We've heard a lot about millennials over the past few years. Now, we’re witnessing the next generation coming of age. The first Gen Zers are graduating from college and beginning their financial journeys. Growing up in an era dominated by technology and social media, Gen Z is informed, and most understand that their future success must include being financially savvy. Gen Z is coming into the market with $44 billion in purchasing power. They expect relatability from financial services providers, as they do with other advertised products and services. This generation wants to know the advice they get is relevant to their lifestyle and future goals. There is a huge opportunity for banks, credit unions, tax preparers, investment managers, and others to harness the significant buying power of this group by employing a captivating mix of marketing tactics.
1. Create Compelling Content
Gen Z has grown up hearing about the staggering debt some millennials have accrued with student loans. Many cite a reluctance to take on any debt at all. Perhaps that aversion to debt explains why 46-56% of high-school students don't know what shapes a credit report or credit history. Education is vital to reaching and building authority with potential clients, as studies show that Gen Z wants to learn more about money, but differently than previous generations.
Banks and credit unions have an opportunity to reach Gen Z with a content strategy that includes blog posts and social content. It should state the relevance of not only saving money but building a good credit history. They’ll want to know how to do it responsibly and what roadblocks failing to do so could create, such as applying for a mortgage or purchasing a car. Sixty-nine percent of successful marketers report they depend on a clear, documented content strategy.
2. Leverage Social Media
Currently, there are 3.96 billion active social media users. Even the younger Gen Z members, including 21% of 8-12-year-olds and 71% of 12-15-year-olds, have a social media profile. Social media provides an unprecedented opportunity to interact and educate young Gen Zers on fiscal responsibility. By showing real people who work in financial services delivering customer service and showcasing clients of all ages, along with their success stories, you can help humanize the experience, building trust and relationships where consumers spend their time.
3. Optimize Your Customer Journey
First, you should know who your ideal customers are, along with their varied needs, and where they are in the buyer's journey. How they interact with the brand at each point along that journey is important, whether searching for a bank in a search engine or visiting your website from a social media post. You want to reach the right person at the right time. Providing potential customers with the proper guidance at each stage creates a seamless user experience and can go a long way in customer acquisition and retention. Gen Z values personal connection and authenticity, and 36% would change to a tech company like Facebook, Google, Amazon, or Apple, all pioneers in personalized experiences if they offered banking services.
4. Experiment with Influencers
Using an influencer to help make your message more relatable is a great way to build brand awareness and trust. This group identifies with real, relatable people in marketing campaigns. Seventy-four percent of customers on social media trust the opinion of their social networks, including influencers, to guide their purchase decisions. Forty percent of people made an online purchase after seeing it used by an influencer on social media.
5. Deploy a Digital Campaign
A digital campaign is critical when creating an end-to-end customer experience. Financial service providers who use a cross-device strategy find that it provides unique targeting with an extensive reach. Email marketing is still relevant to reach targeted customers one-on-one, with marketers reaching high click-through rates and even higher ROI. Search engine marketing helps optimize placement and provides a wealth of analytics regarding search trends and keywords.
There are many digital tactics you can employ; however, it doesn't mean you should use them all. It requires using the right strategy based on your target consumer and what you’re trying to achieve. A digital marketing expert or media partner can help you decide on the right tactics based on your goals.
Financial Services Providers Need a Different Approach for Gen Z
Understanding the unique drivers that motivate Gen Z is only the first challenge in marketing to this group. A well thought out content strategy on channels where Gen Z spends time is critical, as well as channels where their influencers live. By working with a media partner to develop the right marketing mix, you can appeal to Gen Z and acquire new customers.