Say what you will about millennials, but there’s no denying the group’s growing precedence as coveted consumers for brands worldwide. In fact, the “emerging affluent” segment of millennials will represent the plurality share of national wealth (47%) by 2030. However, financial services brands are missing golden opportunities for growth when it comes to using websites as weapons of mass discovery.

While direct-to-consumer businesses ranging from beauty to hotels use online search to facilitate purchases, it remains underutilized in the more highly regulated, complex financial services industry. In 2018, search represented only 28% of all traffic to brands studied in Gartner L2’s insight report on wealth management. An average of 92% of brand search traffic was from organic searches, and of those searches, 78% included a brand’s name (e.g., “UBS” + “wealth management”). However, 29% of these brands received a majority of their search traffic from nonbranded search terms (e.g., “wealth management”), indicating equity on a broader set of terms unrelated to a brand name. Of those nonbranded search terms, an average of 66% were generated from paid search. This demonstrates that site content can function as a landing page for a wide range of queries beyond just a brand’s name.

Instead of a traditional approach, wealth management brands need to capitalize on millennials’ need for immediate results and tech know-how. Understanding that discovery can occur through more than just a first-name basis relationship between consumer and company is the first step to reaching millennials.

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