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Why Finance Brands Need to Inspire & Empower Millennials Now

Via AMA : For financial services brands, millennials are an increasingly important audience, but these digital natives are causing many marketers to rethink their strategies. While they are very savvy when it comes to technology, research suggests that millennials are behind the curve on planning for their financial futures and wary of traditional financial institutions.

Make no mistake, millennials are hungry for financial information. Money issues rank highest among concerns that millennials face today, and our research found 45% are looking for resources, people, and books to help them get through a financial situation. However, millennials still aren’t finding what they need — 37% say there are few resources to educate them online about financial topics.

Finance brands are challenged with not only identifying ad messages that will resonate, but the right way to share them with this audience. There is some ground to make up; 71% of millennials say they would rather go to the dentist than listen to what banks are saying. What’s more, millennials are the most marketing-savvy generation, so they’re less likely to be impacted by traditional advertising. Ads need to be more personal, map back to the brand’s promise, and be contextual across screens —especially mobile — to reach this audience. Financial brands also need to adopt a more authentic, relatable approach and messaging as part of their marketing strategy to build trust with millennials, and help educate and empower this group to build a more secure financial future. With that in mind, here are some tactics to consider.

Appeal to emotion. Our research found that millennials value success, happiness, curiosity, enjoyment and passion, and this drives how they engage with content. Financial brands should map back to one or more of these qualities when connecting with millennials. And don’t be afraid to put some humor into it! Comedy is the most watched genre online among millennials and speaks to their values.

Help them discover & learn. It’s important to speak to millennials in their language and be a trusted source for information to help your ads resonate. Finance marketers have a real opportunity to help millennials understand exactly how to manage their finances and build their wealth. For example, marketers can leverage content marketing to share expert-authored stories or videos that provide realistic how-tos for paying off debt and saving for the future.

Multi-platform matters. 72% of millennials in our study​ said they want to connect to news across all devices. It’s critical for your advertising to reach them no matter what device they’re using. Think about the environment where they’re consuming content and leverage different formats — video, images, gifs, and text — to match it.

While they may be the generation most open to advertising, millennials have a unique set of values and needs. They’re looking for cross-platform personalization with an emotional connection and pay-off. Financial marketers need to evaluate and tailor ad strategies accordingly, and ensure they’re providing value, education, and resources to millennials through their content to attract new customers and build loyalty.​

Chris Maccaro
Chris Maccaro is the Vice President of U.S. Field Sales, Yahoo.

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