Dear Luc: Should I use influencers to target Gen Z?
In Dear Luc, we answer the questions the industry’s fintech founders are too afraid to ask, and solve the problems they don’t want their VCs to know about.
From regulation readiness to technology teething troubles, our start-up agony uncle, Luc Gueriane, is here to help.
Luc has over seven years’ experience working with flagship fintechs like Revolut, Wise (formerly TransferWise), Monzo and Curve.
His expertise and extensive work in the fintech ecosystem mean that Luc is able to offer unique insight into the building of a successful fintech company.
Confession #13: Hashtag Ad
We’re looking to target Gen Z, how can we utilise our spend on marketing and influencers?
To clarify, ‘Gen Z’ is the name given to anyone born between 1997 to 2012. This group are some of the youngest in the workplace and are now at an age where finances have begun to play a big role in their lives.
Getting the attention of Gen Z might seem like a harder task than it was to reach the generations before them, but it certainly isn’t as mean a feat as some may think, even in an age where marketing messages are increasingly lost or ignored.
In 2020, fintech marketers invested £2.13 billion in user acquisition, indicating that aggressive acquisition campaigns are essential in order to stand out in the competitive landscape, much of which is vying for the eyeballs of Gen Z.
When understanding the appropriate amount to allocate for marketing, most businesses recommend anywhere between 7-12% of revenue, depending on size of business.
When it comes to fintechs marketing to the Gen Z generation, I’d say the priority has to be on where you focus rather than the specific amount you should spend on doing so.
So, who are they?
Although it might surprise you, ‘Zoomers’, as this group are also known, are habitual savers, despite their youth and the stereotypical expectations around being frivolous with money.
21% of Gen Zs opened a savings account well before turning 10 years old, and mounting research suggests that their thoughts on money are linked directly to the economic era they were raised in.
This has meant that Gen Z is the most money-conscious generation so far! Their goals are to avoid the financial instability they are witnessing the Western world go through, so they only invest in a product or service if they feel that they can justify the purchase.
With retail banking products in particular known for being more transparent and easy to use than those historically offered by incumbent institutions, Gen Z is the ideal audience to make the most out of features such as budgeting and money ‘pots’, spend breakdowns, split bills, investing and multi-currency spending, to name just a few. But are these benefits alone enough to convert them to customers?
Sell experiences, not products
Gen Zs are immune to obvious marketing campaigns. They have grown-up being exposed to over 5,000 adverts per day, according to a study by We Are Social and are tired of the constant noise. Instead, they want to hear about how a product or service will benefit them, and more specifically what experience the product will bring to their lives.
Although Gen Zs aren’t looking to bring back the traditional banking branch, they prefer brand experiences delivered across a blend of digital and physical channels with the opportunity to have time offline or within a community. Unlike Millennials who have constantly adapted to technological changes and made use of them in various aspects of their lives, Gen Zs have never seen a world without the Internet and recognise the benefit of hybrid marketing.
There’s no room for ‘Do as I say, not as I do’
A recent Salesforce report found that only 63% of Gen Zs trust large companies, and feel that many do not behave with integrity or take a truly customer-centric approach. Instead, they are eager to take recommendations from friends, family members and trusted influencers to help make their decisions rather than listening to marketing messages.
This generation also has high expectations when it comes to brands taking a stance on social topics – they want to see them walking the walk as well as talking the talk. They will actively champion brands that reflect their values, but equally vocally challenge those that don’t.
This has meant that openly amplifying your brand’s beliefs and values has become increasingly important when targeting this market. Whether those beliefs and values champion diversity or raise awareness for societal and environmental issues, Gen Z’s believe a brand’s purpose is more than just their core business.
The power of influence
Over-edited content will be overlooked by the younger generation as they are regularly engaging with short-form video content platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, which allows videos to be recorded and uploaded in minutes, not hours.
The appetite for raw, honest story telling is growing, and real and authentic people are being used to take over from flashy ad campaigns.
70% of Gen Z’ers claim to follow at least one influencer, and 44% have actively made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from an influencer. Working with carefully selected influencers who can reflect your brand’s image, and whose audience matches a relevant segment of your own, can generate significant awareness of your brand or product.
However, you must be especially discerning when making that choice as some fintechs have come under scrutiny in the last year for questionable mass influencer campaigns.
When it comes to utilising influencers, make sure you adhere to the FCA guidance on social media promotion and the Advertising Standards Authority to make sure your influencers are clear, fair and not misleading in the content they are producing on your behalf.
Boost financial awareness
Gen Z’s seek more financial security and stability than generations before them, and they often research to understand all the options that are available to them. With answers available at a click of a button, they value brands that can educate them about financial management and products. In providing these answers, many brands fill a gap, as these skills are often not learnt at school or in the home.
Many successful fintech brands have invested in efforts to provide their young customers with advice, guidance, and education — and not just on how to use their products. These companies address real questions and provide valuable knowledge, which can position their products as the perfect solution or next step. The language is simple, and the topics are tailored to a specific audience.
Targeting Gen Z is less complicated than it may seem. The only key difference between Gen Z campaign design and ones aimed at other generations, is that Gen Zs are generally immune to flashy ads and over-marketed content.
This generation is drawn to experience and knowledge, they want to see the true value of your product or service from people they trust but equally want to know that your brand’s stance on important world affairs is similar to their own. Bearing this in mind, you can drown out the noise and make their purchasing choice easier for them.
By focusing on adding value and educating your customers in areas of interest, you can bridge the gap between interest and action when it comes to marketing your product or service.
Do you have an embarrassing question you want answered, or a seemingly unsolvable problem you’d want help with? Post an anonymous comment below, or email FinTech Futures’ Alex Hamilton in confidence.
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