Marketing to millennials – how to reach generation Y

The up-and-coming generation is set to inherit vast amounts of wealth: Don’t miss the Gen Y money boat.

As scores of investors enter retirement and the age of the baby boomer comes to a close, many advisors are turning their attention to generation Y in order to secure a profitable future for their firm. Others, however, are struggling to pull in fresh faced investors.  Here, we asked industry experts for their advice on successfully marketing to millennials.

Social media

Look beyond traditional marketing strategies and utilize what generation Y gave us. Millennials are the inventors of social media and they stay constantly connected to the world around them via the internet. This makes social media the ideal avenue to reach potential new clients and maintain contact with established ones. 

“Millennials make up a huge potential market, by utilizing marketing strategies now, you will position yourself to thrive later,” says digital marketing executive Mike Renton. “Investing in marketing initiatives that are tailored towards millennials will help you jump to the top of their list.”

Start building your online reputation now and not only will you reach more millennials but the groundwork will already be laid when the time comes to attract generation Z.


Earlier this year Wells Fargo released a study on millennials and their money, the study revealed that 55% of millennials wanted financial advice but felt they couldn’t afford it. Find a way to dispel the myth that financial advice has to cost a fortune and encourage money conscious millennials into your practice.

The XY Planning Network adopted an innovative fee model and don’t specify any asset minimums so clients can be confident they’ll have enough money to work with a financial planner.

“We use the monthly subscription fee structure to attract younger clients,” says XYPN co-founder Alan Moore. “They are accustomed to paying for their bills monthly, so why not pay their financial planner monthly? Most advisors charge on an Assets Under Management basis, which only works for folks that have accumulated significant assets. The monthly subscription model isn't affected by the client’s savings, so you can work with clients from all walks of life.”

Service Model

XYPN also offer adapted service models alongside their pioneering fee structure in order to entice a younger crowd. “The entire financial planning process has to be redesigned to accommodate the life stage that younger clients are in,” says Moore.  “Younger clients are more interested in debt management, paying off student loans, buying a home, having children and starting businesses...not retirement planning.”


It’s not just winning their trust which is hard, keeping it is tough too. Millennials are said to be the least trusting generation yet and it’s important that firms work towards building a reliable rapport with generation Y.

Melanie Cressman, assistant account executive at Gregory FCA, suggests hosting client appreciation events with a modern twist; “Try hosting your gathering in a reserved room at the new restaurant downtown or at a local craft brewery—these settings are places that millennials will feel more comfortable in, rather than a stuffy conference center or country club. Consider incorporating modern luxuries at events to attract young clients, too, like providing iPads or tablets for this group to use during presentations or offering takeaways like Fitbits, which are popular with millennials.”

Offering greater flexibility is a key factor in attracting generation Y investors. Offer remote, virtual meetings that don’t require a commute and can be done outside of a client’s working hours. Generation Y has grown up in an age of technology and will expect their advisors to utilize it.
“If you are unwilling to try new approaches to win over new business, you won’t get far with gen Y clients,” says Cressman.  “Cater to the needs and lifestyle of the younger generation, and they will notice.”