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October 10, 2017  //       //  Opinion

Top things banks should consider when marketing to millennials

For many banks, engaging with millennials is a key objective. This demographic, made up of 20-35-year-olds, is soon set to have the highest purchasing power of any other group, making up 1 in 4 of UK adults, so it is essential that marketers understand what drives its behaviour.

Today’s consumer is bombarded with more information than ever before. It’s pretty challenging to cut through the noise and make an impact, especially when it comes to millennials who, according to some reports, spend up to six hours a day online! So, how can you capture and retain the attention of younger audiences?

Ensure a top-notch digital presence

Mobile banking apps are soaring in popularity among a generation that barely remembers life before the internet. In a world where the answer to any problem is “there’s an app for that!”, it seems only natural that millennials are increasingly turning to apps to manage their finances. This has led to a new breed of mobile-only “challenger banks” gaining traction in the market, launching a full suite of banking products including current accounts, debit cards, overdrafts, and savings – all of which can be managed via the app.

Smartphone-wielding Millennials communicate with their bank in different ways compared to Baby Boomers – and are up to three times more likely than the general population to want mobile app notifications for things like credit limit warnings or suspicious transaction alerts. They are also twice as likely to want technology like video conferencing with their advisers. Having grown up with technology, they expect it to “just work” and one in five browse exclusively via mobile or tablet, so make sure your marketing is mobile-ready.

Earn their trust

Millennials major concerns around banking are data being leaked (56%), credit card cloning (54%) and identity theft. Cybersecurity has been a massive issue this year, so it’s understandable that these issues are front of mind for millennials when managing their finances. You should reassure them and highlight what you are doing to keep their money safe.

Understand what makes them tick

The worldview of millennials has shifted considerably compared to previous generations. As well as being the most technologically sophisticated generation, millennials are also the most socially-conscious, with more than half of millennials saying they would happily take a pay cut if it meant that they could work somewhere that shares their values. In the same way, they are more likely to “vote with their wallet”, choosing to spend their money in businesses whose values align with their own.

This greater emphasis on social responsibility translates into stronger brand loyalty for banks. If you’re trying to attract millennials, ask yourself what you are doing to make the world a better place and how you can communicate this to your audience. Lloyds is one of several banks that run matched giving schemes, where the bank will match funds raised by staff for charity. If you have a similar initiative in place, be sure to emphasise it when speaking to your millennial customers, as it is something they value deeply.

Create authentic, meaningful content

In a cluttered digital landscape, millennials are bombarded with marketing content and will scroll through adverts with ruthless efficiency, ignoring all except the most relevant or attention-grabbing. But how exactly do you go about grabbing their attention? Well, authenticity is key here. Santander is one finance brand that has gone down this route, abandoning its traditional purpose-led strategy to talk to customers in a more “real” way with user-generated content. Check it out here.

This need for authenticity means that millennials prefer personalised marketing – traditional outbound methods like direct mail campaigns won’t work, as they are too impersonal and company focused. One study revealed that 84% do not trust traditional advertising. You should instead focus on improving your customers’ lives with informative content – this might include blogs or social media posts that provide tips on budgeting or navigating tricky transactions. Millennials are 44% more likely to trust experts and 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites.

Offer opportunities for collaboration

Millennials see themselves not only as consumers but also creators – so you should think about how you can offer customers the chance to participate. That could take many forms, from running fun competitions on social media to open up a conversation, getting them involved in advertising campaigns or asking them what new features they’d like to see in a banking app.

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