As Millennials progress into their 30s and 40s, Gen Z has become the new, untapped, proverbial gold mine for many industries. When it comes to banking, a shift in marketing tactics is required to segment this audience and drill down your campaigns. It’s vital to consider this shift as Gen Z is expected to make up 30% of the workforce by 2030.
Millennials and Gen Z are often mistakenly paired together in marketing campaigns. It’s important to note that we must take an altered approach when shifting our marketing campaigns towards Gen Z (ages 18-24), specifically for banking.
Digital and Mobile Availability
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), nearly 91% of Gen Z owns a smartphone, of which 98% use it on a regular basis. To put that into numbers, in the U.S. alone roughly 60 million Gen Z’ers use their smartphone on a daily basis.
If you don’t have easy-to-use mobile and digital banking options, then you are forcing consumers to look elsewhere. In fact, they may not notice you at all. This is especially true for Gen Z. Mobile banking is their preferred approach; they may never use face-to-face banking. Ensuring you have a strong mobile app and a smart online presence will welcome Gen Z “into” your branch.
Aside from convenience, Gen Z holds a greater focus on financial stability and independence than their Millennial counterparts. They prefer to take charge of their financial worlds. Giving them the right mobile and digital tools provides account access, helping them make their own decisions.
Marketing to the Wrong Generation
If you’re looking to tap into the Gen Z segment, make sure you are targeting Gen Z’ers. This sounds like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at the number of campaigns targeted towards Gen Z’s parents in an attempt to pull in the younger demographic.
While that was a proven tactic for the Millennials, and Gen Z may even request help from their parents in their decision making process, they are the one making the final decision. The idea of financial responsibility and independence includes making your own banking decisions.
With the rise of technology, Gen Z has the means to conduct their own research and make their own well-informed decisions. This is equally true for banking; rely less heavily on traditional marketing and culminate your efforts into Gen Z specific marketing tactics. Take a look at this article for ideas on this subject matter.
Transparent & Sufficient Resources
As noted, Gen Z will make their own informed decisions. Providing easy-to-access, digital resources both on and off of your platform (think social media too) will give Gen Z the option to select you over your competitors.
As always, building trust is a critical step in connecting with a new consumer. These educational resources should include up-to-date and realistic information, policies, and data to ensure you are completely transparent. Hidden fees won’t remain hidden too long. Once discovered, Gen Z will simply move on to the next option, one that they can trust through transparent policies and upfront information.
Banking with Gen Z
Winning over Gen Z’ers requires strategic thinking and well informed decision making by banks and financial institutions.
Start by making sure your demographic is properly targeted. Don’t make the mistake of marketing to Gen X or Baby Boomers in hopes of pulling in Gen Z. Prioritize social media campaigns through Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, as they effectively target Gen Z more than any other demographic. At the end of the day if you do not have an interactive mobile option then you simply do not have what Gen Z is looking for. Be sure to support this growing audience with the right mobile and digital strategies and banking products.
Conclude with transparent, trustworthy, and easy-to-access information regarding all aspects of your institution. Gen Z has the means, and willpower, to research anything and everything about your institution, from hidden fees to ATM reviews. Provide this information to them in a convenient way and they’ll gain trust for you over the competition.
Article by Tim Coury
Channel Communications Intern