Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Targeting Gen Y?

By Margie Church, copywriter/editor

I read recently that Gen Y is set to inherit $30 trillion dollars in the next two decades. Baby Boomers have done very well, indeed.  I also continue reading about credit unions looking for ways to reach out to Gen Y members. 

The tricky question is, how?

A credit union must understand the behaviors of its Gen Y population and cater to them. Also known as the Millennial Generation or Millennials, they have birthdates from roughly the mid-1970s to 2000. Read about their social and professional behaviors on the Internet and research them in your service area. 

As a whole, they are a tech-dependent group that scours websites like bloodhounds on a scent trail. Creating web pages that appeal to their special interests and tastes is a good place to start. Mobile banking, Internet banking, email, QR Codes, Tag, podcasts, specially created videos, etc., are tools this group isn't afraid of. They talk to each other about finances. Could holding Gen Y chats on your website be a good idea? Having a blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages? Possibly, if you give them relevant reasons to interact with you. An app could be a very good thing since mobile banking use is skyrocketing. Use age-appealing graphics, copy, and offers. (If you're not doing this across the board, you need to start. Doing so makes you more personal and relevant with any member or prospect.)

While you're looking for ways to appeal to the Gen Y lifestyle, remember some of this is an investment in their future, but possibly not yours.

What, you say?

When you think of Gen Y, are you really imagining the older end of the spectrum (around 35 years-old) or are you thinking early 20s? Breaking things down in this manner might help you realize you're already marketing to portions of Gen Y.

The younger portion of this age group is likely years away from being a profitable member. They're in school or moving around, not settled in their careers or their lives. Do these people need financial services and education? Yes. Can your CU be a great source for those things? Again, yes. However, it's no surprise the majority of these people aren't in a financial position to qualify for credit cards and other loan products. Their lack of roots in your service area has obvious implications. You can retain some of these members over time. Others will move out of your service area. Ultimately, the greatest service you might provide is the knowledge that wherever they land, a credit union is the best place to bank.

The mid to upper end of this age group is likely to be settling down. Their income is stable enough to be better loan risks and they're buying cars and homes. In other words, they are moving into the most profitable years of membership. Your credit union needs to make them aware of the benefits of membership. That's not new news. 

The market is ripe for a change in banking attitudes. Credit unions' lower interest rates and fees, coupled with outstanding services, make them an excellent choice over banks in many cases. Creating awareness among the younger portion of this group puts you in contention for their business when the opportunity arises. 

Roll with the marketing challenges and opportunities to help you bring the next group of members to your credit union. Pinpoint Direct Marketing can help you do it successfully. Put us on your creative team and get started.

We're interested to learn whether you're marketing differently to Gen Y and how. What have you learned? 


  1. I enjoyed reading your article but I must say there is a bit of information here that is misleading and incorrect. I would suggest putting sources for your information on the bottom so people can get the full range of information you are trying to relay.

    Also I would suggest not putting this paragraph in your blog posts... Marketing that way is very transparent and unprofessional.

    "Roll with the marketing challenges and opportunities to help you bring the next group of members to your credit union. Pinpoint Direct Marketing can help you do it successfully. Put us on your creative team and get started."

  2. Anonymous, thanks for your comments. What portions do you feel were misleading?


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