I am ashamed and mostly mortified to admit that I have gone dumpster-diving twice in my life. The first time was going after a camera that had accidently been tossed and the second was in search of my missing wallet. But, in my defense, that second dive would have never happened if I had better credit cards, which goes to show you just how important certain features are when marketing credit cards to millennials like me.
Losing your wallet is a horrifying, stomach-churning experience. My ID, some cash, a new Kate Spade wallet, two credit cards; all of it was gone. A million scenarios were running through my mind – someone had robbed me and was going to deplete all my savings and rack up even more charges on my credit card accounts. I was going to end up penniless in the street, desperately trying to clear my name from fraudulent charges. Digging through the gas station’s trashcans at 11:30 p.m. barely fazed me at that point.
I knew I had to call my bank and credit lenders. Ugh. The phone calls. The automated machines. Did I even know my account numbers without my computer or filed paper statements? This ordeal made me hyper-aware of what banks and credit cards were offering me in return for my patronage, especially when I discovered that one of the lenders didn’t have 24/7 call centers.
I wasn’t alone in my frustration. According to Mintel’s May 2016 report on Banking and Credit Card Marketing to Millennials and Young Professionals, 55% of millennials get frustrated with banks when they experience difficulty resolving their problem (the other 45% are liars who are just better at hiding their rage).
Luckily, card #2 had an app, with a touch-ID entrance. This feature wasn’t one that I was aware of. Neither was the other card’s lack of a 24/7 call center. Had these been marketed to me, my wallet would have been shaped a bit differently.
I accessed my information for card #2 in a matter of seconds (no trembling, garbage-tainted hands needed to type in usernames and passwords) and was thrilled to discover a switch that deactivated my account instantly. I didn’t have to call anyone. I didn’t have to spend a sleepless night imagining my credit card breaking from use before the lender’s call centers opened.
And when Bob – a decent human being who found my wallet and restored my faith in all that is good in the world – kindly mailed it back to me, I was able to switch my card back on in a matter of seconds. Easy-peasy. That credit card company has my business for LIFE, and Bob has my love for all eternity.
Marketing banking options and credit cards to millennials requires a different focus. For instance, 86% of millennials agree it is important their bank offer a wide range of online or mobile services, with 93% being active online banking users and 70% active mobile banking users.
Mintel used their research to identify four areas that banks and other lenders should showcase when marketing credit cards to millennials:
- Convenience. Talk about any customizable options, even how to contact the bank or credit lender.
- Digital features. Focus on ‘anytime, anywhere’ banking and the speed of paying a bill or checking a statement.
- Time saving capabilities. Highlight any tools that save time or bypass a process.
- Money saving and earning. Mention actual banking options: interest rates, incentives, etc.
Knowing these preferences can help marketers better craft their messages for optimal effectiveness. And for consumers, it lets them know that you’ve got their back (and might even prevent a dumpster-dive or two).
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