Understanding Strategic Investment Marketing to Millennials

A critical component any successful investment management business must have is a deep understanding of how their client demographics change over the long-term. This depth of understanding allows for evolving investment marketing strategies to adapt to and prepare for as different of target markets and client audiences as possible. In the current investment marketing landscape, it is not just trends and future developments – things that one cannot control – that help investment companies secure new business and stay positioned for future growth. Investment marketing must take into account changes in technology and investment desires as well.

For many investment firms and asset managers, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the differences in both functional and emotional needs of millennials. Millennials are already one of the largest demographics, and as they age, their income potentials and purchasing power will grow. Alongside these trends, the needs and investment goals of this demographic might not be what the typical financial advisor or investment advisory firm might expect. After all, many are predicting the Millennial demographic will completely disrupt what have been generally regarded as social and consumption trends.

Why Millennials?

Let’s look at the data and explore why the millennial demographic and buyer persona can’t be overlooked.

  • There are 80 million+ Millennials in the US¹
  • By 2025, 75% of the American workforce will be Millennials¹
  • An estimated wealth transfer of $30 Trillion over next few decades
  • Yet 77% of Millennials do not have a financial advisor¹

In essence, there are massive growth opportunities for money managers and financial professionals who choose to fine-tune their millennial investment marketing strategies. Millennials will not stay on the fringes, investing as retail investors jumping into the 1st robo-advised account they find, for long. They will also become high net worth investors (HNWI), business owners, and even institutional portfolio allocation managers. For investment managers looking to tap into this burgeoning and lucrative target market, it is critical to develop an investment communication and financial branding strategy that will be reflective of the needs and wants of these new types of investors.

Driving Investment Action with Millennials

To drive action with Millennials, the key is to build trust in your financial investment options. Though overall trust of the financial sector is slowly increasing, it is still at an near all-time low due to the financial crisis of the Great Recession as well as the various scandals that have dominated the news in the years to come. To earn back that trust, the financial industry needs to score points among millennials by making them a priority. There are ways that investment branding strategies can build trust with this demographic, including:

  • Authentic communication
  • Purpose-driven investing
  • Impactful financial design and user experience
  • User-centric educational investment marketing materials

These factors are why we believe ESG investments, or environmental sustainability and governance investing, are poised for further growth. ESG investing of course is not new as a concept, but it has grown considerably over the years as millennial interest has led to asset inflows.

Today there are over 1,000 investment funds and $2.6 trillion in assets incorporating ESG investment criteria². 86% of millennials say they would be motivated to invest in companies that make the world a better place.1 And even more interestingly to both fund managers and investment marketers, 74% said they would be more willing to stomach the fluctuations in the markets if they knew their investments were having a positive impact on the world.1 This type of information is priceless to both the marketing efforts of institutional asset managers looking to increase their AUM through targeted investment marketing and financial advisors looking to gain a foothold with the Millennial demographic.

How to Engage Millennials with your Investment Marketing Materials

Whatever type of investment options you offer, your investors’ trust in you will hinge upon the effectiveness of your investment brand strategy. Your brand is going to be representative of their first impression or interaction with your company. Stodgy marketing materials, clumsy or boring website experiences, or outdated design elements are just some of the major turn-offs to Millennials. Millennials are looking for excellent app experiences, beautiful websites, and marketing materials that communicate to their needs. Great design, even in the financial services space, is essential, even if it is not something that finance has been known for. Since 1998 however, MBC Strategic has been working to change that narrative, and has received accolated for its work with a number of recognizable financial brands.

When looking at all the most successful financial companies and banking apps used by millennials, it becomes clear that intuitive and pleasing investment design is important. Some good indicators of a modern, fresh design include:

  • A mobile-optimized responsive financial website
  • Investment marketing materials created on professional-design programs with the lens of an overarching brand
  • The consistent and imaginative use of branded fonts, imagery and colors across financial marketing materials
  • Clean, easy to discern layouts across investment marketing content

To see more tips of how to build a great, millennial-engaging financial marketing website, click here.

Engaging Through Financial Content Marketing

Last, but not least, is financial educational content. The general state of public investor knowledge has been woeful for years, if not decades. Many investment managers likely have clients that even today would want to get out of the market when their investments lose value – as shown in the market’s drop just a week ago. Many millennials treat the markets in the exact same way.

Among Millennials, 83% of individuals try to take active roles in managing their finances. Even so, few actually believe they are in control of their finances.1 What does this mean? Investment management firms have an excellent opportunity to educate clients on how their investments work and to provide value-add content for their clientele through investment marketing and communication efforts focused on millennial investment education.

This value-add content should stay within the investment marketing space but educate clients on things like how to diversify their portfolio or how to benefit from tax-loss harvesting. Millennial investors crave reliable, trustworthy financial content marketing. And while creating content is only one part of the process, marketing any investment materials, whether through email marketing or social media advertising, is just as important. Today more than ever, there are an increasing number of outlets to explore. New avenues, social media apps, and personal finance-oriented forums pop up seemingly every day.

While all of this can be overwhelming, working with a financial branding and marketing firm specializing in investment and financial branding and marketing strategies can be extremely advantageous. Even though millennials are soon to be one of the most critical market demographics, most investment companies have near-to no experience engaging and serving this audience. Investment marketing specialists can help reposition your brand to be more attractive to the burgeoning millennial market without isolating or straying from their current investors. They can even help direct the wealth transfer of your clients and retain those assets, rather than having to attract new investors.

If you’re interested to learn more about how investment branding plays an important role in asset managers’ growth, click here.

  1. Wells Fargo, Millenials, Money and Happiness Factor
  2. US SIF, Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment