The Millennial Opportunity: What it Takes to Influence Our Most Influential Generation and Their Financial Decisions
The millennial generation, made up of over 83 million people or nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, are now the largest living adult generation. These 21-to-37-year-olds spend over a trillion dollars annually. This creates a huge opportunity for financial institutions. Knowing what matters most to millennials when it comes to choosing a financial institution will help you understand what it takes to attract one of the most influential generations yet.
Top 5 Things That Matter Most
1. Millennials Seek Authenticity
Millennials expect organizations to listen, and meet their needs — or they will deflect to a competitor. In a world of almost limitless choices, financial institutions have a big stake in being relevant, which starts with being authentic. For organizations to succeed with the selfie generation, they can’t just make claims like, ‘We get it’ and ‘We care’. Organizations have to back up their claims.
2. Millennials Seek Connections With People and Brands
From the most influential to the most connected generation, millennials are native to the internet. They learned to type through AOL messenger, joined Facebook, and they remain even more connected today through social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.
When it comes to their peers, they leverage and engage their personal and professional social networks constantly. They are high-tech and hyper-connected. They desire connections with the people and the brands that are most important to them. As the most brand-loyal generation, they genuinely like to communicate to others what they like about a brand.
interact with brands they care about on social networks
have “liked” more than 20 brands on Facebook
believe they have a responsibility to share feedback with a brand about their experience
3. Millennials Seek Organizations With Purpose
We know that most people seek guidance for big financial decisions (yes, millennials do too!), but the majority ask their friends or search the web, rather than seeing a professional. With 24/7, easy access, the internet allows millennials to search for the most authentic voices (*wink wink* to above), and absorb only what they need and what speaks to them. That makes it crucial to for you meet them with messages and voices they can trust.
Most millennials will choose a financial institution that has a greater sense of purpose — focused on making a profit AND improving the world. One key example is Bank of America’s partnership with Khan Academy in creating a practical financial education resource that consumers could access on their own terms. They not only work with the consumer to meet their financial needs. They also provide a place for the consumer to educate themselves on topics such as better money habits, or other basics of finance.
use search engines to research products & services
use social networks to research products & services
expect companies to make a public commitment to causes and citizenship
4. Millennials Demand Mobility
No surprise, millennials are twice as likely to use their mobile devices to deposit checks, pay bills and transfer money. By giving them what they need at the tips of their fingers, you give them what they have grown accustomed to and expect.
While your organization likely has a mobile option, how far along are you in strengthening your mobile features and functionality? If your product or service is not fully- and easily-accessible, you will likely lose their loyalty and they will tell their social and professional networks about their experience with your brand.
5. Millennials Are Optimists
There’s no mistake when we say that millennials are STRESSED OUT. In fact, debt is their number one concern, with over 42% admitting it is overwhelming. They often feel confused and simply mismanage their finances. Yet, they remain optimistic about the future. Three-fourths even describe themselves as “very happy.”
Millennials show this optimism through their savvy handling of their income. More live with roommates or family than by themselves. And they tend to save money on necessities so they can buy the things they really want (like the latest smartphones, travel and experiences). And if they can’t find jobs, they take the opportunity to step out on their own, with over 60% considering themselves “entrepreneurs.”
Millennials have grown into the most connected — and the most brand loyal generation – with expected annual incomes to exceed 4 trillion by 2030. Meeting them where they are at now, building the trust they desire and gaining their loyalty will prove essential to your organization’s success.