Millennials are funny when it comes to money. If you follow the dollar trail long enough, you’ll eventually end up at a bank. Yet, banking institutions have struggled with building brand loyalty among this target group. A whopping 60 percent of millennials like to change the products and services they buy each month in order to claim different cash rebates – there just isn’t much brand loyalty. So when another bank offers a compelling financial reward for switching over, it leaves banks scrambling to manage all the potential flight risks.
But here’s the thing: Finance is confusing.
And that means banks have an opportunity to deliver content in meaningful ways to help customers – especially millennials – educate themselves to make critical financial decisions. Before millennials can feel good about making deposits with a particular bank, they require valuable content withdrawals. In other words, they need 24/7 access to helpful information on things like investing, managing finances, and savings plans. According to a new study, providing this kind of information actually trumps cash rebates and builds a thicker layer of trust.
Millennials have a distinctive path to purchase. It includes consuming television content, searching online, comparing top choices based on online reviews and recommendations, chatting with friends who may have the same product, going to the store to compare pricing, and then choosing a product or service. Between each of these touch points lies an opportunity for banks to engage with this audience to assist in the decision-making process.
While Facebook continues to be the ironclad social media of choice among millennials (yes, still), banking websites (both mobile and desktop) serve as transactional venues for customers. With every transaction, there’s an opportunity to deliver content that helps consumers move along the decision continuum. Also, Millennials (59 percent of them) make product recommendations to share highly positive or negative experiences. So, products and services become transformed into personal experiences. That’s why a bank’s customer service mechanism is so important. Banks need to understand that their products and services must be transformed into exceptional experiences from the moment of discovery.
Every decision by a millennial to engage with a bank involves touching base with their core group including immediate family members and close friends.
As reported on WillisWire, “an Accenture survey found that 71 percent of the 4,000 people they surveyed considered their relationship with their bank to be transactional rather than relationship driven.” Ouch.
The problem: It’s not easy to track the continually evolving behavioral profile of millennials. They change like the wind, and that doesn’t bode well for brand loyalty.
The good news is: the more we learn, the more we can plan ahead for content changes in the overall marketing mix. More importantly, a deeper knowledge will enable financial institutions to build an intimate connection and establish loyal customers.