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Three tips for engaging and attracting Generation Z to your financial institution

Lauren Wilson - June 28, 2018 - 0 comments

Three tips for engaging and attracting Generation Z to your financial institution

In our last post we continued our discussion on differing generational needs and focused on the differences between Generation Z and Millennials. We shared:

  • Gen Z have shorter attention spans and increased multitasking capabilities, increasing their comfort with switching between financial solutions
  • They have a realistic view about education costs and potential post-graduate earnings.  This impacts and limits their use of student loans
  • Their entrepreneurial aspirations require access to capital
  • They are savers, but they don’t look to traditional banks

Banks and credit unions can get a jumpstart to offering and implementing programs now to support the needs of the largest generation in the US. Here are three tips on engaging and attracting Generation Z to your institution

1. Embrace their entrepreneurial  spirit

Many from Generation Z are taking a non-traditional education path. They are opting out and reducing their need for student loans, and are entering the workforce early and often on their own. A self-starter generation, they do not require as much hand-holding as their Millennial counterparts and value mentorship.

Engage this audience through workshops, courses and mentorship opportunities.  They are going to need to know how to start a business, and have resources to address their financial questions. This approach helps connect these young entrepreneurs with their dreams. Raising capital will mean the difference for many in turning their start-up dream into a reality. Become the connector for entrepreneurial mentors in your community through advice and mentorship of your team members. This approach will develop your reputation as a true trusted advisor.

2. Offer solutions that are easy to use and engaging

Generation Z are digital natives and are not interested in paperwork or making calls to complete financial tasks. This app generation isn’t always looking for the most technologically advanced solution or sleekest design but is looking to do things quickly and digitally. They are drawn to non-traditional financial service organizations, with ease of use and platform familiarity as key drivers.

To compete, make your solutions intuitive and natural to use. Starting with mobile, review your digital customer journey click by click. The goal is not necessarily to reduce the number of clicks but to ensure that each step provides clear, transparent value for the transaction to support process flows logically and intuitively from screen to screen. It should feel natural and be simple enough to be done with a mobile device. Where possible it should also provide help and recommendation information mid-transaction, and allow them to pick up to continue where they left off.  If you do not already, invest in an in-app analytics tool to understand exactly how the app is being used to meet the needs of your audience.

Simple doesn’t need to be boring. Take advantage of push updates and transition and completion screens to share personalized, meaningful messages. Have they reached a savings goal? Are they eligible for a special promotion? Keep them in the loop to keep them engaged. Leveraging gamification is a great way to influence your level of engagement with communication.

3. Adapt your marketing strategies

Traditional marketing strategies won’t work with Generation Z. 67% of Millennials surveyed said that they would go to the website to get a coupon or discount, whereas only 46% of Gen Z polled said they would do the same. Millennials also tend to click on more ads with 71% saying they followed an advertisement online, with only 59% of Gen Z’ers saying the same. They just do not have the attention span and are better at turning off the background noise.

Bringing gamification to make your make your marketing more fun and interesting will have an impact. For example, surveys and product recommendation questionnaires can be especially boring; answering questions in ranges and numerical scales will lose their interest immediately. Instead, use visuals and something they can relate to. Rather than text, consider emoticons to represent your scales or envelop your survey questions in a quick and simple game format.

Personalization matters to Gen Z. In fact, they expect it. Communications need to be personalized and tailored rather than being generic. Personalization extends to more than just their name by also providing relevant and targeted offers based on their behaviors. Making the effort to make them feel unique and at the center of your attention is key to keeping them engaged. For more information on using data to create personalization, you can read our take here.

Catering to Generation Z is not about shelving the plans you have in place for your current clientele. To meet their needs, an increased focus on ease of use and adapting to their digitalized requirements, combined with gamification and personalization will create an improved client relationship and positive impact on your business. Do you agree? Share your thoughts by getting in touch at

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