Engaging the Specific Segments of Millennials

July 25, 2016: Laura Andersen, Lead Financial Marketing Strategist

This post was co-authored by Sabrina Carcone, account manager at Ariad Communications. Ariad is Bluespire’s sister agency. Originally posted on the Ariad blog.

No matter the industry, marketers have their eyes on Millennials, a group that is projected to encompass 50% of the global workforce by 2020. Millennials are engaged, demanding, tech-savvy, and connected—pressuring companies to evolve and adapt, especially in the digital space.

To successfully speak their language, marketers need to recognize Millennials are not a “one size fits all” bunch. Within the loosely defined age window (18 to 34), there is a significant amount of psychographic, demographic and sociographic factors—all of which should play a role in defining target audiences and identifying the proper marketing strategy.

Millennials have been a hot topic particularly within the financial services industry. Viewing and categorizing them as one broad, homogeneous group does not provide an accurate assessment and can lead to missed opportunities. For example, in a recent Shullman Research Center survey, Millennials were asked if “meeting daily living expenses” was a main financial goal. The results:
  • Six of 10 Millennials in the 18-24 age group said it was a main financial goal
  • Four of 10 Millennials in the 25-29 age group said it was a main financial goal
  • Five of 10 Millennials in the 30-34 age group said it was a main financial goal
This pattern was repeated for goals like “improving standard of living” and “becoming financially independent.” And it makes sense. The youngest group is fresh out of school or just embarking on a career. They likely carry large student loan debt and are earning entry-level pay while being out on their own (sometimes for the first time). As we approach the “older” Millennials, the realities of adult life set in and priorities shift. They are likely experiencing life-changing, major events like getting married, buying a home or having children.

It’s only one small example that illustrates the interesting segments that incorporate the Millennial generation. Financial priorities shift and change, and distinct characteristics emerge for each age group. Put more simply, a 23-year-old has different wants and needs than a 33-year-old. Their banking relationships may also be quite different. But many marketers are making the mistake of grouping these segments together, expecting them to react to the same broad marketing messages in the same way.

The spending power of Millennials is enormous (projected to hold $200 billion by 2017) and the individuals that fall under the label should not be targeted all the same way. To create meaningful engagements, break them down into smaller sub-segments and tailor messages that will resonate with them. Defining the various sub-segments that exist and analyzing data will allow for a deeper understanding of individual wants and needs.

Reaching out to and gaining the trust of Millennials is essential to your long-term survival. Brands that can begin to build loyal, engaging relationships will win a larger share of spending power in the future.

Check out our “Ask a Millennial” webinar recording for more insights on financial planning, experience preferences and more. 

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