This quote comes from a study LinkedIn recently released explaining the behavior and mindset of Affluent Millennials, which it defines as those born between 1981 and 1997 and own investable assets in excess of $100,000.
So in case you missed it from the quote above, there are 15.5 M-I-L-L-I-O-N of them in America and they are ripe and ready to take control of their financial future.
So first I want to summarize the study then I’ll get into the challenges that all this new money presents. I’ll wrap up with what you should do with the information in order to engage this Millennial treasure trove.
The LinkedIn report is chock full of valuable statistics that you should definitely check out, but I’ll mention four of them here.
1.) “Affluent Millennials have the highest level of confidence in the future economic growth of their country...they believe the American Dream is definitely possible.” (Page 4 of the report)
Millennials are dreamers. As evidenced by the dramatic increase in ambition from the affluent of Generation X to the Affluent Millennials of Generation Y (page 5) they want to stand for something. For many, that something is the American Dream. And they have faith that they can and will achieve it.
2.) About half of Millennials want independence when it comes to their financial decisions (page 7).
Whether that’s due to the overall unstable economy over the past number of years or something else, they want to know that they hold the power to do what they want with their assets.
3.) 37% of Affluent Millennials consider financial advisors a “must-have” and another 50% consider them a “nice-to-have” (page 8).
Despite their cry for independence, Affluent Millennials understand the value of an advisor that can guide them in their journey. “They want guided independence, expert advice to help them make smart decisions.” (Page 8)
4.) Affluent Millennials are nearly TWICE as likely to remain “very loyal” to their financial institutions as their affluent predecessors (page 9).
When they pick an organization to work with, they stick with them. In other words, they have a high lifetime value.
So what about the way they think? What are they looking for?
I’m so glad you asked.
Pages 10-12 of the report can be summed up in the following statement:
Affluent Millennials turn straight to social media for guidance and advice as well as information about the financial institutions they’re thinking about working with including reviews, their mission, and their vision.
Social media is incredibly important to Millennials. If you don’t know, it serves as their news source, their connection to society, and their education. Basically, it’s their life source and for better or worse, that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Social media is where they will get to know you before they contact you. It’s where they’ll develop know, like, and trust with you and your organization. It’s where they’ll volunteer as your biggest advocate or your worst nightmare.
LinkedIn puts it like this:
“If financial services furnish content that’s personally relevant to Affluent Millennials’ financial needs, they will win – but only if they reach them in the context where they’re seeking this information: via social networks.”
Ok, now it’s time for the not-so-fun part: the challenges you’re going to face in the next 10 years or so.
As I’ve already mentioned, Affluent Millennials want to make their own decisions which means that you’re going to have to start thinking differently if you’re going to adapt and thrive.
The Wizard has come out from behind his curtain and the power has shifted into the hands of the consumer. Millennials know what they want and won’t hesitate to go elsewhere (page 8) if you can’t give them what they want.
Because of this, “they don’t see the same value in the brick-and-mortar institutions previous generations have trusted for decades. Instead, they put value in products and services that deliver the solutions they need along with the independence they crave...” (Page 13)
Another threat to financial institutions is the face that Millennials aren’t afraid to work with brands that are not your traditional financial service such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.
When you add that to their consistent loyalty you get a mass exodus.
So what can you do about it?
You have to find a way to engage the Affluent Millennial community if you want to continue in business beyond 2025 and you have to start now.
So you have two options:
- Give them what they want.
- Start a revolution to change the entire generation’s mindset.
I am only going to give advice on the first option. (If you choose option #2 then you’ll have to go elsewhere, sorry.)
This unique group places incredible importance on their own beliefs. So if you can stand behind them in their pursuit of the American dream and be there for them when they need you, you’ll reap the rewards.
Remember, they want guidance AND independence. And considering how loyal Millennials are, you want to be the one to give that to them.
You have to earn their trust now because if you don’t then Samsung Pay will get them first and forever.
Here’s the thing:
You can do this. There’s no reason why you couldn’t market to and earn your share of the Millennials. You know the industry; you know how things work. All you have to do is show them that you genuinely care about them and know how to guide them to success.
Which begs the last big question of the day, how do you accomplish this?
We have already established that they care deeply for social media. And what is the most engaging and sharable content on social media?
Videos, people! Millennials spend hours watching videos about all kinds of stuff. They love videos!
- More than three out of four take the time to follow their favorite brands on YouTube, the largest social video website.
- Eighty percent reported using video to perform initial research about companies before making a decision.
- Just about half said they were likely to read an online or email newsletter if it contained a video.
This is real and it works. Use video in your content marketing and you’ll start to see your blog traffic increase, your social posts get more shares, your emails get more click-trough’s, etc.
Put yourself or someone else who really cares about your clients on camera and tell me you don’t see a difference. I dare you.
The solution to all of the aforementioned challenges is to build a relationship with Affluent Millennials and video is their preferred medium.
If you still aren’t convinced video will work, talk to us and we’ll tell you what you can do with video.