12 January 2018John Hall, Head of Retail, Owen James

Financial AdvisoryRetail Financial ServicesWealth Management and Private Banking

VICE teamed up with OWEN JAMES EVENTS to put together a series of breakfast briefings for Chief Marketing Officers / Directors from across the financial services sector. The objective was to work through the challenges we face winning the hearts and minds of the Millennials and explore whether we can spark some innovative thinking around finding practical, innovative ideas to get Millennials engaged with financial services. This is part 2 of a 3 part article by John Hall, Head of Retail at Owen James Events.

Vice is 15 years old and has created brands which focus on the Millennials - they understand their mindset.

Financial Services is at a point of inflection – an industry on the precipice of innovation and change. Much of this change is driven by the huge internal and external challenges we face, some of which include :

Diminishing trust – Our industry is one of the least trusted sectors – particularly since the 2007 financial crisis.

Poor image – Financial services is often viewed as boring and complex.

A widening UK savings gap – Expected to reach £350 billion by 2050 due to a multitude of factors including strong population growth; pressure on the public purse; and the rising cost of health care and long-term care

Consumer apathy – As media continues to sell negativity, this in turn is driving extreme reactions and consumers are becoming increasingly apathetic.

Constant regulatory and geopolitical pressure

Digital & technology disruption

Millennials present a conundrum for the industry. On one hand we hear the industry bemoaning the fact that Millennials;

Have no money given that over 70% of household wealth in UK is controlled by people over the age of 65;

Are likely to be the first generation since the turn of the last century to be financially worse off than the previous generation due to a multiple of reasons including university debt, unaffordability of housing and wage stagnation; and

Are often cited for having very little patience and no sense of loyalty.

Vice has carried out research to understand the Millennial’s affinity with finance brands.

• Unsurprisingly they favour TSBFirst Direct and Nationwide – they have more affinity with the challenger banks. They like Monzo - banking apps which are doing away with people.

A profile:

1. Nearly half of Millennials are concerned about their financial future

2. 41% of them feel chronically stressed about money

3. 63% rely on a one-off event to help them financially

4. They are moving from big major purchases to small purchases

5. They no longer want things/stuff; they want experiences such as holidays, eating out, showing off to friends.

6. The use of alcohol is downwards.

7. They want to experience the most they can from life.

8. They want to be there in the moment

9. They do see the potential in financial products

10. They are entrepreneurial and ambitious.

11. They are knowledge seekers

12. Financially curious


“Millennials have an in-built bulls**t detector, so don’t bulls**t” - Vice

Millennials have been marketed to digitally all their lives and as result have built up the most sophisticated bulls**t detectors. Too often marketeers try to target Millennials through the front door by pushing product, which in turn has had a profound negative effect destroying trust.

It’s time to get passionate! To get through the side door, we need to focus on their passions and culture. As an industry we need to break away from the boardroom mentality and follow our culture radar – something that AirBnB have achieved with great success. We need to start talking about – and being associated with – the things they are passionate about.

We need to get to a point where cultural networks are doing the work for us, and to do this we need more young people within our businesses to connect with Millennials. No longer can we just talk about it. We now have to proof it, to deposit true value.

“Resist the temptation to talk about what you do, but instead about how you add value to their lives”

The old marketing model is dead. Historically, the boardroom comms model has followed the following process with disastrous ROI consequences in today’s digital world:

1. Client segmentation by social demographic – take Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne as a case in point… both male, born in 1948 and similar wealth but worlds apart!

2. Focus on product features

3. Decide which media platform to use.

Vice has reshaped this process to win the hearts and minds of Millennials (see below):

But why do we create content? After all, financial services needs to be sold. Ultimately content allows you to acquire data. In turn you can use this engagement data to power your marketing funnel to move from awareness towards consideration; intent; and ultimately advocacy.


TO BE CONTINUED………………………………………………………