DENVER (7/14/15)--A breakout session at the combined America’s Credit Union Conference and World Credit Union Conference Monday gave attendees tips on how to reach out to millennials and turn them into credit union members.
At “Recruiting Youth—Bringing Down the Average Age of Credit Unions,” Emma Avery, communications specialist for the Greater Building Society of Australia; Josh Allison, founder and chief ideator of Think Café; and Paul Wambua, CEO for the Stima Savings and Credit Cooperative in Kenya, spoke about the millennial generation and what credit unions need to do in order to be appealing to prospective members.
“They want it to be about them,” Avery said. “They want it to be relevant and easy.”
The session included information about habits of millennials, how to leverage the credit unions’ values to appeal to young adults, how to position credit unions in a position to appeal to younger members, and the role technology plays in serving that demographic.
When developing a plan to target and draw in young people, Avery said there were several characteristics to keep in mind. They want easy things that are about them and relevant to them. Also their behaviors are different than other generations, while older adults remember having to write letters to connect with acquaintances, millennials are used to having electronic devices in their pockets that connect them with the world.
And finally, Avery said young people do things they like, want and need. This means striving to reach a “lifestyle” rather than purchasing goods, or being part of building content or messages through social media. At the same time, millennials need help when it comes to personal finance, she said, but likely will not ask for it.
“Ask them what they want,” Avery said. “But also remember to listen and respond.”
To reach the millennial generation who are not already being served by other financial institutions, Allison said credit unions must tailor their marketing efforts to show what makes their credit union unique and the best option available to millennials and what services they are seeking.
In other words, it’s not always about trying to raise awareness among millennials, but rather trying to make them understand why credit unions are relevant to their needs, Allison said.
“We have choice, unlike ever before. We must start with commoditization,” Allison said. “The future of finance with this generation is going to be won by the organization who tries to understand our needs better than the competition.”
Because millennials will dominate the market place in terms of purchasing power and the workplace, credit unions not only need to attract prospective members, but also must find ways to bring them on board as employees.
“From both sides it’s very important that we attract young employees as well,” Allison said. “That, in turn, will help us attract young members.”