New Millennial Research on Media Attention: A Tidal Wave is Coming

New Millennial Research on Media Attention: A Tidal Wave is Coming

This is a wired generation, and you need to be ready.

A tsunami of Millennials are set to crash into the economy.  It’s been reported that over $30 trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) of assets will transfer from Baby Boomers to Millennials in the years to come. This will be the largest transfer of wealth – ever. A major opportunity looms for advisors who understand this demographic and their financial needs. 

When it comes to marketing to this generation, it’s imperative you understand where their eyes and ears are. What forms of media do they pay attention to?  We researched over 1,044 consumers [i] across multiple generations and uncovered priceless insights into their everyday behavior.  As two Millennials who write this column, we couldn’t agree more with the findings.


Millennials consume news through their “newsfeeds”

If your Facebook feed wasn’t littered with North Carolina shark attacks and rebel flags over the last few weeks, you are probably an anomaly.  Social networks are hopping with current events chatter, and according to our research, they are the number one news source for Millennials.

To that end, Newspaper is the most popular news source for age 70+ (Seniors) and TV News with the 35-69 crowd (Xers and Boomers).  Only 6% of Millennials consume the news through physical newspapers! 

Takeaway: Social media isn’t optional anymore. Make sure your social media profiles are branded properly and you are an active user! There’s nothing worse than dormant, graveyard social media accounts.  Also, post content that educates and keeps your audience up-to-date.  Build brand awareness by creating social media content that helps – not sells. 


Millennials needs to go to rehab – for their phone addiction!

If you had to go a week without your phone or your car, which would you choose?  Our research shows that Millennials would rather go without their car (after all, they would just use Uber). Millennials are addicted to their phones. Our research points out that 25% of Millennials look at their phone more than 10 times in an hour!

Takeaway: Do you text?  If not, you should.  30% of Millennials send 30+ texts a day.   Also, is your website up-to-date and mobile-friendly?  

Lights, Camera, Action! Millennials are in Love with Online Video

Last year, my washing machine started overflowing.  My laundry room was literally a swimming pool of soapy suds.  Did I call a plumber right away? While that might seem like a logical first step, I didn't.  Instead I went straight to YouTube.  I searched for the exact model of my washing machine along with my best description of the issue, and found a slew of helpful homemade videos.  It turns out, this was a common problem and the solution was a simple five minute fix.  No need for a handyman.

Our research found that 94% of Millennials feel they can find a video online for nearly anything they would like to learn.   They are searching and scouring the web to educate themselves.  They do this because they can – it’s quick and easy.   If your objective is to grab the attention of these visual learners, it’s time to start showing up in their searches and adding value.  

Takeaway:  Embrace video and get comfortable in front of the camera.  Make sure you check out Matt Oechsli’s recent article entitled The On-Screen Advisor.  It’s full of helpful tips for getting started with online video.  

Notice a trend in our Millennial insights? This is a wired generation, and you need to be ready.  It’s time to invest in your online brand.  From the perspective of a Millennial, an out-of-date online presence equals an out-of-touch advisor. 


[i] Oechsli Institute 2015, N=1,044, Income greater than $100,000 OR assets greater than $250,000.


Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols are coaches with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @StephenBoswell @KevinANichols

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