Generation Z is the fastest growing demographic, with individuals born after 1997 classified into this group. With the oldest Generation Z just now beginning to attend college and stepping into financial responsibility for the first time, Generation Z is at a prime age for banks to begin paying attention and catering to them. However, it can be difficult to begin marketing to what will be both the largest and the financially savvy generation ever. While many Gen Z-ers are not yet financially self-sufficient and won’t be for some time, you can use marketing strategies to attract them now and build long-lasting relationships that will extend well into the future.
These three Gen Z banking strategies will get you on the right track to attracting and retaining these customers.
Create a Strong Digital Presence to Attract Gen Z Banking
Generation Z is the most digitally savvy generation, many of them grew up with smartphones, and all of them grew up with computers and the Internet. Not only do they want and demand digital services, they actually shun traditional services and having to go to a physical location to access it. Generation Z also quick to research and will check social media and online reviews before making up their mind about a brand.
What does this mean for you? Your Generation Z marketing strategy should involve a strong digital presence across several channels. You should offer self-service through apps and web portals, allow consumers to set up a large portion of their own accounts and services, and allow customers to quickly make changes to their products and services. You should also ensure that you maintain a strong social media presence, engage in reputation management, and brand your online personality based on your consumers. While you shouldn’t drop live customer service or branches entirely, Gen Z still appreciate face-to-face interactions, focusing on 24/7 online service and quality digital solutions will put you ahead of the competition.
Focus on Experience and Value
While there are many ways to build trust, focusing on the customer experience and value first will earn you customer trust. Gen Z are largely very aware of organizations as organizations and less likely to trust corporations than even millennials. However, once they trust your brand, they will continue to do so. You can capitalize on this by creating outreach and programs designed to connect with consumers and build relationships even from an early age.
For example, you can offer financial literacy courses to Gen Z students, helping them to learn basic budgeting, how to balance books, protect themselves from fraud and theft, and how to save or budget for college or buying a car. With over 80% of Gen Z concerned about money, offering simple and well-thought advice to students can be a valuable way to build relationships. In fact, about 2/3rds of eligible Generation Z individuals already have bank accounts, are concerned about building credit, and want to know more about how they can improve their credit and financial records, so they will qualify for a home or a car when the time comes to buy one. Many are also concerned about debt and avoid credit cards, so offering information on managing debt and credit is also valuable.
The key here is to create value-driven programs designed to help customers without necessarily selling anything. Students can learn more and you won’t benefit from anything but brand awareness and building trust, which will pay off in the long term. You can pair some courses with products, such as a student budgeting course with student back accounts offering perks to students, but you should focus on simply offering value at this stage.
Offer Transparency and Build Customer Trust
Generation Z grew up during some of the most financially turbulent periods in recent times. They’ve seen companies make promises they can’t keep. They’ve seen parents accrue massive amounts of debt. Most are extremely aware of debt and are unwilling to trust corporations without a high level of proof. On the other hand, once you do build those relationships, Gen Z are extremely loyal. The difference is that Gen Z often don’t fall for marketing gimmicks, standard loyalty programs, or other tactics typically used on baby boomers. You have to approach them in new ways, offering transparent business services and a transparent way of doing business.
Operating in a transparent way means sharing company progress openly with consumers, creating clear and easy to read terms of service, making it easy for customers to see fees and pricing, and giving users full insight into the services they are using. It also means making customer data accessible to the customer and letting them know how you are using it. Customers should be able to see their products and services, review their options and update them, review fees, and get help or assistance with how their products work at any time.
Why? Operating in a way that ensures the customer has access to everything, not just about their data but also about yours, gives them more reason to trust you. If they know what you charge, how you operate, and where you spend money, you can much more easily build trust.
At the same time, you should focus on delivering what you promise, driving value for customers, and ensuring that everything you offer directly benefits the customer. Generation Z will notice and appreciate, especially when comparing you to competitors (which they will do, and frequently).
No matter how big your bank, Generation Z are an increasingly important demographic. Today, Gen Z is already worth $140 billion in spending power, and by 2020, will be the largest spending demographic. Getting involved now, while most of Generation Z are still in their teens will enable you to start building relationships before they have much to offer you, which will help you to build trust and establish long and lasting relationships.