Misunderstood Millennials: Have Financial Institutions Got it Wrong?

Millennials – those aged 18 to 34 years – have been the target of financial services providers for as long as they have been recognised as a category. To date, however, efforts to attract them have been largely unsuccessful. The causes for this have been explored in some depth, but as yet no real insights have been translated into a successful business strategy for financial institutions.

This survey of 1,001 UK Millennials conducted by Osterman Research found that financial institutions have been focusing their marketing efforts on the wrong segment of this demographic. Younger millennials – those aged 18 to 22 years – are not yet financially independent. A growing number of Millennials are living at home with their parents, many are still paying for education, and they are generally more concerned with entertainment and paying rent than in financial services. It’s only when Millennials reach 29 to 34 years that financial services become a necessity. This, combined with the fact that Millennials in this age group are becoming occupied with the “busy-ness” of life – such as advancing in their careers, purchasing homes and starting families – makes them a prime market for a variety of financial services.

 In short, financial institutions that market to younger Millennials are aiming their marketing efforts in the wrong place and to the wrong people.