And while those sweeping generalisations may all be true, they’re just another segment of potential clients that you need to tailor how you market your business to.
One of the main challenges for advisers is how they adapt their business model to suit the different characteristics of millennials. Millennials are ‘digital natives’ – they’ve grown up with technology and it’s firmly embedded in their lifestyles. They’re highly active on social media – indeed this is one of their most popular forms of media and they’re comfortable turning to their social network for help making financial decisions. So you can’t just rely on the traditional forms of communication to reach this group – you need to be online and mobile interacting with this audience where they’re already active.
Millennials are more likely to self-educate, doing their own research and making their own choices when it comes to financial decisions. They want to get to know you BEFORE contacting you and by the time they do, they’ll have done a significant amount of research on you using their social networks and other online tools. One of your goals is to make ‘getting to know you’ easier for them.
You need to think differently about how to engage with millennials once you do reach them. Don’t just try to sell stuff to them – educate and engage them with content. Advocating the need for protection alone isn’t necessarily going to work - focusing on short-term goals is more likely to resonate with this audience as they are very goal-driven. Millennials work on their goals with passion and intensity. But be mindful that whereas older generations are largely content to follow the traditional life path of work, buy a home, marry, have children and retire, millennials have different plans. Less than half (43%) prioritise getting married and even fewer (36%) aim to have children*. Millennials don’t want to feel like just another consumer to you, they want you to understand and address their pain points and help them achieve their goals.
Millennials expect everything to work together, seamlessly! So think about your overall online customer experience as they’ll engage with your brand at many different touch points - your website, social media, online advertising and search. Does it all work together and present a joined up experience for potential clients? If not, they’re likely to go elsewhere.
Millennials have grown up doing business online, and prefer the convenience and accessibility of doing things online, such as online chat instead of face-to-face. So think about how you conduct your meetings and whether technology can come into play here. Even something as simple as having the ability to book an appointment with you online could make a real difference. Or integrate a chat service into your website to deal with simple enquiries – this will all make you come across as being much more tuned into their needs and being easier to do business with. And avoid lengthy, written instructions on your website – millennials much prefer simple visuals.
But as with any other segment, it’s dangerous to treat all millennials as one homogenous mass. Their birth years alone cover a span of almost 20 years with the general consensus being that if you were born in the early 80s up to the early 00s then you’re a millennial. Now that’s a pretty significant time period with numerous global events that will have shaped someone’s world view over the years. So personalisation is important. And that’s where financial advisers can really come into their own, offering a service that’s tailored to the individual and their needs – not something they can do that easily themselves by buying direct.
To get started on social media check out our guide. And why not follow us on twitter @RLprotection or connect with us on LinkedIn . We also have a range of marketing material to help you target millennials and other customer segments on our marketing studio – visit studio.royallondon.com to find out more.
*Source: Merrill Edge Report Spring 2017
Senior Protection Marketing Manager
Ross joined Royal London in May 2014 as Senior Protection Marketing Manager bringing with him 16 years’ experience in financial services. He has held various marketing roles during his career and has experience working across a number of markets including savings and investments, individual pensions, workplace pensions, platforms and most recently protection. He has a keen interest in behavioural economics and how this can be applied practically to change consumer behaviour in financial planning.