Santander’s Award-Winning Online Hub Targets Millennials

Santander’s unique microsite shows how banking providers can connect with Millennials who need access to financial resources and information during life's financial 'micro-moments.'

Millennials are a coveted segment for lenders in the retail banking industry. They are in (or will soon be entering) a time in their lives when they will be making big financial decisions — buying a home, purchasing vehicles, and planning for retirement.

Santander Bank, with the help of Arnold Worldwide and Sapient Razorfish, received a prestigious award from the Content Marketing Institute for their Millennial-focused content hub, Prosper & Thrive.

This microsite was designed to encourage Millennials to master money and includes a variety of content types including blog posts, infographics and listicles on an array of topics including saving, spending and debt management.

“Millennials are engaging with content that aligns to the real, in the moment financial challenges they face every day,” explains Doug Kalish, Chief Marketing Officer at Santander Bank.

By providing content focusing on relevant lifestyle topics and general financial education, financial institutions like Santander can create one-stop shopping for Millennials looking for information and resources, and ultimately financial products and services.

Content is Key

For Santander, the content comes from a variety of sources that include original material from the bank itself as well as external partners.

“The result is a diverse collection of material that enables us to authentically speak to our audience by demonstrating that we respect the different needs, priorities and stages in their banking journey,” says Kalish. Keeping content diverse in a site like this is essential. Using a mix of internal sources as well as outside contributors helps speak to a broader audience and keep messages from sounding repetitive.

Santander Bank utilizes both their internal digital marketing team and an external agency to manage the day-to-day operations of the Prosper & Thrive site.

“Integration is key across the organization and from our agencies and partners to ensure that all of these resources work together to bring Prosper & Thrive to life.”

How does Santander quantify success on this type of platform? The bank measures ROI using a combination of awareness metric, perception, brand sentiment and NPS.

A Marketing Mix That Generates Interest

To promote their hub, Santander Bank used a mix of owned, earned and paid media. They also leveraged existing digital assets to promote Prosper & Thrive to existing customers and social media fans.

Paid media was part of the strategy to attract newly engaged Millennial audiences who may not have already been familiar with Santander.

The bank’s strategy paid off. Prosper & Thrive received more than one million visitors in its first nine months.

The success of Prosper & Thrive, and other similar niche marketing hubs demonstrates that Millennials need access to financial resources, advice and general information during life’s financial “micro-moments”. Gone are the days when being present on social media and featuring Millennials in stock imagery was enough to pique the interest of this highly discerning generation (if that approach ever worked). It takes more than that to capture their attention.

To create a hub on the scale of Santander Bank’s Prosper & Thrive, it might take anywhere from three to 18 months to take the project from conception to completion. However, creating a specialized hub on the scope and scale for other financial institutions may not be quite as complex, depending on the audience size, budget and overall objectives.

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