Marketing to Millennials Part 2

Copy I wrote for the financial services advertising agency RedtagDM. This is currently up on their blog.

Click here to see the original


A few weeks ago our resident intern talked you through the dos and don’ts of connecting with Generation Y. But what do younger Millennials think about Financial Services? With so much research geared toward today’s customers, we can often forget tomorrow’s. Here are three key things FS marketers could do with knowing.

1) “We’re not as confident as you think…”

Many university students and young adults starting their working lives are terrified of the world they are walking into. The job market isn’t what it used to be, rent is exceedingly high and the news would make them believe that they’ll never be able to afford their own home. They feel abandoned and that there is nothing out there for them. Many may strut around town but it is mock-confidence. Many will have no idea of how a bank operates; no idea about overdraft fines and no idea about what qualifies as a good interest rate. The role for FS marketers? Reassure them about how everything is going to be alright. Show them how some of their fears are unfounded and that multiple money schemes, like Help-to-Buy and Cash ISA’s, are out there and as Personal Finance experts, you’re on hand to guide them through the future.

2) “Help us”

A lack of confidence means that help is secretly required and sought out. The criticism that young Millennials sponge off mum and dad is missing the point – they do not want to. The current economic climate and housing crisis means many have to live at home either during/post university, or when setting out on careers. This means that their first forays into total financial independence remain some way off. When the time comes, many Millennial’s will want help and advice from multiple sources. They may distrust banks and the reliability of financial services but your authority and expertise will make you a beacon for advice and support. The role for FS marketers: Give them a path through the fog and make everything clear and precise. Explain in a couple of words the difference between a fixed-rate mortgage and a tracker mortgage. Give them clear advice on things like their pension pot and explain how “bad” debt accumulates by having an overdraft or outstanding credit card debt. Millennial’s aren’t afraid of seeking out help; they just do so on their own terms and often through their own means. So make content available that they can find and is relevant.

3) “Win me over”

Many Millennial’s perceptions of banks and financial services providers is not positive. Banks are distrusted and there is a desire to fix them. Whilst slightly before their time in terms of feeling the effects, the 2008 financial crisis created a storm of anger that is still yet to disperse because many believe that their bank isn’t transparent or fair. Millennials would rather visit the dentist than a bank and they’ll switch between companies until they find one that works for them. This has implications for loyalty, particularly when the audience is known for wanting things on their own terms. The role for FS marketers: Clearly transparency needs to be addressed. This may be in the form of being upfront about the cost of an account, but could also be a reflection of other ways Millennials may judge FS companies – CSR, customer experience (in branch and digital) and overall brand presence. And remember the Millennial code of conduct.


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