How Gen Z Influences Gen X Investor and Advisor Relationships
Clearly, most individuals from Generation Z have few assets, given their young age. Yet many financial advisors don’t realize the strong influence Gen Z children have on their Generation X parents, investors who have assets and need your financial advice.
In this post, I provide background regarding Gen Z’s influence on Gen Xers and highlight how you can insert yourself into a discussion between the two, ultimately cementing relationships with your Gen X clients by boosting trust with their Gen Z children.
Gen Z’s Influence Over Gen X Investors
In a recent McKinsey Podcast discussing Gen Z and millennial shopping behavior, Emma Spagnuolo, a partner with McKinsey & Company, was asked the following question:
How do Gen Zs have influence on Gen Xers?
Her response, “You have Gen Z needing to influence their parents in order to get what they want. But on the other hand, if you look at the influence behaviors of Gen X, they’re much more likely to be influenced by the people sitting at the dinner table. So as they listen to their kids talk to them, they’re being influenced about what they want to buy for themselves.”
Spagnuolo’s comments prompted me to contemplate exactly how an advisor can shape conversations to appeal to Gen Zers, ultimately appealing to their wealthy parents. Also, given a high-net-worth household, many of these Gen Zs recognize they’ll receive an inheritance someday. This recognition makes them more interested in you today as compared to their peers. In other words, because their parents have money, they’re more likely to be a part of the conversation.
Spagnuolo added, “There’s a lot of contradictory things they (Gen Zs) are hearing out there, and so trust is kind of difficult for them. They don’t want to fit in with a certain crowd or be labeled a certain way. They want to be themselves, and that’s where they find their security.”
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Reaching Gen X Through Gen Z’s Influence
Before an advisor can effectively speak with a Gen Zer, it’s important to understand their unique shopping behaviors and priorities.
During the podcast, Gen Zers were described as individuals looking for unique items that set them apart. This desire is where you anchor your dialogue, far removed from old-fashioned descriptions such as using the word unique within your marketing copy. Because, from a Gen Z viewpoint, they decide what is unique, not you. Said differently, you must show not tell.
Applying Gen Z Influence Within Advisory Content Marketing
How can you apply this influence knowledge to your content marketing? Easy, by writing more about Gen Zs in order to help Gen X clients.
Many Gen Zers are entrepreneurial. Therefore, via blogging or similar, provide your Gen X target audience ideas for how their Gen Z children can aspire to be entrepreneurs. Specifically, describe the steps for the Gen Zer to contemplate, e.g., ways to attract first client, setting up a cash flow statement, etc.
This helps your Gen X target audience in two ways:
1 — It educates them about the steps. Since some of your Gen X clients and prospects may not be entrepreneurial.
2 — It gives your target audience something relatable to discuss with their young adult children over dinner.
Voilà, you’ve inserted yourself into a family conversation while adding value.
As an aside, when you’re writing for Gen Zers, keep in mind their affinity for gender-neutral pronouns. For further explanation, read my post: Is Your Advisory Website Copy Gender and Genderless Marketing Diversified.
Also, consider this statement from brand consultancy BBMG’s The Gen Z Reckoning, “To win their (Gen Z) trust and participation, it’s no longer just about selling products. Instead, it’s about creating space for the authentic expression of their experiences and creating platforms that amplify their voices and drive impact.”
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Ultimately, advisors can deepen bonds with Gen X clients by equipping them with the financial knowledge to help their young adult children pursue their goals.
One final thought…
Similar to the unique financial needs of women and the increasing availability of Women & Wealth programs, is it time for your firm to contemplate a Gen Z wealth program, one that helps to amplify their voice and empowers them to drive impact, creating a collaboration between you, your Gen X clients and their Gen Z children?
Interestingly, it could also turn into a nice recruiting tool.
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