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3 Ways To Market To Gen Y So They Don’t Hate You

Posted by DeAndre Upshaw, Agency Entourage on July 16, 2013


As a young marketing professional I know that credit unions are working as hard as they can to advertise to me in a way that catches my attention and ultimately gets me to become a member. This is, for the most part, fine with me. However, it seems as though marketers are losing their minds in an effort to figure out how to market to us, mainly to their detriment. Here’s a quick set of guidelines that should be helpful in determining how to market to Gen Y so we don’t hate you.

  1. Stay away from There is nothing more gratingly awful than an ad campaign that tries to use language that emulates “the way young people speak.” It’s trite, and to be honest, played out. You can do better than that! This includes naming products aimed towards under-30’s things like “4Change $avings Acct.” We aren’t all characters in a Ke$ha video. Don’t treat us like one.
  2. We aren’t you. A 25 year old in 2013 is different from a 25 year old in 1983 for a variety of reasons, one being the state of today’s economy. Understand that we aren’t in a rush to purchase houses, buy cars and build retirement savings, mainly because it may not be financially feasible for many of us. Tailor your ads to other things we need, like mobile banking and awesome checking and savings accounts.
  3. We value transparency and self-awareness. An institution that can engage us by showing us how they work is one that can be trusted. Big business and big banks are proving every day that they are untrustworthy, and (almost worse) boring and unimaginative. Make us want to bank with you. Give us an opportunity to trust you, and a reason to like you.

At the end of the day Gen Y is remarkable similar to Gen X in that we don’t want or need to be patronized. Give us information in a way that is clear, fresh, and easy to understand.  Speak to us like we’re human beings and not checkmarks on a marketing strategy and you’ll be one step closer to having us as members in your credit union.


DeAndre Upshaw
DeAndre Upshaw is a champion of social media tools and technologies that grew up forcing his family and friends to perform in short films he wrote, directed, and produced. They weren't very good, but will one day serve as the backdrop to his E! True ...

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