In the US alone, millennials make up the largest generational demographic. They are also the most impactful consumer base providing a dominant force in today’s marketplace. Millennials pack quite a punch with spending power estimated at over $200-billion in 2017 alone.
What makes Millennials so significant in the banking industry is that they have reached the age where major financial decisions have entered their lives. The challenge facing banking institutes in dealing with this segment of the population is that reaching them requires engagement strategies.
Because it is impossible to reach Millennials with a broad brush approach, personalized and targeted marketing is required. Here are a few ways in which banks can engage with millennial customers:
Because social media has played a huge role in the lives of Millennials, they are quite savvy when it comes to tuning out things that appear fake or intrusive. However, Millennials are typically eager to rave about and promote brands they feel a connection with. This takes an authentic, honest voice that deals with real situations and not exceptionally difficult to believe possibilities. By reaching out genuinely, it touches Millennials.
Use Digital Marketing
If your goal is to reach Millennials, then you will need to invest heavily in digital marketing with social media as the foundation of that strategy. By aligning with causes that would otherwise appear outside of the norm for bank marketing, you will be able to reach Millennials on a level that they trust. Aim at touching those common values such as #MeToo to show Millennials that there is a caring, compassionate element to your bank.
Touch On All The Bases
With so many digital platforms out there it may seem impossible to target any one particular demographic. Millennials participate in several of these different streams which means your marketing strategy will have to take a multi-channel, cross-media approach. What this means is putting your brand in places it may never have been seen in before, which is a good thing. Millennials can be found on all media, both online and offline. And don’t forget to include mobile platforms as well.
Create Brand Advocates
It is crucial to engage with millennials even after they have become customers. The reason for this is that they are going to be vocal about their opinions on your service and offerings and more likely to share those thoughts on social media platforms. By creating a one-to-one community connection with several different engagement initiatives that encourage feedback, Millennials will talk up your brand in their specific circle of influence.
Don’t Ignore Automation
Automation can assist in reaching Millennials when and where they are active. This can range from simple contact to more sophisticated forms of target marketing. Regardless of the actual format and delivery of the message you wish to get in from of their faces, you can be far more effective by utilizing tools that permit this to happen automatically. Where automation truly fits into your marketing strategy is the cost-effectiveness it brings.
Include Artificial Intelligence
Nothing assists you better in learning more about the habits of your Millennial customers than tracking tools. With them, you will be able to monitor what it is they like most about your bank and the services they tend to use the most. This data will aid in developing ongoing marketing plans to keep those Millennials engaged to your bank and the products it provides. AI can help you to shape those offerings to fit the needs of those customers as well.
How To Center A Business Strategy On Millennials
To be effective in reaching and retaining this vital demographic, your brand targeting strategy has to be aligned properly. Although marketing is a big part of the puzzle, relying solely on that will greatly impact engagement effectiveness. Banks require positioning on all levels to properly target consumer segments.
This requires a clear understanding of who the consumers are and what they currently use the bank for and how they could potentially use it in the future. There are several ways in which a financial institute can transform itself to better engage Millennials. Some of them require in-house adjustments to address this marketing plan.
Here are a few ways to do this:
Reducing Organizational Silos
Too many departments separating such things as the product, marketing, public relations, and business development programs can complicate the process. Streamlining remedies this.
There is a tendency to take full control of marketing and while that may not be all that bad in certain circumstances, it is important in bank marketing to give in-house marketers leeway to do their job effectively. This also means letting third-party marketers do the same. By giving these departments the empowerment they need, they will return results knowing that their efforts are appreciated and that you have put trust in them to perform their duties.
Shift Marketing Investment
As good as traditional marketing tools are, Millennials must be reached where they generally spend time online. This requires a shift in location for marketing investment. Don’t pull all your traditional marketing as it will still reach other customer demographics. But focus your Millennial target marketing on direct-buy digital media. One plus to this is that with digital marketing you will have the means to measure the short and long term returns from that format.
According to Digital Authority, the influence that Millennials possess makes them a key demographic to target in the banking industry. When banks and credit unions can fully engage with Millennials, these financial institutions will have a major advantage over their competitors. However, it takes a great deal of planning, execution and long-term engagement to attract and retain this very active and tech-savvy demographic.
Hopefully, this article provides you with some inspiration and direction when considering tapping into the Millennial generation in your upcoming marketing plans. Not sure where to start with your digital marketing efforts? Check out this list of companies with a long history of helping banks take their marketing to the next level.