Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Communication

Date of Defense

4-21-2010

Graduate Advisor

Lara Zwarun, Ph.D.

Committee

Hall, Alice

Reinhart, Amber

Abstract

A current opportunity exists for financial services companies to find new customers in the "Millennial Generation." This requires incorporating persuasion techniques that are effective on this generation into marketing strategies, particularly with the mass media outlet of choice for Millennials, the Internet. This research explored tenets of the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) to consider how Millennials' characteristics as a generation, as well as individual traits such as Need for Cognition (NfC), might influence their perceptions of a company's credibility. Students were shown one of two Internet home pages for a fictional financial services company that varied in information quantity and asked how credible they found it and whether they would invest in it. The results of this study give some merit to using a less informative message for a high-involvement service such as financial services specifically to gain the attention of Millennials and begin the process of building credibility. However, results also indicate that to ultimately convert Millennials into active investors, a firm will need to provide rich information to them. Findings did not indicate that individual level of NfC affected credibility ratings.

Share

COinS