Tuned: Financially available
by Thabang Leshilo (@Thabang_Leshilo) South Africa’s financial institutions must take on board their own advice with respect to forward planning or miss out on the lucrative Millennial market. And they’d be best off using a mix of media including innovative digital, as well as old-fashioned face-to-face.
As a young professional with an exciting and meaningful career ahead of me working for a company I love, I have a sizeable disposable income, and enjoy spending it.
So, in the short-term, this means improving and enjoying my lifestyle; mid-term, I’m saving for my dream overseas holiday while I’m still young and carefree; and, by the time I hit the Big Three-oh (which is still a few years away), I want an apartment in my name. Long term, I have my retirement aced. I think.
Have I covered all my bases?
On the face of it, I’ve covered all the bases. Or have I? The numbers don’t include future investments, especially if I imagine myself owning a vineyard at a more mature stage in life. It’s also almost mid-2014, and I have yet to keep my New Year promise to myself and really put a financial plan to bed. Why?
Because I honestly don’t know where to start.
More importantly, it’s because, with the exception of my short-term insurance broker and my bank which offered me a new credit card in January, no financial institution has asked for my business.
And I don’t think I am the only Millennial/Generation C in that position.
Open to your message
Actuaries may disagree, but I believe people like me — well-educated, ambitious, potential high-income earning — are the target market for institutions offering long-term financial solutions. At this early stage of our long-term financial journey, we do not have affiliations to any particular financial company, so we are open to hearing your message.
If I were a financial services company, these are just a few things I would do:
- Speak to my aspirations. I’ve already painted a picture of what success looks like. In fact, I’ve already envisioned myself there, and my dreams are what I value — they keep me hungry, inspired and constantly on the move to find the right opportunities.
- Acknowledge that I’m a work-in-progress. I know that I’m not quite there yet, but I absolutely believe that I will get there. I’m always busy planning my next move and I acknowledge that I need help getting there, along with a few financial reality checks along the way.
- Start the conversation with my friends and me. I don’t just buy products based on a TV advert or PR. Peer suggestions and word-of-mouth count for a lot when making purchase decisions in the era of digital and social media. There are a number of vehicles to do this; here’s a hint — I live on my phone.
- Establish an approachable relationship with me. I kind of expect you to come to me; but if not, at least make it easy and comfortable for me to reach you. And, believe it or not, I do value real relationships so I am willing to engage face-to-face.
- Give me a real memorable experience that shows me the benefits of saving and giving up on some luxuries now to have more options later. Here’s another hint — send me off to a wine farm of my choice for a weekend and you’ve got me for life!
It’s not that difficult, now, is it?
Thabang Leshilo (@Thabang_Leshilo) is a project manager (brand) at strategic marketing consultancy Added Value South Africa. As a ‘next-generation’ marketer with fresh and curious eyes looking into the industry, she has a keen interest for brands that are culturally in tune with and able to integrate and immerse themselves into the everyday realities of the consumer.
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