Marketing to Millennials in the Finance Sector

Marketing to Millennials in the Finance Sector

Marketing in the finance sector is tough, largely due to tight regulations. But when targeting millennials, things get even tougher. So what are we dealing with? In this article, Contentworks Agency, the leading marketing agency for the finance sector, breaks it down.

The Background

Many millennials have financial concerns that stem from the effects of the 2008 financial crisis. And most of them are largely sceptical of financial companies as a result. Then there’s the fact that millennials are a generation with a huge amount of products and services at their fingertips. So, when they do choose to invest, use a credit card, take out a mortgage and so on – competition is fierce.

What many brands fail to realise is that for millennials, money is usually just a tool for supporting a required lifestyle. So, marketing becomes less about plugging a particular product or service and more about addressing needs and expectations while simultaneously building trust. With this in mind, here’s how to create effective marketing campaigns for millennials in the finance sector.

  1. Understand what makes millennial’s tick

Reaching millennial’s is relatively easy because they spend a lot of time online. Millennials spend an average of 5.7 hours a day on their phone, for instance. And 13% of 2000 millennials surveyed and 5% of boomers admitted to spending over 12-hours every day on their phones. Wow! Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, social media takes up the bulk of smartphone time with average daily Facebook use at over an hour and Instagram usage not far behind for the millennial generation.

millennials tick

The problem is, that millennials are often fickle with short attention spans. They’re constantly subjected to information and have multiple screens open at the same time.  Getting their attention is hard. But it’s important to know what makes millennials tick and act accordingly. 83% of millennials will switch their financial services provider for better rewards, offers, benefits and personalised services. Therefore, using the most relative data to deliver tailored services and content is an absolute must – just like MBNA below.

Why we like this campaign:

  • It gives back to consumers which millennials totally dig.
  • It’s celebrating an MBNA award without being ovely promotional. Instead, the community benefits.
  • It offers an experience which again, millennials prioritise.

Marketing Hacks

  • Know the lifestyle situation of millennials

This will help fuel your strategy.  For example, millennial debt has increased by 22% in the past five years to around $1 trillion and the generation wants to clear it. So by creating debt-related articles, giving useful takeaways and providing testimonials of others who have cleared their debt is a great way to pique interest. Consider running a how-to series with regular content tailored to your audience to fuel engagement.

  • Cater to interests and perspectives

Millennials want positive experiences and have strong beliefs. They want to travel, eat good food and support social and environmentally responsible causes, for instance. Effective campaigns tap into these elements that make millennials tick.

Revolut launched the Amazon Rainforest appeal campaign and managed to raise €200,000 in about five days. The campaign succeeded because it was tailored to appeal to millennials’ need for environmental sustainability and social responsibility.


Mastercard’s Priceless campaign has been running for over 22 years, but as the brand targets more millennial customers, it has been tweaked to relate to the generation. It focuses largely on pursuing opportunities and unique experiences, both of which millennials love.

By marketing to emotions and promoting quality experiences, Priceless has become one of the most-awarded campaigns. Mastercard has increased its volume by over 62%  to become one of the top 20 brands in the finance industry with a value of  $241 billion.

When creating personalised campaigns based on top interests, be sure to enrich the experience by considering the following:

  • Mobile video consumption is increasing 100% every year especially among millennials who watch over three hours of online video daily on mobile. 89% of millennials will watch online videos by 2020, so video content that’s optimised for mobile will make your campaigns more appealing. On average, Revolut gets 4.5x more engagement from video than non-video content.

Get professional video marketing services and make your campaigns memorable.

  • Gamification can enhance interaction with millennials whose gaming habits are a staple. The global gamification market is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2024 and now is an excellent time to join in. Examples of gamification include sharable quizzes and awards-based task completion. Fortune City, a gamified app with close to 82,000 downloads, makes tracking expenses fun and engagement easy by combining accounting with city simulation.

  1. Address millennial pain points

Millennials are complex. Only 24% of them are financially literate and most are sceptical of interaction with financial companies. 61% of affluent millennials feel that finance brands are lagging behind when it comes to using technology to personalise financial experiences and 70% feel that financial institutions make finance frustrating and confusing.

Additionally, although millennials are often labelled as having a sense of entitlement, 56% are unsatisfied with their current financial standing and feel they will only be able to achieve certain milestones like getting jobs, buying homes, starting families, and saving for retirement much later in life compared to previous generations. Marketing effectively to this generation requires addressing all these pain points.

Marketing Hacks

  • Address pain points by building loyalty

Actively addressing millennials’ pain points like monitoring and managing finances effectively is a good way to build loyalty among millennials.

For example, 42% of millennials are intimidated by investing and they do it conservatively but at least 25% of those who manage their investments digitally are more confident about continuing their investments. Mint, a free personal financial management and budgeting app, has captivated millennials and built loyalty by simplifying finance and investment for millennials through its digital financial advisory capabilities.

image of mint finance sector

  • Be transparent with your content marketing

Loyalty building also depends on transparency. 94% of millennials are likely to be loyal to a transparent brand and 50% are even willing to pay more for transparent products. Triodos, a leading commercial bank in the UK, continues to enjoy increasing consumer loyalty because it offers total transparency to its stakeholders and publishes details of every organisation it finances.

  • Make your brand more approachable

Transparency and authenticity can make your brand more approachable and less intimidating to millennials. By putting key team members at the forefront of your business, it makes you accountable for your product, services and brand as a whole. This is important considering that millennials struggle with trust issues.

Posting thought-leading articles to LinkedIn is a great place to start. Or how about creating a YouTube channel where you can post branded videos?

  • Don’t be overly pushy

When dealing with millennials, you want to build trust without getting on their nerves. To do this, give millennials space to show off what they are good at. Millennials are proud of the fact that they are the most educated generation and engaging them involves acknowledging this fact. 49% of millennials prefer to do their own financial research without help from advisors and 91% like forming their own commentary and opinions on financial matters before experts jump in.

Millennials are research-driven, so to gain their respect and loyalty you shouldn’t throw products and services at them. Treat them like the smart consumers they are and let them do their own independent research through content marketing that’s clever – not pushy or overly promotional.

80% of Twitter users are affluent Americans, for example. So, this is a great platform to draw in this audience. TIOMarkets regularly shares informative and inciteful posts directing followers to more detailed content.

image of finance sector AI

Why we like this campaign:

  • This type of technology-led post also appeals to millennials AKA, Digital Natives. They’ve grown up with tech and aren’t afraid of change in this area. In fact, millennials love the speed and convenience of innovations. 77% of consumers use AI-powered services and technologies that increase efficiency by 40% and 38% of consumers believe that AI will improve customer service.

Over to you

Once you break everything down and you gather the correct information, marketing to millennials becomes a challenging yet manageable task that can bring in big returns. Speak to the Contentworks team for a financial content marketing strategy that’s tailored to your specific millennial targeting needs and goals.


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