As director of marketing, Matt oversees the breadth of go-to-market initiatives for Advicent, including product marketing, lead generation, and public relations. Drawing from a nearly decade-long background at Advicent, Matt works closely with the sales, product development, and executive teams to successfully align Advicent products with the evolving business needs of the financial services industry.
Have you noticed how there seems to be a few recurring themes when it comes to targeting younger clients, specifically the infamous “Millennials?” Normally, when reading about Millennials, the generation is either identified as young, phone-obsessed, and vain or they are portrayed as distrustful of institutions and job hoppers.
It might be time to consider making a distinction when talking about Millennials. As New York Magazine points out, Millennials appear to be splitting themselves into two categories: "Old Millennials" and "Young Millennials." This struck a chord with me because I would also consider myself and "Old Millennial." While I generally like technology, I am not married to it. It is not a challenge to me to set aside my phone or ignore Facebook.
Even still, I do value technology when it comes to gathering information and decision making. This is why when I read an article from Financial Planning it hit home with me. The article points out that Millennials eventually will compromise 44 percent of the economy, but are generally less trusting than other generations.
Building relationships with Millennials
I would argue that in order to build trust with Millennials, you need to be transparent and available for explanation. This does not mean face-to-face meetings and hand-holding; it means digital enablement and experience. Younger generations that have grown up around the internet expect to be able to do research and combine data sources online. There is a reason why Amazon continues to put brick-and mortar-retailers out of business. Shoppers can go online, research available products, browse reviews, and see the benefits all in a couple of minutes and clicks on a website.
Advisors now have the ability to provide this style service as well. By making your website a source for information and digital interaction, advisors can meet new prospective clients and start building relationships. Account aggregation and personal financial management, as part of a financial plan, can act as informative, data-driven experiences that build trust between the client and advisor. The benefit of an advisor’s strategies can be easily seen online through a client portal through increased net worth, goal coverage, and personal financial awareness.
I do not believe that Millennials are some great mystery waiting to be unlocked. There are tools that financial advisors can utilize right now to make Millennials an integral part of their business; all it takes is a willingness to embrace information and technology.
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