Updated September 25, 2023, at3:56 PM
As a member of the millennial generation, I’ll call it as I see it: millennial investors require special care from financial advisors.
Sure, my generation can get a bad rap sometimes. But we’re not that different from other generations. From baby boomers to Generation Z and millennials to Generation X, each cohort requires particular considerations to develop solid and long-lasting relationships that financial professionals crave.
It just comes down to the how behind those considerations. Just as boomers prefer more time when making decisions and Generation X appreciates added context, millennials have their fair share of inclinations when it comes to connecting with the companies they do business with.
So, how do financial advisors connect with millennials?
It turns out there are quite a few strategies to try that aren’t overcomplicated to allow your firm to show off its personality and voice to appeal to those millennials who want to make a real connection with you.
And with over $30 trillion pouring into millennials’ bank accounts through the Great Wealth Transfer, now’s the time to get ahead of the game and start securing more millennial clients. Here are six tried-and-true ways your financial planning firm can connect better with millennials.
Ways Financial Advisors Can Connect With Millennials
1. Understand what millennials value.
Often considered the world’s first “mobile generation,” millennials have grown up witnessing the dot com boom, the evolution of connectivity from measly dial-up to 5G technology, and the all-powerful smartphone (to name a few). And it’s not just millennials. All generations are getting more tech-savvy. But they’re a big reason why financial professionals should go mobile.
With that in mind, millennials are connected to society and hyperaware of issues and their shortcomings. Here are three fundamental values to focus your communications with millennials on:
- Sustainability: Millennials grew up conscious of society’s environmental impacts and are aware of the impacts products and businesses can have—for better or worse. Because of that, they tend to support businesses that practice sustainability. It can be as simple as using recycled materials in your office (or getting rid of paper altogether) or as big as hosting a community-wide Earth Day clean-up each year. Whatever you choose to do, highlight your firm’s role in supporting better business and environmental practices when you’re engaging millennials. Because even if they don’t ask for it, they’ll definitely take note.
- Research: Growing up with Google, millennials love search. In fact, they depend on it. Before making any decision, millennials will research their options extensively, examine online reviews, and rely on word-of-mouth before deciding on something. This is where SEO, digital marketing, and social engagement can make or break your firm’s success with this critical demographic.
- Value: Having witnessed the 2008 economic collapse, many under their parent’s roofs, millennials are rightfully wary about the volatility economies can invite and are reasonably frugal compared to some other generations. Focusing on saving money and finding the best value they can get, it’s essential to highlight the value and differentiators your firm can offer them compared to your competitors. But make sure you’re transparent and truthful—because afterward, they’re likely to search and find out if you were honest with them.
2. Focus on interactive content.
Let millennials play a role in your company’s content. This generation basically created the influencer craze you see today. So when they consume content, they don’t want to do it passively. Interactive quizzes, live videos or webinars, and giveaway contests are just a few tactics you can use to engage with millennials.
3. Don’t bother with outbound marketing.
Those direct mailers and radio ads may work on baby boomers, but you don’t have to waste money on that for millennials. Those forms of promotion don’t help millennials feel connected to your brand. Instead, most of them perceive these outbound tactics as self-serving and impersonal. So much so that only 1% of millennials say a compelling ad can build trust. Instead, focus on your inbound marketing funnel by using blog posts, YouTube videos, and social media marketing to grow trust.
4. Be personal, brief, and conversational.
We hear an awful lot about personalization in marketing these days, and again, we find ourselves thanking millennials for that. They value a personal approach where they feel like they’re part of the process. For example, millennials are more likely to click an email when their name is in the subject line.
Millennials don’t want to hear “word stew.” Or get bombarded by walls of text that sounds like an old-school robot regurgitating jargon. Their attention spans are short and they’re fond of keeping it casual. Have your materials aimed at millennials be brief and to the point, and don’t use business-speak or industry terminology. Keep it down to earth and relatable, and you’ll gain more trust.
5. Have them join your ranks.
Financial advice is a growing industry, but it’s also an aging one. And who else knows how to appeal to and engage millennials than millennials themselves? Hiring millennials and other young talents can help you understand their pain points and allow them to be a sounding board for your marketing ideas. Employees are your greatest assets, so don’t be afraid to utilize younger talent to help gain feedback on your strategic initiatives.
6. Show off your fun side.
With all their quirks, Millennials may have one that trumps them all: they love the experience. In fact, 72% of them prefer experiences over material items. Like when researching the financial advisor they’ll work with, millennials almost love the experience more than the choice itself. They’re after exclusive and memorable activities that they can point to and say, “I did that.”
Millennials want what they do to be seen as unique and personal. So whether you devise an interactive step-by-step onboarding process, send them free swag to wear and share, or offer a “selfie station” at your next client event, the best way to have millennials engage with your business is to engage with them first.