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B2B BECOMES MORE HUMAN:

Financial Gains: How to Target Millennials

By Sharon Greenwald, Copywriter, gyro New York

Having grown up with the Internet, millennials are naturally a bunch of self-sufficient do-it-yourselfers. While past generations have relied on financial advisers to help them invest their money, this younger group prefers a take-charge approach where they run the show – at least in the early stages of their careers.

As millennials increasingly enter the workforce, financial advisers want to reach this important and influential demographic. However, given this preference for a hands-off approach, advisers need to change their business model and practices if they are going to win over this new generation as long-term clients.

Gone are the days of face-to-face meetings. Millennials want relationships that are as convenient as possible. As you would expect, this technology-savvy group prefers communication via text messaging, videoconferencing, email, social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – you name it) and even blogging.

Given their penchant for all things digital, it should come as no surprise that millennials prefer to use software and online tools when investing, especially those who are just starting out. That’s why robo-advisers naturally appeal to these younger investors. Robo-advisers, which provide online portfolio management with minimal human intervention, could be an economically valuable tool when targeting this young group – especially at a time when they have low account balances but offer great potential as clients.

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According to Adam Nash, founder of Wealthfront, a leading robo-adviser, “Young people have been largely overlooked by the [financial advice] industry because it wasn’t economical to service them. Technology changes the debate because it can be economical to help young people with their money.”
Making Finance Humanly Relevant

The convenience of robo-advisers is a powerful draw, but it can never replace human interaction – especially once financial decisions become more complex. After all, there are tons of emotions attached to these decisions. And, of course, robo-advisers can never replace the human interaction desired when dealing with questions that have an emotional component.

That’s why it is best for advisers to work in tandem with robo-advisers to strengthen client relationships. The technology enables investors to conveniently check their portfolio and make transactions online. But supporting a family or planning for retirement are complicated financial undertakings that require thought and consideration – something machines simply can’t do and human advisers can. But don’t worry; machines aren’t taking over even for novice investors.

For millennials just starting out, a friendly voice of reassurance is often needed to invest with confidence. As beginners, they look to their financial adviser to not only help them build a solid foundation but also actually explain the nuances of investing. Unlike most generations before them, millennials aren’t well versed in looking beyond the now. It’s safe to say retirement isn’t the first thing on their mind. Still, being a generation that is very familiar with mentoring, they are receptive to this type of relationship based on guidance and trust.

No matter how much millennials prefer the use of technology and algorithms in the early stages of their career, advisers can count on them eventually wanting the reassurance of a person who can support them through the next stages of their life. The key is simply finding the right balance to offer the convenience and simplicity they seek today with the personal help they will inherently need as they progress throughout their financial lives.

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But don’t worry; machines aren’t taking over, even for novice investors.