Harp Interactive

3 Emerging Trends in Marketing Financial Services to Millennials

Boomers may have a majority of the wealth, but millennials are the most attractive marketing demographic. Why? Millennials, people ages 30 to 40 have student loans, kids and are approaching their full buying potential. Collectively, they have more than a trillion dollars in buying power, and every marketer with a pulse is trying to woo them.

The challenge is that millennials significantly differ from Gen Xers and especially baby boomers. This means savvy marketers have to adapt when tailoring their marketing campaigns to them.

Below are three key trends financial marketers should keep in mind when marketing to millennials.

1) Millennials Are Online…Constantly

Not a surprise, but true, nonetheless. A whopping 97% of millennials use their phone to get online. (The only other time we see near-unanimous endorsement is in Tom Hanks approval polls.) For a fifth of those millennials, their phone is the only way they go online.

Millennials also check their phones a lot. While the average adult sneaks a peek at a screen 30 times per day, millennials say, “Pfft, hold my craft beer.” They eyeball their phone an average of 150 times per day.

It’s clear that millennials have the highest rate of mobile usage of any demographic. So, what does that mean for financial marketers? First and foremost, you have got to be mobile-first with your offerings, content and campaigns. Your content should be easy to browse, snackable, and instantly understandable. Focus on creating a few seconds of quality user engagement because once you lose their attention, it’s gone.

Consider optimizing your content for this mobile-first generation by:

  • Shortening text (because who has time to read?)
  • Emphasizing images
  • Incorporating videos (use a mix of short, mid-length and longer videos)
  • Using ad extensions (these add useful information to your ad)

If you’re a financial services marketer, you should promote the products and services that make your bank unique. A whopping 92% of Millennials choose their financial company based on its digital services. Reward Millennials continuous online presence by highlighting convenient tools, like mobile check deposits, automated savings, and fee-free checking accounts.

2) Millennials Want Relationships. Swipe Left on the Hard Sell

Before we go any further, we need a disclaimer. We are making sweeping generalizations about millennials. They have some clear preferences but are not a monolith. While more millennials than not prefer relationship-oriented marketing, there are always exceptions to the rule.

That said, financial marketers should give any marketing strategy with a hard sell a hard pass. Millennials care more about building a trusting relationship with a brand. Connecting with real people when they call or chat up customer service and seeing themselves reflected in digital and social media content goes a long way with this demographic.

Let’s say your financial organization has a community outreach program. You might meet with millennials in person and let them know you have free workshops about wealth-management strategies. Once you establish a connection with a person, it’s easier to introduce them to your financial products and services. Key takeaway: Lead with a relationship-first, relatable strategy to build millennial trust and loyalty.

3) Millennials Want a Story

Having social media accounts isn’t enough. You need to tell compelling stories that engage millennials interests, dreams, and passions. Show them how they will achieve their aspirations with your financial services, whether saving for a down-payment on a home or diversifying their portfolio.

Stories come in all shapes and sizes. It’s important to embrace a wide range and to figure out what works with your brand. Leverage your social channels to highlight success stories, share information, and offer personalized advice. As long as you provide relevant and timely insights, millennial customers are sure to follow.

What Do Millennials Want from Banks?

Remember that millennials grew up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The global recession has made them more budget-conscious than their parents. It’s one of the reasons millennials have lower rates of home and car ownership than baby boomers.

Millennials want banks that offer value but at a reasonable price. That might mean promoting sign up bonuses to new customers or freemium mobile apps. This tech-savvy generation also understands the value of their data and privacy, so banks need to earn users’ trust before accessing their data.

Some other tactics that banks can use to attract millennials include:

  • Provide free budgeting tools
  • Provide reward-centric credit card programs
  • Collaborate with micro-influencers
  • Use real-life events that translate to social media
  • Make millennials a part of the community