With millennials now the largest age demographic in the US, Financial Services brands recognize the need to create content for the incoming generation. However, this may be easier said than done. As many as 71% of millennials would rather visit their dentists than listen to their banks, and UBS announced last week that it was cutting spend on the content creation arm it had formed with Vice and Vanity Fair to put more money behind marketing that content.

“We really thought the content would sell on its own and it didn’t,” the bank’s global head of marketing communications Thierry Campet said at last week’s Mobile Marketing Summit.

Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, which are now bigger than social networks, would seem to provide an ideal way for banks to reach digital natives. Yet Financial Services brands have been slow to establish an effective presence on these channels, according to L2’s Engaging Millennials report. Just 60% of leading Wealth Management institutions have customer service channels on Facebook Messenger, and most of them are unable to answer open-ended questions regarding recent research, advisor matching, or job opportunities. Brands advertising the ability to “respond instantly” rarely do so, and the majority of queries submitted by L2 researchers received no answer at all.

Response time

Despite the potential of digital channels like Messenger to communicate with millennials, many Financial Services brands tend to use social platforms the same way they used old-fashioned advertising – limiting their potential returns. As Campet put it: “I thought people would read Unlimited and go to UBS and sign up. But Unlimited plays a little bit of a role of TV ad – I don’t know how much traffic it will generate the day after.”


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