Notorious for having their eyes constantly glued to a screen, their fingers continually tapping out a text message and their ears forever covered by headphones, the Millennial generation can seem like an almost impossible group of people to reach. But seemingly impossible or not, the reality is that Millennials are getting older – and marketing to this group should by now be a “must” on every bank or credit union marketer’s to-do list.
Follow these tips to best capture the attention – and trust – of the infamous Generation Y.
1. Engage in social media.
While Millennials don’t exactly view bankers as elderly men wearing top hats and monocles, they likely don’t view financial institutions as being particularly hip, either. In fact, in light of the recent economic crisis, it’s common for Millennials to view financial institutions with substantial skepticism – imagining them to be stuffy, old-fashioned, money-hungry businesses striving to profit off their financial needs.
This unfortunate stereotype is one that banks and credit unions must work very hard to dispel. Do so by connecting with Millennials via social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Write posts about industry news, financial tips and staff updates to engage and educate your audience. Over time, they’ll start to view you as a trusted financial partner and will appreciate your willingness to communicate with them on their level.
2. Ditch the hard sell.
Blatant advertising attempts – particularly via electronic media channels – have proven to be largely unsuccessful with Millennials. Far from generating positive results, pushy sales tactics only further reinforce Millennials’ misguided beliefs that your bank or credit union is simply out for their hard-earned money.
Instead, try positioning your bank or credit union as a financial partner that genuinely cares about the financial success of its members/customers. Opt for an educational tone with your marketing materials and teach your audience how your product or service will impact them. Millennials place special importance on the advice of friends, so use that knowledge to your advantage. Informal, conversational messaging on your marketing pieces emulates the style of a friend advising a close confidante, and will likely elicit a more positive response from Millennials than more traditional styles of messaging.
3. Remember that communication is a two-way street.
Millennials, in general, are extremely confident. So eager are they to share their thoughts and opinions that they’re often dubbed an inherently narcissistic generation. Whether narcissists or not, there is some truth to the idea that Millennials want – and expect – companies to listen to their opinions and cater to their needs.
Keep this in mind and give Millennials the opportunity to provide feedback about your products or services. Whether you choose to mail a survey or simply ask for comments via your social media sites, Millennials will think highly of you for seeking out their opinion. Just be sure to do your due diligence by following through and listening to their comments. Asking for their thoughts but failing to give credence to their observations will be viewed as a snub, which may prompt Millennials to write you off as an untrustworthy financial institution.
So there you have it – the top three tips for marketing to Millennials. Do you have Millennial marketing tips you’d like to share? We want to hear from you! Drop us a line in the “Comments” section below and let us know how your bank or credit union is targeting Generation Y.