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by Rachel Morrissey, Content Producer, Money20/20
Industry View from
For the last 10 years we have been trying to crack the code of what changes need to be made to serve and market to the Millennial generation. Millennial women in particular are a financial juggernaut, responsible for $170 billion in spending every year.
However, they entered the job market saddled with debt and have irreparable scars from the financial crisis. They’ve been left feeling vulnerable and desperate for control. There’s a reason the industry should be paying attention, and the biggest reason is the unprecedented generational wealth transfer that will make millennial women the industry’s most lucrative customers. In a recent Money20/20 podcast, The MoneyPot, we brewed some hot tea served up by millennial female influencers who had bold views about how the industry should speak to this demographic and what they actually want from financial services. Get your mugs ready!
It may be counterintuitive, but starting in the workforce with a lot of debt and in uneasy financial times has made women between 25-40 more open to sharing their personal financial worries and biggest fears. They all spend a lot of time on social media, and in order to make finance less scary they share details about their own situations and reach out to others in similar circumstances. Social media influencers such as @MrsDowJones, aka Haley Sacks, use memes to explain financial concepts! Sacks creatively encourages budgeting, and is successfully fostering a community of women who want more control over their finances. Similarly, on Instagram there are groups of “debt warriors” who share how much debt they started with and how much they have paid off. This openness and transparency is a key component to serving this demographic.
As shocking as this may sound in 2020, the fact is that a lot of talk around money is gendered. Young men are more likely to be fostered in ideas around investing and the markets. By contrast, most young women are told they should save money by getting deals, with less talk of formal financial services. Consequently, millennials are still used to traditional gender roles around money in the home. Financial institutions that help educate and empower young women through straight talk – and who speak their language – will gain their loyalty.
That means making sure your meme and social game is on point. For example, millennial women use memes to communicate everything, from their mood to good news to making plans for a night out. They seek out the opinion of friends when making major decisions. Over 70 per cent consult friends and family when choosing brands and products.
The other thing they seek is the “Instagramable experience”, so “phygital” spaces that are comfortable and Instagram-friendly are high on their lists. One example of this in financial services are Capital One Cafés, which double as bank branches. These spaces offer a comfortable, more familiar, less stuffy atmosphere that lends to sharing the experience on Instagram. To be on their radar, create both physical and digital spaces that are less intimidating and highly sharable.
Because they entered a volatile job market, millennial women started out making less than many of their predecessors and have turned to freelance work to earn extra money and gain financial independence. This is also how they express their entrepreneurial spirit, and the extra money often finances their desire for experiences and travel, but only after the basics are paid off. Finserv that focuses on helping guide these side hustles – and facilitates turning them into full-fledged independent businesses – would be a huge draw.
In the end, perhaps it’s not so shocking to discover that financial services that empower women, encourage them to invest and help them pursue their entrepreneurial goals, will win their loyalty. They may even become a brand that they share with their friends!
This special episode of The MoneyPot was hosted by Monique Ruff Bell, Money20/20, Event Director, USA and Cassandra Napoli, Associate Editor, WGSN And the guests were Sonali Divilek, Marcus, COO of Digital Storefront, Goldman Sachs, Lauren Simmons, motivational speaker and personal finance expert and Mrs. Dow Jones, aka Haley Sacks, head of the Mrs. Dow Jones Financial Media Company.
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