Communicating to Gen Y


promotion, age cohorts, sub-cultures, communication, perception

Teaching Notes

This discussion exercise would work best in small groups, getting students around 20 minutes to work through the questions and the issues.

And please note that there is a very short (optional) video to show students at the bottom of this page.

News Source for this activity: 50 Revealing Facts About Millennials and Their Money

Review the activity below or download the PDF student worksheet

Student Discussion Activity

The following is a summary/excerpt from a study on Millennials – otherwise known as Gen Y – and their view of marketing communication from banks. Review the following article and then answer the questions at the end.

Millennials don’t like the way banks communicate.

Many Millennial consumers believe that their primary financial institution doesn’t send them marketing materials that interest them. Nearly half (46%) said their bank does not send marketing materials that are relevant to a future financial need. Two in five Millennials also complain that the offers they do receive aren’t personalized.

“I get a lot of advertising stuff from Wells Fargo,” bemoans one of the bank’s Millennial customers in a video from FICO on YouTube. “It just goes in the trash… immediately. I don’t think my bank understands me as a human being. [My bank] is just a hole where I throw my money into.”

Somewhat paradoxically, nearly 75% of Millennials say they don’t receive too many offers from their bank, so they are open to more communication.

Millennials might say they would be receptive to more communications from their bank, but only if they’re sent via one of their top four preferred channels: (1) email, (2) text message, (3) bank website, and (4) bank’s mobile app. And yet 43% of Millennials don’t think that their bank communicates to them through their preferred medium/device.

In the FICO video, another Millennial consumer echoed this sentiment: “[My bank] still sends me stuff in the mail, which is weird and annoying, and I don’t want that.”

Student Discussion Questions

  1. Do you think that the views expressed here for this generation would also be similar across other industries (other than banking)?
  2. Banking relies upon building customer relationships and cross-selling products to existing customers – so how important do you think it is to get the promotion/communication mix offering right?
  3. If you were a marketing manager for a bank, how would you use the information in the above article to influence your marketing activities?
  4. Based upon the above article and your general knowledge, develop a segment profile (a description of the segment and their needs) for the Millennials.

Optional Video to Show Students

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