The way people talk about Millennials sometimes makes them seem like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Everyone’s trying to figure out how to best engage with this demographic. There might just be a simple solution. In the words of Charles Bukowski: “Don’t try.”
Let’s look at some stats and I’ll show you what I mean. A recent survey by TD Bank of 1,500 Millennials from around the country supplies our data.
A lot of numbers here that basically just mean:
- Millennials look to their banks for financial info and advice, which they haven’t formally received
- They are hyper-connected (i.e. they do a lot of banking online and through mobile)
So with this in mind, here’s what I mean by “don’t try.”
An essential part of your digital marketing strategy NEEDS to provide materials that “don’t try to sell”. Not only because Millennials are looking to their financial institution to help them out with financial education, but your other customers are too.
The term “Millennial” is sometimes used in a way that misses the point. It can be understood less as a demographic and more as a conceit about expectations of connectivity. Your youngest customers are hyper-connected and technology-dependent. If they can’t find the answers they need through you, they’ll go somewhere else. Older demographics are adopting these traits as well. You don’t need the proverbial “rapping grandma” to reach Millennials. You can employ a strategy that reaches everyone.
teach, don’t sell
People are looking for answers. No matter their generation there are people who need help with college planning, retirement planning, buying a house and a million other financial issues. If you can provide the answers they need–without pitching a product–you’ll find that your customers are more loyal and more interested in buying from you.
You can be the provider of the education and advice that 69% miss out on (and that they are even looking right to you to provide). This is great for reaching a hyper-connected audience. Customers are increasingly doing their banking online, but it’s almost entirely transactional. Devoting part of your online experience to education supplements these transactions with something more (and, if implemented properly, it can generate leads too).
None of this is to say that traditional ads don’t have a place, but when you’re trying to reach hyper-connected audiences online, don’t try to sell.