How to Attract Gen Z to Banking

Who is Generation Z? Me.

Children born between the years of the mid 1990s through the early 2000s, otherwise known as Generation Z, is the generation that should be the next target for banks, credit unions, and businesses alike. Not only is this generation the largest in history, at about 82 million, but they are just starting out in the workforce which is great news for financial institutions.

Whether that be as a part time worker in high school, or fitting work into their college schedule, this generation is starting to really focus on their money. It’s not just the money of the individuals in this generation that’s important though, it’s also their families. According to CMO.com, Gen Z influences $600 billion in family spending. Parents are spending more money on their kids than ever before. Financial Institutions and businesses alike need to update their marketing strategies to take advantage of the influence this Gen Z has.

They are Different from Millennials.

Generation Z are quite different from Millennials. While millenials are most definitely one of the more tech savvy generations, Generation Z grew up in a world where smartphones, Internet, and social media were already a reality, and it was something they learned as they were also learning to walk and talk. It’s a normal part of their world.

This is why the most important factor when it comes to marketing to this generation is to utilize digital marketing. This generation is spending over 7 hours a day on average viewing media online, in many different formats. This means if you want to get their attention, you’re going to have to place your brand and your message right on to their phone screens to get your message across. Make sure your brand is accessible on mobile devices, whether that be through an App (most ideal) or having an easy to use mobile website.

This is key.

The next step would be to make sure your financial institution has an account on social media channels that this generation is using multiple times per hour.This means having an Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even a YouTube channel. All of this will increase your brand’s awareness to this generation.

Utilizing Social Media.

Just having your financial institution own and manage social media channels isn’t enough. With the amount of competitors and other companies having their businesses involved with social media, you are going to have to stand out and be attractive to this generation. How?

The key is to be relatable, and involve this target audience.

Show me (a proud member of Gen Z) that you are aware of our lifestyle, our worries and our interests. Getting a college education is very important for this generation for example, so demonstrate how your financial institution understands the stress of saving or preparing for school and beyond. Connect with local high schools or colleges and get your brand in the talk around campus. Sponsoring sporting or school events will build familiarity and brand loyalty. Not only should you make an effort to get involved in the school community on campus, but online as well. On social media, make sure you are connecting with the students by cheering on local sports teams, talking about things that are happening in the community, and communicating with community members.

Make Your Financial Institution Attractive.

Other methods of relating to Gen Z and making your company more attractive to us is implementing aspects of our lifestyle into marketing campaigns, and on to these social channels. By providing images and video in campaigns of things that we can relate to, we will feel more comfortable about giving our business and our future business to you. For example, using images relating to school, college life, getting coffee out with friends, enjoying concerts, etc. All things that will get my generation to see aspects of ourselves in your brand.

Make sure to take full advantage of student accounts. This means allowing students that are attending school to have an account where there is the ability to transfer money easily, no minimum balances, free savings account along with checking, and higher interest on the money that’s kept in savings. Let Gen Z know that you are there for us as we continue on our journey.

Utilize the tools that social media can provide you, in order to stand out from all of the other accounts we follow that continuously fill our timelines. Use social media as a tool for YOU to communicate directly to my generation, and build a better relationship with us.

Twitter offers a ‘Poll’ feature, in which you can ask a question to your followers, have multiple poll answer options, and allow it to be open for answers for 24 hours. That’s 24 hours of free availability to get answers directly from Gen Z. You can ask anything, from “What are you saving up for this year?” to “What’s the first thing you do when you get direct deposit on payday?”.

Twitter also has a feature where you can post GIF images along with your post. This is a great tool to not only capture the attention of a user as they are scrolling through their timeline, but also to get their attention to the information you are trying to communicate in the post.  Have fun with it. The more interested people in Gen Z are in your financial institution, the more likely they will want to work with you.

Lastly

Going back to the previous point about connecting to the community in which Gen Z is highly involved with, you want to make sure this is a part of your marketing strategy. Gen Z is one of the most socially and environmentally aware generations. My generation is filled with kids who want to use their time and energy to truly make the world a better place. Use it to your advantage! Get connected to local charities and raise awareness of problems going on in the community through your institution’s own channels, so your brand is associated with all the effort to help the world and our community be a better place.

Being a community financial institution, you are probably aware of the locations near you where Gen Z’s frequent. Bringing flyers and sponsoring fundraisers at these locations like coffee shops, cafes, school libraries, and campus events, will create a lot of buzz about your brand. Make sure to advertise your social media account information on flyers and other collateral pieces, and display how YOUR financial institution is perfect for students (like me) just getting into banking.

 

Contact Dan!

Sorry not sorry.

Thank you Demi Lovato for a great premise for my next blog!

For a hundred years businesses (banks, credit unions, ad agencies, law firms, etc.) have taken a mild stance when it comes to talking (down) about their competitors. It’s not “politically correct,” I guess, to come out and say, “Hey, we’re WAY better than those guys” leaving it up to the consumer to hopefully figure that out for themselves, and then miraculously find your business card in a drawer a year or so down the road, and actually pick up the phone to call you? Yeah, good luck with that!

No. It’s time to get your swagger on, be aggressive and say, “Hey, we’re not only better than those guys, we’re 10 MILLION times better than those other financial institutions, and here’s why:”

Do you think Elon Musk kowtowed to Ford, a national institution that’s been in business for over 115 years? No way! The Tesla brand today is becoming one of the most exciting things to “hit the road” in a long time! In fact, Consumer Reports named Tesla as the top American car brand, and ranked it 8th among global carmakers. FYI, Tesla just opened its doors in 2003!

Or how about Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon? Do you think he cared about established brands like Sears or JC Penny in his business model? Nope! It’s 2018 people, not 1918.

Or how about Tory Burch? Do you know how many fashion designers there are out there? Do you think that stopped her from doing something different? I don’t think so (said while snapping fingers in a z formation). After starting out modestly in public relations and advertising for Vera Wang and Polo Ralph Lauren, Forbes Magazine now lists Tory Burch as the 73rd most powerful woman in the world!

Your financial institution may or may not be over 100 years old. Who cares? Today is today! You cannot rest on your laurels in this fluid environment. Your depositors may be as old as Sears, Ford and JC Penny, but lets face it, they won’t be around forever—and you know it!

How does your financial institution get its “break out” moment like Tesla, Amazon, Tory Burch and countless other moneymaking machines in 2018? Here’s how:

You cannot do it alone. If you’re not pleased with your marketing, or the results you’re getting, and all the Board sees is sluggish deposit growth, high attrition rates and average (at best) loan growth, etc. it’s time to look within. It’s time to look at your agency relationship. You know, the stale one.

I have clients that have stayed with me for ten to fifteen years (Thank you guys!) I understand relationships. But if it’s not producing Tesla-like results, in this day and age, it’s time for a serious change.

Our economy is on a roll. It’s our time to shine! Right now! This second! Tick tock. We need to (collectively) take advantage of it.

2018 should be your “break out” year!

PS: If your current ad agency is reading this…

…sorry not sorry.

Contact Dan!

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