Banks can meet Gen Z where they are, through platforms like Spotify

Financial institutions should seek to engage with young customers on their preferred platforms and in mediums that resonate with them, such as on Spotify, panelists at American Banker’s Digital Banking Conference said.

At the Boca Raton, Fla., conference this month, experts said Gen Z wants to feel like their financial institutions understand them and that they can trust their banks. Banks can strike that balance between being connected and trustworthy by leveraging user data to market to customers through outlets such as audio streaming platforms.

Brian Elkins, head of the financial services practice at brand consultancy Monigle, said Gen Zers are looking for decision support, meaning resources that provide them with financial knowledge and information. allowing them to map their financial journeys. He said Gen Z wants to understand their financial needs “on their terms,” in a way that suits their identity. Elkins added that young people don’t look at financial planning the same way as older generations, now that people are living longer and changing careers more often.

Elizabeth Song works at Spotify, helping financial institutions market and find their audience on the audio platform. Banks can serve ads in podcasts and other popular content to target customers. Song said music is also an opportunity for banks to be more creative in creating or sponsoring playlists that will resonate with potential customers.

“If you really mean what you’re saying about meeting customers where they are, the fact is music streaming and podcast listening are on the rise,” Song said. “Gen Z and Millennials can’t live without their playlists. They can’t live without their favorite podcasts.”

She said her goal was to make the ads non-disruptive to listeners. She added that the more people are engaged with the content they listen to, the more engaged they will be with the ads attached to that content.

Song said younger generations want banks more than just financial products, they want personalized content and services. According to Spotify’s Culture Next 2022 report, 80% of Gen Z financial services customers said they liked brands being able to connect with different sides of their personality. She added that, for banks, user transactional data is not enough to design a fully personalized experience.

“We have a lot of fun data that we can share with [financial institutions] for a 360 audience profile,” Song said. “If you really want to understand what Gen Z and Millennials are going through, it’s going to be the data on their non-financial moments as well. What do they like to do ? What do they like to listen to? What are their passion points? It’s really going to help bridge the gap between being a transactional provider and a lifestyle brand.”

Gen Z is also more comfortable giving their data to financial institutions in exchange for content that matches their identity. According to a study carried out by Arizent, the parent company of American Banker, in partnership with Monigle, 73% of people say they are ready to share their data in order to benefit from personalization.

For example, Spotify Wrapped is an annual marketing campaign in which Spotify creates personalized snapshots for each user based on their listening data from the previous year.

Elkins said he has worked with some financial institutions who are concerned about the exploitation of user data. Younger generations prefer personalization that can be determined by their behavior and activity, he added, in part because they are used to this type of service from companies like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify. He said the mindset around companies using user data has changed over the past five to ten years and that financial institutions should tailor their “voice” based on platform, demographics and support.

“Personalization can be everything from the actual product you deliver, but more than anything, it’s about how you present yourself in an instant,” Elkins said. “What voice do you use? What type of content? you shape your communications.”


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