Marketers have been talking about the importance of Millennials as a coveted “segment” or “target audience” for years. But Millennials aren’t just a single demographic segment. They are the market. And a lot of them aren’t living in their parent’s basement (despite what the mainstream media might say). In fact, there is a subset of Millennials that should be attracting the interest of nearly every marketer today: Affluent Millennials.
There are almost 16 million Affluent Millennials in the US who have more than $100,000 in investable assets. They are truly the cream of the Millennial crop, building successful careers as they begin to transition into momentous life events — marriage, home ownership and family. While they are bigger savers than the generation before them, they are also becoming bigger spenders, laying out more than $2 trillion on products and services that fit their lifestyle.
Their success has made them an inspiration to other Millennials. But they are skeptical, with an inherent distrust of large corporate organizations — particularly banks and other financial institutions. Once they are satisfied, however, they become extremely loyal and can be powerful advocates for brands, including banking brands. This is a market that is ripe for relationship building, as they can be a powerful and profitable customer for life.
When it comes to attracting Millennials to your financial institution, you cannot simply lump them all together in one profile. What really differentiates the Affluent Millennials from others is their stage in life, not just their investable income. Financial institutions can show their relevance and value by customizing their offerings. They are living the life all Millennials aspire to, and if you can get them to engage with you — and believe in you — you’ll have a loyal customer and advocate that will impact your brand on their own and as an inspiration to others.
1. They Want Everything Personalized
When it comes time for advice and solutions, this group wants things that are highly customized and extremely relevant to them personally. They want content that is targeted to them as individuals. “U” by BT&T is one bank that delivers personalized dashboards and robust digital financial management solutions. This kind of solution lets the users tailor it to their own needs. If they can make it their own, they will be loyal and devoted.
2. They Put Their Money Where Their Values Are
Unlike any generation before them, they are values-driven and are highly motivated by companies that are clear about who they are and what they stand for. The values of this generation are deeper and more meaningful — transparent, honest, charitable, responsible, collaborative, authentic. They aren’t interested in just buying. They are seeking to “buy into” shared ideals and bigger ideas. In marketing and advertising, this is where the pack separates. Communicating the values you share is the first step to breaking down barriers. Don’t talk about product and service features and benefits. Talk about why you do what you do, why it’s important, and what that means to you as an organization. BECU, one of the country’s largest credit union’s talks about its local focus. They talk about helping people, not making profits.
3. They Are Financially Confident
Affluent Millennials have had financial success and understand the value of money and how financial planning and money management works. They want and insist on greater involvement and control in their financial decisions. As a financial marketer, it is important to recognize and respect their financial abilities and to empower their financial decisions. MotifInvesting.com is a great example of how a financial company empowers Millennials to make investment decisions based on personal beliefs and insights. Providing access to savvy financial advisors, or engaging them with DIY structured products are other ways to tap into their financial prowess.
4. They Are Socially Connected
As to be expected, Affluent Millennials are highly connected socially. They use social networks to both activate and guide their decision-making process. Financial institutions should be leveraging social networks as a channel to deliver content and to begin consumer engagement. Simple ideas might include easily digestible, sharable financial content, aggregating customer review information, and creating online communities around areas of interest (investing, home buying, saving, etc). Ally Bank does this very well, with its #SplurgeAlert notices that save consumers from impulse buys by demonstrating easy ways to save. It has lots of content tailored to social media, and provides a wealth of information and resources that are easily sharable on social media.
5. They Have An Entrepreneurial Spirit
Born out of a high degree of self-confidence, 27% of Affluent Millennials are self-employed, and another 54% plan to start their own business. As a whole, they are seven times more likely than other generations to have a business loan. Telling stories that show how entrepreneurial ideas are born (like this) and how young entrepreneurs build business (like this) inspires this generation to think of their own ambitions. How well you tell those stories can make a lasting impact on this audience. Appealing to this entrepreneurial spirit by asking for their participation to co-create products or services is a great way to get them engaged.