DENVER (7/15/15)--If your marketing team thinks attracting millennial credit union members is all about a trendy brand and a big social media presence, you need to get them to rethink their plan.
So say three marketing specialists with an expertise in reaching Gen Y and millennials. They shared information Tuesday at a breakout session at the combined CUNA’s America’s Credit Union Conference and the World Credit Union Conference.
Speaking to the international audience were:
The session was called “Reach Gen Y and Millennials With A Message They Might Even Listen To.” The breakout moderator was Sylvester Kadzola, a member of World Council of Credit Unions' board of directors who also represents the Malawi credit union movement as a delegate of the Malawi Union of Savings & Credit Cooperatives.
Kadzola kicked off the session by acknowledging the need for credit unions to attract new, young members is a challenge worldwide. CUNA figures show that in the United States, only 28% of credit union members fall in the key 18-34 age range, while 16% are 35-44, and 39% are 45-64.
Calder noted that by 2020, one in three Americans will be millennials; by 2020 Gen Y income is projected to exceed that of the baby boomers and Gen X; and by 2025, 75% of the workplace will be millennials. These will be the people most in need of financial services into the future.
One key theme underscored during the session was that to attract younger members a credit union should distinguish itself with a social message. When confronted with a choice to do business with a company that does “social good” and one that does not, millennials and Gen Y choose social good. That is the key to success for such companies as KIND bars, TOM’S shoes, and Warby-Parker glasses, whose value-add is to benefit the broader community, panelist Allison noted.
However, the panelists warned, millennials and Gen Y will not choose the socially relevant company at a cost to themselves. The quality of services and goods, and convenience of use, trump everything else for this group.
Calder, for instance, said Heritage redevelops its mobile banking two to three times each year to stay relevant to younger adults.
Calder also noted research that claims 76% of 18- to 34-year-olds fear not living up to their potential, which she says presents another marketing opportunity by tapping into where in life young consumers think they should be.
Sicredi’s Ferretti shared with the breakout session attendees a four-step engagement plan that Sicredi developed about two years ago when it “faced the challenge of engaging millennials into our member base.”
The four steps are:
Oh yes, and one more thing, Ferretti said: If you want to reach this important member base, your message is going to have to be either humorous or have an emotional content; that’s what reaches millennials and Gen Ys.