5 Ways to Attract Millennials

If you’re a community bank or credit union, you’re no doubt looking to attract millennials. Most likely, your current customer base skews older, and millennials provide an opportunity for years of growth and new revenues. But where do you begin? Here are a few ideas:

Of course, you have a great mobile app (or do you? – if not, start there!) But have you looked at the future, and are you staying ahead of the changing technology? Currently many apps can track your balance, allow you to move money from one account to another, and even deposit checks. But soon, that may not be enough. Reports show that over 70% of millennials would prefer to bank with large tech companies such as Google or Apple if they offered financial services. This is because they believe they will deliver a faster, more intuitive experience. Features like thumbprint identity or money transfers between people through a simple text message or phone number will become extremely desirable.

Provide financial education. Many millennials are now looking to buy their first house or borrow money to acquire a new car. However, they often don’t have the knowledge to make good financial decisions when dealing with large sums of money. Provide easy to digest online content or offer seminars or classes that educate millennials on money management and important purchases. If you’re creating seminars, make them social events. Offer food and a casual, comfortable environment.

Consider incentives that are experiential. The millennial generation prefers to display status through experiences rather than material wealth. For example, many will take on debt for that graduation vacation to Hawaii or even for the experience of going to college. Some financial marketers have already gotten on this bandwagon. For example, Chase treats some of its Sapphire cardholders to VIP access at concerts and shares the experience through social media. American Express offers its members an entire website for livestreaming concerts.

Be entertaining. You won’t win millennials with boring advertising. Be creative, genuine and humorous. One example is Chase with their “Fairy Dadmother” campaign. In addition, be sure your ads are not all about what you do, but what you can do for millennials. Millennials choose services that are “with me” and not “for me.”

Be human. This generation is a social generation that values human interaction highly. Many have made coffee shops like Starbucks a common hangout spot to study and relax. One study suggested that 70% of millennials would rather visit the dentist than their banker. Consider a branch design that is comfortable and inviting, and encourage your employees to provide the same in their interaction. If you deliver a positive, consistent experience in your branches, you can expect brand loyalty to be strong.

Many financial institutions make the mistake of simply creating an advertising campaign directed at millennials. If you really want to attract this demographic, that’s not going to be enough. In short, millennials want everything at their fingertips, but they also value good social interaction and information. Take a look and see if that is what you are providing.