Gen Z & Finance – Banking on success with personalized outreach
By Janine Pollack, executive director of growth & content at MNI
Generation Z is rapidly entering the workforce, and reaching full financial maturity. Yet, many already have savings accounts, more than any other generation, at their age. For banking solutions looking to capitalize on this emergent generation (Gen Z typically comprises those born between 1995 and 2010), their marketing strategies must evolve to suit their unique habits.
Personalization is essential. 74% of all consumers, across generations, expect to be treated like an individual in their marketing. For Gen Z, who spends much of their time on curated social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, this is especially vital. In order to obtain the best results, financial organizations will need to have a solid foundation of who Gen Z is, what they want and where they can best fit in. From there, financial marketers will be able to determine the best channels for their message and plan for the rapidly-approaching future, as this generation fully integrates into adulthood.
Gen Z: Planning Their Financial Future
64% of Gen Z report their lives not being where they thought they would be, by their current age. Some of this disappointment stems from increased economic uncertainties— while many in Gen Z are currently employed, they disproportionately worked in industries that were hit hard in the COVID-19 pandemic, which has stalled their earning potential as they hunt for and move between jobs. However, as economic circumstances improve, financial institutions looking to reach Gen Z have an enormous opportunity to personalize their outreach through emphasizing financial wellness.
Many in Gen Z want to improve their financial wellness habits and learn how to save and spend effectively. Over half of Gen Z participants, when surveyed by Mintel, indicated that they wanted to learn how to save for the future. This forward-thinking mindset means that those who can create accessible tools to improve financial literacy will get ahead in their outreach efforts. Keeping things simple is key— as they reach financial maturity, many in Gen Z are looking into checking and savings accounts, or credit cards, with a far smaller number interested in larger items like loans.
Competition is particularly high to gain Gen Z’s attention. While their respect is high for established financial institutions, they are also the generation most likely to utilize a neobanking solution, in conjunction with a traditional provider. They are also exploring emerging fintech technologies, which means that they will pay attention to institutions investing in the future. With this level of background information, financial marketers can better inform their strategies for marketing outreach to Gen Z.
Investing in Technological Advancement
In addition to reaching Gen Z as who they are, marketers will also want to reach them where they are. Considering their increasingly-connected nature means that marketing strategies must remain on the cutting edge of technological innovation, and should look towards the future in order to truly get ahead.
Mobile banking solutions are hugely popular amongst younger generations, such as Gen Z, because of its ease of access. Because of its increasing prevalence, enhancing mobile efforts in financial marketing strategies can allow for greater insights into this group. Financial marketers should consider utilizing mobile advertising solutions and make sure assets like the company website are up to date and mobile-friendly.
Of course, social media and Gen Z go hand-in-hand. Often called digital natives, some Gen Z individuals check their social media accounts up to 100 times a day. This multifaceted channel is an essential component for outreach— however, a brand’s account is only half the battle. Gen Z is less likely than other generations to engage with brands as opposed to their peers on social media, meaning that some marketing efforts should fall to outside sources, such as engaging influencers. Gen Z is also image-focused— content such as short videos will perform better than a blog post. Marketers should consider strategies that note these preferences, such as an influencer-led video series with actionable takeaways for saving money effectively.
As well as keeping current, it is essential that financial marketers work to get ahead of the innovation curve. Emergent technologies, particularly in the AI space, are poised to improve the customer experience and allow for seamless interactions with consumers. As early adopters, it won’t be long before these technologies are expected as standard— meaning that the institutions that begin investing and implementing these solutions now will see a large advantage down the road.
Just as they invest in the future, Gen Z is hopeful for their own and is striving to enter into full financial maturity. Reaching them personally, through the social channels that know them best, marketers can not only provide a solution to Gen Z’s financial needs, but can strive to give actionable guidance for their future, building a unique niche in their daily lives.
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