A few months ago, the HORNE Banking team put together one of our most widely read and shared posts of all time, entitled Hey, Community Banks. This is What Really Matters to Your Millennial Customers. In it, we cited research from the Pew Institute highlighting that the value and power of this group come somewhat from its size: “By 2020, it is estimated that one in three Americans will be labeled a Millennial – and by 2025, 75% of our workforce will be composed of Millennials.” We noted the importance of technology, social media and personalization for banks trying to engage a generation that has more members in the U.S. Labor Force and that is the most diverse, well educated and well informed in our history.
In late January, the research arm of Facebook released the report Millennials & Money: The Unfiltered Journey. Tapping into Facebook US audience data, conversation analysis and surveys, the report looks closely at working-age Millennials (ages 21–34). Marketers, trend watchers and consultants have grabbed hold of the data to verify or create strategies for engaging this incredibly high value market segment. Chances are better than not, you’ve seen all or part of it by now.
Below, we touch on the information that is likely to be most useful to your community bank. We also propose a few ways you can bridge the gap between reading the information and actually using it.
Rich in Finances and Poor in Education
In general, these individuals possess a tremendous amount of wealth. In 2015, they had a combined global spending power of $2.45 trillion, and 46% of individuals in the age group report a household income of $75k+, which categorizes them as affluent in census terms.
In ways, they are like the generation that raised them. They are fiscally mindful and intent on building their financial footing – 86% say they save money. And 54% of those people say they save simply because it is responsible.
Yet, the definition of financial footing is a bit unique in comparison to older demographics. Most of these individuals define financial success not as the amount of money they have but in the amount of debt they can eliminate. And they are 1.6X more likely than Gen Xers and Boomers to have no investments whatsoever. The reasons given? Trust and a lack of financial confidence.
Here’s where community banks become uniquely and truly useful.
These individuals are at a stage where they are making significant life decisions, and many are doing so saddled with educational debt. Consequently, 83% are actively seeking financial guidance for major life events. “Despite their heavy reliance on the internet for information, Millennials feel at a loss. Over half say they have no one to turn to for trusted financial advice and only 36% talk to their parents about money.” Can you spot the opportunity?
What you have before you is a massive, affluent, financially aware demographic that has extensive lifetime customer value and that is seeking what you do best. You have the opportunity to build relationships with these individuals as they are beginning their lives as financial decision makers. Transforming this opportunity into revenue requires that you treat each of these customers as an individual – not a market segment – so that you can build relationships on transparency, expertise, trust, and the specific mix of banking products and services they need to satisfy their life goals.
Once that foundation is in place, you can walk with them one life step, stage, and financial vehicle at a time.
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 How Trillion Dollar Millennials are Spending their Cash, YouBrand, 2016