Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about how banks are alienating young customers.
A recent study from Viacom reported that 79% of millennials would prefer to visit the dentist rather than the bank.
What’s more, a third of young people believe they won’t need a bank at all in future.
While it might be true for some, surely this perspective sidelines those that actually do desire help and advice on financial matters?
Nationwide is also keen to ask this question, recently launching a new campaign designed to educate rather than alienate.
I explored a little to find out how it is using social media to do just that.
A customer-first approach
In contrast to Viacom, new research from Yahoo has found that 45% of millennials are actively looking for resources to help them with a financial situation, yet 37% say there aren’t enough of these educational resources online.
Yahoo is partnering with Nationwide on a year-long campaign in a bid to fill this gap.
Targeting young people aged 13 to 24, it is not only aiming to engage youngsters about the topic of money, but to help them actively take control of their finances.
Focusing on how to make money as well as manage it, it is definitely a refreshing change from the aforementioned ‘millennials hate banks’ approach.
I also think that the concept of age is a little beside the point.
By providing something of real value to consumers, whether the target consumer is 18 or 84, people will be much more likely to engage.
Targeting youngsters on Tumblr
This recent campaign is an extension of Nationwide’s ‘Money Stuff’ YouTube channel, which was first launched last year.
On the back of the channel’s success, the bank has chosen Tumblr as its platform of choice, using it to house even more money-related content including videos, long-form articles, GIFs and photos.
As well as being shareable, the bite-size nature of the content means that it is more accessible and appealing to youngsters who already use the platform.
With three-quarters of Tumblr’s user base being under the age of 35, it is one of the only social media platforms that is still largely dominated by young people.
Playful, not patronising tone
Despite being well over the target age range (sad times) – I can definitely appreciate the fact that Nationwide is trying to avoid sounding patronising.
Like most advice, it can either come across as incredibly obvious or helpful, depending on the person reading it.
It’s definitely a tricky balance, so Nationwide’s conversational, playful and honest tone of voice is well executed.
By focusing on the worries and concerns young people have as opposed to delving straight into the nitty gritty of what an ISA is or how to set up an account – the audience is likely to relate.
While some of the content is more on the side of humorous than helpful, at least it’s not dull.
Inclusive and interactive approach
Finally, Nationwide cements its customer-focused campaign by encouraging users to ask questions.
While this recognition that young people might be embarrassed or shy about raising financial concerns is positive, the actual feature on Tumblr fails to provide real-time help.
The box encourages users to ‘ask anything’ along with promise of an answer ASAP.
Sounds good. But when I asked a question anonymously, and despite reassurance that my question was received, there was no indication how or when they would actually get back to me.
A more prominent link to the content on the main site, or its ‘Ask Nationwide’ Twitter account should be given here at the very least.
Despite the failure of its feedback tool, there’s still a lot to appreciate about Nationwide’s Money Stuff campaign.
With a customer-centric approach and canny use of social, it could help the bank broaden its appeal among younger customers.