Are You Ignoring Gen-Y? Parents? Gen-Z?

There’s a lot of talk in the financial industry about “growing relationships” with a Gen-Y audience. Here’s two things you should be doing.

#1 – Don’t ignore them.

“But we’re not!” you protest. “We have defined Gen-Y as an important part of our future strategy.” Great. But what happens when they walk in the branch? Do you make them feel important? Do they get gold-star service? Does your front-line staff know how critical Gen-Y is to your success? Do they know how to treat them special?

Key Question: How does your staff react when someone who looks like this walks into your branch:

Remember what you looked like when you were young? Do you remember how great it felt when someone took you seriously, listened to what you had to say and treated you like you were important? It’s probably didn’t happen all that often, but when it did, you remembered it. For a long time.

Bottom Line: You’ve got to align your brand strategy with your front-line actions. If you spend a lot of money marketing to Gen-Y, make sure your delivery channels are following through and know what to do.

#2 – Don’t ignore the parents.

Unequivocally, parents are the most important way to win a younger audience. For most kids, their parents (or “the ‘rents” as they call them) set-up their first bank accounts. From that moment on, inertia – that all-powerful force that keeps people stuck in financial relationships – begins to take hold.

Here’s two great articles from Project New Age on the importance of parents in Gen-Y financial services marketing:

  • When Connecting to Gen Y, “Moms” the Word
  • Half of all Gen-Y members referred by family

So basically, if your financial institution wants someone in their late teens or early 20s, you should have been marketing to their parents 10 years ago.

What comes after Y? Get started now.

So maybe it’s too late and you blew your chance to reach Gen-Y through their parents, but now is the time to start worrying about what comes after Y – the next generation. Don’t wait another 5-10 years to try to figure out what you should be doing to reach Gen-Z. Start marketing to their parents today.

And do you know who that is? Today, it’s Gen-X. But really soon (maybe even now), Gen-Y will be the young moms and dads you should be targeting.

Bottom Line: As a financial marketer, it’s easier and less expensive to reach kids through their parents than it is to battle inertia when those kids get older and grow up.

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