ABA Banking Journal - November 2007 - (Page 46)
BANK MARKETING The kids are alright? When it comes to marketing financial services products to Gen Y, it takes a deft hand and new tricks I By Lauren Bielski, senior editor 46 NOVEMBER 2007/ABA BANKING JOURNAL www.ababj.com/subscribe.html PHOTOGRAPH BY MARCUS MOK f, as a boomer parent, you have the sneaking suspicion that your millennial—or “echo boomer”—children are an altogether different breed in their purchasing, consuming, and living habits, you’d be right, says Bill Carter, partner of Fuse Marketing. He adds that you should take that knowledge to your day job as a bank marketer trying to reach that segment. Fuse specializes in reaching this youth segment, also referred to as Generation Y, the eldest of which are 29 and comprise nearly a third of the U.S. population, and represent a market of $170 billion annually. Based in Burlington, Vt., Fuse has been responsible for—or contributed to—branding and marketing campaigns adopted by New Balance, Motorola, Eastern Mountain Sports, NBC, and a coterie of others. Financial services firms, though not listed on the firm’s convivial, colorsplashed website, have also been clients. “Loud and uninteresting is bad,” Carter says, in his take on Fortune 500 youth-segment ads that have barraged television and radio since the mid ’80s. You’ll still see—and hear—these old school “shout it out loud” ads, but in Carter’s view: “Quiet, thoughtful, and singular is what’s working for Echo Boomers now. You have to find a way to show what you’re selling with a clarity and authenticity and not faux cool,” the marketer adds. Other marketing experts, including Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, who have a new book out on marketing, titled Authenticity, believe that being “real” is valued by many segments in society at a time when we all feel either annoyed, lied to, or handled by the managed message. This quest for the actual versus the manufactured means that today’s kids take their cues almost exclusively from friends and celebrities they admire. Sure, ads have to influence somebody to get this process started, but predicting what brands will actually resonate is trickier than ever. Posing an example, Carter contrasts the campaigns of recent years to sell Detroit-made vehicles with the overall approach used by Volkswagen for the reintroduction of the Beetle. With its Gerber Daisy and candy colors—which was fresh and broke through the wall of media noise—VW made a statement. Carter points to VW’s current campaign and website copy promoting the carbon offsetting concept as a great instance of relating a brand to something important and newsworthy, managing to laser-focus attention on both a cause and a product. Meanwhile, the content communicates to the very young. Cont’d on p. 48
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.