial attitudes and preferences of Millennials. Results from the survey found that Millennial financial attitudes are still influenced by a negative perception of the economy established from the Great Recession and influence from our parents and their financial relationships.

Before we launch into why Millennials are important, let’s identify the audience we’re talking about. Millennials were born between 1980-2000, and they tend to be:

  • Tech savvy
  • Digitally connected with family and friends
  • Attached to their mobile devices
  • Interested in learning more about financial health

Now we’ve identified Millennials as an audience, why are we important to your marketing strategy and business growth?

The Millennial generation is just at the beginning of making major financial choices (i.e., buying a home, buying our first ‘real’ car, refinancing student debt, etc.). By applying major marketing focus to our generation, you’re focusing on the generation who’s actively looking for a financial partner to provide services to us at a critical decision-making point of our lives. If you win us now, you’ll be well positioned to provide customized and thoughtful financial advice moving forward (and gain our loyalty in the process).

More than half of Millennials say that being prepared for financial changes is a priority for them right now, and we’re optimistic that we’ll be able to save and invest more money in the future. In fact, by 2017 Millennials will have more spending power than any other demographic...

Even though Millennials understand they have a bright future, we’re cautious that our financial position will, compared to our parents, be difficult. We’re concerned about our ability to:

  • afford to buy a house (43% of respondents)
  • save for retirement (42% of respondents)
  • support their desired lifestyle (39% of respondents)

And while we’re concerned with our financial future, when discussing specifics of our finances:

  • 67% are comfortable talking with their parents
  • 54% are comfortable talking with their siblings and/or significant others
  • 34% are comfortable talking finances with financial professionals

Building relationships and targeting Millennials should be priority, prove to us you know who we are and what we’re concerned about and you’ll find we could be your most profitable customers yet.

So how do you gain our attention?

LinkedIn and Ipsos recently conducted a study titled “Winning Affluent Millennials,” where a key takeaway details that if financial services providers furnish content that’s personally relevant to the financial needs of Millennials, in the context that we’re seeking the information (aka social networks), those financial service providers will win.

Three of the five unique factors Millennials look at while evaluating a potential financial service provider include:

  1. Social Content
    39 percent of Affluent Millennials consider social networks a “Must-have” feature for financial service providers.
  2. Influence
    92 percent of Millennials are looking for thought-leadership insights on their social networks compared to 43 percent of GenXers.
  3. Social Presence
    We are twice as likely as GenXers to seek out  financial advice on social networks.

The other two unique factors are relationship and purpose. Millennials tend to ask, Does the provider already have a relationship with me or someone I trust? Do I resonate with the provider’s mission and core values?

In addition to these five factors, we know that Millennials are tech-savvy and hyper-focused on being connected to their family and friends and pretty much every other aspect of their life, including finances. Keep in mind that we’re looking for providers who are offering the technology tools we need to take action on the financial advice we receive.

Discovering the best ways to attract and retain Millennial account holders now will provide invaluable as the future progresses. Millennials who are now parents show a proactive financial approach to teaching their own children about smart financial decisions. 43 percent of Millennials believe that parents should start teaching their kids about good financial habits before the age of 10. Gaining relationships with Millennials also could mean securing relationships with future generations as well.

For more information on how to attract Millennials, read “Winning Millennials, Gen X and Boomers in a Digital World.”

Resources:

  1. “Bank of America Year-End Millennial Snapshot”  http://newsroom.bankofamerica.com/files/doc_library/additional/2015_Millennial_Snapshot_White_Paper.pdf
  2. Infographic: “Millennials Coming of Age” http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennials/
  3. “Winning Affluent Millennials” https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/marketing-solutions/global/en_US/campaigns/pdfs/affluent-millennial-research-whitepaper-eng-us.pdf
Alyssa Call

Written by Alyssa Call

Media Strategist at MX. Alyssa currently directs the PR, social, and communications efforts at MX. If she’s not at the office, she’s riding her horse Princeton.

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