Millennials are broke, burdened with too many college loans and living in their parents’ basements. So they’re hardly good candidates for loans. Right?
Wrong. In fact, Millennials (who most define as those born between 1980 and the mid 2000s) contribute $1.3 trillion to annually to consumer spending and nearly a third of them are homeowners—with mortgages. So if you’re not marketing to Millennials, you’re missing out.
That’s all according to a new report out by the Harland Clarke Corp, which used several outside sources to compile data about Millennials and lending.
Young people—those were 34 and younger (who in fairness include some Gen Ys) are actually the largest percentage of homeowners, with 32% owning homes. Gen Xers come in next at 27%.
The overwhelming majority—97% of homebuyers—finance the purchase with a mortgage.
Many Millennials are so comfortable with non-cash payment options, that they don’t even bother toting around cash.
In other words, Millennials need money for cars and homes—for virtually everything.
So what’s the best way to reach Millennials? First thing is to remember that they are a diverse group: They range in age from high school to young adults starting new families. They also are differs ethnically and geographically. So there’s no one-size-fits-all.
The report, available for download after handing over your contact information, breaks it down in a handy chart, with several subcategories.
But clearly, you have to target Millennials by age. The younger ones are just coming out of high school in the older ones are launching careers and families.
While the groups all vary to some degree, they do have this much in common: They want to pay off debt, which ranges from student and auto loans, to home mortgages.
Keep in mind that Millennials are not opening credit card accounts as much as other generations. But when they do use them, they take advantage of the rewards and as one might have guessed, the technology that goes along with those accounts, such as mobile apps, automated payment alerts and online statements.
Here are a few tips that aren’t in the report:
If you want to reach out to this generation, use email. But Millennials don’t use email, you say. Actually, they do. They may not respond to it all the time but they are so addicted to their email that, according to an Adobe study, more than half of them check email from the bathroom. Seriously.
The study also offers other wisdom: Millennials are the mobile generation. They’re more likely to connect with you using a smart phone. So if you’re not optimizing for the mobile platform, you’re definitely losing out.
In addition, Millennials may like email, but they don’t like to be overwhelmed with it. (Who does?). Less is more.
Also Millennials are very sophisticated so take the time to target them specifically. Otherwise they will see you as spam.
And don’t forget video, which Mashable says, is a great way to reach people reared on short clips.
In other words, Millennials want to be reached in the way they’ve always been reached. It might take some work but it will be worth it in the end. Remember – as they age they become even more valuable.
About Janet Kornblum: Janet Kornblum is an award-winning journalist, writer and the co-founder of Panic Media Training, where people learn how to deal journalists such as herself. Her work has appeared in USA Today, CNET, Salon, Reuters and many other publications. You can find her in all the usual online places, including Facebook, Twitter and her site.