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    Attracting Gen Z to your financial institution

    July 03, 2020

    There has been several articles and posts about how to effectively deliver marketing messages to millennials. Business leaders realized that they consume media differently than previous generations and adjusted their strategies accordingly. Like millennials, Generation Z has become an important demographic and differences from their previous generation are starting to surface.


    Gen Z, typically meaning those that were born in the period of 1997-2012, are proving to be their own unique challenge when it comes to understanding their desires and motivations, especially when it relates to their consumption patterns. Differing from millennials in many ways, this unique, creative segment of the population is changing the way businesses and brands will have to position themselves in the market.


    In a recent HubSpot article, they listed 52 stats that marketers need to know in 2020, including the fact that Gen Z outnumber millennials. Along with those stats, there are some other takeaways that are very relevant to the financial services industry and determining the success financial institutions will have marketing to the Gen Z segment. Here are our top 8:

    1. More than 74% of Gen Z says they spend their free time online
    2. Roughly 75% of Gen Z most frequently uses a smartphone over computers and other devices
    3. Roughly 71% of Gen Z teens use mobile devices to watch videos, while 51% use mobile for social media surfing
    4. Over 32% of Gen Z transactions take place on a mobile device
    5. 62% of Gen Z checks Instagram, while 60% visit YouTube, daily
    6. On average, Gen Z will pay attention to content for a span of eight seconds – four less than millennials
    7. Roughly 65% of the generation sees value in coupons, discounts and reward programs
    8. Less than 30% of Gen Z will share personal data, such as health, wellness, location or payment information, online

    While most of these stats provide value from a marketing perspective to understand how your consumers may interact with brands, which channels they prefer and what their views are on general items like data sharing, a lot of this same material can be used when thinking through your strategic direction as a financial institution.


    The Gen Z segment engages through  mobile channels. When considering how you provide value to your members, the focus for this segment would be to deliver strong mobile experience, whether that means ability to perform mobile transactions, provide critical updates, or message with an advisors. Your strategy should evaluate how  interactions can exist through mobile channels.  


    Visual forms of media that can be consumed quickly, are ideal for the Gen Z segment. Whether scrolling through Instagram, or binging video after video on YouTube, this segment appreciates the aesthetic appearance of products and media they consume online. So, whether using pop-culture memes, brief videos displaying your brand, or creating brand awareness through Tik Tok, understanding how you can leverage visual media will be very important in increasing business with this segment.


    Lastly, Gen Z do have concerns when it comes to the sharing of their data. While this demographic is in line to benefit from what could come of Open Banking, it’s important to think about the security measures you implement at your financial institution and how you can communicate this in your marketing efforts. Communicating the value you provide in housing their data and protecting them amongst the thousands and thousands of data breaches being reported on a weekly basis, is sure to increase the trust and appreciation this generation has for your brand.


    In the summer of 2019, Alberta Central did a campaign to reach this new segment and it was wildly successful! We sat down with Senior Digital Communications Advisor, Nicole Lewis from Alberta Central to learn more about the campaign. Themed “In Real Life”, the campaign was all about educating the public on the unique benefits of banking with a credit union and how credit unions meet you in real life with great products and services. The initiative included multiple events in the Calgary and Edmonton that were promoted and heavily shared through social media channels.  A component of the campaign was coffee shop “takeovers” where CEO, Ian Burns and team educated about the credit union difference. Multiple online influencers were invited to attend the events and talk about Alberta Central on their channels.


    Alberta Central saw value in partnering with influencers to reach a new segment on digital platforms, especially given that they targeted “micro” influencers. The “micro” influencers may have smaller followings but have a more engaged audience than some of the large-scale influencers who are expensive to work with and may not show a high ROI. They tailored their influencer selection to fit with the approach – people who blog about personal finance, for example, or lifestyle bloggers who frequent the coffee shops and events they were at. Partnering with influencers was found to be an effective way to reach a new audience on digital while also being mindful of the budget. With 75+ influencer posts/stories across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram reaching a new audience of 180,000 fans, Alberta Central saw social engagement rates higher than industry averages. Including a Facebook engagement rate of 4% (industry average 0.17%), Instagram engagement rate of 42.8% (industry average 2.14%) and Twitter engagement rate of 1.7% (industry average 0.055%).


    So, take the lead from Alberta Central and augment your business models and strategies to attract new segments more effectively. Follow Alberta Central on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see what they what they’ll get up to next!



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