School’s in Session: Marketing to Generation Z

Generation Z — those born after 1996 — are an emerging demographic that needs to be a growing part of your financial institution’s marketing plans. This generation isn’t just Millennials 2.0 – they come with their own culture, customs and sometimes own language. Knowing this, it’s important to develop your marketing and messaging tactics to reach them now.

After all, the oldest class in Generation Z just graduated from college and entered the workforce. They are the most digitally fluent generation, with 33% spending upwards of 10 hours a day on the web. This customer base may soon be looking for personal and real-estate loans or just tips on budgeting and saving more money. We’ve got you covered with the top three things you can start looking at today before developing your 2020 marketing plans.

Before you check out our tips, don’t forget we’re hosting a webinar tomorrow, August 28 on marketing to Gen Z. You can register using the button below.

Consumer Behavior 101: Understanding Generation Z

While the amount of time Gen Z spends online is comparable to Millennials, how they spend their time couldn’t be more different. Gen Z is the multi-platform generation — after discovering a brand on Instagram, 45% turn to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to learn more. Social media platforms are also their preferred channel for not only following brands, but to also receive customer support and resolve complaints.

With so many platforms grabbing at their attention, Gen Z’s patience for advertising and entertainment has also dropped. Marketers have only eight seconds to catch their attention with a video, as opposed to 12 seconds with Millennials. Communication tactics will have to change in order for your financial brand to resonate with this audience.

Pro Tip: Gen Z values authenticity in your online content. They’re reading what you say and what your financial brand stands for. They value one-on-one interactions and will benefit from your financial education tools. While it’s proven they want to be entertained and their attention spans may be shorter, your marketing campaigns should be adjusted to better reach this growing demographic.

Advertising 202: Attracting Generation Z’s Attention

The most encouraging indicator for financial institutions across this new generation is their level of interest in learning how to better manage their finances. Despite their relatively young average age, 72% have already opened a checking and savings account while 12% have started to save for retirement. Over half discuss finances with their parents (mainly Gen Xers) and seek to learn ways to avoid taking on long-term debt.

Knowing these statistics, it’s important to build your advertising to support their interests and next steps. If a majority of your Generation Z customers already have a checking or savings account with you, it may be best to start with an awareness campaign knowing that they want to learn more about saving. Establishing your financial brand as a thought leader is important, but also knowing your next sales point is equally important.

Pro Tip: The financial brands that are able to provide the educational content that Gen Z is looking for will carve a sustainable niche for years to come. Within the next five years, Gen Z will be buying homes, taking on HELOC loans and saving for their retirement. Establishing your brand as a partner to help them will benefit you later.

Marketing + Messaging 303: Capturing Generation Z’s Interest

It’s a new school, but financial brands are at an advantage because of Gen Z’s interest in education. As long as your financial brand can market to Gen Z in a way that’s relevant and engaging, you’ll be able to resonate and grab attention. The most effective way to attract (and keep) their attention is to add to the type of content you publish on your social media pages.

Focus on value rather than self-promotion. While you can still post about products, better explain the benefit to your customers. What are the benefits of your free checking program? Why should they choose you over the bank across the street?

Pro Tip: Establishing your brand as a resource for financial education builds community and trust with members of Gen Z. Create lender profiles to share knowledge and connect individually with younger demographics like Gen Z on smarter ways to manage money. This attention toward value will grow your following and help you stand out.


Are you interested in learning more about how to market to Generation Z? There’s still time to register for our upcoming webinar on August 28 at 10:30 a.m.

Don’t forget to join the live conversation during the webinar by using #SocialBank on Twitter.

About The Author

As a content and marketing specialist for Social Assurance, Alexander Lahargoue focuses on creating strategic content to help clients grow and sell online. In his free time, he writes suspense novels, cooks and is learning new languages.

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