Zeta Blog

Millennials and Money: Four Tips for Financial Institutions

Posted by Michael Greski on March 10

What’s the deal with millennials and money?

Millennials, or the generation born between 1980-and 2000, have become a focus of national discussion. Our generation has come of age in a rapidly changing, economically volatile and technologically advancing society. As a result, we do not fit the mold of prior generations and are often characterized by a reliance on technology and seemingly unrestrained activity on social media outlets. Demographically, we are larger than preceding generations, with 92 million strong.

Today, earning and keeping millennial customers is vital. Nowhere is this priority more important than in modern financial institutions. The topic of millennials and our financial preferences has become increasingly important as we enter our prime spending years.  Generally speaking, millennial consumers are technologically advanced, skeptical of traditional institutions, and conscious of social responsibility. Many of us are debt-crippled, or at least weary from slower economic times not so far behind us. Often established banks are representative of the traditional world we’re skeptical of, lack the personal aspects we crave, and clash with newer and more flexible models of finance like virtual currencies and online payment platforms.

So how can the financial services industry better appeal to millennials?

A common perception of millennials is that they are complex and difficult to understand, but marketing to our generation is actually quite simple. Here are four tips for financial institutions to acquire and maintain millennial customers:

  1. Focus on education. Educational messages focusing on personal finance should be a bigger emphasis for financial institutions. “What we do” type messaging is useful for understanding the benefits of various banking programs. Banks should focus heavily on topics important to millennials as a generation. This includes managing student debt, building credit, going in for a loan, buying a house or car and retirement savings.  
  2. Utilize all channels to create a comprehensive and personalized campaign. Fewer people today are visiting banking branches physically, but this doesn’t mean the value of a quality customer experience should decrease. Maintain a high level of service by communicating through email, mobile, social, phone calls, and direct mail. 
  3. Display an understanding of millennial needs through targeted engagement. Take into account a changing social, economic, and political setting and provide targeted, personalized emails that understand customers as individuals. By talking to individual customers on this personal level, you can gain trust of new consumers that it’s worth putting their money in your bank. Traditional blind batch and blast emails for acquisition and onboarding are not affective means of achieving this personal interaction.
  4. Maintain your relationships. When a bank succeeds in acquiring a younger customer, the story is not over. Keeping up a positive, transparent, and trusting relationship is necessary to keep millennial customers satisfied. With new technologies providing higher access to information, millennials can better understand their options, making it easier to take their money elsewhere if they’re unhappy.

To benefit from millennial financial power, financial institutions need to alter their service offerings and marketing strategies. Educate, personalize, target, and maintain. 


Michael Greski is an Account Manager at Zeta Interactive with over 5 years of multi-channel marketing experience. He works with some of the most well-known brands in financial services and banking, supporting and maintaining their strategic marketing objectives.

For more information about Zeta Interactive, contact zetahub@zetainteractive.com or call 857-246-7629.