Whatever one’s sentiment is about millennials, their influence on the country is undeniable. And now, they now make up the majority of the workforce.
According to Pew Research, 56 million millennials are in the labor market, compared to 53 million Generation Xers, 41 million baby boomers, and 9 million post-millennials.
Now that millennials rule the roost, and Generation Xers and baby boomer contingents will continue diminishing, financial institutions would be wise to rethink their strategies to appeal to this ever-important demographic.
Here are a few ways companies can do so:
Make Paperless Options the Default
Offering paperless billing is hardly revolutionary, but many financial services companies make it a hassle and a half for consumers to select the option. Firms would be wise to segment their millennial customers and have paperless billing be the default. This can be communicated through an engaging email, which at the same time gives paper-preferers the option to select mailed statements.
Develop an App with Great Functionality
Millennials grew up with technology in the palms of their hands, and as such, they value convenient and enjoyable online experiences. So, while it would seem obvious to offer user-friendly apps and intuitive web interfaces, not all financial institutions have come around to this fact. Instead, they offer clunky mobile applications and confusing web layouts. Nothing will chase a millennial away quicker than a bad first impression of online real estate.
Leverage User-Generated Content
The days are long gone when companies could appeal through one-size-fits-all messaging via mass platforms. Millennials trust the opinions of their friends, family and even strangers more than any company. User-generated content (UGC), in which real people share their views and experiences about products and services, holds much more appeal to younger audiences. This organic form of marketing is highly effective compared to advertorial corporate speak. Per Hubspot, 84 percent of millennials say UGC influences their purchasing decisions to some extent.
Speak to Their Values
Millennials are unique in that they care more about the environment and social responsibility. And while they may be burdened by debt, they don’t believe that holing up and saving every penny possible is the solution to their financial troubles. Rather, they want to enjoy their lives; particularly through experience-based spending, such as traveling. Companies need to reflect these sentiments in the advice they offer. If they communicate a rigid, conservative stance on how to manage money, they’re sure to lose attention spans.
Leverage Advanced Technologies to Solve Their Problems
Millennials were the first generation to face the exorbitant costs of college tuition, in an era where post-high school education became increasingly important. Many were also in the midst of their debt-saddling college experience or entering the workforce during the Great Recession. And while the economy rebounded, pre-recession wages didn’t, setting many people back in life.
If financial firms want to heighten their appeal, they’ll offer solutions that actually improve the lives of millennials. This means recommending different strategies, such as how to curb student loan debt or ways to practice purposeful spending. Thankfully, financial analytics tools from providers like ThoughtSpot have never been more helpful in serving granular customer insights and informing real-time decision-making within financial services companies.
Companies used to have success saying one thing while sneaking in other details. This is no longer the case with millennials commanding the bulk of consumer market preferences. Millennials value transparency more than any other quality when it comes to how brands communicate. Businesses that say one thing and do another will shoot themselves in the foot.
Run Social Sharing and Rewards Promotions
Millennials don’t respond to traditional mass advertising, but they do resonate with recommendations from real humans, especially those in their social network. Early on, Uber and Lyft grew their respective ride-sharing platforms almost exclusively on the heels of social sharing promotions. Since millennials are digital natives, copy/pasting a link to their friends or through a social network is about as effortless as it gets. Additionally, offering rewards via particular products is another surefire way to generate a buzz. For instance, look at the success of the Chase Sapphire card, which caters to millennial spending habits like dining out and traveling.
The fact that millennials now comprise the majority of working society certainly signifies a change in how financial firms, and most companies, need to tailor their offerings. However, for the most part, millennials make this straightforward; after all, they’re quite clear about what they want!