Marketing to Millennials: A Guide for Financial Advisors
As Millennials (age 26-41) step into financial independence, they are facing high rent and housing costs, rising inflation, student loan debt, and a difficult job market.
It’s an anxious time, especially for Millennials who remember the effects of the 2008 Financial Crisis. According to an Advisor Authority survey from Nationwide, while older generations are more pessimistic about their ability to protect their finances through another recession, 56% of Millennials are confident they can take another recession in stride.
Even younger millennials, who perhaps have not had to personally navigate financial crises, but watched their parents or older siblings lose jobs, feel the consequences, and experience the pandemic recession of 2020.
These circumstances have made this generation more financially conscious. In the face of another looming recession, they can apply the lessons they learned from those experiences to their relationship with money, investing and financial planning.
Millennial Financial Planning
Millennials are more financially confident than previous generations were at their age, according to the 2022 Investopedia Financial Literacy Survey. However, despite their easy access to scores of financial information, very few feel knowledgeable enough about various financial topics, like:
- Investing in stocks
- Establishing a budget
- Building retirement and emergency savings
- Managing debt
These tech-savvy young adults are only at the beginning of their financial journeys, and amidst all of the financial information online, it’s difficult for them to know what to look for or who to trust.
Attracting Young Clients
While younger clients value robo-advisors for easy money-managing tasks, a Vanguard Survey shows that human advisors are still preferred for trustworthy personal advice.
Financial advisors who hope to attract and serve younger clients should still offer traditional touchpoints with their clients while also leveraging technology to complete tasks like administrative paperwork, portfolio management, and scheduling.
Given how #financialadvice and #investing hashtags have amassed billions of views on social platforms, financial advisors should use this evidence in their marketing efforts and develop a digital presence.
Build a Digital Marketing Strategy
If you want to capture Millennial’s attention, you have to be where they are looking: online.
This generation is particularly drawn to platforms that use video content for sound financial information that is easily consumed. Including this kind of content in your marketing strategy will build trust. The most important factor in doing so is understanding that you aren’t trying to sell to them, but rather guide them to you by presenting valuable information.
You can use social media as a forum to explain why human advice is so crucial, as well as to provide examples of how to separate the experts from the amateurs. Building trust with that social audience will ultimately encourage clients to contact you and initiate a relationship.
Incorporate the following digital strategies for more exposure to your brand and deliberate interaction:
- Establish a digital presence
- Leverage online reviews
- Create and share online content regularly
- Expand your reach outside of your local area
Tailor the Value You Provide
Once you’re contacted, provide value that is specific to the Millennial generation, such as educating them on different types of planning, including:
- Life-stage planning: Buying a house, preparing childrens’ college funds, growing a family
- Value-based planning: Basing financial priorities on individual belief systems, like ESG and customized impact investing
- Total well-being planning: Producing a financial management strategy for long-term success
Once you’ve made a genuine connection, you’ll have a better idea of the client’s priorities and goals. Then, you can offer personalized support, which young clients consider incredibly valuable.
Support with AdvisorTech
Millennials have come to expect a seamless digital experience in practically every area of their lives. They especially want convenience and instant access to their financial data. This is so important to them, in fact, that industry reports show nearly 40% of NextGen clients would leave their financial advisor if they did not offer sufficient tech services.
While one-on-one human support is still crucial to a financial advisor’s success, the number one thing Millennials are looking for is a superior user experience.
Client portals can give financial advisors a competitive advantage over firms that haven’t embraced these tools. However, simply providing a client portal isn’t enough. Your tech should offer in-demand features and functions paired with a client experience that adds value and improves efficiency.
In general your client portal should be able to:
- Offer a bird’s eye view of the entire portfolio
- Track ongoing asset growth
- Send and share documents
Your clients may have additional expectations. Being able to address them with the tools and solutions you provide can help you stand out and give clients a reason to continue using your services because they’re more tailored to their needs.
Research from D.A. Davidson & Co. shows that nearly half of millennials surveyed who do not work with an advisor are planning or considering working with one soon. This presents an incredible opportunity for financial professionals to get a head start on cultivating relationships with these potential clients.
Stay on top of trends related to these generations’ financial circumstances, priorities and goals, but also invest in the next generation-tech that helps you redefine the client/advisor relationship.
Singh, M. (2023). The 2007–2008 Financial Crisis in Review. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/economics/09/financial-crisis-review.asp
Busting Stereotypes: Millennials Take Control of their Finances. (2022, May 10). Nationwide. Retrieved April 24, 2023, from https://news.nationwide.com/051022-millennials-take-control-of-their-finances/
Wrenn, S. (2022). Top Financial Literacy Education Gaps Across Generations. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/financial-literacy-survey-5223919
Robo or human advice? Investors want both in one place. (n.d.). https://advisors.vanguard.com/insights/article/roboorhumanadviceinvestorswantbothinone
Study Shows Opportunity for Advisors Amid Inflation, Volatility | ThinkAdvisor. (2022, February 10). ThinkAdvisor. https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/02/10/study-shows-opportunity-for-advisors-amid-inflation-volatility/
Designing the Digital Wealth Management Client Experience | Dow Jones. (n.d.). https://visit.dowjones.com/newswires/content/celent-digital-wealth-management/
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